Monday, 28 October 2013

The Lies That Bind - Book One of the Hand of Fate series (Jessica Catherine) in One Thousand Words

The Lies That Bind by Jessica Catherine is today's featured book on One Thousand Worlds.

The Lies That Bind-

The Oracle’s daughter, passionate storyteller Alaria, spends every night scouring the land for new adventures to tell by the fireside of her encampment. Unfortunately, she finds more than she bargained for when she happens upon an unconscious boy with a sword of gold, who bears the holy Sign of the Heavens. It is a mark that defines him as the glorious, influential, yet potentially dangerous, warrior catalyst in her mother’s most ancient and disturbingly vague prophecy. However, before Alaria can rush home to tell her family or her sovereign – the illustrious sorceress known as the Faerie Queen – of what she has discovered, her worst fears are confirmed. Emissaries from the rival Amazon City of Light come with plans to convey the boy into the care and control of their leader, Alexis, who will seek to use his power in her long-awaited quest to become the ruler of all and wreak vengeance upon the enemies declared responsible for her husband’s murder by seemingly magical incineration. 
The arrival of the boy, known only as Skylarius, sets a series of unavoidable events in motion, as the hand of fate casts its dice – amid a backdrop of secrecy, deception, tragedy, romance, friendship and adventure – to determine the lives of all on the island of Indyria. 

About the author-

Jessica Catherine is a twenty six year old writer from Kent, England. She has a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing and 'The Lies That Bind' is her first novel.


It is said that everyone, and everything, has a story to tell, whether it is their own story or not.
            The Oracle’s daughter, Alaria, was a gatherer of such stories. She absorbed them, fed on them, revered them, loved them furiously and ultimately passed them on – so that they would never be forgotten. The only problem was that none of them were ever really hers. So, every night, like penance, she would go in search of one of her own.

Alaria sneaked silently out of her caravan and took a look around. The air smelt fresh – of wet grass and scented oils. The encampment was motionless in the dark and only the light from the hanging oil lamps lit the space before her eyes. The giant wolves howled into the night as she scuttled quietly down the steps, past innumerable wagons and caravans. For a Gypsy, it was a pleasant sound – the sound of security. As she moved, her shoulder length brown hair swirled against her tawny-hued cheeks; her untidy corkscrew curls barely kept contained under a red handkerchief she wore like a bandana – a present from her brother – and her vibrant purple eyes glittered as short bursts of moonlight shone through passing trees.
Like every other evening, she followed her route like clockwork. She would slip out in the middle of the night and make her way south by southwest toward the borders of the known mainland. It wasn’t a short journey by any means, sometimes she barely returned to the encampment before daybreak. She knew she would get scolded for it – she grimaced at the thought – but all in all it was worth it. She would head beyond the lip of the forest, to the oasis on the other side of the rolling hills. The green undergrowth would make way for a stretch of scrubland – sun-bleached patchy grass and craggy rock – that would eventually become the sands of the vast desert to the south. It was there that she would lose herself in her imagination. The oasis was no longer a pathetic reserve in a patch of parched earth with her around; to a fourteen year old girl with a sense of adventure it was a treasure trove that she would defend from incoming bandits, and the tall palms the rooftops that she would scamper across in an attempt to conceal herself. There, she could be someone important, someone heroic – the person she longed to be – and find her own place in the old tales she would tell, even if it were make believe. But sometimes, she would stop and realise that it almost hurt inside to imagine a life so opposite from her own at the encampment. She wanted it so badly; sometimes she could almost feel it with all her senses. However, for the meantime, her farfetched dreams would have to suffice.
Even with the sights and sounds around her so familiar, still that particular night did not feel the same as all her others. It was as if there was something in the atmosphere. Having come to know the island so well, she felt she’d know instinctively if anything were wrong or different. She wondered if she were like the fabled wood sprites that knew everything going on around them. Secrets would whisper through the trees, stealing among the leaves and into their ears, so the tiniest change wouldn’t go unnoticed. When Alaria wriggled free from her imagination, she remembered it was unlikely wood sprites existed, or at least she’d never seen any. However, one thing she knew for sure – out in the real world with her something had altered, signalling the beginning of something new. Whatever it might be, Alaria knew she wouldn’t discover it lingering in her mind’s well-versed version of her beloved sanctuary. She wouldn’t waste any more time, and set out toward it once more in reality.
Making her way through the outer reaches of the southern area of her encampment, Alaria took several well-known shortcuts to lead her into Brightmoon Forest, the dense woodland that surrounded her home. Soon, she reached the foot of the hills that separated the forest from the desert. Thaymor’s Hills they were called, and – like the wood sprites – just the sound of their name filled her mind with more childhood stories. Thaymor was supposedly the last giant in existence, and when he lay down in the earth to die the weight of his body formed the hills and dales. Humans had loved him so dearly that they’d give the broad, grassy range of low peaks his name.

After a couple of hours of walking, climbing ever higher up the gentle incline, Alaria eventually reached the top of one of the flat summits. From there it was easy to spot the oasis, not too far below her; it was the only patch of green beyond the hilltops, amongst the sandy landscape that formed the Amazon kingdom. Alaria knew the Amazons’ City of Light, and particularly Alexis, their queen, would not welcome intruders so she always stayed well out of sight. She made a lightning dash, skidding down the hillside on the heels of her leather shoes, causing debris to cascade down with her and drop into the oasis pool beneath. She flinched as the stones hit the water; the sound seemed so loud in the quiet of night. However, it wasn’t really the noises she made that she had to worry about, it was purely being seen at all in Amazon territory, and she hoped that the sentries on the Great Wall – as usual – would be oblivious to her presence. Despite her happiness at being re-united once more with the place she loved most on the island, Alaria was cautious of the Amazons’ trained guards. She summoned her courage to look out toward them. Standing atop the giant man-made structure that encompassed their city on all sides, the Amazons had eyes everywhere.

Where you can buy The Lies That Bind:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with Jessica Catherine:


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