About The Book
Magic. Mayhem. Drunken faeries.
Archeologist Taryn St. Giles has spent her life mining the ruins of the elves who vanished from the Four Kingdoms a thousand years ago. But when her patrons begin disappearing too—and then turning up dead—she finds herself unemployed, restless, and desperate. So she goes looking for other missing things: as a bounty hunter.
Tracking her first fugitive—the distractingly handsome and strangely charming Alric—she unearths a dangerous underworld of warring crime lords, demonic squirrels, and a long-lost elven artifact capable of unleashing a hell on earth.
Chased, robbed, kidnapped, and distressingly low on rent money, Taryn just wants one quiet beer and to catch her fugitive. But there’s more to Alric than his wicked grin—is he a wanted man or the city’s only hope? With menacing mages in pursuit and her three alcoholic faery sidekicks always in her hair, Taryn’s curiosity might finally solve the mystery of the elves… or be the death of her and destroy her world.
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If Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, invaded Stephanie Plumb’s Jersey and fell into a raucous, twisted Middle Earth, they might find Taryn St. Giles already waiting for them in this high action fantasy caper.– Jessa Slade, award-winning author of QUEEN OF STARLIGHT, Sheerspace Book 1
Taryn St. Giles has a problem. More like a dozen of them.
The first three? Her resident fairies, Crusty Bucket, Garbage Blossom, and Leaf Grub, who never met a pint of ale they didn’t like.
Then there are the two handsome (and quite possibly deadly-dangerous) men vying for her attention, Alric and Marcos, when they’re not running away from her or vanishing without an explanation. Neither is what he seems.
There’s also the trail of dead bodies that seems to follow her, including at least one whose death she is implicated in.
Throw in a mystery about a glass gargoyle and the disturbing death of her last patron, and this archeologist is in way over her head. And I didn’t even mention the dragon men lurking about or the (probably) long-dead elves or the ancients who came before them…
Andreas weaves a fun, campy romp through the fantasy town of Beccia, as our hapless heroine collars her bounties, explores the ruins outside of town, and tries to navigate the mess that is her life amidst the larger mystery that’s gripped the town. What is the glass gargoyle, who has it, and what’s it for?
Taryn’s a great character, alternately snarky and philosophical, trying to make sense of her life and her future. Her three fairies are, in turns, hilarious and deadly dangerous, and the cast of characters of different races and proclivities neatly rounds out this first book in the Lost Ancients series.
My only issue with the book is that there are so many pieces to the mystery, and it takes a long time before we get answers to any of them. I would have preferred to get them more naturally along the way.
But that’s a minor quibble. Andreas as an author is like those plate spinners on cruise ships, setting up a ton of whirling plot points and keeping everything from crashing down until we reach the exhilarating finish. We do get answers to many of the questions, but Andreas wisely keeps a few close to the vest for the next book, The Obsidian Chimera.
Taryn is a fresh, interesting, often comedic character who drags you along on her madcap adventures… and I’d happily follow her all the way to the Shimmering Dewdrop pub – then wait there for her to return with the story of her latest outing. A lot of fun and worth the read.
Scott is the founder of Queer Sci Fi, and a fantasy and sci fi writer in his own right, with more than 30 published short stories, novellas and novels to his credit, including two trilogies.