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Book One in the Stardust Warriors series
Author: Rebecca Ryals Russell
Genre: Tween Fantasy
Line editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover artist: Delilah K. Stephans
When 14-year old Zarena wakes in someone else’s bed and hears voices in her head, she’s understandably terrified. So imagine her reaction when she steps out of the sleeping quarters into a magnificent Great Hall filled with priceless carvings, beautiful frescoes, and translucent-skinned beings in pastel robes. It doesn’t take long for her to find out she has somehow traveled overnight across the Megaverse to the home of a holy order called the Conscientia. Here she is to train to fulfill her destiny. Her mentor tells her about the Prophecy of Solsyl and her role as leader of the Vigorios, children demon slayers. But no one knows that her first taste of evil is only one new friendship away.
Suddenly, Zarena noticed they were no longer alone in the huge hall. People were coming and going. Everyone dressed similarly in variously colored plain robes over loose-fitting pants and tunics or full-length tunic dresses. She wondered if the color designated a job or power level.
A statuesque woman, her green robe and yellow tunic dress flowing behind her like angel wings, approached them. Zarena glanced down at her stained T-shirt and bare feet. They all looked so elegant. She wished she hadn’t stepped out of the room so abruptly and quelled the urge to dash back inside. She didn’t want to be rude to these lovely people who obviously meant her no harm. Her cheeks flamed with embarrassment, but she managed a tight smile.
“Hello, Zarena,” the stately thin woman greeted with a wide toothy smile. “I’m glad to see you out and about so early.” The white-haired woman’s friendly gray eyes wandered across Zarena’s T-shirt, and she leaned close to whisper, “I believe I have a robe and gown that will fit you just fine. You’re about my height.”
She gently took Zarena’s hand in hers and led her back into the room. It dawned on Zarena this was the woman’s bed chamber.
“I’m so sorry to have taken your bed last night,” Zarena stammered, and looked down at the floor. Why did she feet obliged to these people? They had kidnapped her from her bed in the middle of the night, for Laud’s sake! But she did feel grateful. Why?
“Think nothing of it, my dear. You had to finish the night somewhere. My name’s Divinor. I’m the one who brought you here, so it was only natural you stay in my room.” As she spoke, Divinor opened the door to a tiny armoire located in the corner of the very small room.
Zarena took the occasion to further study the room. Poorly furnished, a narrow bed was centered lengthwise on one wall with a small nightstand at head and foot. Centered on the wall directly opposite stood a narrow desk and chair. The small armoire sat to the right of the desk, barely large enough to hold five or six outfits and a coat. It was beside a small door leading into another room, which Zarena guessed to be a bathroom.
She opened her mouth to ask, when Divinor motioned toward the door and said, “Of course, dear, right through that door. I’ll have a robe and gown on the bed for you when you come out. I do hope the sandals will fit.” Divinor stooped to the bottom of the armoire and lifted out a pair of simple, brown leather sandals.
Before she pulled the bathroom door closed, Zarena noticed the only comfortable piece of furniture in the small bedroom. Squatting on the other side of the desk, in the corner behind the door to enter the room, an overstuffed white armchair, with a tall floor lamp beside it and a green blanket throw draped over one of the arms, looked inviting—as if it were meant for someone to curl up in and read, listen to music, or just think.
The bathroom was just as simple as the bedroom. The furnishings provided just enough to live comfortably without luxury. They must be religious people, maybe monks or something like that. Are there women monks? She wasn’t sure.
In Stock: 99
Customer Reviews:MarvaD (Tuesday, 27 September 2011)
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