Thank you Way too Fantasy for featuring The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series! I have enjoyed listening to your genre podcasts (I learn a lot) and look forward to catching up with the Way Too Fantasy Digest. As a fan of fantasy, I value the dedication and quality Way too Fantasy brings to the world of fantasy. I guess that makes me a Way too Fantasy fan!
The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fantasy/fairy tale series that bridges the Mortal and Enchanted worlds. The main character, Melia, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal. She lives in Illialei, a country in the Enchanted World, with her two sisters and their mother. Melia’s father has been exiled to the Mortal World, and her best friend is a pixie.
When the story opens in the first book, Melia is troubled by her dark moon visions, gossip she overhears about her parents at the local market, and the trauma of living among full-blooded faeries with wings—she doesn’t have any. As the series unfolds, the historic and mystical forces that shape Melia’s life are revealed. Each step of her journey—to find the place where she belongs—alters her perceptions about herself, deepens her relationships with others, and enlarges her world view.
True Love’s First Kiss is the first three books in the five-book series compiled into one big read. We created the compilation because, while each book resolves a single plot issue, the first three books resolve an important story arc that begins in the first book. Overall, fantasy readers have enjoyed reading the beginning of the series in this way.
~Excerpt from The Dragon Carnivale~
Melia soared over the Enchanted Gardens towards the tree house. She sought the oak’s lowest branch—the one that grew at an angle around the tree house’s thatched roof—and landed with moments to spare.
Tatou’s arms draped her neck, the limp weight of her small body and legs pressed against Melia’s back. Pixies were known to be deep sleepers, but it still amazed Melia that her best friend could fall asleep in flight.
She would wake her in a minute. Tatou was chatty, and right now, Melia wanted to experience the deep hush that came when all living things paused and the last edge of night slipped away.
As she watched for dawn, Melia recalled the first time she’d seen Ryder in the palace library. Stunned and unable to speak, Nandana’s mark had blazed on her forehead. It had been clear to her, he was the one. Then why was it so difficult to choose him?
A crackle followed by a snap shattered the quiet. Melia blinked. The branch she perched on shot past a stairway that spiraled the oak’s trunk. Her eyes followed the wooden steps down to the ground.
A booted foot rocked on one of the oak’s knobby roots. Shock charged her body. She craned her head. Tatou murmured. The person looked up and Melia looked away. Maybe, if she didn’t catch his eye, he’d find the sight of a black eagle unremarkable.
But she’d seen enough to recognize a Huron knight; there had been a few at Plantine’s wedding. His gold hair, light eyes, trimmed beard, and lean build—not to mention the uniform—gave him away.
What was he doing outside their home?
As chivalrous as the knights were reputed to be, Huros was a long way away. His presence beneath the oak wasn’t casual. With her heart banging in her chest, she searched the nearest row of trees. Could she reach the tall eucalyptus before— The twitches began; her metamorphosis would be quick. She squawked and shook her wings to wake up her friend.
“What?” Tatou mumbled.
“You need to get off me. Right now!”
It was too late. Melia’s body vibrated. Her back, arms, and legs extended. Ripples in her flesh absorbed the feathers of her wings. The feathers on her back coalesced and smoothed into the same blue dress she’d worn to her sister’s wedding. She squeezed tree bark with fingers, not talons. The physical upheaval knocked Tatou from where she lay.
Melia’s heart roared into her throat as her friend plummeted towards the ground. When the pixie reached the height of the knight’s knees, her gossamer wings beat like a hummingbird’s.
“Who do we have here?” the knight asked.
Melia would have liked an answer to that same question.
Tatou flitted away from his grasping, outstretched hand.
He wore gloves, of all things.
No one wore leather in Illialei. Pressina and her boots hardly counted.
Melia chewed her bottom lip.
“Didn’t mean to bother you,” her friend said. “I’ll be on my way.”
Once Tatou caught her breath, a surge of energy would be available to her, a jolt that would enable her to outdistance the knight. Pixies were sprinters. They could fly much faster than flower faeries and field faeries; they just couldn’t last for long at their top speeds. Melia wondered how determined the knight was to catch her friend.
Determined enough not to see her, balancing on a branch with her knees hugged to her chest.
Tatou zipped towards the forest.
The knight chased after her. “Hey, what’s your name? I need to talk to you!”
It wasn’t a friendly request.
Melia dropped her legs, pushed herself from the branch, and hit the landing with a soft thud. She tore down the steps after them.
She’d run through Illialei, barefoot and wild, all her life, and as Tatou had pointed out more than once, she didn’t crash around like mortals. Because she wasn’t a mortal; she was half faerie.
About the Author:
In her life and in her writing, Heidi Garrett is fascinated by thresholds and borders between: human and divine, ego and Self, conscious and unconscious, reality and imagination. Confronted daily with situations where the most superficial aspects of life are valued, she’s obsessed with going deeper. Whenever she’s lost her way, fairy tales and fantastical stories have restored her faith.
Whether you’ve picked up The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, or a story in her Once Upon a Time Today collection of contemporary fairytale retellings, these stories feature female characters who must draw from their deepest selves to win.
Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She now lives in Eastern Washington state with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.
Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that:
Once upon a time, you lived in an enchanted world…
If you don’t have a kindle, download an app to read on any device here.