WATERSPELL Book 1: The Warlock by Deborah J. Lightfoot
Drawn into the schemes of an angry wizard, Carin glimpses the place she once called home. It lies upon a shore that seems unreachable. To learn where she belongs and how to get there, the teenage traveler must decipher the words of an alien book, follow the clues in a bewitched poem, conjure a dragon from a pool of magic -- and tread carefully around a seductive but volatile, emotionally scarred sorcerer who can't seem to decide whether to love her or kill her.
About the Author
Castles in the cornfield provided the setting for Deborah J. Lightfoot’s earliest flights of fancy. On her father’s farm in West Texas, she grew up reading extraordinary tales of adventure and reenacting them behind tall ramparts of sun-drenched corn. She left the farm to earn a bachelor of science degree in journalism and write award-winning books of history and biography, including The LH7 Ranch (University of North Texas Press) and Trail Fever (William Morrow, New York). High on her Bucket List was the desire to try her hand at the genre she most admired. The result is WATERSPELL, a complex, intricately detailed fantasy that begins with Book 1: The Warlock and Book 2: The Wysard, and concludes (for the present) with Book 3: The Wisewoman. But a legal pad filled with notes and tucked away in a desk drawer suggests a possible Book 4 before the saga may fairly be said to be finished.
Deborah is a professional member of The Authors Guild. She and her husband live in the country south of Fort Worth, Texas. Find her online at www.waterspell.net.
It happened too fast to hurt at first. But, oh! the blood—lots of it, streaming from a gouge that crosscut her knee.
She hunched over the wound, her masses of unkempt hair tumbling around her face, strands of it trailing in the gore. Blindly Carin fumbled in her belt-pouch for something to stanch the bleeding. Her fingers met only flint and steel for fire-making, pebbles for arming her sling, and a length of twine that was useful for everything from tying back her shaggy auburn mane to rigging a brush shelter.
Abruptly a hand grasped the shank of her leg, and another shoved at her shoulder. “Straighten up,” her captor snarled.
Carin threw back her head and flung the hair out of her eyes. “You!” she gasped. “But—” She hadn’t heard the swordsman’s approaching footsteps—a seeming impossibility through the crunchy carpet of autumn leaves. Yet here the man was, crouched beside her and brandishing a dagger. Carin’s hand flew to shield her throat, but it was her knee he put the blade to.
Stay away from me! she wanted to shout at him. She couldn’t get the words out—not in a way that made sense. As sometimes happened when she came unglued, Carin lapsed into a language of her own. The sounds that passed her lips weren’t gibberish, but no one ever understood a word she said when she got like this. Carin yelled at the man, in her own private language, and tried to wrench free of his grasp.
“Stop your noise,” he barked. He held her leg tighter and waved his dagger in her face. “If you can’t be quiet, I’ll cut out your tongue.”
In the beginning a wise woman tells Carin, the main character, to go North, as she does not belong in the South. Then we see Carin as she trespasses Lord Verek's land. He threatens to kill her unless she explains how she could enter his land, which is protected by powerful spells. It is obvious she is immune to magic, but why? And so the complicated story begins.
At first I thought the writing was too wordy, but then I got used to it and actually, it suits the story. I also liked how all characters had their own dictionary, because it makes all the difference. Some books are written in the same tone and language, even when it comes to dialogues, which can really hurt the book. This was not the case!
There were only a few characters, but they were all special and enjoyable in their own way. At first I wasn't sure about Carin and about her actions. Then I realized how scared she was and why and everything made sense. She and Lord Verek were the two most complex characters. And he was just mesmerizing! I mean dark, dangerous, slightly rude, yet still somehow gentle and tortured by his tragic past. What's there not to love? And the relationship between him and Carin was amazing. Full of repulsion, fear, but also fascination with each other. Great. Just great.
"The library door thudded closed behind her. The swordsman brushed past her shoulder, so close she could smell him. Coming from the man or his clothes was the odor of calendula oil, a musky scent that mingled with the woody, leathery smell of old books."
Myra, the housekeeper, was a kind and caring woman who was cheerful all the time and her presence balanced the darkness and melancholy of her master.
The sweet mare was probably my favourite character. ;)
The story evolved rather slowly, which I don't mind. But there were some moments when it was slow even for me. Overall, it was a nice fantasy read with great characters.
You can win an e-copy of this book! :)