Hello everybody! Today’s post is a bit later than usual due to some organisational hitches, but I’m very excited to be bringing some information about the Raven Heir and its author, as well as an extract of the first 2 pages of the first chapter. Onto the post!
About the book:
Cordelia and her triplets Rosalind and Giles have lived safely in the castle at the centre of the forest all their lives, protected by the spells their mother has woven. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is when she turns into a dragonfly or a blackbird and can fly beyond the great stone walls. But then one day the outside world comes to them. Two rival dukes and their soldiers have come for the triplets – because whoever is the eldest is the heir to the throne. But their mother knows that since the Raven Crown was broken, no one has been able to rule the kingdom of Corvenne and live, and she will not give up any of her children to that death sentence. When she refuses to reveal which child is the eldest, she is taken prisoner, and Cordelia and her brother and sister find themselves on the run in a dangerous new world. And as they set out across Corvenne to rescue their mother, Cordelia begins to see that there is a deep magic at work, driving her towards a destiny that could tear her family apart, take away her freedom forever or, just maybe, heal a kingdom devastated by a war that has raged for generations. Beyond the castle’s moat, the deep, dark forest was shot through with trails of sunlight, tracing golden paths of possibility. Robins sang from hidden branches while swifts dived and darted over the sun-dappled water. They were all wild with the first taste of summer, and so was the dark-haired girl who sat, bare feet dangling against stone, on the windowsill of her tower bedroom, watching them fly.
About the author:
Stephanie Burgis grew up in America but now lives in Wales with her husband (fellow writer Patrick Samphire), their two young sons, and their extremely vocal tabby cat. In between those two points, she spent time playing in orchestras, studying music history in Vienna, and editing the website of an opera company in Leeds. She writes fun, funny MG fantasy adventures for kids and wildly romantic historical fantasy novels for adults. You can keep up with her new releases, read exclusive short stories and get sneak peeks at upcoming works by signing up to her newsletter: http://www.stephanieburgis.com/newsletter Her first book, A MOST IMPROPER MAGICK, won the 2011 Waverton Good Read Children’s Award for Best Début Children’s Novel by a British Author, and it was followed by two more novels and a novella (“Courting Magic”) in the Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson series. Her book THE DRAGON WITH A CHOCOLATE HEART (published by Bloomsbury in the UK, Australia, the US and Canada) marked the beginning of a sparkling new chocolate-infused fantasy adventure series for children. She is also the author of a series of wildly romantic historical fantasy novellas for adults, THE HARWOOD SPELLBOOK (which begins with SNOWSPELLED), as well as two full-length novels for adults, MASKS AND SHADOWS and CONGRESS OF SECRETS (published by Pyr Books in the US and Canada), and she co-edited the anthology THE UNDERWATER BALLROOM SOCIETY. She has had over thirty short stories published in various magazines and anthologies.
Beyond the castle’s moat, the deep, dark forest was shot
through with trails of sunlight, tracing golden paths of
possibility. Robins sang from hidden branches while swifts
dived and darted over the sun-dappled water. They were
all wild with the first taste of summer, and so was
the dark-haired girl who sat, bare feet dangling against
stone, on the windowsill of her tower bedroom, watching
Inside the castle, her mother and her older brother, Connall, were busy in the herbarium as usual, casting stinking enchantments to protect their home against the world. Cordelia’s triplet sister, Rosalind, was loudly bashing mock enemies in the first inner courtyard, using the latest long stick that she’d adopted as a sword. Their triplet brother, Giles, strummed a lute soulfully in his tower bedroom high above, windows left open to spread his endless wailing song through the warm air.
But outside the castle, the birds were free, and so could Cordelia be, if only—No! Catching herself leaning forward, she forced herself to stop before wings could sprout from her back. She couldn’t turn bird and fly out into the sunshine. Not today. She’d promised Mother never to do it again without Connall’s supervision, even though that was a ridiculous rule. It meant only going out once or twice a week, when she wanted to fly free every day. They lived all alone in the centre of an enchanted forest. Who could possibly hurt her among the trees? And why would they want to? But those were questions that Mother would never answer, like everything else about their family’s past …and the last time Cordelia had given in to temptation and flown free on her own for one delicious, stolen afternoon, Mother had cast a cloud of dark smoke to wrap tightly around her window for an entire week in punishment. So Cordelia only sighed and tipped her head back now to soak in the gorgeous warmth of the sunshine on her face and the vast, familiar murmuring of the deep forest around her … Until harsh voices called out suddenly in the distance.
I’m leaving it there because who wouldn’t want to read on after that?! Believe it or not, the way the full chapter ends is even more exciting! Thank you so much for reading! Are you planning to pick this up? Have you read anything by Stephanie before? I’d love to hear in the comments!