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Book One in The Firewing Trilogy
by Virginia G. McMorrow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release: May 11, 2012
Editor: Nancy Bell
Line Editor: Greta Gunselman
Cover Designer: Kaytalin Platt
Seventeen-year-old Kathren (Krag), named after a legendary fire-breathing dragon, is torn between the desire to see the world and responsibility of caring for her twelve-year-old sister, Reni. Her knack of going invisible entangles her in a mad rescue adventure to rescue her foster father’s spoiled seventeen-year-old daughter, soon to be crowned queen.
I stared at the mage, caught between the urge to slap the condescending expression from her face and the conviction she was right. “You change my motivation every day.”
“You change your mood every day. I’m just trying to keep pace with you.” She waved Andry farther from me. “Your turn to watch and listen today. Our young mage here is going to work very hard. We’re trying a new method today. Maybe, if we’re lucky, it’ll catch in that stubborn mind of hers and take hold.” When I remained impassive, Brana smiled a very cool smile, correctly reading the nasty names I called her in my head. “Go invisible first since you do that without thinking. All right, stay out of sight. There. Now do what I tell you.” While I clamped a firm hold on the urge to rip her heart from her chest and feed it to her hawk sister for the evening meal, Brana locked her eyes on mine. “Pay attention. You’re drifting in and out.”
I started to protest, but a swift glance at my flickering legs proved her right.
“Better. Now tell me how you go invisible.”
“I don’t know. I’ve always just done it.”
“No conscious steps?”
Still invisible, I thought about it. “No. Only that I calm myself so I can focus, and then, I don’t know, I just do it.”
“That’s what I thought.” Brana leaned forward, tucking her legs beneath her. “Now come back in sight. There.” Her eyes held a challenge, and I felt my entire soul respond. “Do the exact same thing with shielding. No more infantile piles of dragon scales. Imagine the wall in place, protecting you, and transparent.”
I tried to do what the mage suggested, but too many steps intervened.
“You’re taking too long.”
I bit back my angry words.
“I said, young mage, you’re taking too long.” Brana caught me off guard, shoving me back against the chair I’d been using for support, shattering my focus. “Try it again.”
I glared at her in growing fury.
“Just do it, and stop whining like a toothless infant.”
Straining, I tried by sheer force to think myself shielded. Brana shoved me back again, harder, slamming my injured shoulder against the wood chair. My breathing was heavy, and sweat drenched my short-cropped hair.
“Stop acting like a brat and just do as you’re told.”
“Brana…” Andry reached in front of the mage.
“Don’t interfere,” Brana snapped at Andry. “Our young mage wants to be a heroine and rescue her poor sister, who’s probably dead.”
“Shut up!” In a heartbeat, carried by rage and grief, I shielded and went invisible without thought or hesitation, driven by the need to unleash my fury and fear. More by instinct than magic, Brana braced her body as I lunged for her throat, holding my invisible arms locked tight against my straining body, away from her neck.
“Easy, girl.” While I continued to struggle futilely against her hold, weakening from all the attempts I’d made to shield, Brana held me firm. “You didn’t believe in yourself. If I didn’t provoke that fierce temper of yours, you’d go on taking your sweet time, not trusting your abilities. We’ve run out of time to save that sister of yours, don’t you see?” As I released both shielding and magic, she let me go, acknowledging the bitter resentment in my eyes. “I don’t care much that you hate me. I got what I wanted. You’ve done far better than I’d hoped; only needing to believe in yourself.” With a smooth gesture to Andry, she handed me into my friend’s arms. “See that she rests.”
I slumped in exhaustion against Andry, who said not a word for a long, long time. Then, “You’re a lot like her, you know.”
Sitting up, I stared at my friend, appalled.
“I didn’t mean it with ill intent.”
Laughing, I leaned back against the chair. “I know. It’s just that she said the same thing the night before we came here.”
“Do you hate her?”
“No, of course not.” I shook my head, baffled and weary. “I want to strangle her almost every single moment, but no, I don’t hate her. She’s difficult to deal with sometimes. And other times” —I shrugged—”I just don’t understand her.” When Andry’s expression had gone a bit peculiar, I snarled, “Go on. Get it over with.”
“It’s nothing.” Andry tried to hide a small smile that kept escaping. “Really, Krag, it’s not important. It’s just—” The smile became a broad grin. “It’s just that what you described is precisely how I feel about you sometimes.”
About the Author:
Virginia G. McMorrow has worked as an editor/writer for 25 years. Ginny has worked for business publishers as an editor of books, journals, and newsletters in New York City. She has had numerous articles and short stories published. As a playwright, she has also had nine short one acts and one full-length play produced off-off Broadway in a black box theater.
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Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this very charming and witty book to read on the skytrain. But I have to say it was kind of embarrassing. I couldn't stop giggling out loud at Maggie Lyon's humour. People kept looking at me, and I tried my hardest to hold in the laughter, but it was impossible. What a delightful story! What child wouldn't love this. It's a story for 6-10 year olds. It's a great book to read to your children when they're young or by themselves when they're older. If your child likes Geronimo Stilton, they'll fall in love with Dewie the little dragon and his friend Jones the toad. I hope Maggie Lyons will turn this into a series.
Joy Smith pulled me into the story on the very first pages. Fast moving, first I hated Victor, than I love him, than I hated until I loved him. And Marisol with her guarded heart had me hoping throughout that she'd open it again to love.
I loved her descriptions. They created such visuals, I felt I was traveling and discovering Colombia with Victor.
Ms. Smith writes believable, flawed characters that I wound up cheering and caring for on each page. I can't wait to read her next book. Goodreads Reader Review - Five Stars
"...murder, mystery and intrigue..plus did I mention our hero is a witch? Tex and his best friend Olivia are brilliant characters, really well written and I love tex's dad. Can't wait to read more about tex in the future! -Amazon Reader Review
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot of this novel. From Annabelle putting her life in danger when running away from Boarding School where she has lived since the age of five to her tenacious pursuit in finding clues as to her origins.
She is rescued by Roland, who is too much of a gentleman not to help the intriguing young lady. I relished the suspense of the reciprocal desire between Roland and Belle which is thwarted by misunderstanding after misunderstanding and prevents them achieving mutual fulfilment. The reader yearns for the truth to replace the false pretences and for Roland and Belle to overcome each other's prejudices.
Rosemary Morris' major and minor characters spring to life. I sympathised with Annabelle and found Roland charming. Apart from this, Rosemary's great attention to every aspect of the Regency era is impressive.
False Pretences is a ripping read and I look forward to reading this author's next novel. - F.Way- Amazon Review