Wednesday, September 18, 2019

THE WOLF QUEEN: THE HOPE OF AFERI (Book 1) by Cerese Rennie Murphy


Cerece Rennie Murphy

* YA Fantasy *


Author: Cerese Rennie Murphy

Publisher: LionSky Publishing

Pages: 242

Genre: YA Fantasy

Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the
brink of extinction by the Hir and his followers. For four hundred
years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to
be renewed…

In the Land of Yet

At the edge of the Forbidden Forest

A young woman lives alone.

Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family,
Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and
farmer, only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to
the safety and seclusion of her home.

Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful Hir and her careful life begins to unravel.

Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in everything she touches, the
new Hir insists on having her for himself, using the people around her
to force Ameenah into his grasp.

When she realizes that her greatest enemy may hold the key to a
secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim
her stolen past.  But, at what cost? As an ancient power waits to be
unleashed, Ameenah’s choices will make the difference between awakening a
new magic or delivering it into the hands of evil.




I knelt before Safaro, as I swore I would never
and accepted his chain.  I watched as he
swelled with pride, eclipsing any possibility that he would discover my plan.
Blind purpose and certain victory propelled him forward without the slightest
concern for why a woman who had defied him every day of her life would have
surrendered so easily.  I bowed my head
and followed, prepared to betray everything I knew to preserve the hope of what
we could become.

Like a slave, he brought me dutifully to his
master.  We rode through the gates of
Elan to the Hir who sat outside the battlefield on a tall, white horambus that
was draped in blood-red velvet.  The Hir
spared only a second to regard me with contempt before sending me with Safaro
to the center of the battle where our right to exist would be decided. 

All around me, from every corner of our world,
the people of Yet fought against the tyranny of the Hir.  Closing my eyes, I could smell their desire
to live, to protect their loved ones, and see them survive past this day as if
the earth itself was calling out to me. Once again I looked to Safaro for any
sign of the boy I loved, but he was nowhere to be found.  He knew, as I did, that while their resolve
was as hard as iron, the people of Yet were not warriors.  Worse, we’d only had months to prepare.  From the power-crazed look in his eyes as he
surveyed the battle, I knew that the Hir had been planning the expansion of his
Kingdom his entire life.

The final battle came to our doorstep just
outside the city of Elan, where our defenses had held as fiercely as they
could, but it was only a matter of time.
The people of Elan, the peoples of Yet had given no ground easily, with
mounting casualties on both sides, but the Hir had too much of everything we
lacked: weapons, men, strategy, and now the most powerful Amasiti at his beck
and call. 

With me at the their side, they pressed
forward.  The poison chain connected my
will to Safaro’s, so that the power between us acted as one, except only I
understood the true meaning behind the Hir’s command to create an earthquake
that would swallow his enemies.  Safaro
could wield my power, but only I could give it the purpose that would call it
into being. 

I knew what the Hir’s soul was meant to be.  His greatest enemies were not in front of
him; he was surrounded by them, masking the truth of his insanity behind greed
and false adulation. 

And so, when I spread my hands wide and bellowed
across the sky “I am the Sorceress of Elan, now and always,” I did what I was
meant to do: create.

The boats of Elan were just out of firing range,
harboring the men, women, and children who were unable to fight.  Only the strongest were allowed to keep the
front. It would be difficult for them to escape, but they had a better chance
than anyone who was not privy to my plan.

I felt the fissure crack open far beneath me,
then bubble up and break with a diagonal energy just 100 feet from where I
stood.  The fissure would only hold for a
few minutes, announcing itself as a warning of things to come, so that my
people would have some time to retreat, before the fault folded back on itself
and consumed everything standing.

Safaro watched with satisfaction as the people
of Yet began to run.  He did not
understand until he watched them forego the high ground of Elan and run into
the sea.   He rushed forward just as the
fissure we created together broke open into a chasm that pulled the dirt right
out from under the Hir’s army.

The people of Yet scattered as the depths
swallowed the Hir’s front line.  As soon
as the last of my people were safe, I took it all. The land that held Elan to
the shore of Yet fell away, allowing the water to rise up, pounding out new
territory as it ripped through the battle field.  But it was not enough. 

It was only then that I understood that creation
and destruction are often the same thing.
As the sea claimed its prize, I opened up the foundation of Elan
itself—breaking it from the bottom like an egg.

The power of the sea did the rest, opening her
arms to the island in an eternal embrace that left only the tip of the land
visible, with the children I had left there clinging to the ancient trees.

Fear, terror, and isolation had burned through
their innocence, but in exchange I had given them something else—a chance to
survive and create something new, to evolve into sorcerers who were also

As Safaro twisted the poison chain around my
neck, I imagined I could see the eyes of all those Amasiti children and hoped
only for their forgiveness.

And in the burning light of my death, I ascended
to the withering screams of the Hir, Safaro, and all his murderous men and was
at peace.


Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of
seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in
Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has
grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt
Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring
her own creative writing through poetry. She earned her master’s degrees
in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns
Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and
built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and
fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all
while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science
fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s
“Dune” and “The X-Files.” In 2011, Cerece experienced her own
supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story.
Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the
bestselling Order of the Seers trilogy.  Order of the Seers was selected
as one of The Best Kindle Books of 2014 by Digital Book Today.  To
date, Mrs. Murphy has published nine speculative fiction novels, short
stories, and children’s books.

In addition to working on the 3rd book in the award-winning Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son and releasing her 5th adult novel, The Wolf Queen, Mrs. Murphy has launched NARAZU, an online
platform designed to deliver the best in indie sci-fi content and comic
culture to the fans who love it most. You can visit the new site at
 Her current writing projects include the second book in The Wolf Queen
duology and plotting a science fiction thriller set in outer space. 
Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her
husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.




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