Anyone who follows my blog and reads my reviews will already be aware that I love the descriptive prose written so expertly by E.G. Radcliff in her YA trilogy The Coming of Áed, which is inspired by Celtic fae mythology.
E.G. Radcliff has kindly sent me her illustrations, which appear in the final book in the trilogy, The Wild Court, and here I am sharing them with you.
Map of the Fae Lands
The Wild Court takes place mainly in the Fae Lands which are located through the veil from Áed’s kingdom. The Fae Lands are divided into different courts, each court being influenced by a different element of Nature. The Moon Court and The Bone Court are deadly enemies. There are also Glass, Garnet, Gold, Sand and Meadow Courts, each one ruled over by the Queen of the High Court:
Erin and the Hind
When the party heads off to search for the High Court with a view to trying to bring the civil war to an end, they intend to leave the teenager Erin and injured Éamon behind for their own safety. Erin and Éamon have other ideas, however:
“Erin sighed, plucking at the ends of her dreadlocks. “Fine. Yes, I’m going.“ She scooted up, taking the blankets with her, to lean against the headboard. “The hind from the Moon court is still in the stables here. I was just going to ride it after them. I’d join up once we were far enough away that they couldn’t send me back in good conscience.”
“I’m coming with you.”
Erin scoffed “That hind won’t carry both of us.”
Éamon shook his head. “No. But it’s in the stables, isn’t it?” His eyes flashed. “I’ll just steal a horse.”
Áed and his party encounters a terrifying beast, the Waterhorse, while attempting to cross a dangerous river:
“ What had made him scream were the long, too-white teeth, set in mossy gums and framed by loose black lips, that had sunk into the back of his cloak.”
Áed and Fionnuala at the siege tunnel
Looking for a way into the castle in order to capture the Queen, Rian tells the group about an old siege tunnel:
“What they were looking for, Rian had explained earlier, was the mouth of an old siege tunnel. The tunnel itself dated back some two thousand years, and when the siege had failed, the castle had simply flooded the tunnel and blocked it with an enormous granite stone. The tunnel itself led to the foundations of the castle, where the attackers had attempted to burrow their way underneath the defenses, but they had been thwarted by the depth of the foundation and the thickness of the stone. Nobody had used the tunnel since; after all, it led to a six-meter-thick stone wall, was full of ancient water, and was blocked by an immovable stone.”
The Search for Éamon
Éamon wakes up in the forest having sleep-walked his way there. He is unable to find his way back to the Bone Court as he has no idea which way he came, his leg is throbbing painfully and it is freezing cold. In the meantime Áed gets everyone searching for him:
“The light was getting closer, enough for Éamon to see that it was a lantern hanging on a pole. It glanced its glow off of the snow-glazed ferns as its bearer ran closer, and then Áed broke through the undergrowth. His cheeks were rosy with the chill, and he wore a fur-lined red cape that fell to his waist. He held the lantern pole ahead of him, illuminating the forest around him in a sphere of warmth.”
About the Author
E.G. Radcliff is a part-time pooka and native of the Unseelie Court. She collects acorns, glass beads, and pretty rocks, and the crows outside her house know her as She Who Has Bread.
Her Coming of Áed fantasy series is crafted in the dead of night after offering sacrifices of almonds and red wine to the writing-block deities.
You can reach her by scrying bowl, carrier pigeon, or @egradcliff on social media