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The Legacy of Androva Series

Landmark Locations: Beyond Androva πŸ’œπŸ–€

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.”
― Carl Sagan

When I finish writing the last book in a series, I have to say goodbye to the imaginary places my characters visited on their adventures. Of course there’s an upside to moving on because I get to discover something new, but I still feel a bit nostalgic about it ☺. After the Legacy of Androva, I wrote a farewell blog post to some of the locations in the series, and I did the same thing for the Light Mage trilogy. Today it’s the turn of Beyond Androva. I hope you enjoy the extracts, and thank you very much for visiting my blog today πŸ’•.

Xyleander Woods

The city of Vayl is surrounded by woodland, and at first glance, the trees are nothing out of the ordinary. But if you were to follow the path for a mile or so until it becomes narrow and overgrown and much less welcoming, you’d find something very different. These particular trees have distinctive purple leaves and an abundance of living magic. They’re also protected by spells that disorient any passing visitors who might otherwise discover the Dimension Cells concealed within.

The woods appear in all four books. They’re the first thing Serena sees when she arrives in Xytovia. Later in the series, Kellan and Averine are both trapped inside Dimension Cells, and it’s a xyleander tree that offers the first clue to Art’s unique magical abilities. 

Here's an extract from Engraved in Magic when Art and Serena travel back to the xyleander woods from Galen’s island.

***The forest on the other side of the portal was shadowy and cool. And wet. It was raining. Heavy drops penetrated the canopy of purple leaves, several of them falling straight down the back of my neck as if they’d targeted me deliberately. I hunched my shoulders and ducked to one side in search of better shelter.
“Swap the light reflection for water reflection and you’ll be fine,” said Serena.
“The Protection Spell we used yesterday,” she explained. “It’s a Universal Spell. I’ll show you.”
I shook my collar. The water trickled lower, trapped beneath the newly reinstated layers of my Xytovian clothing.
Serena walked under a low branch, then raised her hand and gave it a sharp push. The leaves trembled, releasing a small deluge of water. Although it appeared to land right on top of Serena, she didn’t flinch. Her hair was glistening. There were drops of water all over it. But somehow it wasn’t wet. Giving me a mischievous smile, she shook her head quickly from side to side. 
“Hey!” I protested, jumping back.
“It’s only water,” she said. “You’re not going to melt, are you?”
“Easy for you to say. You’re dry.”
Her smile widened. “I know. It’s magic.”
I laughed. Serena used her force field like an extension of herself. For me it was like a coat I kept taking off and putting back on again.***

Alchemist’s Workshop

An alchemist is a cotidian who combines magic with other materials to create complicated spells. In post-war Xytovia, cotidians and magicians have to live apart to prevent the spread of mage-sickness, which means alchemy is against the law. But villains never allow a simple thing like the law to get in their way! Of course, not every alchemist is bad, and not every magician is good, and my characters have to figure out who’s who before it’s too late.

Here's an extract from Lost in Magic when Kellan is remembering a childhood visit to his mother’s workshop.

***It was said that if the price was right, alchemy could figure out a solution no matter how insurmountable the challenge. The ultimate proof of this had been demonstrated by the recent creation of a trade in life itself. At the age of eight, however, I did not give much thought to my future mortality.
“Kellan, I see you there,” said my mother, her voice warm and affectionate. “People are always going to think you’re up to no good if you stay in the shadows.”
“Maybe I am up to no good,” I said, stepping into the light. 
“Are you?” She gave the molten silver mixture she was brewing a careful stir. “Make yourself useful and count to twenty.”
I counted under my breath while she fetched a tray from the top shelf and placed it next to the steaming pan. “Twenty,” I said, raising my voice as I reached the end.
“Thank you,” said my mother. After tucking a loose strand of black hair behind her ear, she stirred again, then grasped the handle of the pan.
“Well, are you up to no good?” she added, glancing over her shoulder with a teasing grin.
“I haven’t decided,” I said solemnly.
She laughed. “Is that so? Then I will be on my guard.”***


On the world of Xytovia, there are three principal territories and an unspecified number of outer territories—‘outer’ because their citizens chose to live outside of the pact when the war finally ended. The smallest of these is Phidiom, a rocky island in the middle of the ocean. In Matched in Magic, it plays a small but important role in distracting Art’s grandfather long enough for Art and Serena to escape, and it really comes into its own in Bound in Magic, the series conclusion!

Here's an extract from Bound in Magic when Averine and Kellan are imagining a future together outside of their respective prisons. The singing reference is from their very inventive game of Truth or Dare ☺.

***“And once we’re both free, where shall we go?” he said.
“Somewhere without the Five Tenets.”
“What do you think about Phidiom?” I asked.
“Phidiom?” said Kellan, raising his eyebrows. “The territory on a rock at the end of the world?”
“I know it’s far,” I said. “But there’s at least one mage-glass. We wouldn’t have to cross the ocean in a boat or anything.”
Kellan nodded. “I like the idea of starting over in a place where no one knows us.”
“There’s another reason,” I said. “Phidiom made alchemy a protected profession when it refused to sign the pact. It was the only territory that did. I’ve always wanted to visit. My mother promised we’d go together as a celebration trip when the war ended.”
“To Phidiom?” he said. His mouth twitched. “Wouldn’t that be more like a punishment?”
“Very funny. It used to be a tourist attraction, especially for aspiring alchemists. Most of Xytovia’s crystals come from the caves above the capital city.”
“Right,” said Kellan. “I forgot about the caves. I never saw the point of learning about crystals.”
“You and every other magician.”
“I know a lot more about crystals than you do about projecting spells,” he protested.
“You don’t. You never read any of the textbooks I showed you.”
“Maybe not. But I had one of them sung to me, and let’s just say it was memorable.” 
I narrowed my eyes, and he laughed.***

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