Horses and flying both fascinate me. Small wonder, then, that wild winged horses known as wingabeasts feature in Tales of Faeraven. In DawnSinger, book one of my epic fantasy trilogy, the hero and heroine undertake a perilous journey on the back of wingabeasts. I want to give the reader a chance to fly.
The wingabeasts of Faeraven are based on Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology. While Pegasus is large and white, as befitting the carrier of thunder on Mount Olympus, wingabeasts come in a variety of colors: silver, gray, black, and gold among them. They also vary in size from delicate to brawny. The smaller wingabeasts have more agility.
Pegasus is said to be the son of Poseidon and Gorgona Medusa and sprang, according to differing accounts, from drops of blood or blood mixed with dirt or blood and sea foam after his mother was decapitated by Perseus. Pegasus struck the ground with his hoof to create the stream Hippocrene in the Helicon Mountains, a place poets drink the water to spark their creativity.
The wingabeasts of Faeraven ran wild in the Maegrad Paesad (Impassible Mountains) until Talan, one of the High King’s of Faeraven, captured one in a memorable ride forever immortalized in the history of his people. After that more wingabeasts were captured, but an untamed remnant retreated beyond reach. The Guardians of Rivenn received the privilege of riding the captured wingabeasts. The creatures’ respond both to touch and sound commands, and will hold still when instructed, even when predators are near. When danger threatens and their riders are not present, as a safety measure, wingabeasts will launch into flight, but later return.
In the Middle Ages, the time period the world of Elderland within Tales of Faeraven is based upon, the winged horse symbolized virtue and wisdom. In DawnSinger, the wingabeasts certainly help those who ride them to that end.
*Janalyn Voigt is an Amazon Associate and benefits when products are purchased at Amazon.com through affiliate links.
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A crosswind caught Kai’s wingabeast as lightning flared too near. Shrilling, the winged horse tilted in flight, and Kai’s stomach lurched. A gust snatched the hood from his head and roared in his ears. He blinked to clear the stinging rain that drove into his eyes. Thunder boomed like a timpani, shaking the air. Flecht shuddered beneath him, and Kai placed a calming hand on his wingabeast’s straining neck. He did not like this long flight through the wild night any better than did Flecht.
An image rose, unbidden—Lof Raelein Maeven, Faeraven’s High Queen, upon her deathbed, her sea-green eyes surging with life. As a guardian of Faeraven and as a friend, he would die to appease the hope that had flared in those eyes.
Wind howled and lightning flashed close enough to blind. Kai wondered if his own death neared. He would not—could not—halt his journey, although it took him into the teeth of danger. Necessity drove him as he pushed onward, past endurance. If he survived the storm, he would deliver Maeven’s last summons.
Read the First Chapter of DawnSinger.Janalyn Voigt
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