Monday, December 5, 2022

Wings Unfurled (Wings Rising, Book 2) by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

 Release date: December 6, 2022
Subgenre: Epic Fantasy

About Wings Unfurled:


The vicious claren that used to plague the reunited countries of Medua and Lansera are long gone. So what are the new dark patches appearing in Lady Serra's second sight? She rushes to King Albrecht to report the danger, only to discover that he's ailing and Vesperi, Prince Janto's wife, has fled far to the north to grieve her disappeared daughter. Vesperi still wields the silver flame, possesses all the authority she's ever wanted, but nothing can heal the wound of a missing child. 


When the silver moon Esye begins to fade, a gnawing fear preys on her for the first time since she escaped her father's cold rule. Ominous creatures once thought mythical are now rampaging through the countryside. Janto sends Serra to investigate. But without her friendship and Vesperi's love, he fears he cannot slay this challenge. He failed to find his own daughter, after all. To save the Lanserim, the legendary bird with three heads must fly again. Will Janto, Vesperi, and Serra find the strength to raise it? Or will this menace, with the might to drain a moon, devour them first? 




Chapter Three



Esye reclined in the morning sun. Her hips were round as an apple, her upper body narrow as its stem. Through the fronds of her favorite fern cluster, light speckled her pale, pale skin.

The cluster was Esye’s favorite because she had counted each and every fern that grew up and faded away within it. The giant fern fans formed a nearly complete circle, their branches supporting each other, fronds interwoven. The perfect place for a nap.

Inside this den, Esye feasted on rays of color fluttering down. Some caught like feathers in the fern fronds; she pinched those with two fingers before slurping up their wiggly hues. Others danced an endless reverie, chasing each other on an unfelt wind.

The sky itself, once electric, had become a powdered blue of late. Esye tried not to think of it. A vibrant yellow ray burst on her tongue, sending girlish giggles rolling out of her. She loved how pure the color tasted, remembered how, not so long ago, the crunch of claren shells had polluted her sustenance. Her eyes flashed at the memory of their poison inside her, how the brutes’ wings had sliced into her body and she’d itched and screamed and raged at their insolence. Each time her anger had surged against them had been a blessed release.

A shadow blocked the color rays and Esye shivered. If she dwelled too long on the claren, a new darkness might breed. But this shadow was a different sort of visitor, one she knew well. With fingertips that sparked silver, she stepped from the ferns into the brightness.

Esye beamed at the shadow. “Dear brother,” she said, “it has been too long since we last spoke. You’ve kept yourself to the other horizon.”

Her brother’s human-shaped form shimmered into being. The shadow coalesced into a cape at his back, and a blackness dark as ink flowed in his veins. “Aren’t you the one who’s been keeping to herself?” Onsic said. “I’ve come from the others, and they mentioned your evening visits have ceased.”

Esye tipped her head and searched her memories. Was he right, had it been a while since she’d visited Tansic and Oro? Time for the moons was sometimes a filament, hard to grasp or twist. And she’d needed to recover a long time after the claren, the weapon having used so much of Esye’s essence to combat it. Maybe she’d been among these ferns, resting, for longer than she’d meant. “I am sorry if I have caused offense.”

“Of course not,” Onsic said. He sounded tired, and Esye wondered if he might be sick. The last time he’d fallen ill, Madel had filled him with Her breath and sent a storm of needles to heal his soul affliction. That had drained his darkness for a time, so it might be made pure again.

His finger wisped over her skin, imposing a line of his cold, dark universe onto it. “I’m just surprised you’ve been so indisposed. Are you weak? Have you felt . . . choleric?”

She peered into the minute galaxy he’d birthed on her wrist. The stars beckoned as she considered the question. After Madel called on her or one of her siblings to restore harmony, returning to full strength took time. She had thought herself healed, but maybe she’d been wrong. Maybe this time, she was the one with a deeper ailment.

Madel would take care of it. “I have felt fine. At least I think I have.”

The cosmic impression he’d left faded once he broke the touch. “Oh, good. I am glad to hear it.”

His expression, full of brittle worry lines arrayed like dried fern fronds, did not match his words. Was he humoring her? “It’s just,” he said, “some of the plants have been faltering. Have you seen the balance boughs?”

Esye loved tending those boughs, encouraging their delicate tendrils to latch up with others nearby. Once they formed a vine, the leaves and blossoms released color rays all their own, in constant waves sweet as honey.

“Not since . . .” Why, she couldn’t say when she’d last pruned them back. “I will visit them tomorrow.”

“And the jurgen nests,” Onsic tittered. “I’ve come across so many mangled ones. That only happens when you’re not at your best.”

That couldn’t be. She had sealed some of the jurgen nests just that morning, and they’d looked well protected. Jurgen eggshells were notoriously thin, and Esye formed metallic domes over the nests to hold heat within them. Reinforcing them, down by the riverbank, was one of her favorite daily tasks. “Madel would tell me if I’d gotten something wrong with the jurgens. She’s fast to right our mistakes.”

Her brother sighed, and the stars his form contained twinkled with less brilliance. “But Madel’s not here is She? Or haven’t you noticed?”

Esye raised her head heavenward. A suffocating sensation choked her—fear.

He was right, the sky had lightened to a glacial blue in just the last few minutes. The last time Esye had seen it that shade was back when the giants took their steps and Madel had withdrawn to allow it.

“But She’ll be back, won’t She?” Esye’s stomach clenched.

“Will She?” Onsic’s crescent twisted to a frown and his lips, glimmering with stars, hung heavy. “I wish I had your confidence.” He drew something forth from his cape of shadows: a hardened brown hunk that wept with sap.

“This will help you remember your tasks better,” he said, “until you’re feeling yourself again. I made it from the calls of the rhini swinging in their trees and distilled them down with honey and agar. Break off a piece and suck on it until the clarity you seek returns.”

Esye could not remember the last time Onsic had gifted her anything. He’d never been the most thoughtful of brothers. She plopped a portion of the lozenge into her mouth. As it dissolved, it dragged a rhini’s hoot from her throat, which made Onsic laugh, a deep and filling sound.

“Thank you,” she said.

He patted her shoulder and slipped away. With him went the last of the mark he’d pressed onto her arm. Where once had been a universe, there were now no stars, no life at all but her own pale radiance.

The faint blue of Madel’s receding light gave her skin a sickly cast. Maybe that’s why she’d felt something was off with Onsic. Without the sharpness that Madel’s presence brought, many things appeared a different hue. Maybe Esye had overlooked some of those jurgen nests. Something was affecting the celestial balance.

Esye could feel Onsic’s lozenge working, though it left a nasty aftertaste, like oil gone rancid. She vowed to check on the jurgen nests right away, and the balance boughs, too. Those plants were even harder to breed, should anything upset them.

A gloomy feeling settled over her as she replayed Onsic’s words, and she withdrew into the ferns. Maybe she should remain here awhile longer, until it passed. If it passed.

She plopped another lozenge fragment in her mouth and lay back against the grass. The evergreen fern fronds closest to her had noticeably dry tips. Another problem she’d overlooked? She shriveled in on herself, tugged a blanket of woven feathers over her head. Perhaps she would not leave today at all, not while she felt like this.

 The cold vanes of the blanket’s feathers touched her skin, and she wondered, did feathers know the exact moment when their maker discarded them?

Looking up at fading blue sky, Esye did.


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About Rebecca Gomez Farrell:

California’s East Bay with her tech wizard husband and two feline co-workers. Her epic fantasy duology, which includes Wings Unseen and Wings Unfurled, is published by Meerkat Press. Becca’s shorter works have appeared over thirty times in magazines, websites, and anthologies including Beneath Ceaseless Skies, It Calls From the Sky, PULP Literature , and A Quiet Afternoon 1 & 2.

Becca is the communications director for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). She helms a local chapter of the national Women Who Submit Lit organization, which encourages all writers who identify as women and/or nonbinary to submit their work out for publication. She also co-organizes the East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup Group and administers several discussion groups for women, nonbinary, and Bay Area writers. 


Over the past decade and a half, her food, drink, and travel blog,, has influenced every tasty bite of her fictional worldbuilding. Her replicator order is "Absinthe verte, one cube."


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