by Marian Allen
Publisher: Echelon Press - http://echelonpress.com
Date published: August, 2010
The Eel is a place. The reverence is … complicated.
When elderly priest of Micah, “Aunt” Libby, goes on a Final Wandering, she’s accosted and then befriended by an amphibious mugger. The area known as The Eel is infested with worse than minor criminals–it’s under the thumbs of a coalition of greedy, brutal priests. Aunt Libby is a frail barrier to stand between peace and violence, and the worst violence may not come from her enemies…but from her friends.
Aunt Libby is run out of town by the coalition, then brought back by true believers. When her presence is discovered, she becomes a pawn in game of politics, power and prejudice, with her friends held for ransom and her life as their price.
A fantasy with no sorcery or warriors, EEL’S REVERENCE explores the kinds of choices ordinary people have faced through all time and in all places, and shows the contrariness and heroism with which they’ve dealt with the consequences of those choices.
Links to stops at blog book tour for EEL'S REVERENCE:
Buy or read a sample at AMAZON’S KINDLE STORE
Buy or read a sample at THE B&N NOOK STORE
Buy or read a sample from OMNILIT in a variety of electronic formats
In this scene from — Yes, EEL’S REVERENCE — Aunt Libby, octogenarian priest of Micah, meets Blennie, mermayd member of the mercenary band called the Fortunatos.
My capture exhilarated me. No wonder I’d been so angry with Clare and her plan; she’d brought me back to a place where a true priest belonged—into the thick of a wrong situation—and then had stored me safely away from it. Now I’d been dragged out where I should be, smack in the middle of something nasty. The blood sang in my veins.
We trotted, single file, along a wolf track. We made quite a bit of noise; it wasn’t until I caught a flash of sunlight reflected off a moving eye that I realized we were being monitored. Naturally, I should have known we would be. Did the Fortunatos see the wolf? Did they expect it? Did they care? On the chance I was being rescued from Uncle Phineas, I should have pointed out the animal. On the chance my abductors would kill it, I kept quiet.
We reached some sort of boundary; suddenly, the undergrowth became low ground cover. The wolf didn’t accompany us into the cleared woods, confirming my suspicion that it and the Fortunatos were not in league.
“Let me see this true priest,” the tenor voice said. A horse moved up on our left. “It must be eight years or more since I’ve seen a true priest; they’ve been through, I suppose, but I haven’t paid any attention to them.”
“Paid a lot of attention to them before, Blennie?” someone asked.
The horse pulled along next to us now, and I could see the rider: a mermayd, with skin as pearly as Loach’s, a dark blue tail, and “salt-and-pepper” hair done up in the Fortunato topknot. His skin showed no sign of age, of course, no more than a landsman’s
would, if he spent his life covered in either water or salve. Only his hands showed age: ridged and veined with blue, red, and silvery gray. He must’ve been at least fifty—old for a mercenary.
His saddle and tack looked old, too, gleaming with the soft patina of much use and good care. His gillband was covered with sharkskin and metal mesh.
I looked around and counted four other Fortunatos, none of them mermayds.
“Yes, I’m the only one,” Blennie said. “Why the surprise? You’ve seen mermayds before.”
“Not on horseback. I’ve never seen a mermayd on horseback anywhere in the world but here. Is it normal in the Eel, like the Coalition, or this game of pass-the-priest all you Eelites seem to be playing, with me for a marker?”
“Blennie’s one of a kind, Auntie,” said the woman on whose horse I rode. “Don’t worry about that.”
There was some rough-humored laughter, Blennie joining in with a touch of bitterness.
“I heard you were brought into Port Novo by a mermayd,” Blennie said. “And followed out by the same one, somewhat the worse for wear. Some of your best friends…”
“Are somewhat the worse for wear, yes.”
Marian Allen writes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, mainstream, and anything else she can wrestle into fixed form.
Allen has had stories in on-line and print publications, on coffee cans and the wall of an Indian restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. On Tuesdays, she posts on the group blog Fatal Foodies. She has three novels–EEL’S REVERENCE now, SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING and FORCE OF HABIT coming in 2011–available through Echelon Press in various electronic formats.
Allen is a member of the Green River Writers and the Southern Indiana Writers Group, and is a regular contributor to SIW’s annual anthology.
Second Life: MomGoth
Go buy Eel's Reverence by Marian Allen (Twitter: @marianallen). It's a great read. It's inexpensive. You'll like it.
-- L. Lee on Amazon
It's an interesting place to visit and a story with a worthwhile message.
-- Joseph on Amazon
My money was well spent - if you enjoy fantasy or allegorical stories, yours will be too!
-- Karen Overturf
Perhaps that’s the key to Eel’s Reverence both as a darned good read, and as a book that provokes questions about our own world—the fantasy is fantastical enough to be fun, and real enough to be believable.
-- Bodie Parkhurst on Speak! Good Dog!
Links to reviews and interviews: