A is for Atlantis, P is for Plato, and H is for Helena Blavatsky.
Two historical figures that are mentioned in The Immortal City are Plato and Helena Blavatsky.
Let’s start with Plato, the Greek Grand Daddy of all Atlantis theory and the closest primary source that we have on Atlantis. For those who don’t know, Plato was an Athenian philosopher that was born in Greece around 423 BC. He is considered one of the most important figures in Ancient Greek History and was the student of Socrates.
Atlantis appears in Timaeus and Critias, two of Plato’s dialogues, recorded conversations of a group consisting of Socrates, Critias, Timaeus, Hermocrates and himself. Plato writes about an ancient Athens as an Ideal State, and its conflict with Atlantis, an advanced, mighty island nation. The God Zeus decides to punish Atlantis for its hubris and in the process, ancient Athens is also destroyed (because Zeus is a jerk like that).
In the dialogues, Plato writes that this smackdown from Zeus destroyed ancient Athens and Atlantis 9000 years ago, and that its history was lost during the disaster. It’s not until Solon, a wise sage of Greece and friend of the grandfather Critias, traveled to Egypt, specifically to the learned priests at Sais, sometime between 590-580 BC, that the story of Atlantis is re-discovered.
It’s in Critias that the full story of Atlantis comes out; an island nation created and beloved by Poseidon, ruled by his ten sons. We get a lot of history about how it was constructed, the nature and intelligence of its people. They were well known throughout the Aegean and Egypt through trade and its military prowess. Long story short, the peace between Athens and Atlantis disintegrates and after the war, earthquakes and volcanos destroy Atlantis, pulling it into the sea in a single day and night. Athens is also destroyed in the earthquakes and flooding, which is why it’s only in Egypt that the story of the nation and its conflict survives.
Sorry guys, magical crystals aren’t featured at all in Plato 🙂
(FYI-if you want to know more about those, beyond Disney’s Atlantis flick, look up Edgar Cayce)
So where does Thevetat and the conflict with the white priests/ magicians come into the story?? Well, that’s Helena Blavatsky’s area of expertise.
Helena Blavatsky, or HPB as she liked to style herself, is one of the most fascinatingly random figures involved with the Atlantis stories. Born in Russia in 1831, she was an occultist, philosopher and co-founder of the Theosophical Society. She was a world traveller, who claimed she spent seven years studying in Tibet under Masters, she had a seance business in Cairo, lived in Paris and New York, and published multiple works including the 1885 book, The Secret Doctrine, The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy. This work contains HPB’s version of Atlantis, one vastly different to Plato’s. Claiming that she received the history of Atlantis in trances, it goes a lot into the first men or root races (theories that the Nazi’s would eventually latch onto) but I won’t bog you down in the complex theory of these, only to say that the Atlanteans were one of them.
The Secret Doctrine also talks about how the downfall of Atlantis came about when some of their peoples started using bad magic taught to them by a demon called Thevetat. This demon worship and practices were opposed by good magicians/ priests and a war broke out, and continued right up until the day Atlantis was destroyed. It also describes how some of the good magicians managed to get to ships and flee before the final cataclysm.
It was this idea that I really latched onto during my research into Atlantis because there was so much a fantasy writer could play with. It didn’t hurt that it already aligned with a lot of the ideas I had about a group of magicians that managed to escape from Atlantis and who have been stuck in a magically long life ever since. History, my friends, is always so much stranger than you can ever believe.
If you want to know more about Atlantis and ALL of the stories, theories, science, history and believers I highly recommend the book in the photo, Stephen P. Kershaw’s A Brief History of Atlantis. I have used this book as a quick reference guide so much in the past years and it’s an excellent starting point for anyone interested.
It’s probably important to reiterate here that I’m a fantasy writer, not a historian, who has always been endlessly fascinated by Atlantis (but who is by no means an expert), and The Magicians of Venice is the series in which I’ve had the chance to really explore my nerdiness.
Read an excerpt of The Immortal City
Praise for The Immortal City
“Fans of fantasy, murder mysteries, and romance will admire Kuivalainen’s skill…” —Publishers Weekly
“Magic. Mystery. The Lost City of Atlantis. What more could you want? Amy Kuivalainen has truly impressed me with the amount of research that went into this book. Her approach to explaining the theory of Atlantis is unique and captivating.” —The Book Lyst
“…a rapid-paced, suspenseful, gripping, well-written and perfectly executed fictional fantasy/ thrilling murder mystery.” —LuluinHollywood.com
“…an exciting and page turning novel which draws from many influences to create a new take on the Legend of Atlantis.” —Crime Classics
“…combines both present day Venice and the myth of Atlantis flawlessly. Full of mystery, danger, intrigue, magic, and romance… I anxiously await the next installment.” —Just Jaime’s Reviews
“I loved this new take on the lost city [of Atlantis]. The addition of magicians was brilliant. The heroine was smart and strong…the book was filled with magic and took a legend and [turned it on its head] in a wonderful way.” —The Book Dragon
“…diligently brings the real world into fantasy, in a breath-taking way.” —Radzy Writes and Reviews
What’s next in The Magicians of Venice series?
The thrilling story of Penelope and Alex continues in Sea of the Dead, book two of The Magicians of Venice series, available fall 2020.
Available Formats & Purchasing Information
Hardcover: 978-1-947727-77-9, $26.95, 324 pages
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Ebook: 978-1-947727-78-6, $7.99
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About the author:
Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer who is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until that happens, she plans to write about monsters, magic, mythology and fairy tales because that’s the next best thing. Amy is the author of The Magicians of Venice series, The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy, and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.
To learn more about The Immortal City and other titles available from BHC Press, visit our website.
Categories: Sci fi/Fantasy