Sunday, August 24, 2014

"The Greying" by Dallas Sutherland

The Greying
(The Landland Chronicles Book 1)
by Dallas Sutherland

The Greying is currently on tour with Enchanted Book Promotions. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well. See the links below for special discount offers on this book.

Landland cries out for a saviour ...
Upon the death of her mother, Meah is pulled across the boundary that separates this world and another time and place where the dog-like Firbog have brought the mists of the greying. Under the evil Queen Berilbog they threaten to claim all the lands.
With her Mother dead and her Father missing - she is on her own! Can Meah learn how to use the power of the thinking? Will there be enough time to save both Landland and herself? Will Meah ever find her way home again?
She must triumph over grief and sadness on her journey into a world made cold, grey, and colourless by the ravages of the greying. Meah travels into the depths of Bigriverland to find the mysterious sage, The Biggo.
In the heart of Dead Wood, Meah meets Josh O'Tosh, the last of the warrior Pictish Priests. Battling lurking homunculi and the horrors of the many-headed-winged-thing, they set out to recover the only thing that will save Landland ... her mother's Book-of-Colours.

Book Video

It was then that she saw them!
Meah stood as the boat turned. She reached out to touch them. Clasping the portfolio tight to her chest with one arm, she stretched as far as she dared with her other, but in the turning of the boat and the buffeting of the waves, Meah lost her balance.
Her over-reaching hand grasped for the railing, but remained empty.
Meah fell, banging her head on the edge of the boat. She went straight down into the cool embrace of the sea, still clutching the portfolio tightly to her chest.
The bang on the head confused her senses. She could not swim and drifted just below the surface. The portfolio floated beside her.
Neither Auntie Beryl nor the boatman had seen her fall. By the time they realised she was missing, the boat was at least a hundred metres away.
Meah continued to float just beneath the surface. Her head swam with visions of sadness was she dying?
Ooh! The dolphins were back again. If she could just touch one— that dark one there!
Meah fought hard to keep the dreaming alive, to touch the dolphins. The dreaming became fuzzy and grey, then black.
The sea surged. The black dolphin came closer. Gently, it nudged the girl and towards the surface they rose together.
The sky grew black, almost as black as the obsidian sheen of the dolphin. Bubbles glistened on the girl’s skin. Rain pelted at the sea.
On and upwards the dolphin pushed until finally it held the girl above the water.
They were close to the shore now. At last, the dolphin relinquished its grip on the girl and gave her up to the care of the waves.
A peak rose out of the water and lifting the girl up on its crest, it tumbled her over and down the face of the forming wave.
Like escorts, the pod of dolphins swam in and out of the lurching wave as the girl glided like a body-surfer towards the beach.
Rain continued to beat down on the water leaving tiny pockmarks in the sea foam. Seaweed entangled the girl’s limbs, bearing her up and easing her passage towards the shore.
Out at sea, the pod of dolphins watched and waited for the storm to abate. A rainbow mist hovered for a moment over the shoreline and then it was gone; swept away inland on a final gust of wind.

Featured Review
The Landland Chronicles: The Greying is book one in this fantasy series written for children aged 10-13 years. I shall begin with my last thoughts as the book ended; as a child, who wouldn't love to be written into a delightful book? Meah finds herself alone, her mother has died and her father is missing, she's left with Aunt Beryl a cold women she hardly knows. Together they are in a boat emptying her mother's ashes into the sea when Meah falls overboard.
Lost and alone she is washed up on a distant shore where everything has lost its colour. She meets Mermie and Dalff who have been waiting for her arrival to help them find the lost colours. They insist she is called Teah the thinking girl. I really enjoyed the mix of myth, legend, and history to create this magical place. I wanted to taste hot-sap tea and meet a Pitterpatterdell. Some of the names made me smile, their simplicity was refreshing in fantasy Josh O'Tosh, Bill MacIll, Ani Stout and Danar Long.
Teah must go and find a sage called The Biggo who seems to know just where she is and what she might need, he sends Spike with messages of encouragement in her quest to retrieve the Black thing and the Book of Colours. Her path is troubled by many adventures, but slowly with help she finds herself and her lost parts and with friends and brave Pictish warriors she discovers just what or who is causing the sinister tap, tap tapping and together with the Biggo they set off on more adventures in Landland.
I think this is a good fantasy world and the mix of adventure and myth worked well. I have my own historical interest in the ogam language and was thrilled to see it included in this tale.

About the Author
Over the last twenty-five years, the Author has exhibited a creative bent across a range of industries including graphic design, fine arts, and trompe l'oeil murals. He has lectured in fine arts and studied Art History, Literature, Adult Education, and Creative Writing. Works include play scripts and short stories. The Greying is his first published novella, with further books planned as part of the fantasy series. He draws inspiration from myth, legend, and fairy tales.
He lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia with his partner Kerri, and daughter Ruby.

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