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 Italian Garden and its many sculptures, click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!
WHO IS she?” I asked Tari, gazing up at the ivory form of a woman wrapped in nothing but the clinging embrace of a lion’s skin, her hand clasped gently around that of a small bleached boy, whose steps she lovingly guided to a tune only they could hear. At any moment, they could dance off the edge of their pedestal, their celebration spilling onto the garden’s soil.
“Xanthe,” Tari replied, her tone strapped with sadness. “She’s an Oceanid who was turned to stone during the ancient wars. Her son ran to warn her…both were caught in the Gorgon’s path.”
Tari turned away and headed into the Italian garden. “Now, she presides over the pools of memory,” Tari gestured towards the three sparkling ponds dappled with delicate lily pads and streaked with the golden scales of fish. “The Muses dedicated the garden to their mother, Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory.” Tari wound through the garden, her hand brushing against the many cherubs that flanked the low stone lagoons. “The pools are fiercely guarded. Only a few know the offerings they require.”
I didn’t consider “cherubs” terribly fierce, but who was I to judge. “Offerings for what?” I peered into the shallow depths of the center circle. “The goldfish? Are they really that picky?”
Tari sighed, her sea-glass eyes rolling back into her head. “Not the fish. The dreaming spirits of the pools. Each spirit can answer one question about the past,” Tari pointed to the first pool, “the present,” she waved her hand over the center pool, “and the future,” Tari stretched her hand towards the final pool.
“Who knows the offerings?” I asked, studying the ponds with a wary eye.
“Xanthe’s little boy,” Tari glanced over at the statues.
The stone boy in question was no longer by his mother’s side. A child’s laughter trickled like bells through the air.
Tari grinned, “He’s faster than he looks.”
© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary
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8 thoughts on “Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Xanthe”
Little minx – he can move!
What a fantastic concept – I’m so sorry I only found your blog today! I love the idea of the book, and I especially love that the statues really ARE guarding these pools. Lovely descriptions, too.
beautiful description really takes you to the place. 🙂
These excerpts always end too soon.
Glad he’s fleet of foot! I loved the image of her “embraced”by a lion’s skin.
Another beautifully paired excerpt!
Great imagery once again! 🙂
I liked the idea that each dreaming spirit of the pools can answer one question about the past, the present, and the future…
Oh if only it were true. But then, I don’t think knowing your future is entirely a good thing. 😉
Yet again, you enthral us with your beautiful, poetic mastery of the written word. 🙂