THE ELF CHILD
Clan Elves of the Bitterroot (Book II)
The moment elf warrior Astan Hawk agrees to protect the young elf queen trouble dogs his heels. Jelani’s human upbringing clashes with clan tradition, spurring dangerous intrigues within the Circle of Elders. Soon even the motives of his father Daven come into question. With nowhere else to turn, Astan asks Jelani’s human friends for help. Hiding in shadows, an outcast elf plots revenge by seeking the help of powerful elf mages who live deep within the forest. Can Astan fulfill his promise to keep both Jelani and his child safe when the whole world seems to have turned against them?
Paperback at Amazon • Paperback at Barnes & Noble • Paperback at Lulu • Hardback at Barnes & Noble • Hardback at Lulu • eBook at Amazon Kindle • eBook at Apple • eBook at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Kobo • eBook at Smashwords
This was Grigor’s plan, no one else’s. He’d thought of it all on his own, after the clan had discarded him, left him alone here in the pitiless rocks and cold winds and harsh rain. He deserved the right to carry it out.
“If the elders are involved in their politicking and complaining, then now is the time to strike,” Grigor said, looking Vez straight in the eye. “We should move in and take the child now.”
“All the same, if guards are posted, while they may let us in, they will not let you pass,” Vez insisted.
“We need a distraction. Something to send anyone who’s not already involved in this discussion about the false queen out of our way,” Grigor said.
Terzon’s face lit up, an idea practically bursting from his lips. “A groundquake. That would frighten them, show them we are a force to be reckoned with!” He grinned, and Grigor knew that capability existed within his childhood friend. But so did the rest of the clan.
“They would know you had caused it, Terzon. Inherent in this plan is the ability for you and the others to continue to blend into the clan, to appear innocent, until the queen is deposed once and all. The same goes for the rest of you. Your elven powers are obvious to those who know you well.”
Silence settled around them like a heavy smoke. Grigor hadn’t thought through the details, not while trying to coordinate so many of them, and now facing the open hostility in the eyes of Vez, he struggled to be clever.
“Then we should use human powers,” Vez said.
“Humans have no powers!” Hidal cried.
“Exactly. What can we do that will call to the heart of every elf in the forest, that we can blame on humans?”
“Fire,” Fontine whispered.
“Yes,” Grigor said. “Yes, Fontine, that’s just what we need.”
Grigor knew Fontine could start a fire anywhere, just by wishing it into existence. But careless humans had destroyed hundreds of acres of elven territory over the years. The possibility was one the clan feared more than almost anything.
Yadin nodded. “Beckley said a camp of human males had been on the eastern face of the mountain for the last week, hunting for animals.”
“This was known to the clan?” Grigor asked.
“Yes,” Vez said. “I heard them talking. Here’s your chance to be a hero, my friend. And we can hold the humans accountable for all of it. Of course, this would be more believable if you showed the clan you’d put up a fight to protect them.” He eyed Grigor. “I think a blacked eye and a bloody nose ought to do it.”
In The Elf Child, several of the characters struggle to overcome very real personal crises. Jelani and Astan find themselves pregnant without the intention to be so, and find that the Circle has conspired against them. Grigor struggles to survive as an outcast from the clan. Lane and Crispy…well, they just have issues.
But the character who has the longest journey is Daven Talvi. He’s totally lost his direction and must start again:
Jelani and Astan had asked him to put a protective spell on the door, something to keep others out, but he’d refused. The Circle worried that Jelani would use the spell to keep them from the elf child. Instead, his omission had enabled the evil ones to gain access and take the cuddly infant that was dear to them all.
I failed you, Jelani. I failed you.
He’d lost so many who were close to him in his service to the elf clan, friends, family, even Astan’s mother, Veraena. Each loss carved a small chink in his courage and determination to persevere for the greater good, and the chinks added up. Knowing at last that this tragedy could be laid square at his door broke Daven’s strong heart.
“Lady of the Forest, show me the way,” he said, taking the small bag of runes from his pocket. “I need your guidance.”
The moment Astan Hawk accepts his clan’s challenge to protect the young Elf Queen Jelani, trouble dogs his heels. Jelani’s human upbringing clashes with clan tradition and spurs dangerous intrigues within the Circle of Elders. Seeking revenge against Jelani for the loss of his mentor Bartolomey, outcast Grigor Biren finds powerful elf mages deep within the forest and sets out to prove himself worthy to learn their secrets. When Astan finds that his father Daven supports the agenda of the Circle, he has no choice but to turn to Jelani’s human friends for help. Paranoid Crispy, empathetic Iris, and computer whiz Lane complicate Jelani’s unexpected pregnancy and the young queen’s attempts to rule her people. After the child is born, everything that could go wrong does. Can Astan carry through on his promise to keep Jelani safe when the whole world seems to have turned against them?
Read a excerpt here! http://www.dragonflypubs.com/excerpts/elfchild.html
Here’s a review:
“The Elf Child, second in the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot Series, can be read as a stand-alone, but is probably a richer reading experience if read in sequence. Lyndi Alexander has created a very interesting story that occupies a rather unique niche in the fantasy genre; not exactly urban fantasy, but with hints of same. I like her main characters, but like the secondary ones even more. Former wards of the state Lane and Crispy are unique and extremely likable. The overall story, which could have gotten sloppy at a couple of points, avoids falling into traditional pitfalls and instead, flows along, smoothly at times and with an urgency at others which grabs the reader and pulls him/her along in a page-turning frenzy as her well-crafted world grows real enough to create a nice movie in one’s mind. I am certainly looking forward to the third installment in the series and plan to go back and read the first one so I can have a complete understanding of what happened to set up this book. The Elf Child is highly recommended for fantasy readers who like a contemporary setting and plenty of action.” ~ reviewed by John R. Clark (public librarian) for TCM Reviews. | http://www.tcm-ca.com/?p=9007 |
Find out more here: http://clanelvesofthebitterroot.com/the-elf-child
Find more great science fiction and fantasy snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday’s main page. I love this group of authors–what great imaginations!
Today’s entry at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday hearkens back to the most recent book in the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series, THE ELF MAGE. Elf Vez and his mother have been reunited after a long separation, and he hopes to learn magic and win power from her. But first he must come to understand the power structure of the clan–and he knows that most of what he’s heard so far has been lies:
Vez had been taught mages had greater power than any individual elf of the clan, but they were not taught by the Circle, those old dried up witches who believed they controlled their little elven world. They controlled nothing. This, his mother Veraena had told him, saying that several powerful mages existed in and about the mountains, elves who had evolved past ordinary magic and elven skills, and they were the reason the elves still lived.
“Long ago, Vez, very special nians and neris studied the traditions of the clan, and learned the deepest secrets the Lady of the Forest had to share.” In the reflected firelight, her face lit with excitement as she shared the tales. “When they’d learned all the Elders could teach them, they went to the earth itself, which taught new lessons. Clearing the mind, clearing the heart, becoming one with the essence of natural things opened the door for them, the santwarja.”
“A true door, Mother, a gateway to a higher existence?” Vez remembered his heart racing with elation. What marvelous creatures these Intalus must be, how powerful, how able to help others, to improve the status of all elves.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility–or so they say. And power can be used for good or for evil. Which might Vez choose, if he has the opportunity to study this great magic? Find out in THE ELF MAGE.
Find more great science fiction and fantasy snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday’s main page–enough to keep you inside from the rain all morning!
Today I’ve got a selection/snippet from the opening of THE ELF CHILD, book two in the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series:
He wanted her dead.
All the years he’d been alive, Grigor Biren had wanted…something. An ever-changing, vast ‘something’ that seemed to be just out of reach. He had never been able to define exactly what would leave him satisfied.
He wanted her dead. Jelani. The elf queen. The child of elven Linnea and human Vincent Marsh, who’d grown up to return to Montana, to the Bitterroot Mountains, to ruin everything.
And from there evolves a bitter plot that drives that story through the end of book two and into the beginning of book three. But I guess it’s good to figure out your motivation, right?
More snippets from the series are available at the Clan Elves tab above and also at the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot webpage. The books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Smashwords and many other outlets, or order it from your local indie bookseller! (We support local bookstores!!)
More snippets from other talented sci-fi/fantasy writers are available at the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday page, so don’t miss a one!
This is a snippet from THE ELF CHILD, where the elf Astan struggles with his family obligations as well as his new relationship with the elf queen, Jelani. He’s at odds with his father, abandoned by his mother, and he’s got issues, like we all have.
Alone now on the mountain top, Astan felt the cold wind sting his eyes. Was his mother out there somewhere? He’d heard stories of her at the knees of the wise females of the Circle, a neris said to be of strong magic and dark promise. If they found her, would it change their lives? Would Daven find a new reason to live?
Might he leave Jelani to Astan to teach, then, as any nian would his partner?
His eyes scouted the horizon in all directions, slowly, as he wondered what eyes he would need to see far enough to find Veraena. Then he started back down the mountain, hoping Jelani’s sadness had passed.
Find more great science fiction and fantasy snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday’s main page.