City of Lights
(Book 1 in the Far from Home Series)
by Kelly Byrd
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
In City of Lights, author Kelly Byrd introduces readers to Mary, who is one week away from finishing fifth grade. Mary’s mind is on starting middle school in the fall and finally getting her own phone. But then this ordinary girl notices glimmers of light and meets a strange little man who conjures the best smell she has ever smelled. Before she even stops to consider what she’s doing, she agrees to accompany the man to the land of LeeChee, where our Mary Jingo from the Shadowlands in seen as warrior and a great hope.
Now this very ordinary girl must find a way to help save LeeChee from Thrall and restore the Everything—a magical life- and joy-giving force that somehow connects Mary’s world to LeeChee. How can she face the Void, the foul-smelling Shoeboxians, or the evil Mellie? And how can she do all of the Far From Home?
“Ancient Leechian scholars have tried to study your world for generations, Mary Jingo. We have never understood the connection between there and here, but one does exist. The problem is, anyone who has travelled between here and there, they generally do not come back. Or, if they do return, they are so confused and forgetful, they cannot account for much.”
Heavy Dill paused here, as if waiting for Mary to respond or ask a question. When she did not, ever the good teacher, he continued on.
“Some of the most archaic texts call LeeChee a ‘Borderland.’ It has only been in the last 100 annuals that scholars began to call your world the Shadowlands, as if it were a shadow of our world. But to very frank, I don’t know if this world is a shadow of your world or if the opposite is true.
“When towns started to fall under Thrall some annuals ago, we oracles, forecasters, and keepers banded together. We were going to find a cure for the evil, an end to the threat. Nothing worked. Nothing. Hours of research, search parties, collections, samples—it feels like every person in this tower has been working towards an answer. But our land has continued to list, becoming dark and brown and empty. Until, well, you.”
“I don’t understand,” Mary said quietly, setting her empty teacup on the table. “How am I the cure?”
Heavy Dill’s deep brown eyes softened in his face, as he looked at Mary with a deep tenderness.
“Oh, Mary Jingo. The burden of youth is so heavy; always underestimated, but also often aware and often right about the truth of what you see. You are the cure because you have brought us something most important. Something that we, the mighty Resistors, had lost sight of. You have brought us hope and reminded us of what the Everything is, and does, and can be.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kelly Byrd is a middle-grade author by choice, a writer by discipline, home-grown chef, and amateur gardener. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two cute-as-buttons rescue pups. The Far From Home series is about growing up, finding your voice, and rescuing the Everything.
Buy the book on Amazon: https://bit.ly/FarFromHome1
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