Every fairytale had a bloody lining. Every one had teeth and claws. – Alice Hoffman
Welcome to a contemporary fantasy, where fiction becomes fact, and the pages of borrowed imagination become the amorphous fabric that veils the arcane realms from the sight of mundane mortals. If, that is, you’d classify Athens, Iowa and its residents as mundane.
Kane Vess has lived there for the entirety of his sixteen years, with his flautist father, and though this small town in the middle of nowhere boasts its fair share of curiosities, Kane being the only openly gay teenager in town isn’t quite special enough to be one of them. It takes much more than that to make an impression upon the hippie population in Athens, but I can guarantee that even this town, with all its normal eccentricities and idiosyncrasies, hasn’t encountered anything, or anyone, nearly as remarkable as Kane is about to.
Hawk’keen Maragold Tertania, Hawk for short, is a new boy at Peter Quince High School, and he’s unlike any boy Kane has ever seen, for reasons not the least of which include the fact that Hawk plunged a sword through Kane’s chest upon their initial encounter. It’s a first impression that nearly precluded a second, if it weren’t for the fact that Kane was unintentionally uncooperative with Hawk’s deadly intentions. Hawk is a prince with two rather well-known parents and an even better-known enemy in the form of a trickster who is on a mission to stop the prince’s ascension to the throne of Arcadia, but it’s the enemy within his own ranks whom Hawk should fear most, for it’s jealousy that prompts a betrayal, which could very well be the death of him.
Distant Rumblings (Lords of Arcadia: Act One) is the story of a motherless boy who believes himself to be nothing at all special until he is met with the improbable, the impossible, and the unbelievable, yet proves that he is nothing less than brave and pure of heart—the only things a true hero need be when he sets upon a journey of discovery that will take him to new and dangerous places where he’ll encounter wicked and wondrous things and the best I can hope for, in the end, is that he and Hawk will survive it.
It’s the beginning of a journey that incorporates more than a little A Midsummer Night’s Dream with elemental magic and a touch of suburban fantasy, and then weaves it together into a fairytale romance between a Fae prince and the boy who has bewitched him. It is a story of treasonous acts and boundless courage in the face of ultimate fear—a magic with which it is impossible for a simple mortal to compete but one he is now going to face for the sake of another. If, that is, Kane is nothing more than a mere human. There is a mystery there yet to unfold, no doubt.
John Goode has woven an irresistible tale of magic and mayhem and music that has charms to soothe the savage breast—or, rather, to ensorcell the unsuspecting faerie. He has rent the thin fabric between what is real and what is imagination, stumbled upon a looking glass world into which Kane has now stepped, a world that I’m traveling to just on the other side of soon.