by H.B. Bolton
Sure, the glass castle floating over Evan’s head makes him uneasy, but that’s the least of his worries. With each step inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, he must battle against his worst nightmares. One after the other, wispy smoke-filled bull sharks come at him — he must remember they’re only illusions pulled from his imagination by those dreaded shadowlike hands. If only the vengeful dragon circling above was also an illusion and didn’t have his mind set on destroying the one person who can control him: Emrys. Inside the castle’s glass tower, Emrys sleeps in an eternal slumber, and Evan’s uncertain whether he can save the great wizard. Especially now that Emrys’ former student, the Lady of the Lake, has joined forces with the cunning immortal Alamaz. Together they have already stolen the Dragon’s Egg, but their greed doesn’t end there. The Siren’s Pearl calls to them, and that means only one thing … Atlantis is in trouble. Join Evan, Claire, and Dunkle — along with a few other unlikely heroes — as they travel across the realm of Medieval Legends, float through the Ancient Isle of Avalon, plunge inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, and be there when Atlantis rises once again.
The Fae and Their Mystical Realm
The Fae (“fae” is plural, while “faerie” is singular) are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers. The Celtic nations connected the Fae to the Otherworld, claiming they had been driven into hiding by invading humans. The Otherworld was also associated with Avalon and the king of the Fae, Gwyn ap Nudd — thus being a perfect location for my characters to learn a little more about the Fae and their king.
Although in modern culture they are often depicted as young, sometimes winged females of small stature, they originally were depicted much differently: tall, radiant, angelic beings or short, wizened trolls. A less-common belief was that the Fae were actually a special race of human beings. A little known fact being that the Fae were also thought to be natural shape-shifters and enjoyed changing their forms into various animals.
As described in this passage from The Dragon’s Egg:
Dragonflylike creatures buzzed around the table, until suddenly, they stopped, and hundreds of tiny feet hit the floor. As if that weren’t odd enough, something even stranger happened. Each tiny faerie changed in form: some grew taller than Evan, a few enlarged to the size of Dunkle, and a couple shrank smaller than a dime.
“The Fae enjoy altering their appearance when deemed necessary,” Dunkle said as a small faerie with ice-blue wings zipped around him with lines of frost following in her trail. “Many faeries align themselves with forces of nature. As is demonstrated here, this one shows a liking for ice.”
Little fairies of one kind or another have been recorded for centuries and were depicted as ranging in size from tiny up to the size of a human child (as is the case with the character Bracken in The Dragon’s Egg). Even still, their miniature size may be magically altered rather than constant. According to folklore, the smaller of the Fae flew with magic, sometimes riding on ragwort stems or the backs of birds. Nowadays, faeries are often believed to have ordinary insect or butterfly wings on their backs to help them fly, as is the case with Bracken in the next passage:
“Bracken, as your guide and at your service,” a jittery voice said, and Evan looked down. A faerie with childlike features and autumnal-brown wings resembling a butterfly bowed before him.
“He’s so cute.” Claire ruffled his tawny hair with her fingertips.
“Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Bracken beamed up at her with his rosy cheeks.
With that, the faerie jumped onto the table. His tiny toes twirled around plates and goblets as he snapped his fingers above his tousled hair. His pupils dilated, and he dove headfirst into a stack of butter. His hands dug through the creamy blocks just before slathering butter all over his face, into his mouth, and down his neck.
On a humorous note, I discovered a legend where faeries loved the taste of butter, and had to include this in the story. I also found it amusing that faery gold was notoriously unreliable, appearing as gold when paid, but soon thereafter the illusion faded, and its true nature showed through. The gold could have, in fact, been any number of useless things: leaves, blossoms, or gingerbread cake.
About the Author:
A magical part of H.B. Bolton’s childhood was being swept into worlds of enchanting