Illusional Reality by Karina Kantas
Becky Jones is as independent as they come, a marketing executive determined to succeed on her own terms. But her career plan goes sideways when two men try to kill her – and her rescuer whisks her away to an enchanted realm. Her realm.
In Tsinia she is Thya, heir to the throne and gifted with magical abilities, destined to fulfil an ancient prophecy. Her people are kind and peaceful, desperate to forget the evil that looms over them. When she refuses a betrothal to an enemy prince to stop the oncoming war, her act of rebellion sparks old tensions and threatens the future of the kingdom.
As well as battling to save her kinsmen, she is battling with a power within her that is threatening to take over her body, mind, and soul. All while falling for one whose heart she can never have. Thya must find a balance between her needs and those of her people, but in order to do so, she must fight against destiny itself – and forge her own fate, no matter the cost.
This duology includes Illusional Reality and The Quest
Targeted Age Group:: YA
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The films and books of Tolkien, Rowling, Pullman and the list goes on.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I classed Thya, the female lead, as myself. So I went through her experiences and felt her emotions. I put in a forbidden romance that neither could ignore. And then thrown in a huge twist about Thya's own unique power. Nothing is what it seems.
I wanted a good vs evil but with a twist. So, I had to pick two evil characters, father and son.
Kovon, is very much like his father but he's sly and has a secret, even his father doesn't know about. Darthorn, the Warlord, is pure evil and is willing to sacrifice his son, his only heir, for the power he demands. So there is a huge showdown between father and son.
Omad entered the Tora and found Thya walking around the room looking at all the possessions. He stood patiently until she noticed his presence.
“Hello,” she said.
Becky put down the trinket and stared at him.
She watched as he studied her in return. He stood up straight, took a deep breath, and then smiled at her.
“You remind me of someone,” she said
He laughed, which made Becky smile. “I am named Omad.”
“Hello, Omad. I'm Becky.”
“Nay, you are not,” he declared. “Come, I have something to convey, and you would be more comfortable being seated.”
That was the hard part over. All he had to do now was convince her of who she really was. He cleared his throat. “You are named Thya. You are the princess of Tsinia, sadly the last of the Ganties. You were returned to your homeland as a result of an ancient Oracle that prophesied that you would deliver your kinsmen from Darthorn, the warlord of Senx.” He stopped then to catch his breath. “More will be clarified to you in the coming future.”
Omad stared as though waiting for her reaction. She burst out laughing. “Oh, how wonderful. I've always wanted to be a princess.”
Omad sighed in relief.
“So, when do I get to meet my prince?”
Omad frowned. “How are you acquainted with Prince Kovon? Who has conversed with you?”
“Nobody has conversed with me,” she exaggerated his strange choice of words. “It's obvious, isn't it? Every princess has a Prince Charming, but he must be handsome and a real gentleman if I am to do this right.”
“Well, yes, this is a beautiful dream. I don't want an ugly prince, do I?” She laughed.
Omad gasped, and she stepped back.
“Thya, tis not an illusion. You are awake. Tis not your inventiveness; tis reality. You are required to grasp the importance of why you were returned. Your citizens await your aid.”
“If this is… reality,” Becky said, “then as your princess, you can't keep me locked up in this room. I can walk out of here this very minute.”
“If that is what you desire. You are not a felon; you are not even a guest. Tis your home. You are the rightful heir. Just the same, I suggest you dress in the proper attire, lest you chance upon your subjects.”
Becky looked down at the beautiful gown she was wearing. “What's wrong with this?”
“That garment is for resting.” Omad chuckled. “I will summon your attendant. She will be certain you are suitably attired.”
Deciding to play along, she waved him away.
“This is amazing,” she squealed. Didn't every girl dream of meeting their Prince Charming? It was such a vivid, peculiar dream that it was almost frighteningly real.
A gentle tap on the door got her attention. “Come in.”
A lovely brunette girl entered. She wore a dull-coloured robe with a grass belt, and her long, brown hair was neatly tied back. A cream silk dress hung over her arm. The young Tsinian curtsied before approaching Becky. Taking Becky’s hand, she led her to a stool next to the mirror. She watched carefully as the girl began to dress her hair.
“You're very quiet,” Becky said. “You either can't speak or have been ordered not to. It doesn't matter which. So, this place is called Sidinia?”
“Tsinia,” corrected the girl before she quickly covered her mouth.
Becky turned around. “Ah! So, you do speak.” She laughed. “It's okay; I won't tell the old man. What's your name?”
“How old are you, Kezar?”
“Old? I do not comprehend.”
“How many years of age are you?”
“I do not recognise what you mean.” Kezar bent her head, as if she were ashamed of not being able to understand.
Becky realised she would have to explain herself if she was to make Kezar cheerful again. “Okay, when you are born, you live one day, which makes you one day old. When you have lived eight years, you are eight years old. Understand?”
“I believe so,” Kezar replied as she continued dressing Becky’s hair. She braided the sides and pinned them to the back of Becky’s head while she let the rest of the hair hang loose. Kezar stood Becky up and began undressing her.
“So,” Becky repeated, “how old are you?”
The girl stopped what she was doing and considered. “I am not acquainted with this. We do not embrace year or day.”
“Really? That's so weird. Well, I'd say you look about eighteen.”
“You will not sight many Tsinians younger than I,” Kezar said.
Becky was curious. “Oh, why is that?”
Kezar explained. “When we are born, we are an infant for a short while, a day, I believe you name it. Then on our second birthday, we become at an age” – Kezar checked to see she had said the word correctly, and Becky nodded – “at an age when we are intelligent enough to master the code and arts. Tis a short while since I first commenced.”
“Are you telling me there are no children here?”
“Tis true. I beg of you; do not convey to Omad that I have conversed with you. Tis not my place.”
“This is incredible. You know, the worst thing about having a child is the dirty nappies,” she joked.
Kezar looked at Becky blankly.
“Oh, never mind, you wouldn't understand.”
“I have concluded,” announced Kezar. “You are prepared.”
Becky stood up and admired herself in the mirror. She certainly looked like a princess. Her hair was beautifully pinned, and the silk dress reminded her of a Roman toga. The front hung modestly and tied around her waist was a gold coloured rope.
She sighed deeply, wishing she could look this way when she awoke. Men would fall at her feet. She twirled around, swishing the long skirt from side to side.
“You are beautiful, Thya. You have the appearance of a true Ganty.”
“What's a Ganty?”
“Tis the title of your ancestors. All rulers of Tsinia are named Ganty. Sadly, you are the conclusion. Tis why you have been returned.”
Becky ignored Kezar's last comment and walked towards the door.
“Nay, Thya, we are compelled to remain in the Tora We cannot depart unaccompanied.”
“Am I your princess?”
“With certainty, only—”
“Then I command we leave – now.”
Kezar curtsied and ran ahead to open the door.
Becky made a mental note to make an appointment with her hairdresser when she woke up. Silver highlights and hair extensions would suit her, and she would certainly get noticed around town.
Becky stopped, stunned by the view in front of her.
Her lungs filled with the scent of flowers and wonderful perfumes, and the air smelt so sweet and pure. She stared in amazement at the magnificent sky. The silver-and-blue cloudless sky and suns – or were they moons? – two of them, one full and one crescent-shaped.
She was in a forest, that much was apparent. Tall, dark trees lined the open path, only they were no ordinary trees. Each thick trunk had a small wooden door painted in bright colours on it. Most of them were closed. However, Becky saw one that was ajar and glimpsed a set of wooden steps that must surely wind inside the trunk, as though they had been carved out of the tree itself. Colourful flowers and plants bloomed around the tree. Each small garden looked well kept, as if dearly loved and tended to.
Becky finally stepped out of the Tora and found the ground to be soft. Like all Tsinians, she was barefooted. The forest floor was covered in wood chips and crisp, golden leaves that crunched as she walked on them. Becky gazed at her strange surroundings.
To her immediate left, she saw two strangely shaped grey buildings. They looked as if they could have been made out of clay. To her right was another, but it was much larger than the other one. The rest of the forest looked absent of buildings. The routes to the buildings were clearly defined by a well-trodden path. Apart from the obvious tracks, the remaining forest was rural and wild, just as nature intended. Without another thought, Becky headed in the direction of the two buildings.
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