Aizai the Forgotten
- Aizai the Forgotten
- by Mary-Jean Harris
- Genre Young Adult Fantasy
- Tags Young adult, young adult fantasy, fantasy, historical fantasy, magic, old books, adventure, quest, paradise, time travel, mystery, horse, seventeenth century
- Release June 20, 2014
- Editor Nancy Canu
- Cover Designer Cora Graphics
- Pages 295
- ISBN 978-1-77127-559-0
- Price $5.95
Seventeen-year old Wolfdon dreams of travelling to Aizai, a forgotten realm connected to our world by invisible sol-lines. He begins his search as a “word-warrior” in his hometown in France in the late 17th century, hunting for rare books that mention Aizai. One obscure book, by the philosopher Paulo de la Costa Santamiguero, has given him a lead to start his journey—to go to the northern coast of Spain where a portal to Aizai supposedly exists.
With a noble horse he borrows from an astrologer and armed with a strange magical device, Wolfdon travels to a place that surpasses even his vivid imagination, with walking statues, animals with glowing gems of power, beautiful towers and misty valleys, and Aizians whose magic is innate to their souls. He meets many peculiar characters, from the cryptic Philosophers of the Eastern Empyrean to beautiful Aizians and dark magicians.
Though death and danger loom ever near, nothing can dim the brightness of Aizai kindling within Wolfdon’s heart. Yet as he strives to discover Aizai’s secrets and fate, a frightening truth becomes perilously near, and may cost Wolfdon everything, including the future.
Before he could discern anything inside, for the room was swathed in a dark greenish fog, there came a voice from inside. It called out, “Fai!” and then more words in a language Wolfdon did not remotely understand. By the speaker’s accent, Wolfdon supposed it was a tongue of the Far East. The room’s invisible occupant spoke with such cheerful tenderness that Wolfdon felt that had he come here as an assassin, he would have scarcely gleaned more than a frown from the speaker.
So Wolfdon stepped inside and squinted to discern the source of such merriment. On fully entering the room, Wolfdon saw that it was a large and very full study, every wall covered with books from the floor to about twice his height, the tallest ones peering at him quizzically amid their furrowed brows of dust.
“Are you wanted here?” the voice asked Wolfdon. He now spoke in Spanish, but with the same Chinese accent that, now applied to a familiar language, Wolfdon found possessed a delicate, mystical quality. Beside a thickly curtained window, a Chinese man sat cross-legged, his back to Wolfdon, upon a thin square cushion on a chair with no back to it. He faced an ornate desk covered by a large yellowed map. In the dusky mist, Wolfdon could make out that the man wore a white robe with flowing sleeves, and his long black hair was tied into a thin braid that snaked halfway down his back.
Wolfdon was not sure how to reply, but didn’t have to, for the man calmly professed, “Ah!” and slowly removed himself from his seat. He stood erect, but with a kindly bearing, and approached Wolfdon on silent slippers of pale red silk.
“You are certainly not Fai,” he said with a smile. “But you must be wanted here, or else you would not have entered.”
“I actually don’t know anyone here,” Wolfdon started. “I just...came in.” He only realized how ludicrous it sounded when spoken aloud.
“Hmmm...” the man said, raising a small wrinkled hand to his chin. Wolfdon could not tell if the man was gravely pondering Wolfdon’s intrusion or just teasing him. On the man’s thumb was a bronze ring with a large sapphire. His moustache was thin, and drooped down either side of his face in long curls that sat in front of his collarbone in an everlasting grin. His face was a peculiarly rounded triangle, and his eyes were never-ending seas from the deep earth that could rest unruffled through storm, fire, or a peculiar young intruder in his study.
“Are you one of the Philosophers of the Eastern Empyrean?” Wolfdon asked, the thought suddenly seizing him.
The man laughed, a deep bellow, his mouth widening to reveal perfectly white but not so well-aligned teeth. Soon after, as the man was still laughing, various doors into the room began to open. One was a secret opening in a bookshelf, creaking open about two inches to reveal a tunnel. The books on the wall jostled about, and one tumbled in a dusty back-flip to the floor. A nose protruded from the crack, long and stately, but also enormous. It inhaled to its utmost limit, then blew out in laughter. A voice with a distinctly British accent cried, “Why, Cheng, you have quite the visitor!”
The door opened fully and a man emerged. He had a long, full, grey beard and wore a woollen cloak that covered his shoulders and flared down to his waist. It was fastened by a shiny silver brooch in the shape of a rabbit. He wore black breeches with long white stockings that reached up to his knees, and black silver-buckled shoes. He had a silvery-white doublet that seemed to reflect something, though there was no light in the room. Another man emerged behind him, wearing similar apparel to the Chinese man whom Wolfdon now knew as Cheng, though the man who had just entered was bald and did not have a long moustache as Cheng did.
From the other side of the room, another door opened, this time from behind a rose-coloured curtain that Wolfdon had assumed was just covering part of the bookshelf. A raven-haired woman in noble Spanish attire came forth, laughing with the others. Her dark green skirts were embroidered with warm gold and red flowers from her knees to the hem, and the red bodice matched the flowers on her skirts. Beneath it was a loose-sleeved white blouse tied by silk ribbons around her sleeves and wrists.
One more such door opened, so that in all, there were five philosophers gathered before Wolfdon, three of whom were laughing to their heart’s content.
“Who is this?” asked the man who had entered last, and was not laughing. He was a Frenchman with great pounds of red hair and a flat white square hat on top of it. The hat only stayed on his head by virtue of a thin string tied beneath his chin.
Cheng stopped laughing, though he did not appear any more serious, and the others followed suit. “Someone who is wanted here,” he replied.
“By whom?” the woman asked.
Cheng just smiled.
As they didn’t seem apt to condemn him to a terrible fate, Wolfdon asked again if they were the Philosophers of the Eastern Empyrean.
“I once lived in the East,” Cheng replied. “And I am always living in the empyrean of the eyes and the Earths.”
A more unsatisfactory answer Wolfdon could have scarcely imagined. Though he did think it probable that these were the philosophers he was searching for.