Most would find serenity in the quiet of the lab, but not Tristan Ipsly. He still battled the consequences of his house’s actions, even though the moon had risen and set for several seasons since Eero’s attempted revolution and downfall.
Tristan might have been judged innocent, but wasn’t too different from the rest of his clan. He too believed that if fairykind had even a chance to survive, change needed to sweep through Council Hall.
Just not at the hands of evil.
A knock on the door called Tristan back from his idle thoughts. When he opened it, his breath hitched.
Council member Gyan stood on the other side, no doubt to deliver bad news.
According to the Canon, when a Council seat was vacated by death, it was filled by the next eldest member of the eldest house. In this case, two houses could be traced back to the same season of the same iana. Because the answer was not clear cut, the remaining Council
members were charged with deciding who would fill the seat: Tristan or Edwin Vettore.
Not that Tristan thought he had even a chance. He might have been found innocent of his relative’s sins and allowed to stay on the realm, but he was still an outcast.
And a young fairy.
Edwin was the elder of a well-respected blemish-free house.
Even though he was sure Gyan brought bad news, Tristan stood straighter and then bent at the waist,
giving the elder the respect he deserved. “What can I do for you?”
Gyan’s face was stoic as he approached the long table and the fancy otherworld equipment Tristan had
been working with. “So…this is the contribution to the Repopulation Project from my nephew.”
“Yes.” Daniel had brought the equipment to the realm a full season ago. It couldn’t be the reason Gyan chose today to visit.
“Is it helpful?”
Tristan leaned back against the stool he’d been sitting on. Comparing the blood of those with no connection to the fairyworld with those who had both fairy and human lineage, only gave Tristan and his colleagues half the answers. “Yes. It would be more so if we could convince additional fairies to let us run the same tests on them
that we are running on the parshas in the otherworld. Without base comparisons, we’re still dealing with hypotheses.”
Gyan shook his head as he walked around the end of the table, eyeing the machine.
“What can this show you that you can’t feel with your healing power?”
A sly smile unlike any he’d seen on a Council member tipped Gyan’s lips. “I see that you understand the things my nephew says. You and Daniel have become friends?”
“I am learning the otherworld ways through him. I find it all very fascinating. Besides, Monique and I have been friends since our skhol days, and I’ve come to know Daniel through her.” They were two of a very small group of fairies who didn’t treat him like an outcast, and one thing he learned from his fall from grace was that friendship was something to be valued.
In the elder’s eyes, Tristan saw an emotion he couldn’t put his finger on. It was unlike Gyan to make polite conversation or skirt around an issue, but that seemed to be exactly what he was doing today. “I think Daniel could use some advice from a friend. You are especially qualified, given that you are the most knowledgeable man we have on the Repopulation Project.”
That was what this was about! He was being asked to counsel his friends to usher forth a new generation of Woodmores. An understandable concern, but not a topic
he felt comfortable broaching with friends. “Sir, it’s not my place to guide Daniel and Monique on such a private matter. They’ll conceive when the binding of their powers takes hold.”
“Monique is with child.”
“How wonderful! Your house will continue.”
“One would think that.” He swiped his hand against the wooden table, inching his fingers closer to the large microscope. “I am overjoyed about the impending birth, but am also fearful. Because of Daniel’s mixed
heritage, Monique fears the child will be human. She is insisting on giving birth on the otherworld. Daniel could simply put his foot down and command she put our kind first, but he is yielding to her concerns.”
Gyan wasn’t lying, but Tristan thought the elder was seeing things strictly from a fairy perspective. Daniel had lived his life as human until recently and didn’t always behave the way his fairy family would like. Tristan believed his friends had reached this important decision together. “If they have the child on the otherworld and then learn its fairy traits dominate, they can bring it home. If Monique’s fears prove true and a human baby is born here…we just can’t be sure what would
“Can this fancy equipment prove to them the child is one of us?”
Tristan was still learning all he could do with the microscope, and took a moment to think over the
question. “I don’t see how. Not until after it’s born.”
“One healer to another, you have to agree that the chances of two fairies giving birth to a human are near nonexistent.”
Tristan scraped his hand across his chin. Gyan was over simplifying things. Daniel had fairy power, but his mother did not. “The odds are in their favor, but there is no guarantee.”
“You know better than most that repopulating our world is the number one concern facing the Council.”
The Repopulation Project was more than how he served the realm—it was his passion. If they didn’t find a way to grow their genetic pool, fairykind was in danger of dying out. Though he, as a healer, may understand it on a different level than most, he knew this concern weighted the mind of every fairy. “Not only the Council.”
“If a couple comprised of two Council families choose the otherworld, what hope do we have of convincing
others to trust our guidance?”
“You make a good argument, but this decision belongs to Monique and Daniel. Not you. Not me.”
“For those who serve, it is different. We have a responsibility to lead by example. As do our family
members. Daniel’s choices reflect poorly on the Woodmore house. It makes others question my allegiance to fairykind.”
Loyalty to the realm had never been questioned in anyone before Eero. It was assumed. Now, it seemed
elder eyes watched everyone, looking for discontent. “You’ve always stood for the good of all. That cannot be challenged. You want to abide by tradition and
the Canon. I think Daniel and Monique—like most parents—are putting the baby’s safety above tradition.”
“What about Daniel’s uncle and father? They have not been caught and pose more of a threat to the child than this world ever could.”
“I’m sure they’ve assessed the risks.”
“The man we appoint to step up to take the vacated seat will need to have a keen understanding of the
repopulation issue and a solid plan to remedy it. Anyone who could convince Daniel and Monique to give birth on the realm would show themselves as being forward thinking in that matter.” Tristan took a step back and then turned, walking toward the window. The coveted seat was being dangled over his head as reward. Gyan hoped Daniel and Monique would give more weight to Tristan’s words because of their friendship. The mere thought of succumbing to Gyan and possibly being seen as another pawn of the existing Council made him feel slimy. That wasn’t who he was. Still, Gyan made valid points about repopulation.
“I agree that every being that is genetically fairy is a treasure to the realm, and will speak with Daniel and Monique, as a friend. However, do not let that be a deciding factor in the Council’s choice. That pronouncement can only be about who will best serve our kind and selflessly address the issues we face.”
Ms. Phillips does a wonderful job of creating characters you really want to root for, and storylines that suck you right in and don't let go until you reach the end. -- Katie O'Sullivan
Released Sept. 23, 2013
Tristan Ipsly knows firsthand how Eero’s ideals have ripped houses apart. More than half of his family was prosecuted for supporting the revolution, the remaining fled to the otherworld, leaving him the lone member of his house, and one of two candidates for the recently vacated Council seat. As a healer who is seated on the repopulation project, he has real solutions to the problems that face them all, but fears he’s been branded a traitor, not worthy of the seat nor to court Quinn.
Quinn Vettore knows that Fairykind is dying. Eero and his revolution have left them a people divided, but she believes tradition and the Canon’s writing are equally to blame. She wants to see the Council fill the vacancy with someone who will be the voice of change. The prime candidate in her mind is the same choice of her heart: Tristan.
Too bad her Grandfather is the one man who stands in the way of both.
The Realm's Salvation, book 2