The Night King and The Unseelie

By now many of my readers are anxiously awaiting the release of the Night King, my new book that will serve as the prequel to an upcoming trilogy. This book serves largely as a standalone, but is sort of the stepping stone into a new universe, new power structure, and so on.

I’m so excited to have a solidified fairy universe with an active magic system, and to talk today about what makes a creature Unseelie vs Seelie. A large part of the new book is Amelie, the main character, and her fear of the Unseelie.

One could easily assume that the Unseelie are these monstrous creatures that wreak havoc, and that the Seelie are more peaceful. That would sort of be a correct assumption, but sort of not. Unseelie and Seelie are words created by humans, but used by the fae to explain the difference between two larger subclasses of fae.

And so the large difference that makes one Unseelie vs Seelie in the fae’s eyes is this where they get their magic. Seelie get their magic from the earth and more concrete sources, the Unseelie get their magic from things you can not touch– such as fear, darkness, and so forth– but also light, joy, and other concepts that can not be bottled.

A large portion of the lesser Unseelie are inhumanoid and also incapable of tolerating light, this is because they get their power from darkness and the emotions surrounding it. Greater Unseelie, which are more well known creatures such as Kelpies and Näck are not as greatly effected by a burst of sunlight, just weakened. There are plenty of non-violent Unseelie who, while lesser known, are capable of surviving in the sunlight just fine.

A human’s understanding is much like Amelie’s however, that the Unseelie are largely dangerous. A normal human’s definition of Unseelie would be, “this wants to eat me.” Human scientists, on the other hand, would stick a little closer to the fae definition.

Artwork is by Virginia Frances Sterrett

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