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Tuesday 23 May 2023

Blog Tour: The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles - by A.L. Butcher @libraryoferana #darkfantasy

Character Interview with Dii’Athella
from the Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles

Meet my Character

Introduce yourself: My name is Dii’Athella Ar’Thina – but most people call me Dii. It means Flower of the Dawn in Elvish, so I’m told. I’m an elven sorceress, a Forbidden. Until very recently I did not know who my parents were – I was raised in a human household. Elves in Erana are, to all intents and purposes, slaves. We have no rights, we can legally own nothing, not even our own bodies. As an elf, a female and a mage my position in life was very dangerous and uncertain. I was taken as an infant from the Enclave, and ‘adopted’ by a Lord – the Lord Joset of Reldfield. You’d think I’d have lived a life of ease – but Joset was very cruel and unkind. I was a trophy, a prize to share around his friends. His human concubine, Malana tried to care for me as best she could, but she was a mage too and his property, she was barely in a better position that I.

More recently I am the Lady of the Light, the Lady of Tremellic – and I have a man who loves me, and a family of sorts. Yet I am still an outlaw – I am a mage and and elf and that will never change until the Order of Witch-Hunters who rule this land are gone.

Give us a short description of your world.

I have not seen much of Erana. In my former life I was never allowed to travel alone, and I was taken between Joset’s various holdings as a ‘plaything’. However, I have a little more freedom know. The Tremellic Valley is beautiful – there are mountains, and thermal pools. We have a magic cave,decorated inside and it’s a good source of Power for the more…dangerous spells. We are close to the Shimmering Forest, and my Trollish Stepdaughter is less than a day’s travel away in the mountain town of Varris.

Magic is, by the decree of the Order of Witch-Hunters, illegal. Even to be found to possess it, or thought to possess it will put one at great risk. To actually use it is risky indeed. The Order use it for their own ends, of course. They need healers, and often turn a blind eye to the local wise man or wisewoman, just so long as they heal and provide medicines, warn about storms and that sort of thing. Many people who have magic either don’t realise that is what it is, or if they do they hide it. Perhaps they are a little faster, a little luckier, or an excellent blacksmith. Perhaps they are the local midwife who never loses a babe…. But the Order make the law, uphold the law and interpret the law so often such people end up imprisoned or dead.

Why are elves enslaved? Because, so it’s said, elves brought the Plague many centuries ago. Elves are all thieves, diseased, wicked, impure. All that sort of thing.

How did you end up on this adventure?

I fled the house of my Keeper, Lord Joset. I won’t go into detail why but I’d have died if I’d stayed. I ran into Witch-Hunters, someone betrayed me from a village I helped. Lord Archos rescued me from the dungeon. Then we went to find some lost elves – stolen by Slavers from a local elven village. Lord Archos is kind to the Elfkind – and this village was at the edges of his land, although some distance away from Harkenen, where we live.

The Adventure of the Shining Citadel came about after this – we originally set out to find a missing heirloom of an elfwoman who came to ask for help. It turned out to be a good deal more complicated and dangerous; there were missing rings, monsters who shouldn’t exist in this Realm, a lost elven city, ancient magic, a daring rescue, lies, intrigue, revenge and an…enjoyable encounter with an elemental. But you’ll have to read our adventure and learn more.

Dii appears in:

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I.

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II

The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III (briefly).

From the Shining Citadel

“Sit, Dii’Athella. Do not be afraid of me.” The troll woman motioned her to a seat at the round table. As she rose stiffly from her own seat and pulled the shawl around her, Kherak continued, “Now I wished to see you in the flesh, for I have seen you before, in the crystals and the fire.

“You bring the light, yet your life has been so full of darkness, poor child. I can sense it within you, but you have a great deal of magic in you also, for she who lived in slavery is more, so much more.”

Not knowing what to say, and feeling a measure of the shame she still carried from her past life, Dii said nothing. The Shaman smiled, returning to her seat. Once more, Dii noticed the stiffness and fatigue the woman seemed to bear.

“You are in pain, my lady Shaman? I would offer you healing if you would not be offended,” Dii asked. As a kind soul, and wanting to change the subject, it seemed appropriate to ask about the woman's health.

“It is old age, my dear, nothing more. I doubt you can heal that. My daughter has some measure of healing, but it is kind of you to offer. Why would such offend me?”

Awkwardly searching around for something to say, Dii remembered the egg. “I bring you a gift, my lady, for I am informed that is the custom. I hope it is appropriate, please forgive my ignorance if not.”

The Shaman chuckled. “Has that husband of yours not been teaching you trollish ways? But, my dear, I see he has. That is a fine gift indeed.” Carefully she flipped open the top, delighted to hear the trilling song of the tiny bird. “You chose this? It is perfect, our favoured goddess would most certainly approve of the bird you bring to our settlement.”

The young mage smiled happily, glad to have pleased the Shaman. “Oh yes, my lady, it was in our workshop. I think it is delightful. Archos said you would approve, but I am just learning of your ways and sometimes, I think he says things merely to please me.”

Once more, the Shaman chuckled. “Oh yes, men tend to do that, my dear. Now, how should I repay you for such a wonder?”

“Lady, it is a gift, it needs no repayment,” Dii said.

“It is not fair that you leave with nothing, Lady of the Light. May I see the amber ring you carry?” Kherak held out her hand.

Dii paused for a moment, slightly perturbed by the abrupt change of subject, but lifted the ring on its chain from around her neck. Spinning slightly, it cast a pale orange light upon the Opal, which hummed and floated closer. The Shaman raised an eyebrow, seeing the Power the item held. Gently, she reached out and took Dii's other hand, wrapping it carefully around the ring.

“Keep that safe, it is more than mere ring. There is so much which is not as it appears.” Kherak smiled, trying to reassure when she saw the young elf’s confusion and fear.

The Arcane Opal began to glow, its faint mist spiralling around them. Dii tried to touch it, fascinated, and slowly it floated towards the Shaman holding her hand to it.

“Take comfort in who you are, who you have always been, and who you will be. Keep he you love safe, for he has the Power to walk the dangerous paths which lie before you, but you must bring him guidance for the fight is so much greater than one. He must return to the light and with it.” Kherak’s voice was low and steady.

Dii looked at her and whispered, “I do not understand, my lady.”

The Shaman smiled and stroked her cheek. “You will, my pretty child. Remember my words and keep Archos close to you, for you are his light. You are stronger than you think and all of you will need that strength.”

Walking to the shelves, she searched for a while before selecting something from the dark shadows at the back. “You have brought to me much that is valuable, and offered kindness to a stranger with no expectation of reward. For you sought to offer healing and offered the gift freely. That is rare, for you would have given such with no advice returned to you nor none expected. I wish for you to receive a gift.”

Kherak held out a magic Mirror, a pretty silver-framed item backed in tortoiseshell. “It is a Mirror of Truth. Revealing what is truly there, not merely what appears to be. Sometimes it is just a looking glass, yet in the hands of one such as you, it holds Power. Care for it and it will repay that care.”

Blurb and buy links:

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I 

In a dark world where magic is illegal, and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.

*18 rated for adult scenes and violence.

Available as ebook, paperback, hardcover, large print and audiobook.

Universal Link

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm - Book II 

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden, and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome, and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy.

*18 rated for adult scenes and violence.

Available as ebook, paperback, hardcover, large print and audiobook.



The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III  

What stalks the land cannot be but is.

Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails, there will be no tribe to lead.

*18 rated for adult scenes and violence.

Available as ebook, paperback, hardcover, large print and audiobook.

Universal Link

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Heroika Skirmishers – where she was editor and cover designer as well as writer – as well as Lovers in Hell and Mystics in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/


Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.

NN Light Book Heaven awards:

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales won the best fantasy for 2018

Echoes of a Song - one of her Phantom tales – won the best fantasy in 2019

Tears and Crimson Velvet won the best Short Story category in 2020

Dark Tales and Twisted Verses – won the best Short Story Category in 2021

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