Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Joan of Arc

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 life-sized limestone figure of St. Joan of Arc carved by Viennese sculptor, Karl Bitter, that adorns the exterior grand staircase tower, click HERE!  Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!

Joan of Arc

IT WAS nearing midnight, when nothing but the fingers of moonlight grazed the grand staircase. The staff had long since retired, the students slumbered, but the house, though silent, never slept.

Even now, I sensed a shift in the air that slipped between the seams of Olympus. The scraping of stone against metal drew me to the window. I peered through the spider web of leaded glass to the ground below, where a solitary figure stood watch.

The boy’s head was tilted, his intense gaze trained on something above me. I recognized the wild-eyes and tousled hair of Conrí.

A cloud of limestone dust fell from the ledge overhead, followed by the falling of a body. Someone had jumped from the third floor of the spiraling tower.

I watched, horrified, as the ashen shape dropped. The shattering of rocks echoed off the walls, the moment their feet shattered the concrete.

It wasn’t human.

The impact cracked the statue’s stone skin, which crumbled and fell away from the shining armor and blood red cloak beneath.

The knight removed its shimmering helmet, running a gloved hand across its cropped hair. The moon kissed its flushed face, illuminating the stunning features of a woman.

A grin played upon Conrí’s lips as he reached to embrace her.

© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary



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22 thoughts on “Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Joan of Arc

  1. Hi Samantha,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar is having a well deserved nap. Thus, she has kindly allowed me to use the computer.

    I visit here, not because of the A to Z, but to delight in your words. This is what it’s all about, my good friend.

    And as Conri had that embrace, he realised that magic can be found beyond the shimmering helmet. Samantha, you write beautifully.

    Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

    Gary 🙂


  2. I think it’s neat that you used Biltmore as inspiration. It is an amazing place, isn’t it? I have been there several times and have a short story floating around in my head where a body is found floating in the Italian gardens lily pond. Perhaps Joan saw the whole thing go down.


  3. Brilliant, Sam! I’ve missed a lot of your A-to-Z, and this one makes me very sorry. The imagery of a statue shattering, the stone falling away from a living body inside, like a shell, is fantastic. And I like how this narrative is done through first-person observer. Gives it a different feel, more intimate, than just a “regular” third person. Loved it!

    Thanks for the visit at Quiet Laughter on the characterization-by-job post. I wonder how that translates into YA–through school performance, maybe? What subjects they like or don’t like? Interesting point; thanks for bringing it up!


    • Aww, thanks, Guilie! We’re swamped with posting and visiting, so I completely understand:) Us house-elves need to have a reunion party in May, where we focus on each other’s A to Z themes:)


  4. I know it seems silly to get attached to something so small – but I write and so I face it constantly – the challenge of good naming of characters. I love your character names – they add an extra kind of quirk, another layer: Conri, Anise, Soek.

    And of course – the writing is really epic and atmospheric.


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