A warm welcome to fantasy, romance, and young adult author Sue Perkins. Sue is treating us today not only with an excerpt from her latest release, Reva's Quest, but also with a delightful character interview.
Sue lives in the wonderful country of New Zealand and has written several adult fantasy books. Reva's Quest is her second Middle Grade readers book. The first, Spirit Stealer, is also available from MuseItUp Publishing.
Reva is taken to Fey through a portal in her garden pond. She learns the land is threatened by evil and the blame is laid at her door. All the magical people in Fey look to her for a solution.
Today Gareth has agreed to talk to us about the quest he went on with Reva. Gareth is a garden gnome in the land of Fey, and when the portal in the garden is open, he comes to life.Gareth: You want me to what? Talk about the quest I went on with Reva? Why?
(Gareth straightens his short jacket and makes sure his red pointed hat is straight. He looks secretly pleased to be asked to do this interview)
Q: We've had Reva's side of the story, I thought it might be nice if you gave your thoughts on the matter.Gareth: So what's to tell. Reva stuffed up so she had to put things right.
Q: What did she do wrong?
Gareth: She let evil into Fey, that's what she did. Wrote a story about Fey with all wishy washy fairies and wizards. It's not really like that you know, but Reva found that out when we went to sort out Malice.
Q: Who's Malice?
Gareth: We couldn't keep talking about "the evil" could we, so we gave it a name - Malice. The Narun - she's sort of Queen of the Elves - sent me and Reva, Jarin and Maura the elves and Kai. Kai's a griffin and he came with us as guardian. We needed one as Reva couldn't keep out of trouble. Considering she wrote the book about Fey, she didn't seem to know much about it.
Q: I heard you had a knight in shining armor with you too.Gareth: Oh him. I guess he was okay, he came in about half way through. He was a bit stuffy though. Maura didn't like him, but then she didn't like Reva. They had quite a few arguments but to be honest Reva did do some stupid things. Silly girl forgot about Malice taking over everything and took things at face value. She learned though, picked things up pretty quickly really.
Q: You sound as if you're a bit impatient with Reva.Gareth: Oh she's all right. When the previous owners moved out I got left behind. The pond got overgrown, in fact it was disgusting. My lovely clothes became filthy. I was in danger of being choked by all the weeds. When Reva found me she cleaned me up and promised to clear out the pond. Now she knows not to meddle with things she doesn't understand I guess I like her better.
Q: Is there anything you'd like to say to the readers?Gareth: Of course. Read the book. Hey, this wasn't that bad after all. I might even let you have a little excerpt. Here we go.
Gareth led the way along a pleasant path. The trees overhead filtered the sunlight down to the forest floor where the light danced in patterns across the leaf-strewn ground. Reva shivered.
I’m sure someone’s watching us.
She looked quickly from side to side and behind but couldn’t see anyone. Her head turned round so often, Reva failed to notice Gareth stop and nearly fell over him. He stood in front of her, hands on hips and head tilted to one side.
“Are you trying to twist your head off?” he asked sarcastically. “You'll succeed if you carry on like that.”
Reva ignored his remarks. “Where are we going?”
“You'll see.” He turned and stomped off down the pathway.
Despite his short stature, he moved so fast she found it hard to keep up with him. A short while later they arrived in an area where the trees were further apart. Huts nestled in their branches. Reva looked around the small settlement with interest. The gnome led the way down the broadest of the pathways winding between the trunks until they reached a small clearing.
I’m going to have words with that gnome. Who does he think he is, ordering me around? On second thoughts, maybe I should keep my mouth shut. I’ve no way of getting home without his help.
Gareth stomped to the far side of the clearing and stopped in front of the biggest tree. His shoulders were on a level with a platform jutting out from the base of the trunk.
Leaves rustled, and Reva spun round in time to see a dog emerge from the undergrowth. It came closer, and the similarity to a dog disappeared. An eagle shaped head with cruel beak proudly topped the leonine body. Elegant wings folded back along its flanks, and a long, tufted tail twitched behind it. Rich brown fur and feathers covered the whole body.
It’s a griffin. Delight flooded through her. A second rustle came from the other direction, and another griffin emerged from the trees. They must have made the noises I heard earlier.
The griffins moved majestically across the clearing and leapt onto the platform. Their talons dug into the timber as they landed. Approaching the front edge, they sat down, ignoring the gnome who stood immediately in front of them. Fascinated, Reva watched while they settled their wings in a more comfortable position before returning to their statue-like pose.
“I've brought her.” Gareth spoke loud enough for her to hear him.
Movement in the shadows of the hut at the rear of the platform caught Reva’s attention. The figure who emerged walked with a slow halting step. The elderly head had a hint of red hair amongst the grey which topped the dry and wrinkled skin of the face. A crown of leaves sat on the sparse hair, and the wearer seemed to find it difficult to keep her head up. A full length gown of a flimsy light green material covered the skinny, aged body. The female murmured something to the gnome, and he turned and beckoned Reva to join them.
“This human is the cause of all your troubles, Narun.” Gareth turned to Reva. “This is Piora, Narun of the forest elves. The Narun is the elf leader.”
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