Reign of Fire

After a revealing chain of events, Rose, the true heir to the throne of Turia, returns with her faerie godmothers. Upon arriving at her former summer residence, she finds some unexpected houseguests: A girl in a red cloak and a wolf. Along with Khione and her friends, they volunteer to help her depose Queen Eleanor, a task that may prove more than difficult.

As her nuptials to the King Wilbur draw near, Eleanor’s association with Silvia proves to be potentially dangerous. Strong willed Princess Eliza finds her new stepmother intolerable, but is horrified to discover the extent of her father’s cruelty. Wilbur’s machinations are dealt a severe blow, which threatens to re-ignite hostilities between humans and fae.

Will this faerie tale have a happily ever after?

Reign of Fire, book 3 and the concluding part of A Dark Faerie Tale, is a blended retelling of Snow White, the Snow Queen and other fairy tales, with action/adventure and a magical touch of romance.

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 Read a short sample below 

In the realm of Terra, there stood an old stone house. It looked rather odd as many modern houses and apartment blocks surrounded it. The small garden at the front of the property suffered from neglect and became overgrown. A developer wished to demolish the old house and replace it with three modern townhouses. He sought the owner, but could not find them. He only knew that the house had been in the same family for generations. Therefore, it came as a great surprise to find the house now looking good as new and the garden tidy with flowers in bloom. The sighting of two new inhabitants followed this transformation. Sisters in their twenties; both were small and had delicate features. One of their neighbours described them as fairy or pixie-like. The sisters did not socialise with their neighbours, they kept very much to themselves. When a neighbour asked about the speed of the house’s transformation, the answer they gave was: “It’s magic.”

Recently another female relative appeared. A girl of about sixteen or seventeen years old, tall and slim with long blonde hair reaching her waist. This girl looked nothing like her older sisters and she talked more. She told their nosey neighbour she was the younger of the sisters. From this girl they had gleaned the following information; she was Lexi-Jane Breen, otherwise known as Lexi, and her sisters’ names were Fay and Ella. Their parents were dead. Fay Breen seemed to be the only person that often left their house. She owned a high street florist. Her florist talents were incredible and she had an encyclopaedic knowledge of plants and flowers. 

One dull and cloudy September evening Lexi helped Fay with the gardening. She cut blooms from a wild rose bush. “I much prefer wild roses,” she said, as she inhaled the sweet scent of one of the blossoms.

“You were named after those,” said Fay, absentmindedly

 “How can I be named after a rose?”

“Oh yes, silly me. Dad liked the name Rose, that is what I thought of,” replied Fay. “Come on inside, Ella should have dinner ready by now.”

Clattering and banging started in the kitchen. Fay described Ella’s cooking as experimental. Some of her meals bordered on inedible. Fay rarely cooked all, nor did she have any inclination. Lexi lacked culinary skills and learned little from her older sister’s feeble attempts.

Fay and Lexi entered the kitchen. Ella quickly ushered them into the living room. “I want this to be a surprise, so don’t come into the kitchen until I tell you,” she ordered.

The girls sat on the sofa. Lexi noticed her mud-covered shoes had left a trail of muddy footprints on the carpet.

“Oops!” she said.

When Fay noticed the footprints, she started to giggle. She had a mischievous personality and found great pleasure in annoying the house proud and fastidious Ella. Fay placed a finger on her lips, and whispered, “Hush, don’t say anything.”

“She is going to notice, Fay.”

“Don’t spoil the fun, Lexi.”

“You are naughty, Fay.”

Fay shrugged her shoulders, giggled, and covered her mouth with her hand to stifle her sniggers.

“Dinner is ready,” shouted Ella.

The hungry sisters sat around the small dining table. They were astonished to find that the meal looked edible. A refreshing change from the usual burnt offerings.

“It is cottage pie,” said Ella

Lexi put a forkful into her mouth. “It is very nice. You have done well Ella.”

“There is no cottage in it though,” said Ella, with a serious expression.

Fay burst out laughing. “Ella, you can be dense sometimes. It is only a name, even I know that.”

Ella scowled at Fay and took a bite herself, she smiled and said, “Yes, it is nice.”

Fay agreed with the others it was indeed very tasty. After dinner, she went to the bin to scrape the plates. After opening the pedal bin and seeing three boxes and a packet stuffed into the bin, she lifted out one of the boxes and read aloud the name: Mrs Baker’s Home Made Cottage Pie. “Ella have you have been cheating?”

Ella’s face turned red with embarrassment, but she denied any wrongdoing. “It is not cheating, you still have to cook them in the oven and boil the frozen vegetables.”

“You told us that you cooked this meal yourself, therefore you are a cheat,” teased Fay

Ella became cross with Fay and declared she would not cook any of their meals from now on. Fay shook her head and said she did not have the time. The sisters’ disagreement carried on for some time that evening. When Ella saw the muddy footprints on the carpet, she exploded with anger.

“I don’t know why I bother. I didn’t want to come here. All I have done is try my best and it is not good enough for some people. I want to go back.”

Ella stared at Fay, who looked horrified and begged her to calm down and be reasonable. She would not be reasonable; she stomped up the creaky stairs of the house and banged her bedroom door. Ella’s outburst confused Lexi. “What did she mean by; I didn’t want to come here. I want to go back?”

“Oh, you know how she is. She talks nonsense when she is angry and probably meant the place we used to live when we were small children. That was long before you were born.”

“I see, so we lived here when I was born?”

Fay paused before she answered. “Yes, that is right. I will speak to her and try to calm her down. I wish she wasn’t so temperamental.” Fay went upstairs to speak to Ella. She came back half an hour later with a sheepish looking Ella.

“Sorry,” said Ella.

Before Lexi could answer, Fay suddenly remembered something she meant to tell her earlier that evening. “I forgot to tell you, we have a large order for wedding flowers this weekend. Would you care to help for a few days? I will pay you.”

“When can I start?”

“Tomorrow,” answered Fay.

Lexi went to work with Fay the following morning. Fay kept her sister very busy and she returned home hungry and tired. She went to bed early that evening and soon fell into a deep slumber.

The music blaring out from Lexi’s radio alarm gave her a rude awakening. Stretching out an arm from beneath the duvet, she slammed her hand on top of the offending electrical appliance, knocking over a glass of water on her nightstand. She swore as the cold water ran down the sleeve of her pyjama top. Flicking on her bedroom light switch, she grabbed a box of tissues and wiped away the water from the nightstand. Inside her head, she could almost hear her mother’s voice nagging her: Don’t put water near electrical appliances.

She grimaced and looked at the glowing numbers on the alarm clock: 7:02 am, time to get up and get ready for work. Shivering with cold, she went to the bedroom window and peered through the curtains. A blanket of snow covered the ground and dark clouds filled the sky.

Do I have to go out in that? she thought.

The radio station’s morning news headlines filled the room: “Murder victim still unidentified. Police are searching for a suspect…” She crossed the room to switch off the light switch and her radio alarm when she heard: “Freak snow storm….roads closed, public transport stopped, airports are closed, and schools remain shut.”

“Looks like I won’t be going anywhere today,” she muttered.

As she passed her dressing table, the antique hand mirror her sisters gave her for her eighteenth birthday, caught her eye. She picked it up and admired its ornate gilt frame. Turning it over she looked at the symbol engraved on the back; a snake forming a circle by holding its tail inside its mouth. She turned the mirror back over and touched the smooth surface of the glass. Lexi had a love for history and antiques.

A knock came on the door and Fay entered the room. “Are you getting ready then?”

Lexi looked at her sister in surprise. “Are we really going to go out in this weather? It will take an eternity to get there.” Suddenly the hand mirror began to glow bright green and the light filled the room. Taken by surprise, she threw the mirror on the bed. “What the…,” she stammered.

“Ella come here. Now!” shouted Fay. 

©Paula M. Hunter 

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