by B.I. Woolet
(World of Arcas #2)
Publication date: October 2nd 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Jackson returns to Arcas expecting to find peace—a peace greatly lacking within his own home. But when a violent archer takes over as Lord of the White Palace, the future of the ancient kingdoms is shaken.
Frightening creatures have overtaken the beautiful Starling Forest, destroying everything in their path. Jackson and Nekkar narrowly escape the beasts together, but Nekkar blames the Son of Earth for releasing the present darkness in Arcas. The rocky, new friendship strengthens as they journey through dangerous lands toward the Free Realms. Can their loyalties survive when the beautifully gutsy Princess Andromeda interrupts their quest and the darkness of war batters their souls?
While Rigel, Otava, and Merope work together to rescue the six sisters trapped at the White Palace, Sephdar returns from shadowy crusades to find White Wings’ army leaderless. The new self-proclaimed ruler has a plan for the Seven Sisters and a plan for The Bridge to Earth. But when his ambitious arrows pierce the peaceful kingdoms, an unlikely force confronts the dark lord and the future of the crowns is changed forever.
Arrows of Darkness Excerpt
“Mark the door!” Scruuutch. “The queen’s not in this room!” Scruuutch. An axe scraped across a heavy wooden door each time a room was cleared. “Someone’s alive! Come quickly!” another shouted for help.
King Alderamin squeezed the handle of his axe until his knuckles blanched. He could no longer control the passion inside him. Water flowed to his eyes while anger fought like a dam to hold back the flood of sorrow. With no destination in mind, he began running, running, running through the glass and the blood and the toppled bricks. He had arrived too late to outrun the enemy, but perhaps he could outrun the guilt.
Suddenly, the scenery changed. Everything felt untouched as he reached the back hallway. Every mirror was still perfectly intact, every wall still standing. And there was his light brown face in image after image with blood-shot, yellow-brown eyes looking back at him.
“RAAAAAHHHH!” He viciously swung his axe right and left, shattering each image that now looked detestable and pathetic to him. Crash! Crash! Crash! Shards of glass blasted from the sharpened edge of his axe as it collided with the mirrors covering every wall. But the last unblemished mirror that he swung the heavy weapon into didn’t respond as the others. His axe didn’t just sink into the glass; it sunk into the wall itself. The king jerked and yanked, but the iron head stuck firmly. In anger and frustration, he kicked the mirrored wall.
Click-click. Alderamin froze as the wall sprang open. Grabbing the edge of the solid door that was hiding behind a reflective façade, memories fell upon him like rain saturating a thirsty ground. I know this place, he realized, peering into the dusky staircase. Entering the dim passage, he slowly exhaled and inhaled to tame the wild breath of emotions that exited his lungs moments ago. For a moment, the world behind faded. His fingers traced along the stones on the passageway, but what he felt was a hand interlocked in his, pulling him forward. Pulling him Down.
World of Arcas Origins
By: Ila Woolet
My husband and I grew up torn between two worlds. Outside, there were woods, frogs, dirt, and sunshine. Inside, there were video games, TVs, instant meals, and computers. In both worlds, we were surrounded by lights. While all the man-made lights could serve a noble purpose, they dimmed the most ancient and powerful lights in the evening sky. As the world became ever more distracted by screen lights, we found ourselves drawn back toward the natural night lights. We bought our first telescope, studied constellations for star hopping, then began exploring the night sky for deeper objects.
About the same time we began studying the stars, we became inspired to write a fantasy adventure story. During the day, we were creating a fantasy world. At night, we were gazing at the stars. As we searched the dark sky one night, the powerful figure of Orion—the hunter—almost demanded to enter the story. We knew there were already stories about Orion from various cultures throughout human history, but those stories seemed so removed from our world, so distant. It was time for the stars to come to life for a new generation. After all, the constellations do not just belong to the ancient world; they belong to those of us who are breathing, and seeing, and enjoying them right now. These wonderful heroes and terrible beasts needed a new story for a new age. Thus, The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister was born and now Arrows of Darkness.
Now, of course, we didn’t get rid of the old legends all together. We did what most people do while forming a creative work: borrowed, altered, and added. Otava (which comes from the Finnish name for the constellation) is the great bear Ursa Major. Many in American culture today think of it merely as the big dipper (which makes up the back half of the bear). So, we made our great bear into a culinary enthusiast who carries around his favorite “big dipper.” The end result is a loveable, powerful, and quirky character!
There are many amazing star connections to be discovered as you journey to the World of Arcas. But don’t worry! Even if someone knows nothing about astronomy, he or she can enter the world and enjoy the ride of a great adventure. The backbone of Arcas may be the celestial universe, but the life of Arcas radiates through its memorable characters and never-ending action. It’s a fun story for the whole family, and just maybe, it can help inspire a new generation to explore the wonder and beauty of the ancient lights. These heroes still shine out of the expanse for us to enjoy. Join the adventure as we discover them anew!
Sea Monsters and the Bear Next Door
By B. I. Woolet
“Man’s destruction and bloodshed now appeared trivial and small next to these uncontrollable beasts of nature.” – Arrows of Darkness
From nasty orcs and a greedy dragon in Middle Earth to fluting fauns and a brave mouse in Narnia, fantasy worlds are full of interesting creatures! We love that the World of Arcas is also bursting with fascinating, strange, and terrifying creatures.
In The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister, its immediately evident that Jackson has entered another realm when the white-winged Cygnus grabs him mid-air in the bright triune sunlight and safely lands him next to the little cabin in Starling Forest. After escaping the talons of a freakishly large black raven, Jackson then meets Otava. He’s a furry, talking brown bear inspired by Usra Major (the Great Bear in the night sky) and named from the Finnish word for the constellation. Though Otava is powerfully strong and well-armed with an arsenal of weapons, he’s also nervously paranoid, doesn’t like change, and loves cooking even more than his medieval artillery. Since the Big Dipper is also part of his constellation, Otava’s favorite soup dipper likes to enter the story often as a quirky astronomy joke on the side. He’s our lovable, loyal, but not-so-huggable big bear friend.
In Arrows of Darkness, we get to enjoy the talking bear-next-door again, but massive sea monsters dive into the story to shake things up. Cetus is the most famous and mystical watery monster in the Kingdom of Altair. Bridled and ridden by a duo of strange river nymphs, this translucent, whale-like creature randomly bursts through the surface and capsizes anyone in its way. His haphazard, destructive tendencies frighten most in Arcas from ever braving the water.
While Cetus destroys like a raging bull, our other sea monster calculates its attack with lust for flesh and pleasure. Minaruja is a titan terror of the Ligeian Sea. This giant water snake (from the Hydra constellation) strikes without warning and injects venom into its prey. One seamen describes the day that the dreadful villain Sephdar got attacked by Minaruja and barely escaped alive: “Minaruja’s serpent head shook him back and forth and back and forth like a rabid dog shaking a helpless rabbit […] To thee ruins he stumbled with a black hole in his middle and a black poison ever pumping through his veins.”
So, if you like mystical, larger-than-life monsters and talking bears, stick around because the World of Arcas has only begun to unleash the stellar creatures within!
Ends Oct 15th:Books 1 and 2 of World of Arcas in eBook or Paperback (winner's choice - paperback to US only)
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