Monday, October 31, 2016

The Blue Witch by Joni Parker

Under the rule of King Arthur, Alex finds the mortal world far from what she’d imagined, and the mortals are less than hospitable.  

Title: The Blue Witch
Author: Joni Parker
Genre: Fantasy

Accused of being the “Blue Witch,” Alex is sentenced to die for treason and has been implicated in the mysterious death of one of Arthur’s noblemen by seemingly magical means. 
With help from unexpected sources, she escapes and returns to Eledon, where civil unrest and the threat of war looms.  Alex resumes her responsibilities as Keeper of the Keys for the Council of Elders, but must execute a series of quests to prove her abilities to handle the magical Keys of Eledon.  But are her efforts enough to save the Elves from Civil War? And can she commute her own death sentence by finding the Holy Grail?

The lake glowed, and in the air, there was a strong odor of roses.  The scent was so intense it brought tears to Alex’s eyes.  All at once, a woman leapt out of the water, seating herself in the fog as if she sat on a chair.  Her long red hair flowed down her shoulders to her waist like a river of fire, and her silver gown shimmered with a light of its own in a rainbow of colors.  Alex gasped when she realized the gown wasn’t a gown at all, and the shimmering didn’t come from sequins or beads, but from iridescent fish scales on her body.  The woman had no feet, only the tail of a fish—she was a mermaid. 
Then, the man she’d healed rose.  “We found the Blue Witch, my lady,” he spoke in Elf and then, rambled on in his native language.
            “Excellent.  Thank you, my friends.”  The woman nodded with a wide smile and waved her hand at them.  As they backed away, she leaned towards Alex.  “Are you the one they call the Black Elf?”
Alex gasped—her heart pounding in her ears.  She hated that nickname.  “Yes, but who are you?” 
            “I’m Rosella, the Sea Sprite of Avalon.”
            “A Sea Sprite?  But the sea isn’t even close to here.”
            “They drained it away years ago, but the King had this lake made for me so I could stay close to him.  He loves me.”
            “Why do these men think I’m the Blue Witch?”
            “How else could I explain that you were a young Water Elf with blue hair in your ears?”  Rosella rolled her eyes.  “Thank you for freeing my friends from that terrible prison.  My good friend, Idwal, said you healed his broken leg.  I’m impressed.”
            Alex screamed; something jumped into her arms; her heart pounded, but it turned out to be Tap, a Pixie Elf and the nephew of Root, her father’s old friend.  She carried him easily; he was no larger than a toddler, even though he was full grown.  He was the opportunity she was waiting for.  He could help her return to Eledon to search for the Holy Grail.
            “Tap, what are you doing here?”  Alex asked. 
“Lord Ashur sent me to find you, so I asked Rosella for help.  She belongs to the Water Elves, like you.”  Tap’s smile lit up his face, and he doffed his hat in a salute.
“Why did Lord Ashur send you?”  Alex turned her head to the sound of horses.  “Soldiers...we have to leave.”
“Black Elf,” Rosella said.  “I’ll clear a path for you.”
“Which way?”  Alex turned around, disoriented.
“This way.”  Tap leapt out of her arms and ran down the only clear path in the fog.

I think I may have gotten a bit more from this fantasy if I had read the previous book first, but being as fast paced and fanciful as this story is, the reader has to catch on fast and hold tight. The action starts immediately and runs full speed ahead. 
I really felt bad for the Blue People, as for every gain they made, it was quickly taken away and they were tortured, beaten back and often killed off!
This is a book between worlds, the mortal world under the rule of King Arthur, which is not the peaceful Camelot we all dream of and the Elves world of Eledon, where although given responsibilities and privileges, Alex is basically being kept a prisoner. Though trained as a warrior and a very strong character, Alex does not appreciate how often she is imprisioned. She decides that she can and should recover the Holy Grail to improve her lot on life.

It is a story of contrasts and double standards and deceit. At the end you will want to grab the next book as soon as you can.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Joni’s a city-girl, raised in the heart of the city.  So, when her first grade class took a field trip to the Museum of Science and Technology, she was fascinated by the chicken farm where there were live chickens and chicks hatching from eggs under a light.  Like the other students in class, she wrote a report, but hers was selected to be in the school newspaper.  Her first published article!  Joni’s writing continued with short stories until the eighth grade in Phoenix, Arizona when she won second prize in a short story contest and an honorable mention for a poem.  After that, she developed a writer’s block and couldn’t write another short story or poem for the next 45 years.  Talk about a writer’s block!  Now, it seems she can’t stop writing and has retired from work to write.  
“The Blue Witch” is her fifth published novel and the second book in “The Chronicles of Eledon” series.    

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review of my book! I truly appreciate it. Also, thanks for hosting my book. I hope your readers will enjoy my book.


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