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The Crystal Keeper Book 1
by Laurisa White Reyes
Genre: Epic Fantasy
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“You’ll watch over them until I return?” she asked, out of breath. “Keep them safe. Don’t let my father find them.”
“You have my vow,” Zyll whispered, his voice tight with emotion.
Ivanore’s eyes welled with tears as she pressed her lips against the calloused skin of Zyll’s hand.
“Go,” said Zyll. “Go now before it’s too late.”
Ivanore released Zyll’s hand and sprinted forward alone. As she ran, she cupped her hands around her mouth and let out a loud, sharp call, much like that of a hawk or an eagle. She risked another glance over her shoulder and watched as Zyll turned to face their pursuers. As the soldiers neared, their swords glinting in the fire glow, Zyll held up his hands. A horizontal bolt of cerulean lightning shot out from his palms, striking the oncoming soldiers. The men recoiled, their bodies instantly singed and bloody.
Ivanore ran on. In desperation, she repeated her call, and this time another voice called back. A dark form appeared on the horizon, silhouetted against the light of the volcanic fractures and growing larger as it approached with tremendous speed. As it neared, the creature’s massive feathered wings moved the air around Ivanore in warm, powerful gusts. Ivanore saw clearly its eagle’s head with a beak large enough to break a man in two, paired with the muscular, furred body of a lion. As she ran toward it, the gryphon lowered its head, waiting.
Behind her, the soldiers reeled in pain, but they did not forget their duty. One man struggled to his knees, grunting from the effort. Reaching over his shoulder, he slid a short bow and arrow from his pack and swiftly took aim.
Ivanore reached the gryphon and in one smooth motion hoisted herself onto its back, twisting her arms deep into the feathers on the creature’s neck. In that same moment, a single arrow found its mark in Ivanore’s shoulder. She cried out before her body slumped forward and her mind went dark. The gryphon took flight then, and in less time than it took to draw another arrow—or a breath—they had vanished into the night.
The Crystal Keeper Book 2
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Bastien threw his covers aside and leapt from his bed, his night shirt clinging to his bare legs. “Papa!” he shouted “Papa, they’re here!”
But his father was already awake, his short sword in one hand, an empty grain sack in the other. Huddled together, crying in the corner of the cottage were Tara and Tim, Bastien’s five-year-old sister and brother.
“Take this,” said his father, handing him the bag. “Fill it up. There’s a round of cheese and some bread on the shelf. Grab their cloaks. Quickly!”
Bastien snatched the two small cloaks from the peg on the back of the door and wrapped one around each child. Then he slipped into his own pair of trousers, not bothering with his tunic. He threw his boots and those of his siblings into the sack along with the food. There was no time to sit and lace them.
“Out the back!” ordered his father. “With luck, the soldiers won’t reach the cottages for several minutes. May the Gods lead you to safety before they do.”
Bastien helped his siblings to their feet and started for the back door when he realized his father was not following. “Papa?” he started to ask, but then he understood. His father would not abandon their people. They had all heard about the Vatéz’s lust for blood, how they accused and punished without need for evidence. When the Vatéz came, everyone knew what the outcome would be. To flee the village now would be nothing short of cowardice.
The Crystal Keeper Book 3
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The Crystal Keeper Book 4
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The Crystal Keeper Book 5
Lady Ivanore the Seer escapes Auseret and goes in search of Jayson and the Guilde, but Arik, leader of the Vatez, is determined to use her to lead him to the crystal.
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The Crystal Keeper Book 6
Arik, Minister of the Vatéz, wreaks vengeance on the Guilde, escalating the violence against Hestoria's villages. Meanwhile, though Jayson's wounds begin to heal, his memories of the Vatéz's attack -- and of Ivanore -- are missing.
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Back in 2005, my oldest son was eight-years-old and what some would call “a reluctant reader”. He didn’t like reading books, but he loved listening to them. So, every night either his father or I would read out loud to him. (We have five kids and have read to all of them.)
One night while I was in the middle of a Harry Potter novel, Marc stopped me. “Mom,” he said, “don’t read anymore—make up a story instead.”
So, I did. I started with a young enchanter’s apprentice named Marcus who always bungled his magic, but when he’s sent on a quest, he has to use his magic to succeed. Each night, my son would request something special like sword fighting or dragons, and over time the story grew. Eventually, I started writing it down.
The Rock of Ivanore became my first novel and was published with Tanglewood Press in 2012. The sequel, The Last Enchanter, followed in 2013, and Seer of the Guilde in 2017.
These fantasy books were written younger readers in mind, but I soon discovered that kids weren’t the only ones enjoying the stories. Their parents and teen siblings liked them too. I decided I wanted to create another series with some of the same characters but aimed at an older audience. Because the two series targeted different age categories, they needed to stand alone. Adults could enjoy the more mature series while kids could continue reading The Celestine Chronicles series. But because they shared characters and a common plot arc, they also needed to work well together.
The Crystal Keeper series is about Marcus’ parents, Jayson and Ivanore, during the years when Jayson is in exile for having married the daughter of the king. Ivanore is not just a princess, she is the Seer, and sees visions of Jayson being tortured. So, she leaves their two sons in the care of a trusted enchanter to go in search of her husband. They spend much of the series trying to reunite against all odds.
In essence, CK is a prequel series to Chronicles, starting fourteen years before Chronicles and ending where The Rock of Ivanore begins. Unlike the books in Chronicles, CK is actually a series of novellas, like episodes in an ongoing saga. I’ve just released books 4, 5 & 6 with plans to publish the final three books within the next few years.
At its heart, CK is a love story, but it’s also an epic fantasy in the vein of Lord of the Rings. And I’ll say right up front that it’s clean fiction. While there are a few hints at mature issues, there is no graphic sex or language. There is violence, but I think it’s safe to say CK books are appropriate for ages 14 and up.
By the way, I’m not just a fantasy writer. My middle-grade historical/magical realism novel, The Storytellers, and my contemporary young adult novel, Petals, have both won several awards. And my newest book, a YA novel called Memorable, is due out this summer. But all my books have one thing in common: they were all inspired by and written for my children. If it weren’t for them, I would never had had a reason to write at all.
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