Book Highlight: Enchantments

Enchantments is an allegorical tale told in prose and verse.
Though born and raised in the elvin land of E’alowen, E’lienna, daughter of Lady Claire, a human, and Gle'anden, prince of elves, longs to better understand her human lineage. She sets out from E’alowen and into human lands. There, she visits the wizened Mage of Dur, a long-time friend to her parents and all elvinkind. She discovers that the wizard is secretly working to help bring about a new age throughout the land of humankind. For he reveals to her that a babe, born of a king, has been secretly hidden away until such time when he is grown so that he may fulfill a prophesy made long ago of a king of men who will grow to rule the land with justice and mercy.
Through her quest to find out more about her mother’s past and about this king of men, E’lienna uncovers the mystery behind a tragedy that befell her family years ago and, in the process, discovers that the worlds of men and elves are much more deeply entwined than either have believed.
My name is E’lienna. I am daughter to a human woman and an elvin prince. Both bloods flow within my veins, the human and the elvish. This very thing it is which brings up longing deep within me, a longing in my heart and mind to find my own place in both worlds.
Born into a time of change for elf and humankind alike, I have always sought out answers far beyond my elvin kin’s embrace. Many stories tell of how the worlds of men and elves are weaving. This is my own story. So listen, if you’ve mind to hear, and I’ll recount my tale to you in that fashion keeping with the long-held elf tradition; poetry and prose entwining.
The Beginning
While moon shines bright and full, I ride out from my elvin wood, E’alowen, and under hood and cloak, I keep myself quite hidden. After I have ridden under summer’s silken stars for three nights and three days, I finally come upon the village where the wizard dwells. I’ve come to visit him.
I reach his cottage just at dusk and knock upon the door three times. He opens it and clearly is astonished by my visit.
“E’lienna!” says the sage. “Child, what brings you here?”
“Good Mage,” say I, “I am no child. Sixteen years have crowned me. I have come in hope of finding answers to a mystery which will not be explained to me by either of my parents. So please, good sage, will you engage in sharing what you know? For you are wise and friend to both my father and my mother.”
“Do they know that you are here?” he asks, and strokes his beard.
“Of course, good mage!” I answer truly. (Elves don’t lie or trick.) “It was they who told me you might offer clarity! Now will you let me in?”
And so the wizened Mage of Dur ushers me inside. His cottage proves a simple hut, yet comfortable and cozy.
“Sit. Please sit. And have some tea,” he says, upon my entering.
He serves it on a wooden tray, in two clay cups, all painted brightly. Then he sits himself across the large old wooden table, smiles and cocks his head.
“Now, pray, tell me why you’ve come.”
I pull a locket from the bag which hangs about my waist and open it to show, inside, two portraits, small as thumbnails.
“Sir,” I say, “I want to know whose picture this might be.”
On the left, my mother smiles, her sixteen year-old face all rosy. On the right, another girl stares out from sullen eyes. Their faces seem so similar. Hair and eyes, chin and cheek, both share all the same fine features. Yet they could not be more different—one a joyous angel, filled with light and magic, one an angry, brooding creature, shadowed, bleak and tragic.
I set the locket down before him. Even before looking, he begins to nod his head then sighs and closes his dark eyes as if he knows already who the woman must have been.
“No wonder Claire sent you to me,” he finally says, “and I agree it was a good thing that she sent you here. For this tale is a tale of grief—for her and your poor grandmother. Because you ask this task of me, I’ll tell you what I can.”
He pauses. I wait. Then he takes a long and heavy breath.
“How shall I begin? This portrait, E’lienna, is of your mother’s sister.”
“Mother has no sister!” I exclaim.
“Now, good child,” he says, “you must allow me to explain. And without interruption! As I said, I’ll tell you what I’m able. But I warn you, E’lienna, this is not a fable! This is sorrow. This is pain. Now, shall I start, again?”
The air hangs still, a silent weight that seems quite palpable. I swallow back my sudden feeling of dismay and answer, “Yes, dear mage, continue on, I pray. I will hold my tongue, I promise. ‘Til the end of it.”
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About the Author:
Susan M. Botich writes science-fiction and fantasy. She is also a freelance writer, poet, songwriter and performing musician. She has lived all over the United States from California to New York, Alaska to Hawaii, Washington to the Midwest of Iowa and Minnesota and even the high desert of Northern Nevada. She and her husband have recently made Bend, OR their home.
Susan is an eclectic reader, having interests that bridge physics and metaphysics, social and spiritual issues, and multiple genres of fiction. She simply loves to read a good story. She became a science-fiction and fantasy fan as a teen. She has always been an avid reader but turned her focus to story writing after marriage and family in her early thirties.
Susan has recently published her science-fiction novel, The Dream Star, as well as a fantasy verse-novel, Enchantments. Both books are available through in both Kindle and print edition and as a Nook book. Readers may also buy her books through her website