Can you believe Fifth Sun is almost ready to launch? When trying to come up with a way to combine my Mexican and Native heritage with a new book series, the urban fantasy genre felt like a fun way to do that especially because I’ve always wanted to try my hand at creating my own unique twist on the popular supernatural genre.
The thing is, I realize that not everyone speaks Spanish and that even Spanish-speakers might not speak Nahuatl. I struggle with both languages haha so this series has been a learning curve for me to be sure! (Shoutout to my mom for helping me with all that!). So for those of you who feel nervous about reading a book with words in a different language (I promise it’s not a lot) or those of you curious to learn some new words, I’ve included a glossary in the back of the book to help out. I’ve also added a page on my website which I will constantly be adding to as this series evolves so if you can’t find something in the book’s glossary then check my website or the internet can probably tell you.
In this post, however, I’ll be sharing a brief sampling of that glossary with you so that you can go ahead and start familiarizing yourself with a few words! I mean, how can I set a book in Mexico and not include just a wee bit of Spanish, right? Don’t worry though, it’s honestly not a lot so if foreign languages isn’t your thing then you’ll be totally fine. I hope you’ll find this fun or at least interesting and not a headache LOL.
NOTE: For a more extensive list of words and their meanings and/or pronunciations, visit my website here. Also, if you’re a native-speaker and have any corrections for me, please reach out! I’d love to learn!
Revenge de los Muertos – Revenge of the Dead
Bruja/Brujo – [female/male witch] Human with magic. Also called nahualli/nahualtin (plural). Irises turn gold when casting magic.
Reaper – Bruja/o that feeds on the life force of living beings or things to fuel their magic. Also called La Muerte. Eyes turn black when feeding or casting magic.
Sangre Soberano – [Sovereign Blood] Ruler of all nahualtin. Also referred to as Blood King/Queen.
Sirena – [siren] Bruja/o who channel their magic through song and/or rhythm. Irises turn pale colored when casting magic.
Tlacocoyotl – [half-coyote] Bruja/o that feeds on blood to fuel their magic and can shape-shift into an animal form (specifically a creature similar in features to a coyote, though of much larger stature, with elongated fangs and claws, red eyes, and curved bone-like spikes that protrude from their spine down their back); Irises turn red when casting magic in human form or eyes turn entirely red when in animal form. Also referred to as Chupacabra [goat-sucker] and Tepiani.
Equoni – [river (Cherokee)] Coven based in Wilmington, North Carolina; Territory covers both North and South Carolina.
Malinche – [twisted grass] Coven based in Tlaxcala, Mexico; Territory covers entirety of the State of Tlaxcala. Name comes from the volcano La Malinche which in turn was named after a Nahua woman and traitor.
Tula – [leaping waters; urban center] Coven based near Tula de Allende, Mexico, the former center of the ancient Toltec Empire; Territory covers entirety of the State of Hidalgo.
Iztaccihuatl [ees-tak-SEE-wah- ł]
Ometeotl [oh-meh-TEH-oh- ł]
Popocatepetl [poh-poh-kah-TEH-peh- ł]
Tlacocoyotl [tlah-coh-COH-yoh- ł]
*In Nahuatl, the ‘tl’ word ending is a lateral fricative (phonetically symbolized as ł) similar to ‘ll’ in Welsh and doesn’t exist in English. Place your tongue against the back of your teeth and breathe the air out along either side of the tongue. If you’re really stressed about it though, you can often mute this ending and people will still understand the word. I’ve also heard people in Mexico pronounce the ‘tl’ ending as a soft ‘l’ so you can probably also get away with that while you practice too.
Reminder that in Spanish, the letter ‘j’ sounds like an English ‘h’, the letter ‘h’ is silent, and ‘ll’ sounds like an English ‘y’ (though the Mexican dialect pronounces it like a soft ‘j’). Spanish also uses only 5 basic vowel sounds:
A = ah
E = eh
I = ee
O = oh
U = oo
If you’re a singer, then you’re probably very familiar with these. Luckily Spanish is largely latin-based and so you have a good chance of guessing the pronunciation correctly if you also speak a latin-based or influenced language (e.g. English, Italian). If you still feel stuck on a word, the internet is full of quick-search answers.
If I’ve gotten a Nahuatl word or pronunciation incorrect (I’m the farthest thing from an expert, I freely admit), please let me know so I can fix it and learn a bit more of the ancient language myself.
Revenge de los Muertos
(Fifth Sun #1)
Selah’s biggest dilemma was trying to decide what to study in college. That was, until she stumbled across a clue to the grandparents she’d never met and hopped on a plane to Mexico where she would discover an entire hidden world of magic and monsters. Her best friend was a bruja, the Chupacabra was more than a myth, and she’d inadvertently caught the attention of the terrifying Blood King with golden eyes. What started as a two-week vacation quickly devolved into an adventure she might never return from.
Día de los Muertos had almost arrived and the monsters were on the hunt.
Again, don’t panic thinking that this series will be chock full of Spanish or Nahuatl! I just sprinkle a little bit here and there. I think having real or fictional languages in books is a lot of fun but I also don’t love when it’s so heavily used that I become distracted and struggle to actually get through the story. Hopefully I managed to balance it well in this series!
Be sure to add Fifth Sun to your Goodreads and pre-order the first book on Amazon! I hope you’re as excited to dive into this work of magic and monsters as I am! Until then, keep an eye on your inbox and my social media accounts for teasers and updates.
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