The Fool’s Journey
A. R. C.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance,
Publisher: Quick and Animus, LLC
Date of Publication: June 20, 2020
Number of pages: 367 pages
Word Count: approx. 103,000
Cover Artist: Sandrine Pierrot
Tagline: Marked by magic. Chosen by Fate. And she couldn’t care less.
The Fool's Journey, a massive new series written in two parts - with blog posts acting counter-point to monthly-published novels - revolves around a cabal of warrior mages, and focuses heavily on the inclusion of Tarot.
Freshly graduated from high school, Emma Lie has never let go the betrayal her father served her. On the eve of her college departure, burdened with grand designs, Emma finds herself branded by a strange mark.
Bewildered by its appearance, Emma becomes distracted, then suspicious, of a captivating boy named Thies. Amid a passionate moment, she demands the truth from him. The cryptic answers Emma gets in return skew her reality forever.
Emma is thrust into the world of magic, stolen away from her home. Lofty intentions derailed, her mother in mortal danger, and forced into magical servitude, Emma must fight for survival and the life she had planned even as she battles for her own heart.
Haynes’ eye is swelling shut, and Michael is staring up from the floor behind me with mixed shock and rising fear. The last bit catches my attention and confuses me. My vision narrows, black around the edges, heart beating thunder in my ears. I did what I did to help him. Why should Michael be more afraid, now? I try to relax, but my temper has risen. My raw knuckles have done the speaking. My actions pronounced judgment.
Jimmy Haynes is rolling to his feet with practiced athleticism. His cronies have stepped back to the walls of the locker-lined hallway. He is not large, but his movements speak of economy and brutality. He is a bully’s bully, born and bred. There is sweat prickling the scalp under his dark shaved hair, and a stuttered breath issues from his lips as he probes the damage to his eye. In the gray depths of his other, the wheels are turning.
He cannot afford to back away from a fight in front of his pack. Nor is it in his cruel nature, and yet he hesitates. He is a grade younger than me and Michael before we graduated, as are all his little friends. Jocks, bullies. They are animals, drunk with the idea of being seniors, fresh from the football field, and filled with football aggression. And Michael Morton is their target and outlet. Chubby, meek, kind Michael Morton, here to help me finish the Senior art project before I leave for college in a month. Michael makes another series of small whimpering noises behind me, his paint smock half-torn.
“What the fuck?” Haynes booms. His posse chortles and titters from the sidelines. They move and sway with his anger. But I have the truth. He is stalling. He doesn’t want to take this further against me. The crush he has on me has always been obvious, trying to catch my eye for the better part of three years. But he cannot be seen as the star football player who was knocked from his feet by a hundred-fifteen-pound girl. He wouldn’t survive in his world. Torn between two hard choices, I see the decision form, the surety that grasps him. His hand drifts to his side, his clenched fist straightens. He will slap me. For him, to hold a reputation as a woman abuser is easier, more acceptable. Bastard.
“Look at her eyes,” one of Jimmy’s posse whispers along the halogen-white hallways of the school. My irises have no doubt changed, gone a deep gray as they do with my fury.
Michael Morton hasn’t moved, bloodied and sprawled on the floor where they left him. I had stepped over him to punch Jimmy, but now he is an obstacle I cannot navigate in time to dodge. My knuckles hurt still, and the inexplicable, searing pain on my upper right arm remains, but I prepare myself for the blow and tense to give one in return. If Jimmy wants a fight, he’ll have it.
A figure approaches you on this dusty road called life. Indistinct and familiar, unknown but knowing, they are nobody and the every-man. “May I tell you a story?” they ask, wasting no time.
“What kind?” you reply, impatient with interminable day. Fraught with distraction. You’re unsure you want anything new.
“Some, light and airy, still others dour and dread-riddled. Love and death, black dreams and bright hope, man and his fellow, red war and high peace. All can be found here. The cynics, the broken, the strong, and the weak, all woven into one. You need but only listen.”
“Tell me more?” you inquire after minutes of thought.
The storyteller nods. “Though you might not like each tale, inevitably you will find your hero within. Some to hate, and more to admire. It cannot be else. Hide and reveal, warn or conceal, incite or enchant. So falls the nature of storytelling, a reflection of the soul. Only the cruel would change these tales to fit own beliefs.”
“And should I not wish to hear them?”
“No matter that I sing my yarns to a single body or many, they must be told. It is my honor, my duty, my obligation.”
“But who are you?” you demand.
“If I were to speak base truth about myself, I would say that I’m a dreamer. It holds a double meaning. I daydream regularly, oft to diversion. And though my nightly dreams come and go without memory, that which they tell me changes my mood daily.”
“To this point in life, dreaming has never gotten me anywhere.”
The figure leans in, as if sharing a secret with a friend.
“But it will one day.”
The longer the figure speaks and the more that you listen, the more you perceive that you aren’t alone. Others surround you, attend with you, know the words as you do. Love and tears, heartache and fears, it is good to share these worries amongst friends.
For what is existence, but a semi-sweet story?
Blog Entries: https://quickandanimus.com/timeline/
Author Website: https://quickandanimus.com/arc/