Immersing myself once more in the world of Elderland is like returning to a childhood dream, the one where you can fly. I’ve been away too long. League upon league, it unfolds in my mind’s eye, showing itself as a place that should be. This is where wild wingabeasts roam the farthest reaches of the Maegrad Paesad, the long-tailed birds of fantasy roost in strongwood trees, and fish in rainbow hues swim the streams. Curtain walls shelter castle keeps, guardians man the barbican, and honor carries the day.
Ah, but there’s another side to Elderland. This is also the place where goblin-like monsters known as garns hunt fresh kill, giant birds of prey spread their wings against the sky, and spider-waevens inject lethal poison into the souls of their victims. Here, too, the Kindren and Elder nations cohabit in an uneasy truce while the alliance of Faeraven crumbles from within and a Contender with fell powers challenges the high king.
Oh yes. I know Elderland well. And yet, Elderland still can surprise me. I’ll never forget when Elcon, the hero of WayFarer, took a turn into the Vale of Shadows. He might have informed me about such a place sooner. I had no idea it existed until he took me there. And the allegory within the story never ceases to unfold for me in unexpected layers.
Elderland. It’s beauty and beastliness both come from me, its author. And so I return to bare my soul while writing DawnKing, book three, and close the trilogy that once upon a time started as a story to entertain my bored young daughter. Already I’m planning a return journey, for the story of Daeven’s disappearance demands to be told.
The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens.
But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.
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