Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Gargoyles, Grotesques & Bears

Castle in the Mountains by Gray Artus

Castle in the Mountains by Gray Artus

Welcome to Olympus, where the Muses of Greek Mythology are charged with the responsibility of discovering, inspiring, and guiding the young incarnations of legends past until they once again take the form of greatness.

Embark on an enchanting journey through Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1), a YA fantasy novel series inspired by my backyard neighbors, Biltmore Estate, in honor of George Vanderbilt‘s extraordinary legacy. 

Join me, and a cast of brilliant film composers, as we awaken your imagination to the magic of the mountains during this year’s international A to Z Challenge (representing #TeamDamyanti).

For a detailed PHOTO TOUR of Biltmore Estate, including the Gargoyles, Grotesques & even the Bear hugging his honeypot, click HERE!  Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!

Gargoyles, Grotesques & Bears

THE ROOFTOP buzzed with the beat of a hundred hearts. The crisp night air sizzled with the dancing of hands over the taut skins of drums. The pounding pulse of percussion hummed through our veins with infectious energy.

The copper dome winked in the torchlight, reflecting silvery sparks that floated over our island of music into a sea of stars. Whistles rode the wind, while laughter tumbled from lips. Stirring strings plucked our feet from the floor, pulling us into a restless rhythm that stole our breath.

If you were still, you were most likely dead.

“That’s Conrí,” Tari shouted, pointing to a slick and slender boy with wild chestnut hair and even wilder eyes. “That boy knows his way around a djembe,” she grinned, admiration lighting her gaze.

It took me a full minute to make out the drumming figures on either side of him, their sharp ashen features blending seamlessly with the shadows. “Those are gargoyles!” I blurted, slapping Tari out of her lovesick daze.

Tari rubbed her arm, shooting me a withering look. “And those are grotesques,” she casually waved her hand over the crowd of students. I strained my eyes, spotting two tiny gnomes strumming mandolins. “They always awaken on drum nights,” she added, as if the animation of stone statuary were an everyday occurrence.

Perhaps it was.

“And that?” I asked, gesturing past a miniature marble man who was blocking his ears against the assault towering over him.

“That’s a bear,” Tari replied.

“A bear?”

“Don’t let his calm demeanor fool ya. Cedric plays a mean honeypot.

© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary



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20 thoughts on “Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Gargoyles, Grotesques & Bears

  1. I’ve been a big fan of the Biltmore Estate since my parents moved to Asheville when I was 16. Sadly, I only got to live in Asheville for a year before I was off to college. Most of the times I’ve gone, I’ve toured the house and formal gardens. I would love to have more time to stroll through the grounds. What a wonderful place for a fantasy novel!

    I find your writing poetic in its description of the music and dancing.


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