The World of Lœmia (part 2)
Thanks for stopping by the official blog for J.S. Bishop's novels set in the world Lœmia. To date, there are two different series (and many more planned) that take place in different parts of the world. A middle grade series, "The Annals of Plantaregis," and a young adult series, "The Legends of Gearnst."
The first novel in the young adult series, A Squire of Gearnst, introduces Ignazia, Squire to the Champion of Gearnst. Ignazia wishes that her magical power, known as "the gift," would disappear so she can finally return home after eight long years of service to the King. For you see, children who can speak with animals are highly prized in the Kingdom of Gearnst.
Ignazia, the daughter of an immigrant, is tormented because of her dark skin. As property of the crown, though, she is protected from the bigoted citizens of Gearnst. And once she reaches maturity, and the gift leaves her, she'll be released from service and return to her parents' caravan on the Spice Trails. Her plans unravel, however, when she meets Tinsley on the annual pilgrimage to find new squires.
Called "fool" by the people in his village, Tinsley lives on the edge of society. During the annual exam to discover new squires, he shows Ignazia that the ability to speak with animals isn't the greatest gift a child can possess. When Ignazia lies to her superiors in order to take Tinsley (a boy with Mosaic Down Syndrome) away from his village, she is burdened with the responsibility to protect him, and his secret, while also training him as a squire.
In the capital city, the citizenry has grown rebellious because the King, despondent after the Queen's death five years earlier, has allowed the kingdom to fall into disrepair. The Champion of Gearnst sends Ignazia and Tinsley on a quest to steal a golden book - a book, they are told, that will end the King's suffering and restore the kingdom.
During their quest, Ignazia fights a murderous troll, negotiates with a thieving faerie that's lost his wings, jams with a goblin band, and argues with her own parents who want her to marry against her wishes. Thankfully, she has Tinsley to remind her of the truly important things in life - friendship, loyalty, and how to celebrate your own gifts.