Linda McNabb

Fantasy Books for All Ages

Realm of Shadows - The Guardian - Chapter One

The Guardian

Chapter One - Merra

Eagan sank down onto a flat-topped rock in utter disbelief. Even from the top of the hill he could see houses, tracks, and home-made fences of woven branches. Were these people mad? Did they think a few twigs would stop a night-shadow?
It had been a long walk from the deserts of the south several months ago to the edge of the marshlands and his feet were sore. Scowling at the bustling mini-town ahead of him, he bent to examine the soles of his shoes. They would need replacing before he returned to his cottage.
‘This would never have happened in my day,’ a voice muttered in a sour tone.
Eagan ignored the comment and banged his staff on the ground several times, then shook it for good measure. The old wooden staff was as tall as him and topped with a pale red gem.
‘Don’t do that!’ the voice complained. ‘You know it gives me a headache.’
‘Do you have anything good to say, Darius?’ Eagan asked as he stood, alone, and surveyed the town ahead. A few seconds of silence followed and Eagan snorted with laughter. ‘I didn’t think so.’
As much as Eagan complained, he knew he would be lonely without Darius’ constant company. It was a solitary life travelling the lands to check nothing had invaded from the east. Besides, the grumpy wizard had been confined to the staff for nearly two hundred years. It was enough to make anyone difficult!
Eagan looked again at the view below. Merra. Once known as the guardian town of the west, their skilled archers and warriors had always driven back the enemy. Known for their courage and loyalty to the late King of the West, all of Merra rose to the call to fight.
That was how it once had been.

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Here Be Dragons

I've heard this phrase a lot in my life but I never really understood what it meant. Was it where dragons lived? Was it a warning?
Well, here's the origin of it - or so I'm told. When navigators of old were sailing the globe and they reached the end of the map they would say 'Here be Dragons!'
I'd have to say I'm not really any the wiser. What did the sailors mean? I'd like to think it meant that anything was possible and maybe they were hoping to meet dragons.
When you pick up one of my books I can assure you that 'Here Be Dragons' means exactly that. Almost all of them have dragons living inside, just waiting to meet a new reader. So pick up a book and find your dragon!


A Thousand Words

They say a picture tells a thousand words. So it stands to reason that the cover of a book should tell a story too? How much do you base your decision to buy a book by the cover alone? If it’s not an appealing cover do you even read the story blurb?

When a person buys a book, they’re not paying for a bunch of words strung together, they’re buying an experience, a journey to somewhere else, a memory to remember fondly (one hopes!).

A cover of a book is part and parcel of the entire experience and getting it right for the audience who would enjoy the book is very important.

If a child sees a book with a single image on the cover, would it tell them enough about the story to get them to look closer? Does it tell a thousand words? An older reader may look past a less than appealing cover if they know the author and sometimes prefer a more symbolic cover (e.g. Twilight, Hunger Games) that isn’t always apparent to ‘why’ it was chosen until after you have read the story.

How much importance do you put on the cover of a book, and would you buy a book with a cover you didn’t like? Does it have to depict a scene from inside the book? Does a series have to all ‘look’ similar?

For me, I have to like the cover, I like the scene to give a good indication of age, content etc, and I definitely like a series to look good next to each other.