Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
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Daniela Ohms, Insel der Nyx. Die Kinder der Schatten (The Isle of Nyx. The Children of Shadows). Berlin: Planet Girl/Thienemann, 2014, 381 pp.
Crossover (children/young adults )
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Author of the Entry:
Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Markus Janka, University of Munich, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
, b. 1978
Daniela Ohms was born in 1978 in Rheda-Wiedenbrück in Germany. She was brought up on a farm, in daily contact with farm animals. She began to write as a teenager. Later she studied literature, history, and psychology in North Rhine-Westphalia but did not complete her studies. To this day, history, mythology and the human psyche are important inspirations for her books. She lives with her husband and children in Berlin. Ohms was a founding member of the label INK REBELS, a publishing platform for new and independent writers. Her novels are also published under the pseudonym “Daniela Winterfeld.” Her works focus on urban fantasy and criminal stories combines with fairy tale motifs. The 2012 Blood of the Harpy is her first novel. Since then, she wrote a two volume fantasy novel The Isle of Nyx (2013-2014).
Profile at autorenwelt.de (accessed: October 1, 2019)
Blog (accessed: October 1, 2019)
Bio prepared by Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.email@example.com
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Daniela Ohms, Insel der Nyx. Die Prophezeiung der Götter (The Isle of Nyx. The Prophecy of Gods), 2013.
In this second volume of the Isle of Nyx, the teenage girls Eleni and Philine learn that some orphans of Agia Vasiliki, their village on the isle of Crete, disappeared. In accordance with a prophecy of the Fates, Eleni and Philine travel once again to the isle of Atlantis, where the underworld is located. During their scouting, they manage to find the missing children, but at the same time they discover that the children were enchanted by Nyx, the goddess of darkness and death. Through that enchantment, they transform into Chimeras, hybrids between a lion, a goat, and snake. When Eleni and Philine encounter Nyx herself, they escape her clutches at the very last moment by running into a wild jungle situated on Atlantis. Nyx told Eleni that she kidnaps children and transforms them into hybrids because she plans to conquer Crete with their help. She calls them Keres, goddesses of violent death. In order to save themselves, the two girls join a self-governed group of orphans and pretend to be natives. A possible echo of teenagers in the Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954). Soon the girls find out that during the day, the orphans are friendly, but at night they transform into Chimeras and hunt humans. By using dolphins as means of transportation, the girls manage to escape from the island during daytime and even to save the orphans. By rescuing the orphans, the girls break the power of Nyx and cause the isle to vanish. Eleni reunites with her love from the first novel, Makaio, a mysterious boy who helps them to save their lives. Philine and Kimon, one of the orphan boys rescued from the island of death, are also in love.
The use of several mythical elements, i.e., mythical creatures, result in creating a new, postmodern fantastic story, where Atlantis functions as a mysterious place bringing all characters together. The Chimera is described e.g., in Naturalis historia of Pliny the Elder, where it is a unique individual. In this novel, there are several Chimeras. The situation on the island is presented as more dangerous for the two protagonists, since they run the risk of being killed by several monsters each night. Accordingly, the plot offers more suspense as an important element in children’s literature. The readers are not informed about the myth of Chimera’s defeat by Bellerophon with the help of the winged horse Pegasus (see Homer’s Iliad, 6 and Ovid’s Metamorphoses 4 and 9). The kidnapped orphans are transformed into Keres, spirits of death. Keres are described in the Iliad (e.g., books 3; 12; 23) as dark and shadowy creatures who symbolize death of the fighting warriors. In Hesiod’s Theogony, Nyx (Night) is said to be the mother of the Keres of death (Theog. 211–212). The author uses these demonic characters to facilitate understanding of the nature of death. In the book, the orphans relate to the creatures to the point of becoming them during the night. The author adopts the view that children when orphaned, or left to their own devices, have difficulty in integrating into society and their inadequate attempts at self-government have disastrous results.
The isle of Atlantis is here just setting for two adolescent girls to experience adventure and a form of initiation – of accelerated maturity leading to first teenage love. The novel displays the influence of two earlier stories about teenagers: Percy Jackson (Riordan, series 2006– ) and Lord of the Flies (Golding 1954). Some may view the demonised character of Nyx as a traditional condemnation of an archetype of woman who seeks power and does not conform to the conservative expectations of being a wife and mother.
Müller, Volker, „Verjüngtes Atlantis: die Rezeption des platonischen Atlantis-Mythos in Kinder- und Jugendmedien der letzten 40 Jahre“, in Markus Janka and Michael Stierstorfer, eds., Verjüngte Antike. Griechisch-römische Mythologie und Historie in zeitgenössischen Kinder- und Jugendmedien, (Studien zur europäischen Kinder- und Jugendliteratur, 5), Heidelberg: Winter, 2017, 265–286.
Stierstorfer, Michael, Antike Mythologie in der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur der Gegenwart. Unsterbliche Götter- und Heldengeschichten? [Ancient Mythology in Current Children’s Literature. Immortal Stories of Gods and Heroes?], Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2017, 365 pp.