Would you trust this Spellchasers character?
In The Beginner’s Guide to Curses, we met the Spellchasers team. The unluckily cursed Molly, Beth the dryad, Innes the Kelpie, and Atacama the sphinx. But one more Spellchasers character is still shrouded in mystery: the toad…
We have a funny feeling that the toad might become an even more important Spellchasers character later in the trilogy.
In her latest blog, Lari Don takes a look at the most cryptic Spellchasers character so far, including an exclusive extract from her new book The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away.
By Lari Don
Molly has had a lot to deal with so far. She’s been cursed, turned into a part-time hare, accepted the existence of magic, argued with a dryad and a kelpie, and answered riddles set by a sphinx. Also, she’s dug up a lot of tatties.
But the one thing she could count on was the help of the toad. A nice polite toad, who refused offers of a kiss to transform back to its original shape, communicated with croaks, and when Molly and the rest of the team struggled with magical tasks, helped them with well-timed and slightly mysterious interventions.
Yes, once Molly worked out that her friend was a toad, not a frog (and once the writer worked out that toads don’t hop, they crawl) the toad was a fairly reliable member of the team.
Then at the very end of The Beginner’s Guide to Curses (you have read it, haven’t you? If not, there are a few spoilers coming, so perhaps you want to read the first book in the Spellchasers trilogy before reading on…)
So, at the very end of The Beginner’s Guide to Curses, the toad transformed into a tall dark-skinned boy with a scarred head, who apologised for cursing Atacama and vanished in a whirling cloak of golden sand.
At the start of The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away, Molly is finally coming to terms with the magic she’s discovered, the new friends she’s made, and the problems they still have with curses, when the boy with the scars and the cloak reappears.
And attacks them with a blast of powerful magic…
“They pulled themselves upright and looked at the boy. His hands were held out facing them, threatening them with another punch of air. ‘It’s not wise to take me by surprise. Is anyone hurt?’
Beth said quietly, ‘We’re not hurt, but that’s no way to treat us. We were your friends last week.’
‘You weren’t really my friends. You didn’t know who I was.’ He glanced back at Atacama, standing in front of the door with teeth bared and fur spiked. “But you are the sphinx’s friends. I wonder…”
He pushed his hands together, then pulled them apart, twisting and flicking them at the two girls and the horse.
Suddenly they were trapped in a cage, a rounded cage of see-through curves and rings. They all shivered as the air around them grew colder. Molly reached her hand out, but snatched it back as the pulsing cold near the curved bars burnt her fingers. They were inside a barrel of clear ice. A huge barrel, filling the width of the alley, with narrow gaps between the curved staves and round hoops. The boy pointed at Molly, Beth and a newly human Innes. ‘Stay still and don’t panic. I’ll set you free as soon as the sphinx cooperates.’ He turned to Atacama. “Let me through the door and I’ll let them out of that cage.”
…which suggests that he’s no longer part of the team.
But then he claims, very politely, that he doesn’t want to hurt them, that he wants to answer their questions about curses, that he can introduce them to a deeper layer of magic, and that all he wants is their help to solve a magical mystery.
So now Molly knows that the toad’s name is Theo. But she doesn’t know if he’s still her friend, if he’s still a member of the Spellchasers team, or if he’s now their enemy…
What would you do? Agree to help him? Ask another Spellchasers character to break their vow to help him? Or refuse, and fight back? What would you do?
You can find out what Molly does, in The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away.
About the series
The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away, the second book in Lari Don’s Spellchasers trilogy is available now. Look out for The Witch’s Guide to Magical Combat, the dramatic final book in the trilogy, coming Autumn 2017.
Lari Don will be bringing Spellchasers to events across Scotland. Check out the full list of events here.
Missed Molly and the team’s adventures so far? Catch up in The Beginner’s Guide to Curses, the first book in the Spellchasers trilogy, available now.
Let us know your favourite #Spellchasers character on Twitter (@discoverkelpies)!
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