"The autumn breeze was sweet and refreshing on the skin of the three siblings who came dashing out into the gardens that early morning. The air was pleasantly icy, and its sweetness came from the Evergreens, the fruit trees and the exotic flowers. There was frost on the grass, telling them that winter was approaching fast, and would arrive before autumn’s end. The frost was disturbed as they raced into the gardens."
(Opening paragraph from the novel.)
What is 'Evergreen' about?
Very briefly, three kids saving the world.
Not quite so briefly, but still briefly, 'Evergreen' is about three teenagers, brothers and sisters, who embark on a journey to save the life-source of their world, after a fortuneteller shares a prophecy revealing them to be the ones destine to be the heroes.
"‘Ebony wings of a nightingale
Soft, black feathers of a nightingale
Sweet, sad song of a nightingale
My dear angel, nightingale…’"
(The siblings' childhood lullaby, Verse 1.)
So... Where is this novel set?
'Evergreen' is set in an alternative universe where the Imperial Family reigns over the peaceful and prosperous Middle Kingdom. The Middle Kingdom is full of life which is given and protected by the sacred Evergreen Trees; the life-source of the entire Kingdom. The Middle Kingdom is a heavily Asian (particularly Japanese) inspired place.
"‘Delicate wings of a sparrow
Soft, brown body of a sparrow
Sweet, sad flight of a sparrow
My dear angel, sparrow…’"
(The siblings' childhood lullaby, Verse 2.)
Who are these characters anyway? What are their names?
For this, I'll give you a bit of a character bio for the main protagonists and antagonists.
First up, the good guys!
Chihiro: The 19-year-old older sister of the Imperial siblings. Chihiro is a motherly figure for her younger brother and sister and an understanding, thoughtful friend whom they confide in and often receive good advice from. She is strong willed, influential, intelligent and the immediate heir to the Imperial Throne providing she marries before the responsibility is passed down.
Zutto: The middle child of 16. He is quiet and pessimistic and doesn't choose to socialize with anyone beyond his two sisters. Chihiro is his trustworthy best friend, and he would do anything to keep his precious little sister safe. If Chihiro hasn't married by the time the responsibilities of the throne are ready to be passed down, it will be his place to step up.
Sakura: The youngest of the three who turns 13 early into the story. Sakura is still very childish and has never expected the responsibilities of the throne to end up falling on her, and therefore does not act so level-headed and responsible as her two older siblings do. She looks up to them and depends on them. Zutto is her best friend and his opinion is most important to her.
"“Colourful wings of a butterfly
Soft, black body of a butterfly
Sweet, sad flutter of a butterfly
My dear angel, butterfly…”"
(The siblings' childhood lullaby, Verse 3.)
And now for the bad guys!
The Witch of the White Lands: This evil and ancient woman has been waiting thousands of years to take her revenge on the human race for the injustice they did her by rejecting her dark magic and therefore rejecting everything she was. She can feel when the Evergreen Trees begin to fail and her aim is to use the Middle Kingdom's crisis to her advantage. But to achieve this, she has to get past the Imperial Children, and to save the world, they have to get past her.
The Witch of Thorns: The Witch of the White Lands's twin sister who lives in another realm of their universe; the same realm in which the Imperial Children will find the answer to their crisis.
"“Nightingale, sparrow, butterfly
Far from home where they will fly
Up the mountain to a better place
Where the enemy will not show her face
As they’re searching for a star
Back home we wonder where they are
And hope they come back to us in time
Before I sing my final rhyme
Nightingale, sparrow; fly on home
My dear butterfly, cease to roam
Time is short so come home soon
Before our Kingdom meets its doom…”"
(The fortune-teller's prophecy.)
So tell me, my audience...
What do you think of the previews I slipped in there? What do you think of my setting and my characters? Are you interested in my novel yet?
Leave me a comment if you read this, anonymous comments are welcome.