It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Janalyn Voigt’s unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. Beginning with DawnSinger, her epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, carries the reader into a land only imagined in dreams.
Janalyn is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary. She serves as a literary judge for several international contests and is an active book reviewer. Her memberships include ACFW and NCWA.
When she’s not writing, Janalyn loves to find worlds of adventure in the great outdoors.
Visit the author’s website.
Elcon, an untried youth, assumes his duties as High King. But as trouble stirs between nations and rebellion threatens Faeraven, his position is far from secure. Can Elcon trust that the Elder youth accompanying Kai is the DawnKing, sent by the High One to deliver his people? Or has something gone horribly wrong?
Driven to prove himself, Elcon embarks on a peace-keeping campaign into the Elder lands, where he meets a beautiful Elder princess. But Aewen is betrothed to another, and Elcon has promised to court the princess, Arillia, upon his return. Declaring his love for Aewen would shame them both and tear apart the very fabric of Faeraven.
Elcon’s choices lead him into the Vale of Shadows, where he learns that to deliver his people, he must find redemption himself.
Janalyn has a way with words. She’s created an incredible fantasy world with mystical creatures and intriguing characters. The allegory to Christianity is embedded throughout the story, but it’s not preachy in the least.
The first book centered around Shae and Kai and Shae’s calling to release the Dawn King. Wayfarer centers more around Elcon and his ascent to High King of Faeraven. As I read, the character of Elcon drew me into the story. He’s real and he’s flawed just like us.
While fantasy isn’t the normal genre I read, I did love the book. It’s a great read for a mature teen or adults.
List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Harbourlight Books (December 31, 2013)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
sword, he peered into the shadows beneath a weilo tree’s curling tresses.
name sighed in a sudden wind that ruffled the waters of the weild. Morning
mists eddied above the river, but the leafy canopy over his head remained still
With his heart beating in his throat, he pressed forward.
swirled, and took shape. Shae stood before him, her eyes closed as if in
prayer. Her unbound hair cascaded in burnished curls to her waist. Beneath her
scarlet cloak, she clutched something at the end of the fine chain encircling
her neck. The glint of silverstone between her fingers told him she wore his
locket. She opened her eyes and smiled at him. “Kai.”
world. Do you return by another gateway than Gilead Riann?”
are soft places like this one where I can look into Elderland, if only for a
time. When I saw you near, I called to you over and over.”
heard your voice once only, borne on the wind.”
although tears glistened in her eyes. “And yet you answered my call.”
weak. “You ask more than I can give.”
waters. “I release you.”
into glimmering light that melted into shadow…
weak light tilting through swishing weilo leaves. His dream had seemed so real.
A moan sprang to his lips but died behind gritted teeth. Short, swift breaths
relieved the tightness in his chest. His mind, however, knew no ease.
Elder eyes. He let his lids close to shield himself from their penetrating
thought. He rolled onto his side and pushed to a sitting position. His
companions, their shapes little more than shadows in the gathering mists of
morning, bent over their bedrolls. Behind them the canyon walls of Doreinn
Ravein rose into obscurity.
balled his hands into fists and rode out a surge of heat. Shae might stand
beside him now, but for Emmerich.
away and forced his hands to unclench. Shae had willingly traded places with
Emmerich at Gilead Riann. She’d sung her own death song by choice. And he, to
his joy and sorrow, had urged her on.
the wind blows, I think I hear her calling.”
again. “She comes to me in the land of dreams.”
fell across his brow. “Does she speak to you?”
for her no more.”
and then glanced sideways at Emmerich. “At odd moments I expect to see her, to
hear her voice. I can’t stop hoping for a sight of her—looking for her return.”
The words wrenched from him in a rush. “I can’t release myself from loving her.
I don’t know how.”
winged horse beneath him and looked out over the frothing weild, which fell to
rapids here. Sudden memory caught at him. He could almost see Shae combing her
hair on the flat-topped rock at water’s edge.
Fletch shuddered in sympathy. Kai turned away from the wraith of memory and
gathered his wits before facing his companions. “Thank you for your faithful
service. Each of you went beyond duty. Although we–” He heaved a breath. “Although
we return without Shae, our quest succeeded. In that we can give thanks to Lof
Yuel, the High One, who has kept us in His care.”
like a feathered curtain. As the great wings lowered and they lifted on
invisible currents to the top of the canyon walls, draughts rippled across him.
At this height the mists thinned but would still hide their movements from any
stragglers from Freaer’s forces retreating from the siege of Torindan.
king, react when Kai returned without Shae? He put the thought from him and
focused, instead, on navigating the twists and turns of the canyons. They
emerged into a flat land as the horizon blushed and the shadows lengthened to
stain the eastern desert purple.
crested a rise. In the distance, past the broken peak of Maeg Streihcan,
swelled the hills that Kai’s people, the Kindren, called Maegren Syld. The
Elder nation knew them as the Hills of Mist. To the west, the kaba forest
stretched to meet sandy shores where the tides of Maer Ibris ebbed and flowed.
rock thrusting into Weild Aenor, the wild river of legend. Kai caught his
breath at the sight. How long ago it seemed since they had left.
jewels and eyes aglitter. Her figure had softened since he’d seen her last, and
the luster of her golden hair echoed the glow of her skin. He captured her by
the hand and waist and turned her toward him. When she smiled at him, he forgot
everything but her beauty.
in a circle that brought her back to him. Dainty, light on her feet, and quick
to smile, she reminded him of Shae.
tried and failed to reach his sister with the shil shael, the hereditary soul
touch they shared. He could only hope she still lived.
took it without hesitation, and he guided her out of the crush of dancers
toward the leaping fire in the nearest of the great hall’s three large hearths.
dais at the end of the long chamber. Shraen Ferran and Raelein Annora had conspired with Elcon’s
mother to thrust Arillia and Elcon into one another’s company all of their
lives. No formal marriage pact existed, but he and Arillia knew they were
expected to wed. As children, they’d laughed at the notion many times.
short. “What ails you?” Such trusting eyes she turned on him, eyes of palest
gray. She knew him well, but he thought she did not guess he used her company
as a balm. In her presence, he found ease for the worries that tormented his
tall window behind her to the fieldstone paths that cut through the lush sward
to the inner garden.
afternoons gathering the roses that nodded beneath twisting strongwood
branches. Side by side, they’d dropped bright petals into the silken waters of
the pool and watched the water cascade in glinting ribbons from the tiered
into Arillia’s troubled face. “Naught but shadows.”
offered nothing more. For Shae’s safety, he couldn’t claim her as his sister.
And how could he explain to Arillia the feeling of doom that weighted him?
her eyes, he could almost persuade himself she understood. The thought should
draw him to her, but it only made him uneasy. Perhaps he and Arillia shouldn’t
spend so much time together.
voice. “It’s clear you mean to keep your thoughts private.” Arillia stepped
closer to the fire and gazed into its depths as silence stretched between them.
“But I still wish—”
return you to your parents.”
crowd toward the dais, she didn’t resist. His perfunctory bow to her parents
included Arillia. He caught the glint of tears trembling on her lashes and
hesitated, but then hurried across the great hall. Arillia, and all the
confusing emotions surrounding her, would have to wait.
the second guardian of Rivenn, had joined him. In Kai’s absence, Weilton had
assumed his duties as Elcon’s personal guard. Elcon answered the question in
Weilton’s light gray eyes. “I saw from the window a company of wingabeasts
approaching from the south. Kai and Shae return.”
beside his companions on the arched bridge outside Torindan’s barbican.
Although they could have flown into Torindan, protocol and good sense called
for the guardians to land their wingabeasts outside all strongholds, even their
own, and obtain entrance in the usual manner.
above the barbican.
all friends of Torindan.”
lowered over the moat’s dark waters and the barbican’s timbered metal doors
portcullis, Aerlic drew his silver wingabeast, Argalent, abreast of Kai. Just
behind, Emmerich rode Ruescht while Guaron and Dorann brought up the rear. They
had barely passed through when the doors thudded shut and the bar clanged back
into its rests. Chains clanked, and the portcullis dropped with a squeal and a
thump, sealing them into the treacherous “walls of death.”
floorboards and rang when they found trapdoors above pits. As Kai guided his
wingabeast onward, bars of light penetrating through arrow slits in the outer
walls fell over him. With much clanking and screeching, a second portcullis
gave way, and they emerged before the inner gatehouse.
another round of salutations. A small drawbridge lowered across a second
channel of the moat. More doors opened, and they passed beneath twin turrets
into a short corridor.
outer bailey. With his eyes adjusting again to dimness, Kai halted Fletch and
his companions gathered around him. Two figures entered by the archway from the
outer bailey. “Kai. You return.”
flung open and Craelin, First Guardian of Rivenn, stepped out, the lines around
his eyes crinkling from the force of his smile. Beside him strode Eathnor,
dressed in the green and gold of the high guard.
returned, but without Shae.”
warrant, weary. You look like a strong wind would knock you over. Still, I’m
glad to see you. Has Shae stayed behind with her sister in Graelinn?”
me, but I should explain in private.”
gateway of her own will.”
But where is Shae?”
whatever news Kai brings might better be given in private, Lof Shraen.”
it again. “Yes. Yes, of course.” His glance slid past Kai and landed on
Emmerich, just dismounting. “Tell me, Kai, why you ride with this Elder. Has he
strayed from his path so far it brings him among the Kindren?”
Elcon, Shraen of Rivenn, Lof Shraen of Faeraven. I follow it to you.”
“Who are you?”
you wish to know?”
him to my meeting chamber, and we’ll discuss these matters at length.” At the
archway to the outer bailey, Elcon shot a final piercing glance at Emmerich. “I
look forward to that conversation.”
him. In the small silence that followed his departure, Kai drew his hands into
fists at his side. After all they had suffered and sacrificed, would Elcon now
sustained injuries besides the ones you knew, but most have healed. Some take
longer than others.” And some never heal.
“How did you and Eathnor fare on your return to Torindan?”
reached Torindan in advance of Freaer’s charge and just managed to take away a
small group of messengers. We rode like the wind to summon the loyal Shraens of
Faeraven but had to dodge welke riders to save our own lives.”
image of dark riders pursuing through the mists of morning came to Kai. “We had
a bit of trouble with them ourselves.”
not have survived to spread the alert.”
joined the ranks of the guardians. I commend Craelin’s choice in you.”
prove myself worthy of the company I keep.”
brothers gazed upon one another with eyes that shone. At last, Eathnor dipped
his head. “You’ve healed.”
slow smile spread across his face. “In truth, I’d forgotten it.” He took in the
garb his brother now wore as part of the lof stapp. “Green suits you.”
wingabeast, Sharten, through the archway into the outer bailey, where the
time since entering Torindan. But he also felt like weeping. “Thank you. I’m
glad to see you.”
face. “And I, you.”
I dread facing Elcon again.” With slumped shoulders, he led Fletch after the
others into the outer bailey, where smoke hung heavy and the stench of charred
meat fouled the air. Dogs snarled and yipped, fighting over a bit of offal
thrown to them. A scarred wooden door hung open in a doorway, through which
emitted the clash and clang of cooking.
side path to the stables, which squatted across the sward from the kitchens.
Waiting for a groomsman at the stable door, he breathed in the heavy scent of
hay. Thudding hooves, soft whickerings, and calming voices drifted to him. A
lump formed in his throat. He’d forgotten what it meant to come home.
but a fool would think you gave less than your all for Elcon or Shae.”
enough. He’d failed Shae, and he had failed Elcon.