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Rifts Through Quentaris - Karen Brooks

Having already read a number of the Quentaris books before I was invited to write one myself, I found the idea of this self-contained world that, nonetheless, had access to and could be influenced and changed by endless possibilities (encapsulated by the rifts) fascinating. Furthermore, it was intriguing to be asked to bounce off someone else’s imagination. Here I was being given entree into a world that Michael and Paul had created and permission to contribute as well. What a gift. But it has a catch. It’s like being given a framed not-quite-blank canvas and asked to paint a picture that will be in keeping, not only with the frame, but with the entire gallery. And let’s face it, some great artists are already hanging in the Quentaris exhibition.

The idea for the story of Adyren came to me literally one night as I was going to sleep. I was staying with some dear friends in Bendigo, Victoria - a place I lived in for over eleven years. I don’t know whether it was because of the invocation of (good and bad) memories that returning to past abodes encourages, or that I both have and originate from a blended family, but the idea of family and all it signifies started to take root and wouldn’t let go. By the following morning, the twins and the play on mirror images, were in my mind as were most of the other characters. I can think of little worse than being accused of something you haven’t done or being thought something you’re not (unless it’s good!). So those notions found their way into the story too. Finally, I was still writing the first part of the book when I went to Vietnam. Baga Moon evolved from a trip to that wonderful, traditional country.
Adyren Worthing longs to be anything but what she is: an apprentice in the League of Bibliophiles. But master thief does not figure in her daydreams. When she is accused of stealing, no one, not even her own family, believes her claims of innocence. To uncover the truth, she must travel to another world and discover the terrible secret of her birth.
Plodding back through the market right on dusk, they bought the ingredients for dinner. Pausing before a herbalist here, a fruiterer there, Adyren was oblivious not only to her father’s purchases, but to the juggler that delighted a small crowd and the fire magician who created a halo of flames around a child’s head. She kept revisiting the events of the day and thinking how unfair life could be.

Tired and heart-sick, Adyren straggled along, wishing she was in bed so she could lose herself in dreams – any alternative to the present reality.

Luxuriating in self-pity, it took her a moment to realise that she was being spoken to.

‘Psst,’ hissed a voice in her ear. ‘I says, I knows you got them and I can get you a good price.’

Adyren swung around. Standing directly behind her was a wiry old man with a grubby kerchief tied about his neck. Dressed in a shirt too big and leggings too tight, he blended in well. She was about to tell him to go away when she recognised the fences’ sigil on his vest. She sighed.

‘I didn’t take the pen. The City Watch cleared me.’

‘Pen?’ said the man, scratching the stubble on his chin. ‘I ain’t talking ‘bout no pen. It’s those spectacles the Thieves’ Guild says you took that I want. I can get rid of them, no questions asked. Then the Thieves’ Guild won’t have anything on yer, will they?’

Adyren’s mouth dropped open in astonishment. ‘Spectacles? I don’t know what –‘
‘Adyren, who’s this you’re talking to?’ asked Hayden, having bartered the brace of poultry down to a reasonable price and joining his daughter. He looked the ancient fence up and down.

‘So,’ said the man, his eyes narrowing. ‘Is this your accomplice? Doesn’t look much – but then, maybe that’s your trick, hey? We were trying to work out how you did it.’

Suddenly, the man’s demeanour changed. Gone was the curiosity, to be replaced by a vacant filmy stare. Pulling down his large cap to cover his face, he swiftly melted into the crowd. Adyren glanced at her father and lifted her arms up in a gesture of sheer puzzlement. Immediately a hand closed over her wrist.

Adyren started in fright. Towering above her was Storm. ‘I’m disappointed in you, Adyren Worthing. You’ll not get off so lightly this time,’ she said, nodding at two of her men to take Hayden. ‘This time, it’s the Watch-house for you!’

bullet The Gimlet Eye
Equen Queen
Battle for Quentaris
The Spell of Undoing
Vampires of Quentaris
The Skyflower
The Prisoner of Quentaris
Pirates of Quentaris
The Forgotten Prince
Stars of Quentaris
Stolen Children of Quentaris
Nightmare in Quentaris
The Murderers’ Apprentice
The Cat Dreamer
Princess of Shadows
Rifts Through Quentaris
The Plague of Quentaris
The Mind Master
Treasure Hunters of Q.
The Ancient Hero
Angel Fever
Stones of Quentaris
Dragonlords of Quentaris
Quentaris in Flames
Swords of Quentaris
The Revognase
The Perfect Princess
Slaves of Quentaris
Beneath Quentaris

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