A Shimmer of Magic
The Crystal Mages Trilogy Book 1
by Jane Shand
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy
Elin believes she will never belong
Her magic is too dangerous.
This is the first book in The Crystal Mages Trilogy, a young adult coming-of-age epic fantasy series.
Elin is pulled into a dangerous quest and her life is changed forever when she is found by Kamaria, a mage with her own issues, and a group of rangers. Kamaria is desperate to prove herself and Elin could be the key.
Elin struggles with her burgeoning friendships, learning to control her magic, and her feelings for the grey-eyed ranger, Kai. All while contending with renegade mages, assassins, and deadly creatures from legend. She also learns secrets from her past and the reason why her parents abandoned her as a baby.
She discovers that her dead parents have bequeathed her a heavy responsibility, as well as a key. A key that could release a dark mage.
Elin will need to rein in her dangerous magic before evil is unleashed across the world.
If you enjoy strong heroines, richly imagined magical worlds, adventure, mystery, and stories about friendship, then you will love A Shimmer of Magic.
Try this brand-new YA coming-of-age, epic fantasy series today!
Elin stared with wide eyes and stumbled backwards. Flames licked hungrily at the wooden barn while sparks flew joining the stars as tiny orange gleams before winking out.
“No,” Elin whispered. She raised her hands as if to ward off the heat, or perhaps the knowledge of what she had done. Her mouth opened, but nothing came out. Taking another step back she gasped in a breath, tasting the sharp reek of soot. Her heart pounded, and her stomach clenched. She could extinguish it. She just needed to find that calm place within her, and she needed time.
“Scailtir spawn!” A voice yelled from somewhere close.
“She’s flawed. Chase her out!”
Elin stared at the villagers who had gathered. Where once their faces showed her warm smiles and friendly nods, they were now reduced to the harsh faces of strangers. They should fetch water, douse the fire, not concentrate on her! Their whole stock of hay for the farm animals was in that barn. If it caught… Elin searched each face for understanding or sympathy. Instead, there was only fear, anger, and revulsion. She flinched as something wet impacted her shoulder and burst, spraying liquid into her face. The juice trickled down her cheek and dripped onto her cloak – rotten fruit. Elin turned and fled, forcing down the rising sob. Why? Why did this keep happening to her? Why couldn’t she control it? Her legs carried her through the forest, brambles clawing at her trousers and cloak, low branches threatening to snarl her hair. She shoved onwards, ignoring the sting. Her eyes blurred with the tears that streaked her face. Finally, she stumbled to a halt on a hill to the east of the village. Lungs burning with the need for air she fell to her knees and gasped in lungfuls, grateful that she could not detect smoke on the breeze. She forced her breathing under control and closed her eyes. Sight wasn’t required. She needed her unique sense, the one that could touch the energy that infused everything. She found it. The fire still blazed out of control. They had waited too long to try and extinguish it. Elin ran a shaking hand over her face and inhaled deeply. Her ability to use the energy – the magic – that was everywhere, wouldn’t work if she fumbled; she had to find calm. Taking two more deep breaths, she used her ability to search for water found in the air. Over the village, the air was now too hot and dry. She found some further out, dragged it together, forced it higher, and pulled it towards Kinfar When the wet air reached optimum height over the village, it began to rain. Heavy drops grew harder until they pounded the flames into nothing. Elin sagged to the ground, utterly drained. She drew her knees to her chest and lay her head on them. Now what?
Elin clenched her hands so tight her nails dug crescents into her palms. She raised her head and yelled at the uncaring sky. Another village denied her. Just as she began to hope she could call this one home. She clenched her lips firmly to still their tremble. Why did she ever allow herself to dream that this time it would be different? She needed to return to the village to retrieve her pitiful belongings. They remained in her pack, which lay tucked out of sight under some tumbledown rocks by the sheep pen. She had learned never to bother unpacking. To keep everything hidden. For just such occasions as this. Elin stood on shaky legs, pushing the hurt and the sadness away behind the wall she had built in her mind.
With heavy footsteps she made her way back towards the village, her way guided now by a sliver of moon. She took a wide berth around it, not wishing to run into anyone. She might have doused the fire, but they didn’t know that, wouldn’t care even if she were to convince them it was her. She had started it, simply because she had lost control. A scowl chased across her face. If only Owen hadn’t provoked her… Elin shook her head. She should have pulled her knife on him instead. Punishment for that would not have meant banishment. Perhaps it was time to accept she couldn’t be around other people, to head out into the land on her own. She knew how to forage for food. Elin raised her head and peered around as a dull weight settled in her stomach. It was autumn already. What food would she find come winter? If she were a boy, she could offer work at farms in exchange for food and a bed for the night. Many farmers wouldn’t treat a girl the same way.
When she was younger and had been forced out of a village, it had been different. Farmers, or their wives, took pity on a young, starving child. But now, as an older teenager, she was viewed very differently. Wives saw her as a temptation for their husbands. Men saw her as a woman who couldn’t complain about their behaviour. So there was always less sympathy and more suspicion. A shiver ran down her back as she recalled occasions where she had nearly starved or had run from farm workers, curses sounding in her ears when she wouldn’t ‘play’.
Elin slapped her thigh. Things to think about later. For now, she needed her pack and to flee from Kinfar.
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Jane Shand has always been an avid reader of fantasy and mystery and is an author of YA Fantasy.
She got hooked on fantasy after reading ‘Lord of the Rings’ at a young age and was determined to write books full of magic and adventure.
She lives in Hampshire, England with her family and two cheeky cats who would love to help her write.
She has published The Darkling Duology plus a prequel novella, a standalone book, and is now working on The Crystal Mages Trilogy which will be followed by a longer series set on the same continent.