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Angel Fever - Isobelle Carmody

I had read reviews of the Quentaris books before I really knew either of the editors, and I did feel slightly envious of the writers who had been involved in what seemed to me a fun project. So then I got to know Michael casually because of sharing the stage from time to time, but it was when I became friends with Paul, the co-editor of the series, that it came up that I might do a Quentaris book. Having desired to be asked, I immediately thought of all the reasons I shouldn’t do it, like the ten deadlines looming over me, half concerning projects I was meant to have finished. But it is hard to resist wanting to write something that has enthused you and I had an idea, plus I really liked the idea of an excuse to enjoy more of Paul’s caustic wit.
The idea for the story actually arose after reading this fantastic series written by another good friend and writer, Richard Harland, which resurrected my long standing love of angels in stories. I had written a short story I still like very much in the Green Monkey Dreams collection, called ‘The Glory Days’, about an angel, and I had written a story called ‘Arcimboldo’s’ for a newspaper, also about an angel, and I once wrote a play with another writer friend called A Fever of Angels, which nothing ever happened with. So I decided I would write about an angel again, only of course Nonerom is no angel...
Eely is the lonely, simple-minded younger sister of one of the Quentaris city guards. She dreams of becoming a fearless rift guide, but knows there is no hope of her dream coming true. Then comes a rain-filled day when she rescues an enormous and beautiful winged man in the rift caves. From that moment on, nothing will ever be the same for Eely again…
Then she saw a faint light ahead.

It was coming out of a cave which ran off from the tunnel that she was in and Eely approached its entrance warily. Her mouth dropped open in shock when she saw inside, for right in the centre of the cave, black hair draggling down its filthy back between two black leathery wings, was a harpy!

Eely nearly fainted out of terror, for she knew that one slash of its claws would poison her blood and no healer in all Quentaris could save her from the screaming madness that would follow. The voice of fear gibbered at her to get back, get away, run, but paradoxically her fear was so great that it paralysed her. So she saw the harpy hop sideways on its claws and tilt its head down to look at its victim. Eely realised that this must be the poor man who had called out, only she was too late, for he was dead. Full of remorse, Eely prepared herself to back away quietly when the harpy shifted again and she saw the man lying on the ground properly.

The first thing she noticed was that he was the source of pale white light illuminating the harpy and the cave. The second thing she noticed was that despite being bloodied and battered, the man was handsome enough to almost take her breath away.

The third thing she noticed did take her breath away, for the shining man had great soft white wings. There had been winged exotics visiting Quentaris of course, but they had not been like this man. He was so handsome and pale and perfect and his wings were so white and pure where they had not been broken and besmirched. It came to Eely with dawning wonder that he was not human at all, but one of those beings that Mama had always said watched over people like her. Angels, she called them, because that was what her mother called them, when she told Mama the story of the wondrous beings whose magic came from their purity and goodness. Eely had believed passionately in angels when she was little, but she had stopped believing when she got older, because if such a being watched over her, why hadn’t it stopped people hurting her?

Now, seeing the angel, she wondered if only people who were especially worthy got angels to look after them. Or, since angels knew everything, maybe her guardian angel had known that she would stop believing in it, and so it had fled from her lack of faith.

‘No!’ the angel moaned suddenly, tossing its golden head. The harpy gave a hiss of alarm and flapped a few feet away. Then it moved towards the angel again, lifting one of its vicious talons decisively.

‘Oh don’t!’ screamed Eely, stumbling forward half dazed with the intensity of her longing.

The harpy turned at once, and gave a dreadful shrieking scream that seemed to rend the air. Eely cringed in pain and the harpy leapt at her. Without thought, Eely swung up the heavy lunch pail and by chance or luck, it hit the harpy a great thudding blow under her pointed chin. She fell like a rock and lay motionless at Eely’s feet.

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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