A Shimmer of Magic

The Crystal Mages Trilogy Book 1

by Jane Shand

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Elin believes she will never belong
Her magic is too dangerous.

This is the first book in The Crystal Mages Trilogy, a young adult coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

Elin is pulled into a dangerous quest and her life is changed forever when she is found by Kamaria, a mage with her own issues, and a group of rangers. Kamaria is desperate to prove herself and Elin could be the key.

Elin struggles with her burgeoning friendships, learning to control her magic, and her feelings for the grey-eyed ranger, Kai. All while contending with renegade mages, assassins, and deadly creatures from legend. She also learns secrets from her past and the reason why her parents abandoned her as a baby.

She discovers that her dead parents have bequeathed her a heavy responsibility, as well as a key. A key that could release a dark mage.

Elin will need to rein in her dangerous magic before evil is unleashed across the world.

If you enjoy strong heroines, richly imagined magical worlds, adventure, mystery, and stories about friendship, then you will love A Shimmer of Magic.

Try this brand-new YA coming-of-age, epic fantasy series today!

“I do have one piece of interesting news, though. I know you have an obsession with all things Ferranzian—”

“It is not an obsession!” Kamaria interrupted.

Kai raised an eyebrow, and Kamaria glowered. “Fine, what did you discover?” Kamaria couldn’t help the quickening of her pulse. Had Nafasi, the Goddess of Fate, stepped in to help her? First, she found a map to Ferranzia, and now Kai had located something too?

“You once told me that only Ferranzians had eyes like great cats – or wolves. Amber. And many of them were said to have red hair,” he paused.

Kamaria’s voice resembled a growl, “Get on with it!”

He grinned. “I met a girl with hair like a copper sunset and amber eyes.” His gaze became distant. “There was something about her….”

“Where was this? Why didn’t you bring her here?” Kamaria grabbed his arm and shook it, excitement blazed through her, and she had to work hard to damp it down.

“Not obsessed, huh?” Kai lifted his eyebrows.

Kamaria dropped his arm and whispered, “I found something too. It is almost as if Nafasi is working with me.”

Kai made no comment. He was less convinced by the Gods and Goddesses that most people worshipped. They were mostly the same in Kamaria’s country to the south, though they had different names. Kai believed in the Goddess of Creation, who the people of the empire called Loinnir, the Divine Maker. However, he didn’t pray regularly.

“I found the girl, or rather, she found me, just south of Cheros. She was heading north-east. I didn’t bring her here because she didn’t trust me one bit.” Kai sounded indignant.

“Finally, a sensible girl who doesn’t fall for your charms,” Kamaria smirked.

Kai’s brows drew down in puzzlement. “I made it quite clear I wasn’t a threat but that there were bonereiver nests around, and she shouldn’t be out on her own. But she insisted she was fine.” He lifted a shoulder. “I could hardly kidnap her, could I? Especially as she didn’t exactly announce that she was Ferranzian.”

“No, I suppose not,” Kamaria said. “But after you’ve rested, you need to take me back out there. I must find her again.”

Kai squinted. “Why is it so important?”

Kamaria leaned in with a grin. “I found a map.”

“A map?”

Kamaria scanned around and made a hushing gesture. “If I can get into Ferranzia, I’ll prove my loyalty to the High Mage once and for all. All those who sneer and whisper about me will eat their words.”

Jane Shand has always been an avid reader of fantasy and mystery and is an author of YA Fantasy.

She got hooked on fantasy after reading ‘Lord of the Rings’ at a young age and was determined to write books full of magic and adventure.

She lives in Hampshire, England with her family and two cheeky cats who would love to help her write. She has published The Darkling Duology plus a prequel novella, a standalone book, and is now working on The Crystal Mages Trilogy which will be followed by a longer series set on the same continent.

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I think the main character, or the setting come to me first. For A Shimmer of Magic, it was the main character, Elin. Although at that point she had a different name. Elin comes from the Danish meaning ‘torch of light’. Her people’s names are all based on Danish ones. She was based on a character from a previous book I wrote just for me, that kept haunting me, asking to be written about again. So I decided to use her in this project.

I planned to write a trilogy this time, something I haven’t done before. I decided I wanted a large empire, and I wanted it to be based in a climate like northern Europe. I chose to have Celtic influences here, but the empire would be influenced by Imperial China. The people’s names are therefore mostly Celtic in nature, and the ones who are descended from the invaders from oversees have a Chinese origin. I slowly built up a picture of the land, the culture and religions and the magic. Magic needs to have limits, so I made most of the magic users require a Crystal to channel their magic, though Elin, my main character is different. I also wanted a mystical land that had been walled away for a century or more where Elin would be from. I drew a couple of maps and made notes, and the plot began to form. I like to have a simple outline first and then I build it up to have the main plot points, the inciting incident, and the midpoint etc down. I base it on the structure from Save the Cat Writes a Novel and from K.M. Weiland’s books on Structuring Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs. I have found them all invaluable.

All my characters fill out as I write them, though I know their personality flaws and strengths before I start writing, and what they look like. I need to be able to visualise them. But other characters come to me as I write. My characters don’t take over, but I am not completely their master either! I like to think of us as a partnership as I write, and the story will develop and become richer as I get to know everyone. The basic structure and plot remain the same, but strengthen, become richer and get more detail as I write. Plotting gives you a blueprint and a direction but doesn’t constrain you. Or at least, that’s how it works for me. I would get completely lost without an outline! Once the first draft is done, there is never any major issues with it. I never have to do big re-writes. Most of the editing is small typos, grammar corrections (commas are a pain), adding in small details, and making sure characters and settings are consistent.

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