Authors: Giselle Simlett
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Horror, #Dark Fantasy, #Romance, #Fantasy, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Coming of Age, #Teen & Young Adult
Praise for Girl of Myth and Legend, Book One in The Chosen Saga:
‘An enjoyable, violent novel that delivers a strong-willed heroine and a brooding hero. This should be a surefire hit for fans of Marie Lu’s
and Leigh Bardugo’s
“Leonie’s adventures are just beginning, and The Chosen Saga is shaping up to be a unique entry.”
John M. Murray, 4 Star Clarion Review
‘This is a great book. The story leaps from the page and dazzles the mind.’
Books, Books and More Books
‘I was unable to put this book down until the very end. Fans of Laini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” trilogy may enjoy this debut from Giselle Simlett.’
‘It’s hard for me to believe, sometimes, that there are more ideas and plots that haven’t yet been written, but clearly Giselle Simlett has thought of one, and it’s great.’
‘I have not read anything like this before… If you enjoy reading fantasy novels, this will most certainly be the book for you.’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Giselle Simlett was born and raised in England. She has studied Creative Writing at both Gloucestershire University and the Open University. She has a diploma in Creative Writing, Language and Literature.
She does not as yet have a diploma in the power and responsible use of magic, but she does have a young son, which amounts to the same thing. She currently lives in Australia with her husband and son.
Girl of Myth and Legend
is Book 1 in
The Chosen Saga
Visit Giselle’s website at
The Chosen Saga
Girl of Myth and Legend
WWS Publishing Ltd
Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
Copyright © 2015 by Giselle Simlett
The right of Giselle Simlett to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1998.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions or locales is completely coincidental.
The Chosen: Girl of Myth and Legend. – 1st ed.
eBook ISBN 978-0-9943826-0-3
Paperback ISBN 978-0-9943826-1-0
Book Layout © 2014
WWS Publishing Ltd
Pembrokeshire, SA65 9RP
I dedicate this book to two extraordinary people.
The first dedication is to a much beloved person who has nurtured my talent and inspired me as a writer. He is my best friend, my tutor, my fellow writer and my dear granddad. This book is for John Simlett, who never failed in believing in me.
The second dedication is to my nan, Patricia Simlett.
Thank you for filling my head with stories of quests and legends and pixies. You are forever my most favourite storyteller. Thank you for making me dream with my head in the stars.
THE PERKS OF ROUTINE
I am not extraordinary, nor is my life, and that’s how it has to be if I’m going to survive. I live within the jurisdiction of routine, the same continuous cycle of activity, day after day. It might not be what you call stimulating or inspiring, but I’m not looking for the Great Purpose that so many my age are chasing. I’m just trying to get by.
My day begins the way it always does: I wake up and turn off my alarm clock seconds before it rings, accidentally booting Pegasus off the bed. He gives me a drowsy look, his tail wagging, tongue lolling. That’s what I like about Labradors: they live with a glass half full.
‘I’m starting to think you like being kicked off the bed every morning,’ I say, patting his head. ‘Masochist.’
I take a quick glance at the white wall opposite me, the colour different to the maroon that paints the rest of the room. A few years ago it used to be covered in photographs and drawings. A few years ago I’d wake up and look at it with a smile. A few years ago everything changed. The brilliant white was supposed to help me forget, as if I were painting over the past and starting again. Pain doesn’t work like that, though; it sticks around and waits for you to face it, to
it, but I know if I were to do that it would only engulf me. I don’t want to remember the past. I don’t want to remember
After showering, I wipe the foggy mirror with my hand. My hair is brown when it’s wet, but usually it’s a reddish sort of colour. The brightness of my green eyes is diminished by the shadows under them, an attribute of having pale skin. ‘Stupid Panda Eyes,’ I mutter.
Once dried and dressed, I go downstairs, a mass of golden fur that is Pegasus almost knocking me over.
‘Morning,’ Dad says, sitting at the kitchen table with a laptop in front of him. Dad has short, dark hair that’s thinning at the sides. He isn’t big or small or stocky. He’s average in everything. Height, build, features, even personality—there’s nothing unique about him that would draw your attention. Besides the beginnings of a stuck out belly.
‘Morning back at you,’ I reply, heading to the fridge.
‘I already have your breakfast out.’
‘Surprise, surprise. Fruit salad.
I open the fridge and take out a slice of pizza. Leftovers—the best breakfast ever invented. I stuff it into my mouth. I don’t have to look at Dad to know he’s frowning at me, though he won’t say anything. He’s learnt from my lack of doing what he says that his lectures (such as ‘The Benefits of Eating Healthy and its Lasting Effects’) are in vain. I throw Pegasus the last of the pizza.
‘If you’re not going to save yourself from heart problems, at least spare the dog,’ says Dad.
‘Pegasus, do you like the junk food, huh, boy?’ I ask.
Pegasus licks the crumbs from the floor.
‘You don’t want nasty Dad to take away the junk food, do you?’ I turn to Dad, shrugging my shoulders. ‘I have to comply with his wishes.’ Dad shakes his head, and I grab my backpack and slide into my snow boots.
‘Hold on a second, Leonie,’ he says.
‘Pick something up from the post office on your way back home for me, will you?’
‘What, seriously?’ I complain. ‘Can’t you tear yourself away from that laptop for the twenty minutes it’ll take you to go there yourself?’
‘But I’m not—’
‘You lecture me over not being healthy, even though there’s barely any fat on me, and yet you’re too lazy to nip out to the post office?’ I cough the word hypocrite, and he sighs. ‘Come on. Where’s the guy who used to go jogging every morning and take me hiking everywhere?’
‘I’m still that guy,’ he protests.
‘Still that guy? Uh, Dad, hate to point this out and all, but you’re starting to form the undeniable features of a pot belly.’
He glances down, his lips thin, and he closes the laptop. ‘I’ll put my shoes on.’
‘Great! See you later.’
‘Wait. You’ve got your phone with you?’
‘I don’t need it.’
‘Don’t worry, Dad. I’ll be fine.’ I put on my coat and open the door to leave for college: the whipping wind deafens my ears; the sun dims behind the ghostly haze of the morning; the falling snow covers the footprints I leave behind, blanketing the vast plain of countryside. Covered in frozen foliage, our cottage stands alone in the middle of an endless field, a single willow tree facing it with a swing attached. I never minded the solitariness.
Here, in the middle of nowhere, there are no traffic lights, no shopping centres, no cinemas, no anything really besides sheep and cows and fields. There’s certainly no fun, unless you like long walks to college at seven in the morning in one of the worst winters North Yorkshire has ever seen. And internet? Oh, it exists, but the constant disconnections make me wonder why we bother having it at all.
The old man who owns the butcher’s will know the random kid walking to school’s mother’s sister’s best friend, and that best friend will know his brother’s cousin’s niece’s secondary school teacher. The community is knitted tight.
As I trudge through the snow, nothing around me but cold space and the comfort of being alone, I picture my day as it happens most days: I’ll arrive at the small community college, which, despite looking like it wants to fall down around us, is still standing; give the good old finger to Daniel Portman when he makes his usual oh-so-witty crack about my accent; change into my tracksuit that is scarred with tears and holes for some inexplicable reason—cough, Pegasus, cough; spend a few hours playing cricket and football with some warmups in between, and then listen to Mr Dancy’s lacklustre lectures, which inevitably include some snide remarks about his supposed best friend but secret adversary Mr Collins, the other sports’ teacher; then I’ll go to a few more classes, buy one (or two… all right, three) of the college’s famous cookie monster crunch, and finally go home. I’ll do my assignments, have dinner with Dad, and play on my
until I’m tired enough to go to bed. Tomorrow I’ll wake up seconds before my alarm clock rings and do the same again.