Eghtenment (The Driel Trilogy)
By: Liz Keel
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: 21st April 2016
After losing everything, all seventeen-year-old Thea wanted was to be a normal teenager. Instead, she was attacked by a mysterious creature she thought only existed in fairy tales.
Now thrown into the unknown realm of Faey, Thea is forced to determine the difference between reality and fantasy, in a world ruled by a dark elite and a society wracked by intolerance and prejudice. With the support of her new friends and a mysterious dark haired, blue-eyed guardian watching her every move, Thea will discover that when it comes to Faey, nothing is what it seems.
Will her courage and desire to save this new world from darkness be enough? Or will Thea be the next victim to fall to the dark whispers of fate...
We started to head back towards the palace in a comfortable silence, and realising how dark it was becoming, I grabbed onto Eli so I wouldn’t keep tripping over all the tree roots. My other three guards had drawn nearer to Taro to my right, with Caleb and Janin taking up the rear.
It was after a couple of minutes that intuition suddenly kicked in, along with an unsettling feeling that something was wrong. Pausing, I looked around me, straining to see or hear if there was something out there, at the same time as the guards also realised something was wrong.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Eli pulled me behind him, shielding me from the unknown danger as Taro shouted at Caleb and Janin.
“Behind you, move now!” he shouted to the others as a flash of light came towards us. As Eli pulled me down to the ground, I realised the light was actually a flame that had now set a nearby tree alight. At least the light coming from the fire meant that I could see what was going on.
Just then all hell broke loose. I saw Janin, who had seconds before been standing next to me, being thrown at least fifty feet away. Looking around for the source of all the commotion it was then that I saw the four Goblins and two Elves fighting us.
Panic overwhelmed me as I realised how outnumbered we were and I couldn’t even see if Janin was okay. Taro and Caleb were trying to take them all on at once whilst Eli scooped me up and flung me over his shoulder. Running faster than should be possible, he ducked and dived through the trees, trying to outrun them; the only sound coming from him was quick breaths.
Feeling disoriented and completely terrified, I gripped on for dear life until a surge of energy split us apart. Flying through the air, I put my hands up just in time, as I smacked into a tree. Screaming, I felt an intense pain shoot through me as my body made impact. Trying to sit up, I pressed my fingers to my ribs tenderly and winced, realising a couple of them had broken. My breathing became laboured and I felt very dizzy as quick hands pulled me flat down to the ground. I started to fight off the attacker until I realised it was Eli.
“Sssh, it’s me,” he said. “Thea sweetheart, where are you hurting?” he asked, panicking as I began sobbing.
“My ribs hurt and my head and I can’t breathe!” I wheezed as I realised one of the broken ribs must have punctured a lung. At that moment someone came out of the darkness, and as he ran towards us Eli took a protective stance in front of me. He looked ready to take on the world as fierce determination shone in his eyes.
“Eli, it’s me!” Janin hissed, skidding down to the ground next to us. He was looking the worse for wear with blood smeared on his face, coming from a deep gash on his cheek, and he was also holding his shoulder awkwardly. Even with his obvious injuries, I thanked the goddess he was alive.
“What now?” he directed at Eli.
“Wait…I hear someone!” Eli whispered back as I tried to quiet my breathing. After waiting several minutes I started to move, trying to alleviate the pain that was getting worse. Even with Eli trying to keep me still, my moving was all it took for three of the Goblins who had followed us to realise where we were, and they attacked again.
Standing up to shield me from them, Eli and Janin went on the offensive, using air to push one Goblin into a tree with a sickening crunch. They then both turned in perfect synchronisation to fight the other two.
Dragging myself across the ground, I tried to find a place to hide, knowing there was no way I could run away.
The guards were so focused on what was going on in front of them, they didn’t realise an Elf who rivalled Eli in size had come up behind me. Grabbing me around the waist and lifting me up, I screamed as the pain suddenly became unbearable.
Weakly, I managed to kick out at him as Eli and Janin turned around, realising what had happened.
“Shit!” Janin shouted as he and Eli moved to stand back to back, now trying to take on the threat from both sides.
Hanging limply in my attacker’s arms, I racked my brains trying to think what I could do to get out of this situation.
Remembering how I could now control any of the elements, I closed my eyes and tried to picture myself in a cocoon of protective fire just like I had used when I was attacked in the human world. However, the cut to my head made it difficult to concentrate, along with the sudden motion as my captor began carrying me away from Eli and Janin. My fear took on a new high as I felt sure I was going to die.
Drawing magic from within, I tried once again to relax and concentrated on building up a protective barrier around me.
I knew it had worked when the Elf suddenly dropped me, yelling out in surprise. Looking around, I was astonished to see that not only had I made the flame barrier appear, but I had set the ground and my attacker alight as well.
Not sure which way to head, I stumbled as fast as I could into the darkness, trying to ignore the pain that was threatening to make me pass out. I could sense my barrier had now disappeared, as the last of my energy was now directed on just moving forwards, and hopefully away from the danger.
Thinking I had finally escaped, I didn’t realise until it was too late that I had run directly into the path of another attacker. The snarl coming from this latest Goblin caused me to freeze, which was the worst thing I could have done as it gave him enough time to stab me in the stomach. Trying to suck in a breath, I looked down in horror to see blood pouring out of me at an alarming rate.
Thinking this was my time, I slowly sank to the ground, becoming oblivious to the chaos that was still well under away around me. With my head turned to the side I watched in a dream-like state as flames coursed through the undergrowth. It was then I became aware of screams, which stopped suddenly when the head of the Goblin who had stabbed me rolled to a stop nearby. Unsure who had come to my aid, I turned slightly and saw I was inches away from Isaac.
I live in Surrey, England, a short walk from the beautiful Windsor Park, with my husband Richard and our two gorgeous children Noah and Olivia. For me, writing is nothing short of an addiction and I often find myself sneaking out to my writing shed for just a few minutes, which can often turn into hours of pure, unadulterated bliss catching up with my characters and continuing their story.
In-between writing, I teach in a primary school where there’s never a dull moment! I will also often be found Kindle in hand, reading a wide variety of genres but with YA fantasy and paranormal romance at the forefront of my reading list. Although I’m currently writing the second book in the Driel trilogy, other characters involving all things fantasy, paranormal and YA romance are jockeying for position, wanting me to write their story next, so watch this space! It is such a privilege to share my stories with you the reader. Thank you enough for taking the time to find out more about me.
To find out more about Liz, visit her website: www.lizkeelauthor.com