When Anwyn heard her best friend cursing over a letter from home, she thought it would be nice to give her a hand. A quick trip to a new country to protect Iola from an unwelcome marriage would be a chance to have fun while doing a good deed.
But the trip revealed plots against the Dana that Anwyn could never have anticipated. The simple trip became a complicated political trial that threatened not just the family’s fortunes but Anwyn’s safety as well. Stopping the Delbhana’s plot might be the hardest thing Anwyn had ever done but failure wasn’t an option.
Storm over Archaelaos is an epic coming of age fantasy set on the matriarchal world of Muirin. People of all ages will enjoy this thrilling adventure.
Storm Over Archaelaos
By Meyari McFarland
“It’s beautiful,” Anwyn commented as the Little Bird glided into Ryann Port at the southern tip of Nasrin.
“It is,” Aravel agreed, beaming.
Nasrin was much like northern Aingeal. It was mountainous, with tall pine trees climbing the steep hills. Rivers tumbled down the slopes in gouts and waterfalls that carved out narrow valleys for people to live. Much of the population lived towards the center of the island where hot springs bubbled up in the middle of muddy pools and the mountains had tumbled down into rolling plains.
Ryann Port clung to a tiny valley squeezed into a narrow cleft in the cliff-like hills. The town’s streets rose steeply, winding between the people’s tall wooden homes. Anwyn had been here at least a dozen times now, stopping on the way for longer voyages with the Dana ships. She’d gotten so used to the drawling accents of the people here that she no longer had any trouble figuring out what they said, no matter how slowly they spoke.
The port was full of smaller ships like the Little Bird, mostly local fish boats. A couple of bigger ships sporting flags from the Delbhana and Ntombi’s Third House loomed over them. Anwyn stared openly at the dark skinned women working the Third House ship.
Aunt Colleen was at the helm with Myrna. Captain Helene was still in her cabin. From what Aunt Colleen had said when she took the helm, Captain Helene’s broken nose was more like a broken nose plus broken cheekbones and a broken eye socket. Aravel had looked mildly apologetic about that but that was it.
“Heya!” the sailors on the Third House ship called as the Little Bird slowly went by, guided now by the little tug boat instead of its sails.
“Heya!” Aunt Colleen called back. “Good trading?”
“Very,” the mate or captain responded. Her teeth flashed white against the olive darkness of her skin. “Good trade to you, Dana!”
Aunt Colleen grinned and waved a salute that bumped one fist against her chest before thrusting it back towards the Third House ship. The mate or captain, whichever she was, grinned and gestured as if catching the luck sent back her way. When they slowly drifted past the Delbhana ship no such thing happened. The captain of that ship glared at them, her hand on her sword hilt while Aunt Colleen glared back defiantly.
The Third House ship was wide and flat, more like a barge than the sailing ships Anwyn was used to. Its dark wood was plain and sea-worn but still solid. In contrast, the Delbhana ship was a huge four-master with snow white sails and gilded trim on around the captain’s cabin. Anwyn wrinkled her nose at it.
“I suppose it’s pretty,” Aravel commented quietly.
“I think Rae would be spluttering about how thin the masts are,” Aravel continued. “They do look a bit spindly. Think they have enough supports to stand a strong wind?”