Isla’s Oath Book Excerpt

Isla's Oath book cover

Read more about Isla’s Oath here.

Enjoy this excerpt from Isla’s Oath

Jack led me to one side of the walkway, against the window of a bank. After looking around to make sure we weren’t being watched, he reached into his messenger bag and pulled something out to show me.

Cupped in his hand was a creature the size of a large mouse. It—no, he—was dressed in ragged, miniature clothes; his hair was a tangled mass of gold and his eyes were little blue flecks of summer sky. On his back, a pair of diaphanous wings like a dragonfly’s beat slowly, only visible because of the tracery of veins. Around his neck, strung on a piece of cotton, was a glossy pink bead.

The creature resembled Tinkerbell, if she were down on her luck and had grown sharp around the edges. A fairy made from mosquitos rather than butterflies.

“Isla, this is Welkin. He is a piskie.”

“Uh. Hi!” I said brightly, trying to pretend I’d heard of a piskie before now.

“Hello,” Welkin piped. Jack held his hand up so that the tiny fairy was at eye level with me. Welkin bobbed his head in gratitude.

“Please tell Isla what you told me,” the hob said.

He looked me up and down, a gesture that only took in my face. He pursed his lips, eyes narrowed. “Okay,” he said after a moment, putting his hands on his hips. The gesture was adorable but also reminded me of my year seven science teacher. “Do you know about energy flows?”

“Pretend I don’t.”

He craned his neck to frown at Jack before looking back at me. “Right. Every living thing in the world sheds energy. It’s a lot like air. Sometimes it pools, still, and sometimes it flows and you get a breeze or a storm.”

“Like water?”

Welkin scowled. “Like air. This is my metaphor, lady.”

I bit my lip so I didn’t laugh, nodding to indicate he should continue.

“Well, some aosidhe are like mountains. The air bends around them and continues on, but becomes more turbulent. And if there are a bunch of them together you can get wind tunnels and it gets really tricky to fly…” He trailed off, staring distractedly through Jack’s fingers at a passing couple, absorbed in their conversation.

“And other aosidhe?” I reminded him gently.

“Oh, yes. Other aosidhe are more like cyclones, throwing everything around and making a mess.” He sniffed in disapproval.

I wondered which type I was, but decided not to ask. “So you can sense the presence of aosidhe based on this energy movement.”

“Yes. There was one here—” he narrowed his eyes at me “—and now there are two.”

“When did the other one arrive?”

“Today.”

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