One of the best parts of writing is playing the ‘what if’ game. For my Annwyn series this meant weaving fairy history with our own. What if all the big plagues were caused by problems in Annwyn?
What if changelings were the offspring of a human and fairy but born in our world instead of Annwyn? What if people with psychic abilities were actually changelings?
While once those kinds of talents would’ve been marveled at they would’ve also become feared or considered the work of the devil with the rise of Christianity. At the same time people would’ve stopped believing in the old gods, or fairies.
Of course fairies still came to our world, they still got together with humans and changelings would’ve still been born; only now most of them have no idea what they are.
This is the predicament the hero of The Changeling Soldier finds himself in. Isaac knows he doesn’t fit in. He sees things (fairies) that no one else does and he gets visions of the future. And they are visions he can’t change so they aren’t particularly useful. Worse he has been dreaming of a battle fought with swords in a snow covered filed all of his life. And the dream is becoming more frequent.
It doesn’t scare him though, not the way it should as he’s begun to see it as his destiny. He can’t change it anyway so why fight it? However leaving the only world he’s ever known to live, and fight, in Annwyn is not a small decision, or one to be made alone.
Here’s a little bit of Isaac’s dream.
Isaac was never ready for the biting cold or the exhaustion of this dream, even though he must have experienced it hundreds of time. Snow was falling, dusting his clothes, and the battleground was silent. Battles weren’t silent. They were noisy and confusing as hell.
He drew in a breath, the cold cutting his lungs, and took a moment to orientate himself. His palm rested on the snow where he was kneeling. His other hand was wrapped around the hilt of a sword; the blade was coated in blue, sticky gore. That he was holding a sword didn’t bother him now, but it still felt wrong in his hand. He was used to guns. There were no guns here.
The blue was more concerning. Blood? It smeared skin and leaked from the wounds of the other fighters. It had to be blood even though people didn’t bleed blue. It wasn’t human blood, though. It was fairy blood.
The sword grew heavy in his hand, and he wasn’t sure he’d be able to hold on to it for much longer. Exhaustion and cold seeped through his body. As he exhaled, his breath clouded. He glanced around looking for a change in the dream, but everything stayed as it always was. He knew this place and had fought this battle all his life, yet things were clearer, sharper now. When he’d been a child, the death had been hidden from him.
He squinted against the glare of the sun on the snow. The battle was over. Around him were the bodies of the fallen. Their pretty faces would never smile again. They looked so young, too young for this. Everywhere he looked, bright blue stained the snow.
Usually he’d wake up now. He waited for the jolt, but it didn’t come.
The Changeling Soldier is book 2.5 in the Annwyn series. Book 1, The Outcast Prince explores another aspect of being a changeling as the hero, Caspian, has the gift of psychometry and has always known what he is…however that hasn’t made his life any easier. Book 2, Lord of the Hunt, takes you to Annwyn and book 3, To Love a King, will be out in October
Her time in the mortal world is running out…
After fleeing Annwyn three centuries ago, Ella built a life in the mortal world making gowns for European royalty and playing in mortal intrigues. Now those Courts are long gone, and she dresses Hollywood starlets. Mortals come and go, but Ella always ends up alone. She longs for the home she left behind.
He’s been dreaming of the coming battle all his life…
Isaac Norton is a returned soldier. Now home, he’s restless and his recurring dream is becoming more frequent: he’s fighting on a snow-covered field stained with blue blood. When he sees Ella, he knows she isn’t human. And she knows what he is, a changeling.
Ella can give Isaac the answers he needs, but there will be a price to pay: his soul.