Kingdom of Uisneach: The Prophecy

For centuries fairy tales have entertained, comforted and inspired us. They have offered opportunities for adventure and provided hope for a ‘happily ever after’ life. But real life isn’t always as simple as fairy tales would have us believe. Sometimes the prince doesn’t wake the sleeping princess, or if he does, they discover they are a poor match. Sometimes a happy ending is a fairy tale.

Briana Brennan, aka, Mouse, has a biological clock that is ticking. So is the clock of destiny, started by a visit from a forest witch at the hour of her birth. While is worrying she won’t find her Prince Charming, a kingdom is worried that they won’t rescue their Savior and the kingdom will be lost. Following a sound in the woods, Briana finds herself traveling through a tree into the kingdom of Uisneach. She is met by gnomes who have been waiting for her to come as the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, destined to save King Brath from a cursed exile and take the kingdom back from the evil Lord Shamwa and Druid Artanin. With only a magic map to guide her, she begins a journey that requires her to make decisions at every crossroads. The choices she must make at these crossroads pale in comparison to the life choices she will have to make as she meets and travels with her companions, strong and stalwart, Lord Marshall Sigel, the handsome young bard, Silas of Cedarmara and a wolfhound called Dara. Overseeing the journey and mentoring her are a shapeshifting crow and a forest crone. Together they must learn how to use the black medallions each wears to unlock the curse and release the king.

Magical maps, powerful swords, dryads, fairies, evil druids, good friends, and an Abbess, all contribute something to the journey and to her growth as a woman, a warrior and a queen. She learns the challenging lessons of love, patience, sacrifice, loyalty and commitment. The journey across Uisneach is a grand adventure, but one in which she must endure heartache and physical pain to find love and her happily ever after

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Okay, dear friends, I am taking the plunge! I am posting the opening scene of "The Prophecy." I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your first impressions and if you would consider reading this book when it published, hopefully in October.  

Chapter One
Gray mist rolled across a bloody field.  Air redolent of fear, vomit and putrid flesh choked her. Men lay dead or dying in unthinkable positions in front of her. Crouched and partially hidden behind a tree, she watched through hanging branches as an auburn-haired man came toward her holding a blood dripping sword in one hand and a crown in the other. Her heart raced and her stomach rolled violently. Good guy or bad? Desperately, she felt around for something to protect herself and her fingers made contact with cold steel. She rose up slowly, lifting the weapon in front of her. The man’s expression changed to one of reassurance and he spoke soothingly, holding out the crown to her. She couldn’t make out the words but let her sword drop slightly. A flash of blonde hair caught her eye. She turned to see the back of another man as he slung a quiver behind him and walked away. Faceless but familiar. Who are you? She was about to follow him when a fierce battle cry forced her attention back to the auburn haired man as he rushed toward her, now looking angry and afraid. Too late, she realized as the sensation of cold metal cut across the skin of her thigh, followed by a burning and a river of redness that flowed down her leg. She turned to face the source of the attack and saw a different, gray-uniformed man preparing to stab her again. Pain and rage overwhelmed her. She screamed.
Briana sat bolt upright in bed, heart pounding and drenched in sweat. Reaching across the tangle of sheet and quilt strewn across the bed she found a pillow and clutched it to her chest. The dream again. The third night in a row she’d confronted the grisly scene, felt the giant’s icy blade slice into her body and felt compelled to follow the faceless blonde haired man. Closing her eyes again, she willed him to appear, but he would not. She sighed, cast the pillow aside and sat up, pulling her hair off her sweat-dampened neck.
 A hint of pre-dawn light cast shadows around the nest Briana called her bedroom. Beyond the colorful heap of quilt and hand-woven throws and assorted pillows tossed on the floor, were clutters of tiny treasures she had collected from the outdoors; a fractal of stones, shells, lichen and bark, stashed everywhere - on shelves, in cupboards and on windowsills, collecting light and dust. She scanned the bookcase of fairytales, fantasy and mythic adventures underneath the picture of an old Irish abbey and the medieval figures, arranged in defensive positions to protect the king and queen, standing atop a castle she built herself from tiny stone fragments until she found him-the archer. Dressed in red with bow nocked and helmeted by long, blonde hair, he reminded her of the faceless man. Longing rushed through her, not new, but more intense during this past week of the dream. Who are you? He wouldn’t answer. He never did.
Copyright  2017 Heidi Hanley

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