THE WRITER’S VOICE Blogfest Entry [Elven Soul, YA Epic Fantasy]

I’m participating in the Writer’s Voice blogfest. It’s being hosted by Cupid, Brenda, Krista, and Monica. For reference, you may go over here to read all about it. If you would like to follow along with the contest’s progression, you can find it using #TheWritersVoice hash tag on Twitter.

Title: Elven Soul

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Word Count: 84,500


Seventeen-year-old Princess Colette Devereaux must forge an alliance with the man who slew her brother when she is exiled by her father to the northern reaches of the empire.

Sent to the empire’s furthest fortification, Colette takes command of the Ruintine, an outpost surrounded by hostile neighbors. When she stumbles upon the sins of a forgotten age, she must unravel haunting memories not of her own if she wishes to understand who she once was. Her troubles only worsen when she feels an attraction toward the man who killed her brother, Lord Gregorin Balanos.

After her second-in-command departs to investigate attacks on outlying villages, and her tutor turned surrogate father disappears, Colette has to fend off her father’s retribution alone. Colette is soon catapulted into a centuries old war when she is kidnapped, and taken into a land of myth and monsters. With no allies, she must rely on Gregorin to ride to her rescue. If Colette cannot embrace her true self and heal the wounds of the past, then her empire will be doomed to slavery.

ELVEN SOUL is a YA epic fantasy novel complete at 84,000 words. ELVEN SOUL will appeal to readers who enjoyed the complexity and romance of The Blue Sword, and also to those who favored the fast-paced action and brutality of Graceling. Those who enjoy reading realistic battle scenes will appreciate that all fights in ELVEN SOUL were based off of 14th century swordmaster Johannes Liechtenauer’s teachings.


Her booted steps made a lonely echo through the polished hallways of the imperial palace. Colette was dwarfed by the marble columns, and shame hurried her pace when she passed a large window stained with the image of a triumphant battle. Where others were awed, Colette saw pretension. Her simple raiment of black trousers and blouse were a protest to the hollow beauty surrounding her.

The influence of the imperial family and the legions under their command originated here in Asadia and then fanned out. Her father’s reign had set the empire to straining further into untamed lands. His five heirs served as spearheads in this campaign, including her. Yet failure was all she could lay claim to after willfully surrendering a victory.

Her face settled into a disgruntled frown, and she flipped her strawberry-blond braid over her shoulder. If she was given the opportunity to do it all over again, she would still make the same decision to withdraw. She had done the right thing. That much she knew in her heart.

Passing into the open-sided hallway lining the training courtyard, the clash of wooden sword on wooden sword greeted her as Jean, her second-in-command, led young legionnaires in practice. All of them were stripped down to the waist, but Jean was the only one whose body was decorated with scars. They crisscrossed his deeply tanned chest, yet none marred his face. He was the first to notice her presence, and immediately stood straight at attention. The others fumbled to a halt in their exercises before bowing.



  1. Basically, I adore the sound of this! And based on Liechtenauer’s teachings? AWESOME. (Though you do know they’ve been passed on and no actual records of his teachings have survived the ages? Obviously you do.)

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Marieke! I’m glad someone else besides me can appreciate how much more awesome fights can be when they’re realistic and based off actual techniques.

  2. Sounds like you really did your homework! And I love the forbidden love element.

  3. I know it was an aside… but the last line “all fights in ELVEN SOUL were based off of 14th century swordmaster Johannes Liechtenauer’s teachings” made it very, very intriguing! Glad you bring the swordplay out right off the top on the first page, too.

    Cheers and good luck!


  4. I love The Blue Sword and Graceling. This book sounds fantastic and I LOVE your opening paragraph. And I’m with John, I think the fact that the fight scenes are bases off of teaching is awesome.


  5. Looks amazing! I’m going to have to look up Liechtenauer’s teachings now. I only have a few sword fights in my current novel, but there will be more in future ones 🙂 Good luck! She sounds like a spunky princess!

  6. Wow! Beautifully written. I love books that allow me to be swept away into other eras. Best of luck!
    J.L. Monte #189

  7. I love how much tension is in the very first line of your query – already, I want to read about these characters! I write YA fantasy too, so I’m a sucker for cool world-building and exciting sword battles. Good luck!

  8. Woo – epic fantasy! This story sounds tense and lovely, and you’ve really done your research! Good luck in the contest!

  9. Hi Rachel,
    This is definitely my sort of book and your opening sets the scene well. I came across sites with Liechtenauer’s teachings, but I needed more. I was lucky enough to take the same tour of Kevin Hick’s armoury that Bernard Cornwell did when he researched for The Archer’s Tale. Kevin (the inspiration for my Archer) was the Bowman at Warwick Castle for a decade – he even lent me one of his swords for my booksignings in Warwick and Glastonbury. I am so privileged.
    Good luck from a fellow warrior
    Jacky (#130)

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