Bryce shot out of bed and rushed towards the shower. She inwardly cursed herself for taking full advantage of the snooze button on her alarm.
To be fair the manufacturers should put a limit on how many times you can press the button. Perhaps after about two or so the electronic aid should take on the role of a responsible adult and just starting shouting ‘GET UP!’
Bryce feared this might happen, she had stayed up particularly late to catch up on reading the new novel ‘The Barbarian’s Wizard’s Wars of the Dragon’s Sword’
The inquisitive yet dreamy Tyler had interrupted her from starting it so she had read into the early hours of the morning. She would have carried on but her eyes and brain conspired to call it a night.
Emerging from the shower wrapped in only a towel Bryce picked up her tablet to see how far into the book she had got before exhaustion overtook her.
She was slightly disappointed that she’s only reached part way into the first chapter. It was an incredibly long book and most of the previous night had been spent wading through the various maps and reading the prologue.
The maps were very detailed and showed all the lands of a place called Earthykinda.
After a brief Google search, Bryce had concluded that no such place existed. It was totally made up.
Earthykinda was meant to be like Earth but different. It wasn’t like it was meant to be on a different planet such as Mars where all manner of weird alien rodents might turn up.
The author seemed particularly keen to point out that this is very much not the earth that we read about in history books, but instead a different earth that was kind of real yet at the same time totally made up.
It’s what Bryce liked to refer to as ‘Fake Olden Days’.
Fake Olden Days was not an unusual concept to her. Most of the fairy tales that she loved were set in that time. Lands ruled by Kings and Queens that never really existed.
When she was a child, Bryce used to believe these worlds were real. Often she would pester her parents to take her on holiday to these lands. Once, on a school trip to the National History Museum, everyone laughed at her when she enquired if they were going to see the excavated bones of all the dragons and orcs.
Although she had never read a story set in Earthykinda , the setting felt strangely comfortable to her. Many would just skip past the maps at the start of the book but Bryce had spent a long time gazing at them, allowing her fingers to trace all the routes to the kingdoms.
The prologue had been a lengthy history of what had happened in Earthykinda. It may have been the lateness of the hour but Bryce often had difficulty following it, on a number of occasions she had to go back and re-read who had been at war with whom.
In the end she concluded that everyone had been at war with each other. For centuries, four families had been fighting it out with each other for total supremacy.
He who holds the dragon’s sword holds the world…..apparently.
The four families consisted of ‘The D’Annimos’, they were the magic type people. Then there were ‘The Snoflakians’ who believed in peace (but still happy to stick a sword in when it matters.
The barbarian clan were known as the ‘Toonidunzas’ and then there were the ‘The Bursteads’ which the prologue suggested were not very nice people.
After the sometimes turgid history of Earthykinda, Bryce was eager to get into the main story.
She got as far as the introduction of a few main characters when sleep overcame her.
There were two characters that particularly interested her. The story begins with one of the daughters of the Snoflakian King.
There was not much of a description of the Princess but as she read about her walking through fields, tending to horses and generally being nice to everyone, Bryce immediately began to relate to her.
She always had a habit when reading a story of latching onto a character and picturing it was her. Without knowing the rest of the characters in the book Bryce decided this Snoflakian Princess will be her.
The other character that piqued her interest was the illegitimate son of the Burstead King. She wasn’t sure if she should like him or not and noted that the author quite crudely and obviously kept calling him a ‘bastard’.
However there was something about his athletic physique, his handsome looks and great hair that Bryce found comfortably familiar.
As she rushed out into the real world her mind was still lingering in Earthykinda.