The Princelings of the East are now King Fred and Prince Engineer George. Gone are the years of innocence when they travelled for adventure and uncovered time tunnels and pirate plots.
Now Fred, assisted by his queen, Kira, has the responsibility for his people, his lands, and for persuading the lords and kings of the Realms to act together for the common good.
George just has to work on his inventions, always thinking of a final goal: to fulfil the promises made to Lord Mariusz so long ago.
Neither has an easy task.
Fred decides to write this history of his reign. He starts with the joy of his inheritance, but quickly shows us that developments in the Realms are not leading towards a settled and happy future.
Targeted Age Group:: 10 and over, advanced readers
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 2 – PG
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Chronicles of Marsh is book 9 in a ten book series, the Princelings of the East. I wrote it at the same time as the final book, to fill in the gap between our previous time with King Fred and the ending of the series. I first started to draft the last one in 2014, but stopped when I realised I had a lot more stories to do before then. Chronicles contains the ups and downs of life in the Realms. I suppose the giveaway is that the final book will be titled Princelings Revolution. Given what has been going on in our societies in real life, it has been hard not to just copy the madness. Indeed, if I'd written it earlier, people may well have said it was too far-fetched. These days, it's probably more sane than real life.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I've lived with these characters for over ten years now. Regular readers may know that the original stories were built around the fantasy lives of my pets, and those of my friends. That's why so many have names like other fictional characters.
Since those pets are now long gone, the current ones creep in in minor roles, but always the books take me back to those early days with my heroes, George and Fred. We were all so innocent then!
*Fred and Kira, and their daughter Jasmine, take a short holiday*
In the morning, Fred and Kira woke, went to check on Jasmine, and found her bed empty and cold.
“She’s probably woken early and gone for a walk,” Kira said in a tight voice.
“Of course,” Fred responded, standing stiffly, thinking of where to look first. “Where does Liska sleep?”
So started the search of Buckmore.
Within half an hour all the palace staff were out searching for Jasmine in all the cupboards, under all the beds, behind the curtains, under the tables…
By mid-morning, all activity all over the castle had been abandoned, and every resident was checking houses, workshops, gardens, attics.
Lady Nimrod said she felt sure Jasmine was safe. “I can feel she is somewhere she feels secure. She’s not frightened. She may be asleep again.”
Kira finally succumbed to the stress and Nerys helped her back to their room. Fred continued to look everywhere he could think of.
Baden, Lupin’s steward, interviewed the palace guard. He had not seen her, and was certain nobody had left the castle that morning with her, even in a wagon or bundled up as baggage.
Lupin would not have believed them except for Nimrod’s feeling she was safe and happy.
Fred finally ended up in the airplane workshop with Pippin.
“I heard. I’ve searched everywhere. Behind boxes, even in the cockpits of the planes and the older flying machines.”
Fred just stood, looking around. It was the worst day of his life. Even worse than when he thought Kira didn’t love him any more, when she had been replaced by Jess. The kick in his stomach was nothing compared to this. If someone had stolen her, taken her away… What must she be feeling? Was she scared, was she hurt? Had she fallen down a well? Drowned in the fountain?
He made to go and see if Lupin had checked these awful possibilities, but heard a sound.
A singing sound.
The sort of sound Jasmine made when she woke up.
“Jas-mine,” he called softly, in his special way for her.
Chronicles of Marsh, ch. 5 © J M Pett 2019
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