YA High Fantasy
Date Published: November 10, 2020
Publisher: FyreSyde Publishing
King Athan vanishes at sea. His children, prince Thalos and princess Thara, drift apart with age, their kingdom falling into ruin. Thalos stubbornly clings to the past; Thara, resentful of her father, looks to the future. In the wake of this decline, a beautiful enchantress usurps the throne from the estranged siblings. She exiles Thalos to the edge of the world and slowly enslaves Thara’s mind.
In his exile, Thalos finds another castaway—an old comrade of his father. Together they begin a voyage in search of the lost king. Thara, meanwhile, resists the new queen’s coercive spells and finds a resistance of creatures still loyal to her father.
With a vast world of enchanted islands and beings between them, Thalos and Thara struggle to restore their family and rekindle the hope of the true king’s return.
Then an even stranger sight drew Thalos’ eyes away from the wintry beauty of this new land. It was a thing made of hewn stones. When these stones were cut and by whom was beyond the Prince’s guess, for they were old and mossy. Brown grasses and weeds splintered the once-seamless joints of the blocks.
For miles around, there was neither sight nor sound of any living thing, which lent a mysterious air to the stone structure and the strange land. A hundred questions sprang up in Thalos’ mind, but only one thing was certain—powerful magic hung around this place, a magic older than the stones themselves. At the same time, it felt novel and gave Thalos the excitement of discovering something that no man had ever seen.
He nervously stretched a hand toward the stones. As his fingertips made contact, they twitched and withdrew—the stones were frigid!
The structure was large and cylindrical and taller than a man. Ancient hands had smoothed it, so that now it looked like the bottom portion of a column, except that around this drum of stone wound a little stairway which expired near the rim. Thalos ascended the steps running his hands along the column of stone as he neared the top. It wasn’t perfectly smooth, for veins of uneven ridges rippled on its surface.
With soft, padding footfalls, he climbed the steps until they ended abruptly in a small landing just high enough from the ground that Thalos could lean over and look at the top of this edifice. Thalos was shocked when he reached the top; it was more than a mere column of stone—it was a well.
What was more, it was a well of what seemed to be the purest, crystalline water that he had ever set eyes upon—purer than mountain snowmelt running through a bed of stones at the beginning of spring. It glimmered with a light of its own, for the morning sun had not yet risen so high as to shine its light over the brim of the ancient fountain.
It beckoned to Thalos, not in the lustful way that strong liquor calls to a drunk, but the way a warm bed promises health and rest to one who has traveled all day through bitter weather.
So, with little hesitation, Thalos dipped his hand into the water.
An electric jolt shot up his hand and arm. It was cold, but not too painful. He cupped enough for a little sip, brought it to his lips, and immediately was refreshed.
Here was true water—not the poison of Sundra. All other waters he had ever tasted were like bitter, brackish sludge compared to this!
When he had swallowed this drink (and it took only one sip to make him feel full and refreshed), he looked out to his right over the vista that it seemed no Antaranisian eye had ever seen. He felt a strange sensation course through his veins, penetrating—it seemed—to his very soul. Before this, his body had ached with the dull pains of hunger, soreness, and worse yet—despair; despair so deep and heavy that it felt as if it had been with him from birth. A new sensation replaced this despair at once. Was it hope? Or something like it? Hope so deep and true it made even the rising sun seem new! Now darkness must flee before the triumphant sun, an immortal light conquering the shadows of night. It was rapturous.
About the Author
Frazier Alexander lives in Denton, Texas with his wife Nicole.
He began writing around the age of nine, inspired by movies such as The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and “sword-and-sandal” epics like Jason and the Argonauts. As a reader, his interests gravitate towards older works and the classics, such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Beowulf, and Le Morte D’Arthur. Along with creating his own mythological backdrop for his stories, Frazier is an amateur calligrapher, map-maker, and artist.