Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Please enjoy this excerpt from The Curse of the Arcadian Stone by S.R. Breaker. The first book in a new and exciting YA fantasy series.
"She was solely created to guard a legendary relic. But when a rogue thief from Earth disrupts her dreary world, her job won't be the only thing she loses."
The Nameless Fay series is about an ancient forest fairy tasked to guard a legendary treasure, the sneaky guy from Earth who steals it, and the mysterious curse entwined in their fates.
If you like The Chronicles of Narnia with a quirky twist and Neil Gaiman's Stardust, you’ll enjoy this easy-to-read, fast-paced fantasy adventure.
This exciting NEW young adult epic/portal fantasy novella trilogy recently completed!
Check out this excerpt:
The wind whistles through the trees. That’s all. No other being could stand to live within the realm of the Mystic Lake.
Over three thousand years ago, a supreme mage cast a spell on a clearing in the Southern Forest. For it kept an artifact. A vestige from the very dawn of Arcadia, the fifth world from the Great Star.
The legend is told that whomsoever possesses this item would be granted the power of the gods.
For millennia, such an object of unimaginable power had proved an undeniable temptation to every creature in the land. To obtain. To master. To wield.
Thus for its safekeeping, it was sealed away in the heart of the Mystic Lake, protected by layers of thick ice—the harsh and brittle shards of enchanted frost for over a thousand years forming on and around the cursed Lake, growing thicker still.
Hidden in the Southern Forest. Whispered as a myth.
Sought no longer by mage or man.
A mere echo of a lost age.
The most powerful relic in all the known worlds.
It remains undisturbed to this day.
I should know.
I yawned for the 4,380th time this year and settled back in my seat, nestled within the branches of the trunk of a tree all but a few steps away from said Lake.
I did say no other being could stand to exist within the realm of the Mystic Lake.
None, that was, other than me.
My name? I didn’t really have a name.
Although, a soldier who passed by eight hundred years ago had called me “Magenta”, attributed to the hue of my sheath ensemble and because my long, often unruly hair was the shade of the sky at dusk.
I remembered him well. Poor guy. I had hoped that he wouldn’t be like all the others.
That perhaps he would listen to me and give up his pursuit of the relic. But he was greedy all the same. He died like the rest of them who had ever attempted to take the relic from its resting place.
Turn away any being who ever happened upon this place. That was my job. I was the guardian of the relic and the enchanted realm of the Mystic Lake.
In the early days, knights and mages flocked this area seeking to possess the legendary relic, using brute force, daring skills, or great magic. None of them had succeeded. I’d seen multitudes of them die from my spot up on my tree.
Although as previously mentioned, it had been centuries since I’d last encountered any fiends. Not a single soul had even passed through here for the longest time.
It would have been good of course if only it didn’t result in this job being so terribly boring. Not to mention requiring absolutely no effort whatsoever.
Some days I honestly even wished some foolish knight would drop by and casually saunter to his death just so I could have some amusement.
I plucked a leaf off a branch, fashioned it into a flute, and played along to the whistling of the streaming wind. I closed my eyes at the calm stillness of the forest.
After a few moments, I yawned again. Four thousand three hundred and eighty-one, I mentally kept track.
On the brink of dozing, I heard a faint commotion and sat up, alert, making the tree I was perched on sway a little.
I sprang up and pounced aloft the redwood treetops in the direction of the noise before stopping to look.
The twilight made it difficult to see anything clearly, except to determine that the commotion had come from the village nearby.
Arcain was the only village remotely close to the Southern Forest. It was a very small village with a population consisting of hunters and gamekeepers, a population that only decreased steadily every year.
Accidents had been known to happen around mystical forests, specifically when villagers wandered too far into the realm and were never to be seen again—which, by the way, was no fault of mine. I was very good at my job.
The noise dissipated and I sighed, having seen nothing exciting for a preoccupation. I headed back to my tree, hopping from branch to branch in no real hurry.
I reached up with both hands to grab a branch above me and pulled myself up. Having nothing else to do, as usual, I swung upward to move to a handstand upon the wobbly tree branch.
I bit my lip as the branch stirred with the wind and I furrowed my eyebrows in concentration. I pushed off, landing on my feet in the next tree. Then I hopped into a cartwheel, coming to rest in another handstand position in the following tree before I crept on, walking on my hands along a branch.
I obviously had too much time to spare.
The truth was that I longed to visit the village…longed to go anywhere for that matter. But with the little even I knew about it, I knew I was forbidden to leave the Southern Forest. I knew my duty was to this place. And I was assured that my existence depended upon it.
Needless to say, I often thought about life outside the Forest. It was the most I could do with my infinite existence.
What knowledge I had was ingrained within me. Anything more I learned from my limited contact with the world.
But sometimes when I attuned myself to people’s thoughts, I sensed fragments of feelings of wistfulness and it settles on me…within me. I was so weary of these woods.
I crossed one arm over the other on the branch as another light breeze swirled through the Forest. When I glanced up to see how far I had yet to go to reach my tree, I didn’t notice that the branch I had been perched on was bending beyond its tolerance. And before I could conjure any sort of spell to fix the tree or slow my descent, it was too late.
I plummeted all the way down as the branch split off from the tree trunk.
“Ow!” I squeaked as I tumbled on the wild grass below.
I sputtered my hair out of my face as I sat up with a groan and looked back up at the tree. I’d fallen from very high and I felt it. My rear end felt it.
“Ow,” I groaned again as I stood up. I had to get back to the Lake.
I heard a twig snap and whirled around. The sound echoed guiltily throughout the empty Forest.
I narrowed my eyes at the shadows behind the trees. “Who has come?” I posed the standard question in my halt-and-beware voice, only it seemed to lose some effectiveness with me not up in my threatening big tree.
I cast a furtive glance around but only the wind answered me.
Then I spotted movement from my right and I turned sharply. “Who goes there?” I prompted with a menacing snarl.
After a few moments, a lone figure stepped out from behind a tree.
I squinted as he stepped into the faint light. It was…not a man, but not a child…something in between.
The boy was tall, with dark, tousled hair, and he was wearing an unusual set of clothes. He was definitely not a soldier or a knight. His breeches were loose and his blue hooded shirt donned a symbol resembling a large brush stroke with some writing underneath it that surprisingly, made no sense to me.
“What are you doing here?” He was giving me an odd look. “Are you lost?”
I pursed my lips. I really would have come off more credible if I were up in my tree. Darn my stupid antics.
“This place is dangerous.” He waved me away. “You better get out of here.”
I blinked. That was a switch. He was warning me away.
When I still didn’t reply, he shrugged and turned to head in the direction of the Mystic Lake.
“Halt!” I stepped forward, raising my hand. “You mustn’t go any further.”
He stopped and looked back at me. “Halt…?”
I bit my tongue. I often forgot that languages evolved and that I had to adjust my manner of speaking.
“I mean,” I began again. “You must not go in that direction if you know what’s good for you. If you are seeking the village, it is that way.” I pointed in the other direction.
He looked up where I was pointing then back at me. “I’ve just been to the village and trust me, babe, this direction is good for me.”
I shot him a look of ridicule. Babe? I was over three thousand years old.
He continued to walk toward the Lake.
“Wait!” I went after him. “Please do not go any further. You must believe me. This is for your own safety.” I tried to keep up with his long strides.
“Look babe, my safety is my business.” His tone seemed firm, resolute.
“As the guardian of this realm, it actually is my business,” I declared. “And I am not a…babe.” I made a face as I said it.
He paused and turned to me. “Oh, you’re the guardian,” he spoke as if in realization before his expression turned flat. “So?” he quipped and kept walking.
My generous mood faded when I saw that he was not about to cooperate. “Very well.” I shrugged, finally spotting my tree and I drifted up to perch onto one of the lower branches as I watched him walk past below.
“If you keep going, you will die,” I called down to him. “No living creature can withstand the magical barrier around the Mystic Lake.”
He stopped walking.
“Are you here for the relic?” I queried with a casual tone, leaning against the tree trunk.
“If that relic is a broken little rock, then it looks like I am.”
I wrinkled my nose in slight. It was a gemstone, I wanted to correct but resolved my protest as irrelevant.
He’d started to walk but stopped again upon my next announcement.
“No one who has ever tried to obtain the relic has survived these woods. Trust me. It will do you no good to try to get it.”
That made him look up at me, way up above him, and I felt my words sink in. I always did feel better up in my tree. The Forest was my territory.
I gave him a regal smile down my nose.
“What’s your name?”
I blinked again, surprised.
“The last person who asked me that died too,” I replied instead of answering. “He tried to reason about how badly he needed the relic. I’m afraid it does no good to explain to me. I can’t help you,” I relayed. “I can only warn you. Please leave while you can.”
He gave me a critical look, studying me from head to toe before his eyes met mine again. “What’s your name?” he repeated, his tone gentler.
“Um…” I was about to explain that I didn’t really have a name but then reconsidered. “I was called—Magenta.”
This article was written by S. R. Breaker.
S. R. Breaker writes offbeat, quirky, easy reading teen/young adult science fiction and fantasy books. She has a thing for "portal fantasy" and loves to live vicariously through her characters. They don’t have to vacuum all day long and are almost always guaranteed to survive any fantastical or thrilling incidents, no matter how treacherous she writes them. Visit her epic worlds in books.