The Black Shard
by Victoria Simcox
Published: November 11th 2011
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
The Black Shard, Victoria Simcox’s fast-paced, intricately woven sequel to The Magic Warble, takes Kristina Kingsly and her schoolmates back to Bernovem … and into a thrilling, often dangerous adventure.
Kristina’s stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it’s all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester’s cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it’s actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can’t refuse.
Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn’t get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard”, Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.
For about an hour, she slept peacefully, but then, she began to dream, and she suddenly found herself back at the palace, in the same room that Werrien had brought her to the night before—the one with the large table and the cabinet against the wall. Only now, instead of being night, it was day, and a woman was standing in front of the window with her back to Kristina. The woman was dressed in a long, cobalt-blue gown, and her blonde hair hung down in ringlets to the middle of her back. She stood silently, looking out the window, seeming to be in deep thought. Then a man approached her from her left side and put his arms around her, as if to comfort her. The woman turned to face him, and she buried her face in his chest and began to weep. Kristina recognized the man to be King Sirus, and then she recognized the woman as well; she was Queen Navesa.
Suddenly, the atmosphere became hazy, and the scene in the dream changed. Queen Navesa and King Sirus were no longer in the upper room of the palace but in a small, dark, circular room, standing again with their backs to Kristina. In front of them was a round structure, about four feet high and four feet wide, with a hole in its center. The only thing Kristina could liken it to was an old water well. An almost blinding light shone up out of it. The king and queen were not the only ones in the room. Directly across the round structure stood another person, facing them, wearing a hooded cloak.
Again, King Sirus put his arm around Queen Navesa, and then he kissed the top of her head. The queen turned and looked up into his eyes; both of their expressions were worrisome. Then the king looked at the cloaked figure and nodded his head. Queen Navesa turned forward again and then reached across the round structure to hand something she had been holding in her arms to the hooded person. Then the hooded person dropped whatever it was into the opening of the round structure, and right after, quite suddenly, the light began to flicker, and then spin, reflecting off the circular wall surrounding them. Its intensity became so bright that it hurt Kristina’s eyes, and its continuous spinning made her feel like she was in the spin cycle of a washing machine. To add to it, an eerie, high-pitched howl accompanied the spinning light, and its ear-piercing sound grew
louder and louder, and the bright light spun faster and faster, until Kristina couldn’t take it anymore. She woke up abruptly, with her heart racing and her breathing heavy.
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About the Author
Victoria, known as Vicki, was born in 1966, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She has one older sister, Jeannette. When Vicki was 7, she moved with her family to British Columbia. In her early twenties Vicki moved to Western Washington and now resides in Marysville WA. She has been married to her husband Russ, for nineteen years and they have three children; Toby, who is fifteen, Kristina, thirteen, and William, eight. She has home schooled her children for the past nine years, and she also teaches elementary school art. Vicki’s other family members are, a Chihuahua, named Pipsy, two cats, Frodo, and Fritz, and two parakeets, Charlie, and Paulie. She did have a pet rat named Raymond when she started writing The Magic Warble, but sad to say, he has since passed away of old age. Vicki enjoys writing, painting watercolors, watching movies, hanging out with her family, and chauffeuring her kids around to their many activities. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and one of her fondest memories is when she was twelve. She would sit at the kitchen table and read The Chronicles of Narnia to her mother while she cooked dinner. These magical stories were very dear to Vicki and she remembers wishing, If only I could go to Narnia like Lucy and Susan. Vicki hopes that maybe, she can touch someone with her story in a similar way.