Herne is unique amongst the fay in that he doesn’t have two faces; he is the same both before and after Calgraef. He is also attendant to King Midhir and King Melwas, though Herne is a bestial creature more like the objects of his master’s hunts than the master himself. He crawls on all fours like a predator and has a horned hart’s skull for a head. Of all the fay, he is the most frightening.
Tom isn’t sure how much Kings Midhir and Melwas know about his relationship with the queens. But the kings know something and Herne is like any good servant: he wants to please his master. And he sees endangering Tom as a good way of earning the goodwill of the Faerie King.
Herne is known as the hunter in traditional folklore and is often said to lead the Wild Hunt. I wanted to keep the hunter’s spirit for my interpretation of Herne, but I also wanted a darker face to him. A lot of the fay in The Fey Man are sophisticated, so Herne was a great opportunity to create something more of a monster. A piece of art really inspired me: Elkhorn by Brom. That grubby, animalistic feel was just perfect for Herne.
You’ll find Herne alongside more fantastical fay in my debut novel, The Fey Man. Pick up your copy today!
★★★★★ – “A must read for fans of epic fantasy”