Authors: Edward Willett
Tags: #series, #Fantasy, #Merlin, #Excalibur, #King Arthur, #Lady of the Lake, #Regina, #Canada, #computers, #quest, #magic, #visions, #bullying, #high school
What others have said about
Song of the Sword
“A tight story, and [the] characters exhibit honest emotions...Fantasy references galore should ensure that readers who enjoy fantasy – and Arthurian legend in particular – come away satisfied”
– Kirkus Reviews
“This is a fantasy of epic proportions, with the perfect blend of suspense; well-developed, likable characters; and a touch of sarcastic humor.”
– School Library Journal
“Every so often...a writer is skilled enough to utilize the stories of King Arthur and Camelot to significant effect...a taut, compelling narrative, well-drawn characters, and a keen sense of genuine peril and true wonder. It’s a powerful, fun, engaging read, and it’s the first of a series, so readers have much to look forward to.”
– Quill & Quire
“The story…has wonderful Canadian references and some really funny passages. Ariane is constantly in danger, and the suspense is beautifully maintained.”
– Helen Wilding Cook, Children’s Collection Development Coordinator, Library Bound
“One thing that makes this tale different from many in the genre is that it is set in Regina, SK, and full of other Canadian place names, such as Yellowknife and Toronto. The story will appeal to those who enjoy fantasy and will not require a knowledge of the Arthurian tales to follow.”
– CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Willett’s novel will please fantasy junkies with its intricate details; yet there’s also an appealing poetry to Ariane’s story, best manifested when she learns to use her powers to merge with water and transport herself wherever it flows. Song of the Sword is a unique twist on the old subjects of teenage rebellion and self-discovery.”
– Montreal Review of Books
“…an exciting plot that gives a great new spin to a favourite story. It can also take credit for a great cast of characters…set up to play out what might become the battle of the ages. I can see that exciting adventures await as they all struggle to decide what’s worth fighting for:
power, friends, or family.”
– think. thank. thought. (book review blog)
“…it was very well done indeed…Willett did an excellent job here…Ariane [has] quite a bit of personality and spunk.”
– Word for Teens (book review blog)
© Edward Willett, 2014
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright licence, visit www.accesscopyright.ca or call toll-free to 1-800-893-5777.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Edited by Matthew Hughes
Cover and text designed by Tania Craan
Typeset by Susan Buck
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Willett, Edward, 1959-, author
Song of the sword / Edward Willett.
(Shards of Excalibur ; book 1)
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-1-55050-580-1 (pbk.).--ISBN 978-1-55050-581-8 (pdf).--
ISBN 978-1-55050-799-7 (epub).--ISBN 978-1-55050-800-0 (mobi)
I. Title. II. Series: Willett, Edward, 1959- Shards of
Excalibur ; book 1.
PS8595.I5424S66 2014 jC813'.54 C2014-900463-X
Library of Congress Control Number 2014931278
2517 Victoria Avenue, Regina Canada S4P 0T2
Print version available in Canada from:
Publishers Group Canada, 2440 Viking Way, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada V6V 1N2
Print version available
in the US from:
Orca Book Publishers www.orcabook.com 1-800-210-5277
Coteau Books gratefully acknowledges the financial support of its publishing program by: the Saskatchewan Arts Board, The Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Government of Saskatchewan through the Creative Industry Growth and Sustainability program of the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.
Four nieces and a nephew – five books
This one is for Wendi
A Walk in the Mist
On the morning after she’d been suspended
from her new school for fighting, Ariane woke, gasping, from a dream.
It wasn’t her first dream of water and swords and knights in armor. But it was the most violent. She stared up into the darkness, for a moment not even sure where she was. She’d slept in a lot of different rooms since her mother had vanished and she’d been placed in foster care. In the dark, they all looked the same.
But then she remembered. She wasn’t in foster care any more. She was living with her Aunt Phyllis, just a few blocks from the house where she used to live with her mother. And unless she got up and got moving, she’d have to tell Aunt Phyllis about her suspension – and she didn’t want to do that. Let the school break the news to her. Ariane could explain to her later what had
happened...if she’d listen.
She’d set the alarm for 6:30, an hour earlier than usual, but when she glanced at the glowing green numbers, she saw she’d woken up ten minutes before it would go off. The dream that had seemed so vividly real seconds before was already fading, only one image remaining: sun glinting off the blade of an upraised sword.
Over and over, night after night for days now, that
same image. Was it from a movie? Not that she could remember
. And in real life, she had never even
a sword. So why did she keep dreaming about one?
She sighed and killed the alarm, then rolled out of bed, rubbed her eyes, got up and half-stumbled to the bathroom, where she set the water running while she got out of her pajamas. She slipped under the spray of hot water, and –
Ariane stood upright in a turquoise lake, the water beneath her supporting her as surely as stone. Though her head was below the surface, she felt no need to breathe. Though the filmy gown she wore billowed around her, it didn’t drag her down.
At arm’s length over her head she held a sword, the blade in the open air, her hand gripping the hilt just above the surface. Icy rivulets ran down the blade and over her fingers and wrist.
She heard a creak and splash, the sounds distorted by the water: a boat, moving toward her, a lone man pulling at the oars. The rippled surface distorted his face and figure.
He stopped rowing. The boat slid closer. He leaned over the gunwale reaching for the sword. His fingers brushed hers as he took the hilt from her, and at his touch –
Ariane returned to the shower, and to the hot water cascading from her shoulders, down her back and legs, so different from the cold water of the lake. Shuddering, she twisted the tap closed, then stood dripping, breathing hard.
It was another dream. It had to be. But she wasn’t asleep.
She was awake, soaking wet in the shower, staring at the water falling from her hair onto the chrome spout of the bathtub. So it
been a dream. It had been...what did you call a dream you had while you were awake?
, she thought, her heart pounding in her chest.
Seeing things. People who see things are crazy. Does this mean I’m going crazy?
No. It was just...
She didn’t know what it “just” was. But she knew she didn’t want it to happen again.
She couldn’t bring herself to resume her shower. She dried in a hurry, dressed, pulled on her old leather motorcycle jacket, and headed downstairs. Scary visions or not, she still wanted to be out of the house before Aunt Phyllis woke up.