Ellis: Well sure I can! All you ever have to do is ask, and I'll tell you eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeverything you could ever want to know! My name is Ellis, and I'm a fairy! No, not one of those dainty little fairies you read about in storybooks - but a real, human-sized fairy. Do I have wings? Of course! But like all true fairies, I can choose when and if to use them. They're magical that way. I can also shrink - but usually I don't see a reason for it. You see-
Laren: Ellis! Watch it.
Ellis: Ah ha, well, no, I'll tell you later. I grew up in the kingdom of Levac, and while I'm not comfortable going into the details of my family...well.. Suffice it to say, my life has been interesting. Levac worships the god La'ae as our primary god, and at a young age I thought I wanted to go into the priesthood. Life...well, life had other plans. It's been a long journey, and I'm really excited to get to share more with you. Unfortunately, there's a lot I can't say! Especially with Laren here, glaring over my shoulder. I think your world would call it...
Laren: Confidential? As for me - I'm Laren, and I'm a unicorn. Yes, the kind that looks like a horse and has a horn on their head. However, like all Mysticals, I have a human form, as well. I prefer my human form, as it's more maneuverable when it comes to combat.
What is your role in the story?
Ellis: I'm one of the guards assigned to the Lady Liliana! While I can't tell you when, how, and why - again, confidential, and Laren's looking fit to run me off - what I for sure can tell you is that Liliana is not what I was expecting, when Lord Latron told Laren and I he had a new assignment for us. Usually those words follow an accident.
Laren: That you caused!
Ellis: That's beside the point! You see - Laren here and I are a pair. Every guard has someone they're assigned to as a partner, who's been a guard for longer than them! It makes things interesting when you get assigned to cranky old unicorns. As for anything else about my role... Let's just say things never work out how we expect them to. You'd think guard duty is easy...
Laren: It's not.
What is your favorite hobby?
Ellis: Favorite hobbies? Hmmmmm. You sure like the personal questions! When I'm not guarding, I actually spend a lot of time storytelling. I'm not particularly good at it, exactly, but the kids don't seem to notice. Oh - sorry, no, I'm not a dad. There are festivals every now and again, and if I can, I go and tell stories at night time, before all of the kids are sent off to bed. Laren said once I'm not that bad at it either, and from her that's a compliment! But she might have also been being sarcastic...it's hard to tell, with her! For a unicorn, she's rather...well.. Sarcastic, sometimes.
Laren: When I'm not guarding, I'm polishing my weapons or training. I don't take a lot of personal time for myself; I consider my duties far more important than that. As a senior guard, I've seen a lot - and been through a lot. I consider hobbies a waste of my time.
Ellis: Loads of fun, isn't she?
What is the challenge you are trying to overcome in the story?
Ellis: Well.. I'm not sure the challenge is ours exactly, but.. You see, Lady Liliana, the young woman we're guarding, isn't from Levac. She's from a kingdom to our south, and while I'm not going to go into the details, Kalvia isn't exactly happy she's in Levac.
Laren: Ellis, you're going into details. What he's trying to say is, while we're a part of the struggle, so to speak, we're not the cause or instigators of it. We're here to protect Lady Liliana - at any cost.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
Ellis: My wish would be, I guess, that magic hadn't taken such a turn. The stories say magic used to be different, that it was freer for us Mysticals.. But something changed. No one lives as long as they used to, in the stories, and magic is...more restricted. I'm just a guard, though, so maybe there's something the priests know about it that I don't. It's always possible.
Laren: As for me... My wish would be to have more time...it's as simple as that. Old age used to never touch any of us - but now it touches all of us.
Title: Dragon Called
Author: Melissa Christopherson
Liliana’s life is perfectly normal. A young woman who has grown up in the kingdom of Kalvia, she knows all too well the importance of secrets. As a member of nobility, she is even expected to have a few of her own!
When her parents take her to a ball, Liliana expects her life to go on as normal after it’s conclusion. Instead, she finds herself swept into a betrothal with a man whom all of the whisperers say is crazy.
As the evidence builds up, Liliana must make the choice to stay in a nation where secrets are the currency…or step out of her human-ruled kingdom into a world so much bigger than she ever imagined.
Melissa Christopherson is an avid reader, passionate writer, and lover of everything literary. She serves as an AmeriCorps Service Member in the Iowa Reading Corps and is proud to help kids enhance their literary abilities. She served two years as a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo in the Iowa area to help other authors grow in both ability and confidence.
She was born in Mason City, Iowa, and has spent most of her life reading books and spent most of her younger years daydreaming. While in high school, she participated in Academic Decathlon for four years, and credits the reading assignments for the club for further expanding her literary horizons. She is currently pursuing a degree in English, with a client-centered distributive minor.
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