A Fairy Tale By
C. S. Lakin
Have any of you been watching "Once Upon A Time" or "Grimm" on television? I am enjoying both of them, especially watching how pieces of the original stories as I knew them are used as the basic story, while the creators have taken much liberty in taking the concepts and moving on to an entirely different tale! C. S. Lakin has done something similar--as her latest novel opens we meet a young girl with two sisters and a mother who hates her new daughter...sound familiar as Cinderella? But almost immediately you will forget the touch of that fairy tale and move into a new world, one you will never have heard of--The Land of Darkness!
"It is not the land that is dangerous, Callen. The danger lies in your heart. Others have lost their lives searching for the bridge. Are you certain that you are prepared to pay that price?"
And you must travel through that Land to find The Bridge...
"Now, his mind raced with a dozen warnings, but they came too late. For he was a stranger to this part of the world. He had never heard of the tales whispered in dark corners over mugs of ale, or told as harsh threats to badly behaved children. He had set out as many do, to find his fortune. But now he would find only misfortune, for fate or carelessness or stupidity--it didn't matter which--had led him to the Land of Darkness...He stepped into the maw of blackness as if he had been swallowed whole; he left no footprint behind...No one who entered that bewitched land ever came back out."We meet Callen first, a young carpenter apprentice. But his skill was especially in creating those marvelous engravings, those designs that a talented individual would carve into what once was a piece of plain wood. Beren, his mentor and the man for whom he worked had allowed him to work on beyond his other apprentices, finding designs in the shop and copying them so that they appeared just as originally sketched...
But one day he found a very old sketch that Beren had told him he must have picked up in his youth. It was a bridge, one that had been carved just as he would carve a chest or table--it had to be made of wood, but how could a bridge be made of wood? Then he noticed that there was nothing under the bridge for support. Rather, it was suspended from above... Callen became obsessed as he studied the drawing--he had to find that bridge!
While nearby a little girl, Jadiel, was alone with her father, Ka'rel, after her mother had died.But then he met Huldah, an outsider who was not known in the community and Ka'rel had changed, as if he were bewitched. Although he loved Jadiel so much, as soon as Huldah drew him near, he would forget anything else and seemed under her spell. Jadiel was old enough to realize that Huldah did just that every time Ka'rel was going to talk or sit down with Jadiel.
But then Jadiel noticed something about her stepmother and began looking at her strangely. Huldah noticed her studying her and immediately realized what was happening! Jadiel had to go! She began to send her out on dangerous trips to bring something back for her stepmother. The latest one would require her to be gone for a long time and she had no guidance where she could find the tree that had been requested. At that point, Huldah made it quite clear that if she didn't return with the tree leaves, Huldah would kill her father!
It doesn't take long for Jadiel to meet dangerous men. Fortunately for her, Callen had chosen to begin his search in the same direction and he saved her! Then discovers they have a connection and decide to do their search together...
And then the adventure begins!
What a creative genius! C. S. Lakin's Series, in my opinion, will ultimately be included in what we refer to as Classic...I haven't had a chance to read the first two, but The Land of Darkness is timeless, has a moral to share for all readers, no matter their background and no matter their age. At a time when Fairy Tales are "big in literature, tv, and movies, C. S. Lakin has to be considered one of the top writers in the field.The entire series will be a must-read for me...Highly recommended for your consideration!