Emily R. King: Five Things I Learned Writing Wings of Fury

Althea’s world is ruled by Cronus, the God of Gods, whose inheritance is the world and women, his playthings. He takes mortal women as prizes and discards them when he’s through. No woman dares to defy him.

After her mother is taken from her and dies as a result of Cronus’s cruelty, Althea is determined not to suffer the same fate as so many women before her. To honor the dying wish of her mother, Althea promises to take care of her sisters no matter the cost.

Following the vision that has been revealed to her by the Fates—that she will crush the Almighty and free the world from his terror—Althea travels to the southern isle of Crete, where women who seek refuge from Cronus live hidden among the exalted Boy God. The Boy God, Zeus, the only son of Cronus, is believed by most of the world to be dead. But he is very much alive and his destiny is tied with Althea, for the Fates foretold that he too will destroy his father.

As Althea and the Boy God train and gain support for their fated journey, Cronus learns of the rebellion and begins amassing his own army to quell any resistance. Cronus may be The Almighty, but Althea will not fail her mother, sisters, or the imprisoned women helpless against the cruel god. 

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It’s…complicated

Writing a book based on Greek Mythology required loads of research. Those clever, creative Greeks often had more than one version of the tales about their gods. For example, take the origin story of Aphrodite. Some say the Goddess of Love was born from the blood Uranus shed during his castration. Drops fell upon the sea and turned into foam, and Aphrodite arose from the foamy water as a fully formed woman. A less dramatic version tells that Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus and Dione.

Greek Mythology is full of conflicting stories. To write Wings of Fury, I had to research them all, select one version to bet on, and then be prepared to back up my decision. Some could say this mythology is as complicated as the gods for which it’s about, and they would be right.

Zeus was a sack of shit

Zeus was known for his wandering eye. His first wife, Metis, Goddess of Wisdom, didn’t have to put up with it for long, but only because Zeus swallowed her. (Talk about an unhealthy marriage.) Metis was pregnant when he ate her, and while inside of him, she gave birth to their daughter, Athena, who then hatched from his head. Of course, the oh-so-humble Zeus took full credit for birthing one of the fiercest warriors of all time.

Meanwhile, Zeus was hooking up with Leto, Goddess of Motherhood, who later birthed twins, Artemis and Apollo. Hera, Zeus’s second wife, refused his marriage proposal, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer, so he tricked her and seduced her into matrimony. Hera became known as the Goddess of Marriage. Sad, isn’t it? Hera was forced into wedlock and then gained the reputation as a jealous queen who had multiple fits of temper, usually regarding her sleezy husband. I’m not going to delve into Zeus’s countless indiscretions. All I’ll say is this: Zeus was consistent.

Cronus was a bigger sack of shit

Cronus was one of six sons of Uranus and Gaea. When it came to dethroning his father, Cronus was the only one willing to pick up the adamant sickle and castrate him. Sounds pretty personal, doesn’t it?

After Cronus usurped the throne, he was paranoid that one of his children might do the same to him, so every time his consort, Rhea, had a child he swallowed their infants. He devoured Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Hades, and Hera. But when it came to their youngest, Zeus, Cronus’s mother had other plans. Not only was Cronus power-hungry and paranoid, he was a liar. Gaea had given him the sickle to take down Uranus, and in return, Cronus was supposed to release her imprisoned children—the hundred-handed monsters and the Cyclopes—from the underworld. Cronus did no such thing, so Gaea waited until Rhea was pregnant with Zeus and then helped her stash away the newborn on the island of Crete. Rhea gave Cronus a stone to swallow instead. Apparently, Cronus was more brawn than brains, because he was none the wiser, until Metis (remember Zeus’s first wife?) tricked him into eating an herb that forced him to throw up his children.

Bad father. Bad husband. Bad son. Cronus was the worst.

Oceanus was a badass

Not all Titans were dirtbags. Oceanus was one of the six sons of Gaea and Uranus. When Cronus took up the sickle to castrate their father, he had help. His brothers Iapetus, Coeus, Crius, and Hyperion pinned down dear ol’ dad while Cronus swung the blade. You can imagine how big of a fight Uranus put up to protect his family jewels… Anyhoo, Oceanus was the only son who didn’t offer aid. For this, Cronus cast him out.

Maybe Oceanus knew Cronus would be a terrible leader. Maybe he was loyal to his father. Or maybe he was simply a peacemaker. Whatever the reason, Oceanus stood up to Cronus first, long before Zeus was a twinkle in his mother’s eye.

The Titanesses kicked ass too

Gaea and Uranus had six daughters—Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Themis, and Mnemosyne. I highly doubt the Titanesses sat by and watched while their brothers (and in many cases husbands…yay for royal incest) dethroned daddy. When their brothers held down Uranus so Cronus could spay him, they must have had an opinion about it. Perhaps they helped pin him down too, or maybe they tried to stop their brothers. We don’t actually know.

Fast-forward to the next generation of goddesses: Cronus’s daughters—Hera, Demeter, and Hestia—didn’t sit by idly. They united with Zeus and battled Cronus and his allies in a ten-year war that earned them the honored title of Olympians.

The Titanesses deserve their time in the spotlight. In Wings of Fury, these goddesses finally get their moment.

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Emily R. King is the author of the Hundredth Queen series, as well as Before the Broken StarInto the Hourglass, and Everafter Songin the Evermore Chronicles. Her latest novel, WINGS OF FURYwill be released March 1, 2021, the first in the Wings of Fury duology. The second book, Crown of Cinders, will be released October 5, 2021Born in Canada and raised in the United States, she is a shark advocate, a consumer of gummy bears, and an islander at heart, but her greatest interests are her children and three cantankerous cats.

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Wings of Fury: Amazon