by Jesse Teller
A zealous guardian in a peaceful city, Gentry Mandrake is a fairy unlike any other. Cast out and hated for his differences, his violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul. He hunts for belonging while fighting to protect the human child bound to him. Explore the mythical realm of The Veil, the grating torture of the Sulfur Fields, and the biting tension between power and purpose in this wondrous struggle against a demonic wizard and his denizens. Can Mandrake overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves?
At the precise moment Thomas Nardoc drew in his first breath, a creature was born. The name for such a creature was fairy, but in recent memory, there had been no fairy like this one. He would be called many things: monster, madman, abomination, murderer, warrior, guardian. All of these were accurate to one degree or another.
He dropped out of the pale bloom of a mandrake flower, and was fully grown before he hit the ground. With a snap of his dragonfly wings, he took to the air, his nostrils deeply drinking the fertile smells of the ancient wood around him. He knew instinctively this was not his home, the same way he knew his child’s name was Thomas.
He knew his home lay five hundred miles to the west, and it would take him moments to arrive there if he traveled by flower. He flexed his arm and barbed prongs slid silently from his wrists. He looked down at his body as he moved, watching his gleaming exoskeleton fold and crease like a well-made, well-worn suit of armor. His pale hair dropped in his face. Whipping his head, he threw it back. He knew how big he was—massive for a fey of his kind.
Something within him ached. A yawning, black emptiness chilled his body and mind. He would have to fill it, or it would take him to diabolical places. His emptiness could devour everything inside him—make something horrible of him. He would have to fill it.
His name was Gentry Mandrake, and today would be the day he killed one of his own kind.
Gentry Mandrake flew. A throbbing world of white pulsated as he moved from mandrake bloom to mandrake bloom. He could feel his home, as he neared it in leaps that flickered in his mind. Within seconds, he pulled up and out of the flower. He passed the last few feet, quickly coming to a large tumble of rocks that formed the doorway to his city. He ducked under the rocks, slipping into a tunnel under the fallen stones. The light of the day shined before him. In it basked Liefdom, the great city of the fairies.
A parade had turned the clearing into a celebration. Mandrake wondered if they knew of his arrival. The city was embracing the fey born that day. They formed a line that wound from the ground floor up into a spiral that wrapped the city. It rose to the very tops of the trees to cross the balcony of the royal family. The trees swayed. The animals of the city crooned and yipped. Instruments sounded, and melodious voices flowed like warm currents of air, carrying almost indescribable joy. Mandrake entered the city and his heart swelled. Tears coursed from his eyes and his smile seemed about to cut his face in half. Looking up at his city, he knew he had found home, and he loved it instantly.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liefdom-jesse-teller/1123976634