by Karina Kantas
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy
Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.
Becky will soon learn that her arrival is no accident. If learning that she is Thya, the heir of the enchanting land isn’t enough, she’s then told that an Oracle prophesied that she will save the gentle Tsinians from slavery and domination by Darthorn, the Warlord of Senx.
It is at a festival where she is introduced to the Tsinian council and her kinsmen, that she learns the whole truth. The council are so certain that a union between Darthorn’s son, Kovon and Thya will create peace between the two lands. However, Darthorn has plans for Tsinia as does Kovon for Thya and neither are good.
Although her future has been planned and if she is to save Tsinia she must marry Kovon, Thya gives her heart to another. A love that is forbidden and dangerous.
Illusional Reality is a story about hope, courage, love and sacrifice.
‘This story is unique. No typical fantasy stereotyping.’
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“She ought not to partake in the consumption of food and drink,” he said, shattering the silence of darkness.
Thya spent the next light preparing herself for the confrontation with Darthorn. Pertius gave instructions to her on what she should say, and the correct way to behave. He instilled into her the importance of decorum. Alkazar bombarded her with a series of imagined events and instructed her on how to attend to them. By the time they had finished, her mind was reeling. She had barely enough time to visit the Plecky for a short prayer before her departure.
The journey was slow and torturous to the legs. To Thya, the mountain seemed to grow with every step. It seemed like hours had passed before she sighted the black gates of Senx. She prayed for strength, questioning if this was the beginning or the end?
Armed guards escorted Thya through the city. The sight stunned her, though she wasn't quite sure what to expect. She presumed the Senxs would appear vicious looking, like her escort of guards. To her surprise, the citizens appeared similar to Tsinians. They hurried around, busy with their tasks, yet merry. They were well groomed and appeared healthy and happy. It was obvious that no matter what she thought about Darthorn, none could say he wasn't good to his kinsmen.
Thya was led to a large, bare chamber. The hall was constructed in gold. It glittered and shined, giving the chamber a rich and powerful feel.
The guards withdrew from the chamber without announcement. It was then Thya became aware she was not alone.
On the far left side of the chamber stood a Senx; his back was to her, his interest otherwise occupied as he stared out of the window covering most of the wall. It was obvious to Thya who he was, for she had seen him in her dreams. His large hands were clasped behind his back, his stance proud and dominating. He was wearing a long dark red and gold kimono type gown. His jet-black hair hung loose down his back, the length almost touching his hands. There was no doubt in her mind. This was Darthorn; the ruler of Senx.
Thya waited for Darthorn to acknowledge her, but soon realised he was not going to. Her patience could hold out no longer. Coughing loudly, she stirred Darthorn from his thoughts. His head whipped around, his scorn turned into an artificial smile, or so Thya thought.
“Welcome, Princess,” his deep voice boomed.
It took him four powerful strides to reach her. He extended his arm, which she took, then led her to the middle of the open spaced stone floor. With a wave of his hand, a gold, regal style table and two chairs appeared. The table was laden with fruit and beverages. Thya gasped. Still the magic and mystic of her new world surprised her.
“Be seated,” he instructed, pointing to one of the chairs.
As Thya took her seat, Darthorn poured a liquid that looked similar to Tsinian wine into two goblets and handed one to her. Remembering what Alkazar had said, she held the cup in her hands, not daring to let the wine touch her lips.
“I am pleasured to lay sight upon you, finally,” he added, “for I have lingered long for our rendezvous. Your reputation precedes you. Tis an honour you travel to my land.”
“I do not concur,” Thya retorted.
His eyes turned black and his face displayed a frightful scowl. Thya stiffened, startled by the abrupt change in his persona.
His false smile recovered. He took control of his anger but wanted to tear her apart where she stood. What was stopping him? It was, of course, prudent to keep his enemies close. He didn't yet know her, or what she was capable of.
Thya recalled Alkazar's words. 'If you journey to Senx carrying a stance of arrogance and bravery, then I guarantee you will throw away any hope,' he had told her. It was essential to tread carefully and be aware of her tongue.
“I will permit that to pass,” Darthorn said, though it was spoken as a warning. “I do not doubt your subjects have voiced their opinion of me—my evil doings and how loathsome I am.” His cruel laughter echoed through the empty chamber. “Do not presume to understand me, Thya. Why heed idle gossip? Judge for yourself. I desire to persuade you of my genuineness. I long to unite in friendship.”
Thya doubted his words. She had laid judgement upon him and found him guilty on all accounts. She opened her mouth to speak and then stopped as footsteps approached. Darthorn rose from his seat and Thya, sensing it was polite to follow his example, did the same. Then, not wanting to seem interested in Darthorn's business, she turned away from him.
“Greetings, Father,” a clear and soothing voice rang out.
Out of curiosity, Thya turned in the direction of the sound.
Kneeling beside Darthorn was a younger Senx, certainly younger than Thya expected. He possessed hypnotic blue eyes but carried the same discourteous attitude as his father. He rose and acknowledged Thya with a smile that faded when it was not returned. He was handsome, Thya could not deny that, distinct features and a pleasing face, except she had learnt from experience that looks could be deceiving. Without taking his eyes off her, Kovon took Thya's hand and kissed it.
“Tis an honour to lay sight upon you, my lady.” He bowed courteously.
She felt a sudden urge to wipe her hand.
“Absolve me for my lateness, Father. I deemed it prudent for you to encounter one another without the burden of my presence.”
“I will depart,” Darthorn announced, and then turned to address Thya. “Tis inevitable we will encounter one another in passing. When this occurs, I require for us to converse further.”
With a swish of his gown, Darthorn departed, leaving Kovon and Thya alone.
Kovon seated and turned to address Thya. “I will be direct,” he announced. “I have been impatient for our encounter ever since I was informed of your planned arrival.” His smile was sickly sweet and caused her stomach to churn.
“You are fortunate I was able to attend at all. There was an ambush on Earth—an attempt to remove my breath.”
Kovon face was expressionless. “I am rejoiced to sight you well,” he finally answered. Why should he pretend he knew nothing of the attack, it was obvious she was not to be fooled. Even so, he was not put off. “Tis desired our wedlock would present union to our great lands. My subjects are as anxious for peace as your own. Sighting you resolves my wait. I have visualised your beauty, and I am pleasured that you exceed my expectations. You are an astounding Ganty and I am impatient for our union and the alliance to commence.”
Thya listened, only she couldn't bear to hear any more. Forgetting Alkazar's warning, she spoke her mind. “Okay, Kovon, you can cease with this charade. I am aware, as are you, what you are truly after, and I am certain tis naught to do with me. You desire for Tsinia. You always have and forever will, and the only means to do this is by becoming one with their heir.”
Kovon smiled. “Bright as well as beautiful. You have been taught well. Yet why would a union with me be so terrible? I would present to you all you desired.”
He contemplated their union with relish, more so now he had encountered her. She took his breath away. She was stunning, almost bewitching, and her stubborn streak made him want her more.
Thya laughed. “Well, well, well, the mighty Kovon befallen by a woman. Enlighten me. If I bat my eyelashes will you fall on your knees in worship?” She laughed again. “I do not desire to wed you, Kovon. You repulse me. I would rather subsist in celibacy then allow you to touch me.”
“Do not mock me, Princess,” he warned. “Performance of matrimony is not necessary for me to rule Tsinia. There are additional methods, as you are familiar with.”
Thya stood up in anger. “I journeyed in the hope we could build an alliance absent from wedlock, peace absent from bloodshed. I understand now tis impossible. The Tsinians are desperate to exist, absorbed from the wrath of your father. I have bequeathed my word that I will aid them in their struggle, with the exception of a union with you.”
“Thya, you do not want to create an enemy out of me. I too hope for peace, yet I am convinced you doubt my words. I sense you have resolve of me, and I will not persuade you otherwise.”
“I believe our encounter is concluded. Tis obvious you have not the intention of peace, as I have not in a union with you. Although it was gratifying to sight you. I have learnt much, and from what I have observed tis all genuine.”
Kovon stood up. The chair fell to the floor with a crash, making her jump. The dark expression she had seen in Darthorn was displayed on Kovon's face. Only something more sinister was present, if that was at all possible.
“You retain a sharp tongue, Thya. Tis prudent you do not remark more. I recognise the duration spent absent from your land has not taught you manners. Tis prudent you depart. I will permit you duration to mull over your decision, for your heart will alter.”
Thya was seething. “I do not require duration to mull over your pathetic proposal. You will never control Tsinia. I will rule henceforth.”
She regretted the words immediately. Did she realise what she had said? Would she keep to her word? Could she?
“You will pay for your impertinence,” Kovon warned. “What I do hereafter will be on your head, remember that, Princess!”
Thya left then, knowing that if she said anymore, her subjects would be put in further peril.
She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.
There are many layers to Karina's writing style and voice, as you will see in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Tales and in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans, giving them another glimpse into her warped mind.
When Karina isn't busy working on her next bestseller, she's designing teasers, book trailers, recording audio or videoing small readings and then working on Twitter and FB posts. She's also the host of a popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network.
Karina writes in the genres of fantasy, MC romance, Young Adult. sci-fi, horror, thrillers and comedy.
Her inspirations are the author S.E.Hinton and the rock band, Iron Maiden.
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Almost nearly every fantasy novel has some form of magic in it. Illusional Reality is NO exception.
Allow me to introduce you to some of the very gifted Tsinians
ATHRON from the generation of Zenith. Athron is a highly respected Tsinan because of his gift.
Zeniths are born with the gift of SIGHT. In a trance they see images of future occurrences. While still in this state they inscribe the images. Unfortunately, it’s in a riddle that only a Zenith can decipher.
SPARTO from the generation of Humal was born with the gift of ILLUSOR. He can create illusions.
GRENCO from the generation of Bolarg has the ability to grow nature.
ATHANIA from the generation of Ifreas was born with the ability to control and communicate with animals.
JENIN from the generation of Devka is born with the gift of FREIZE the ability to freeze objects.
THYA is a Gantie. The rulers of Tsinian have the gift of FLITE the ability to move objects with their mind.
Not all Tsinians are born with gifts, but the ones that are taught how to employ and control their gifts by ALKAZAR, tutor of the arts.
"llusional Reality was definitely one huge ride. The story is very unique, you won't find any stereotypical fantasy ploys in this novel! Karina Kantas has managed to do the almost impossible by weaving a thrilling story with romantic twists that will have you turning pages all night, and most probably give you quite a large book hangover.
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