Monday, December 31, 2012

C. S. Lakin's Latest Is BRH Favorite--So Far!

The Crystal Scepter:
 The Gates of Heaven Series

A Fairy Tale By
C. S. Lakin

The Crystal Scepter is a darker, heavier Tale than earlier editions, or so it seemed to me. And, an old legend of the Gorgon adds a sense of horror as well. You remember the Gorgon? the Woman who had snakes around her head and was so hideous that if you saw her, you would turn to stone?
"He needed his nerve and made for a large group
of men huddled on the shore where the main ship
dock once stood. Not a piece of wood remained standing,
nor could Perth see any boats up and down the coastline,
although in the dark he could only see so far. Though,
the dozen or so torches held aloft revealed total
destruction of what had once been the seaport for
his village...
"Arnyl tore his glassy gaze from the door and found
his son. 'I ran to the harbor, looking for you, when
the first big wave swamped the village. I never saw it
coming, only heard loud crashing in the distance.
The force of the water knocked me against Rickard's
Dry Goods. I blacked out, but heaven be thanked--
Alyck chanced upon me and got me to my feet.
That's when I found I could barely walk. I think my
leg might be broke.' His pa drew in a long breath and
shuddered, as if his ribs ached from the motion. 
"Alyck and Gayla managed to get me home but I'm
afeared I won't be up and around for many a day..."
"His pa stared wistfully toward the window, where
the dark night encroached. "So many hurt, their
homes gone, swept away. What will happen to

And then we also met her spawn, who was not quite so ugly, but did have more going for him in size and weight...LOL You got it, I just had to have pictures of what I thought they looked like, even though the Gorgon was also a shape shifter, which I thought was way cool, since she had quite a number of men enchanted with her!

How did she do that? By stealing all the beauty from the King's three daughters! Who instantly became Trolls!

Ok, I'd better stop - I did try to find a picture of a troll, but nowadays they are all cute little girl trolls...So think of the older stories of trolls that lived under the bridge, etc., for your mental pictures...

These are your monsters for this event, although, once you get to know the trolls, even though they are thieves, who will steal anything nice or beautiful, you will find they are just silly princesses who were still spoiled even if no long beautiful...

Because they lived in Elysiel, a beautiful place that was under God's grace and which was kept secret because of evil enemies who wished to destroy the land and steal the magic held there.

But as always seems to occur among humans, word got out that the Kings of Elysiel possessed a Crystal Scepter that gave them extra long lives. This time, however, the King was killed, murdered, and the Scepter stolen!

It was another King, Pythius of Paladya, that had entered the secret Crystal Cave, killed the King and left, but not before he had touched one of the huge crystal stones and seen what his future might be...

He had been helped to enter Elysiel by Lady Vitrella, who was the gorgon in disguise and who then attacked Pythius when he left. Pythius had kept his sword handy and wounded her. Now he had another enemy... But Pythius was used to danger. When his father had fought to take over Paladya, he had been but a boy...

But old enough to lust after his father's power and he committed his first murder to ensure he became King!

His lust had also led to him taking a young woman who was visiting Paladya and she was now pregnant. But when he returned from Elysiel, his hand had been hurt, burned by and with the mark of the Scepter... Nothing seemed to help it get better until he started calling those with magical skills. The first seer explained: "As the son has done to the father, so shall be done to the son."

And so as another man once feared the birth of a child, Pythius determined to kill his son first! But his wife had been brave enough to send her servant to listen. When she came back and explained that the boy would be killed, they ran away. Pythius was so angry that he sent soldiers out to find them, finally ordering that all baby boys should be killed. Fear like none before spread as Pythius' anger grew--just as his body was racked with pain as the mark on his hand spread up his arm...pains shooting out through his body. What good was the scepter when he couldn't even touch it! But he would never give it up!

Years passed as readers read of the baby boy, safe, living in a small village, dreaming, waiting... until the ghost of the King of Elysiel came to him...

There is much more action and adventure in this latest book, as monsters from the waters attack villages so that the wastelands will once again take over... The author reviews some of earlier classic tales from which she gained inspiration and readers will glimpse a brief scene or two but the story of the land of crystal is like no other. Lakin is a truly masterful genius of imagination and creativity... Once I got past getting used to the strange, ancient spelling of names, I was being pulled in by various things, like the princess-turned trolls adding humor, and the story of the man who found the little boy and kept him as a son--and so much more. This just might be the best of the series! But, of course, I'll have to add until the next one comes out!

Consider this a contemporary classic--this series will undoubtedly continue on into the future! Fairy Tales do, because there is always something for us to learn, if we but allow ourselves to read the lines, and between them as well! Highly recommended for 14+ and all lovers of fantasy, especially ones which are inspirational as is this wonderful series!


C. S. Lakin grew up in the Big Orange, when there were still orange groves in the Los Angeles basin. My first novel, A Rip in the Redwood Curtain, was picked up by the first agent who read it, Ben Kamsler -- Elmore Leonard's agent at the time.

While running a bed and breakfast inn, raising two daughters, and breeding dozens of pygmy goats, I wrote another two novels. One--Innocent Little Crimes--made the top 100 in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, with Publisher's Weekly calling it "a page-turning thrill-ride that will have readers holding their breaths the whole way through." In 2006  I wrote my first fantasy book, now published with AMG/Living Ink Publishers as part of a seven-book series. I have now written twelve novels, five of which have been contracted for publication and three more scheduled to write and publish.

I currently work as a freelance copy editor and writing coach, and also teach workshops on writing at conferences. I belong to numerous writing and editing groups, and often guest blog and contribute articles on websites that focus on the craft of writing. My website Live Write Thrive is dedicated to helping writers learn the craft of writing with tips on how to thrive and prosper through understanding changing publishing trends.

C. S. Lakin spends her time divided between developing new book ideas and helping writers polish theirs. She is the author of six contemporary novels and six in the fantasy/sci-fi genre. Whether she is exploring the depths of the human psyche and pushing her characters to the edge of desperation, or embellishing an imaginary world replete with talking pigs and ancient magical curses, she is doing what she loves best – using her creativity and skills to inspire and affect her readers.

In all her books she seeks to journey to the heart of human motivation, to uncover unmet needs, and show the ath to healing and grace.
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