Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, February 1, 2016

trading places - At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson

Accidently trading places with the most powerful sorceress of the realm, Coldivor, Dezaray finds herself assuming the identity of her magical lookalike, having to convince everyone in the realm that she is the real deal.


When 17-year-old, Dezaray Storm drunkenly stumbles across a portal one night, her downtrodden life begins to change, mainly because she starts living someone else’s life.

Accidently trading places with the most powerful sorceress of the realm, Coldivor, Dezaray finds herself assuming the identity of her magical lookalike, having to convince everyone in the realm that she is the real deal.

Aside from a few minor hiccups along the way, like the fact that she is not magical nor does she know even the simplest cards trick; Dezaray soon finds herself settling in. Particularly in the arms of Milo; a blue-eyed jokester with the ability to teleport.

However, it doesn’t take long for Dezaray to realise that life on the other side is far from glitz and glamour and that creatures unimaginable are hunting her. A war is brewing between the seven empires of Coldivor and those that long to take over. Dezaray’s enchanted double is their only hope; their secret weapon, set to be unleashed on her eighteenth birthday when she is bequeathed with the powers of her forefathers.

But for the enchantress to return, Dezaray has to leave, and the thought of going back to Islon fills Dezaray with dread, for more reasons than one. Torn between a reality she can’t stand and a fantasy she can’t keep, Dezaray is struggling to see how any choice she makes will lead to a happy ending.

Do’s and Don'ts in a Fantasy Story 

To be or not to be? To do or not to do? A good story is never complete without it’s age-old questions and golden rules. ‘Don’t feed the gremlins after midnight’ they were told in Gremlins. In Hunger Games they said: Kill or be killed. Short and sweet; or should I say bitter? And all Tris Prior had to do was hide the fact that she’s divergent; easy (She says sardonically). It is these little rules; these threads of foreboding that aim to keep our protagonists alive, assuming of course, that they listen.

And like most stories, particularly those set in alternate realities, ‘At Water’s Edge’ also has its guidelines; the list of what to and what not to do if you ever stumble across a portal and find yourself somewhere you don’t belong. But let’s focus on one world at a time, starting with this one, in a fictional England town called Islon. 

Ordinary people live in Islon; everyday folk going to school, to work, plotting out their life goals and going about their ordinary lives, but something extraordinary exists in Islon; a shimmering river known as Beatrice brook that runs all the way through it.

Every fortnight, somewhere along the river, a portal to another world appears to carry one away. At first this occurrence is very exciting and people travel in and out of realms on a whim. However, when demonic creatures suddenly arrive in the newfound world known as Coldivor, Islon is no longer so inviting. The metaphorical gates are barricaded, guards patrolling with weapons ready. Thus leading to Islon’s first set of Do’s and Don’ts:

Number 1: Don’t ever cross the portal from Islon into Coldivor.

Number 2: ‘Other realms’, ‘Portals’: these words should never pass your lips even if you think no one can hear you.

Number 3: If you are a Coltis; a magical being from Coldivor, be sure to hide your talents and conceal your give away characteristics like pointed ears or glowing eyes. If you don’t, you will be found.

Number 4: (A rule only a few lucky ones know) If you ever need help with rules one through three, seek out Feranvil Farm. Their motto: Under gravel and rock you’ll find me. Safe beneath the earth, I’m hiding.

And now let’s journey to Coldivor, the realm beyond the portal; a mystical land with seven empires and purple skies. In this realm there is one girl; one belonging to no empire and the most powerful sorceress alive; the last elentrice. She is the one the demonic creatures seek out more than most. Once they defeat her, the rest of the Coltis won’t stand a chance. This leads to Coldivor’s set of strict guidelines:

Number 1: No Coltis is ever to enter Taratesia; the land of the damned, unless they are a member of the Court, and even then, tread carefully.

Number 2: All Coltis are to go underground during feasting season – yep that’s right; feasting season.

Number 3: The last elentrice is to be guarded at all costs, including your life.

Number 4: Never approach a Borum Wolf from the front.

These are the rules known by all and obeyed by some. There will always be the sceptics, the rebels, the outlaws who think rules don’t apply to them and not everyone gets caught after all. But along with all those stated guidelines, as the story unfolds, another unspoken law reveals itself; that a corporeal (a being of Earth like you and I) is never to fall for a Coltis…and therein lies the rub.

About the author:
S. McPherson is a young British expat living in Dubai and working as a kindergarten teacher. When she is not at work immersed in a world of imagination and fantasy created by the children, she is immersed in her own worlds of imagination and fantasy at home, dreaming up tales and writing them down. At Water’s Edge is S. McPherson’s début novel and the first in the romantic, fantasy series, The Water Rushes.

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Jan Lee said...

I don't know all the "rules" so I hope I'm able to read the book, :)

Arf2-D2 said...

It does sound like a great story. I'm already hoping for a happy ending and at the same time, not hoping for one since there is something poignant and noble in her giving up a great life for herself in order to save everyone else.

Dan Denman said...

I like the cover and description of the book. This sounds like a good story.