Young ruffian Rustav is determined to escape his abusive uncle and hated homeland, even if it means braving the demon-infested forest. His escape is halted, however, when a race of legendary beings reveal him to be the country’s fabled heir. As the people rally around him, Rustav teeters precariously between raising his people from the dust—or destroying them from the inside.
Author Emily H. Bates
Emily H. Bates grew up in Northern California, where she spent much of her young life happily closeted away with a book. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in German Linguistics, married a dashing young man from her study abroad in Germany, and now writes novels in English. She currently resides in Washington with her husband and her very busy daughter.
Lying outside at night and looking at the stars is a magical experience. There are so many stars everywhere, stretching in all directions, and there are even more out there that I can’t see. Not only that, each star has planets circling it, planets that have individual characteristics, different histories, different rocks, different atmospheres, different chemical makeups.
When I was a kid, I wanted to visit all of those stars. I knew there were stories behind each star, on each planet. I imagined for hours what it must be like on those other worlds. I wanted to know the people who lived out there, what food they ate, what stories they told their children. I wanted to see everything.
Space travel being less than attainable for a ten-year-old, I turned to books. Books became my intermediary, my woods between the worlds, each one a shimmering pool I could jump into and get sucked into another world. I explored the Arabian Desert as well as the farthest reaches of outer space. I discovered worlds between the cracks of reality. I experienced dark, sorcerous magic and the magic of goodness and light. I met people, oh so many people, people who perhaps never existed according to our reality but are no less real than you or I in their ability to touch and change our lives.
There are books that give us facts and information, and there is a place in my heart for those books. But most of my literary heart is devoted to the books that, without actually having happened, ring the most true to my soul. They are the books that have changed me the most, that have touched me the deepest. They are the books that lead me to say with the Bishop of Digne, “The beautiful is as useful as the useful. . . . More so, perhaps” (Victor Hugo, Les Miserables).
I am a writer because I was first a reader, and because the books I read lit a fire in my soul that tells me every day that anything is possible.
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