The Changeling's Daughter
Like so many millenials, Sarah Reyez is struggling to get by. Her rent is overpriced, her social life is almost nonexistant, she sold her soul to her boss, and now there's a shapeshifting tiger-man crashing on her couch and telling her that her mother's tragic death twelve years ago was not an accident.
With this new revelation, Sarah's life is thrown into chaos. She and her friends must go on the run, pursued by a transdimensional crime boss. They are forced to place their trust in a young shapeshifter named Ben, who claims that not only was he born in another world, but that he knew Sarah's mother growing up. According to him, Sarah's mother was a key player and figurehead of a resistance group trying to overthrow a power-hungry succubus intent on ruling his world and Sarah's.
Now Sarah must go to the world where her mother was born. Along the way, she encounters a mouthless henchman with a heart of gold, a counterfeit artist who uses magic in his work, an old woman descended from a legendary hero, and her own extended fae family. Though she is expected to take up her mother's role and lead the rebel faction to victory, Sarah wants no part in this war. Will she be able to avoid it and keep her friends and family safe, or is she bound to her role as
Meet the Characters
Bio: Born to second-generation American immigrants, Sarah was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After her mother's death left her father a single parent, her grandparents stepped in to help raise her. Perhaps because of her strong familial bonds, Sarah views it as her responsibility to protect her family. She rarely goes to her family with her problems, believing it her burden to bear. She is particularly protective of her father, claiming that her mother's death changed him and made him fragile.
Strong-willed and outspoken, Sarah's strident personality can make her difficult to get along with. Though she is not shy, her small circle of friends are the only people she truly trusts. After dropping out of college during her sophomore year, Sarah took a job to support herself and her aging father, though what she does and who she works for are mysteries to everyone in her social circle.
Bio: The daughter of a French expatriate, Cory moved to Albuquerque to study marine biology, and the irony of such a statement is not lost on her. Self-conscious of her weight and shy, she had a hard time making friends until, through a mix-up with their orders, she met Sarah in a coffee shop. Through Sarah she met Jamie, and finally began enjoying her college experience.
What she hasn't admitted to her friends is that she left Baton Rouge to escape her past, an abusive friendship and her struggles with OCD. Within her group of friends, Cory sees herself as "team mom," and despite being the youngest she is by far the most nurturing, the most willing to listen to everyone else's problems and offer advice. That she does this in an attempt to quell her intrusive thoughts is her own personal struggle, an apology for wrongs that exist only in her mind.
Bio: Jamie is the youngest of three boys, the textbook baby-est brother. He grew up in a deeply religious Catholic household, and developed his lackadaisical attitude and quick wit as a defense mechanism against his own internal conflicts. He met Sarah when he was a freshman in high school and she was a deeply unhappy seventh-grader. They tried dating briefly in high school, but found that though they made great friends, as a couple they were terrible for each other.
Soon after his father's death, Jamie began to step outside of his comfort zone and began exploring his sexuality. Initially he was terrified to come out as pan to his mother, but he soon learned that her love for him was all-encompassing. He and his partner Dorian are about to celebrate their one-year anniversary, and Jamie is planning on how to introduce them to his family - though now that he's found himself in mortal danger, he may have to put his plans on hold.
Bio: An Alfheim native, Ben is a shapeshifter who volunteered to leave his world behind in order to serve as a spy and, eventually, to make contact with Sarah. His affinity for flashy and unusual forms makes him an unusual spy, but his dedication to the mission means there's no one better for the job. Grumpy and a bit of a control freak, he and Sarah often butt heads. Realizing that Sarah has very little in common with her mother was a rude awakening for Ben, but the two have come to a grudging truce.
Many in Alfheim society view shapeshifters as dangerous, unable to control their base emotions, and unwelcome in civilized society. Ben grew up in isolation, part of a shifter commune. He became an active member of the resistance as a teenager, recruited by Maggie Mooncatcher herself. Even so, he has still had to deal with those who believe that his heritage makes him unfit to serve in any capacity.
Read an Excerpt
Nothing could dampen Rico's good cheer, however. "I wondered if you'd bring that up," he said with a bright, beaming smile. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small stone. It was slightly larger than a grape, though perfectly round. It had a hole in the center, so that it rather resembled a donut. Sarah looked at it, baffled.
"This," Rico explained, "is a rather handy bit of magic. I've had it for a little while now. It was given to me by a friend of mine. He's an instructor at one of the universities back home, and they rather recently created these little gems. They're really cool. They're imbued with magical potential, so that they're receptive to spells that the user can imbue, and then pass along to another person. They're like little magical flash drives." He beamed at the little stone.
Sarah remained skeptical. "So how am I supposed to use it?"
"Working with Ben, I was able to imbue it with two spells that should help you to assume animal form. You can be a temporary shapeshifter, like Ben."
Sarah looked at the stone with newfound admiration. A shapeshifter? She had to admit, she was jealous of Ben's abilities. There were times when it just wasn't as beneficial to be a human. It was a lot easier to scare somebody off as a tiger, after all. Though Rico had said two spells. Could she only assume two forms? She asked as much, and Rico nodded.
"Yes. Two forms only, though they will help you get to Svalbard with little hassle. One is a bird, to help cover the long distance quickly and with relative ease, and the other is a… oh it's too exciting. I can't spoil the surprise. You'll have to wait and see." Rico grinned impishly. Sarah shrugged. "Whatever."
"Oh no," Rico said. "Definitely not whatever." Then his face fell, just the slightest bit. "There is, however, a slight problem."
Sarah raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"Yeah. See, you've probably noticed how when Ben shapeshifts, his clothes don't shapeshift with him."
Sarah nodded. Ben's clothes lay in a heap where he had discarded them before assuming his canine form, mute testimony to this fact.
"So it's a bit of a problem, trying to keep the stone on you after you shift. My first thought was that I might get some twine and make the stone into a sort of necklace - that's why the mages put the hole in the center in the first place - but it'd be too large for you as a bird. So I'm afraid you're just going to have to ah… swallow it."
Sarah took a step backwards. "I'm going to what?! There is no way in hell I'm swallowing that thing!"
Rico frowned and held it out to her. "It's really not even very big," he pleaded. "And it'll pass eventually, I'm sure!"