For the past year I've been spending most of my Sundays in a land of my own invention. Sunday is my day of writing, and my writing lately has taken me to an archipelago called the Alliance of Farther Isles, made up of fourteen island kingdoms. As I've found out during all these magical Sundays, almost anything can happen in the Farther Isles. What happens there is up to the whimsy and the wisdom of the Stars. There are beautiful princesses and dastardly princes, a Stargazer on one island and a Crystal Carver on another, a community of wild goats longing for a goatherd on the largest island, and falling in love is the national pastime on the Isle of Arrows .
Sometimes during the past year I nearly got lost and almost got stuck in this faraway land made mostly of sea. What if I were to wake up Monday morning and find myself living forever on one of the Farther Isles? I suppose I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my days on the Isle of Song, or the rest of my nights on the Island of the Stars, but I wouldn't want to spend my forever after on the cold and drizzly Isle of Fens, or—Stars forbid—on the Isle of the South Wind, living among the little runts and subject to the cruelty of the reigning, rotten-breathing Giant Clobber!
Now that I've finished writing my novel, The King's Eye, I feel a bit lost sitting in my office on Sundays, staring at the blank computer screen, homesick for the Farther Isles. I wonder if I'll ever go back there.
THE KING’S EYE
a novel of the Farther Isles
by John M. Daniel
The kings and queens of the Farther Isles have gathered at the castle of High King Rohar, as they do every year on the Solstice, to pledge their loyalty. But before the ceremony is over, the Giant Clobber from the Isle of the South Wind storms into the Great Hall, steals the High King’s crystal left eye right out of its socket, then disappears into the night. The High King offers to reward anyone who will slay the Giant and bring back the crystal eye. The reward: half of Rohar’s island kingdom and the hand of his daughter, Llanaa, in marriage. The only one to stand up to the challenge is Prince Frogge, a twelve-year-old boy from the Isle of Fens.
Frogge finds a partner, Rodney Trapper the goatherd’s son—tall, strong, and seventeen—and together the lads set out on their quest: to sail to the Isle of the South Wind and to do battle with the Giant Clobber in the Meadow of Mayhem. It’s a fight no one believes they can win. Their adventures take a full year, during which they travel from Isle to Farther Isle, in a boat that sails by itself, guided mysteriously by the Stars.
The King’s Eye is a story romantic and magical, full of love and death, heroes and scoundrels, bravery and cowardice, danger and high hopes. This tale will delight anyone old enough to read and young enough to believe that a goatherd’s son could win the heart of a princess.