A Duel of Titans
Illustration by Epic Made
From H’Ilgraith, Sister of the House of H’Aleth
Fearful of an impending earthquake, the wolf [Jak] and lynx [H’Ilgraith] raced through the ravine. They had to get out of the canyon. At the very least, it seemed as though a major rock slide was inevitable. Since they had reached the point of no return, they had to continue through the canyon. Before long, they heard low-pitched, deep rumblings echoing through the canyon. As the rumblings became louder, more stones fell and more boulders shifted.
When they rounded a westward bend of the canyon, H’Ilgraith and Jak skidded to a stop. The canyon’s western entrance lay straight ahead of them. So was the cause of the rumblings, tremors, and wind gusts. Two adult male great gray dragons were engaged in mortal combat.
(Excerpt from H’Ilgraith, Sister of the House of H’Aleth. Illustration by Epic Made.)
H’Ilgraith, Sister of the House of H’Aleth, is the second novel in the story of a new species of humans, Homo transformans. The tentative release date is January 2020. A synopsis, description, and excerpt are provided below.
If you are interested in previewing the novel, email Mary Elizabeth at Haleth22@aol.com or go to her website at https://maryames.org to use Contact Mary Elizabeth at the bottom of each screen. Mary Elizabeth will send you an electronic copy of the first galley at no cost, available on or about the end of August 2019. A “homework assignment” comes with this offer.
- Please identify and report any typographical or other editorial errors you may find and the page number where they can be found. The word or phrase and the page number is all that is needed.
- Weigh in on the debate re: whether or not the content in appendices A, C, and D should be integrated into the main body of the story.
- Comment on whether or not you enjoyed reading the story and would recommend it to others. Note: Your comments may be cited and be attributed to you by name. You could be immortalized on the book cover!
- Send your edits and comments to Mary Elizabeth via email at Haleth22@aol.com or go to her website at https://maryames.org to use Contact Mary Elizabeth at the bottom of each screen.
In the first book, Homo transformans: The Origin and Nature of the Species, the author establishes the foundation for the genetic ability of some Homo sapiens to transform into other species of animals. She describes the conflicts that arise in society and the clash between good and evil. One of the characters, an old woman, plays a pivotal role in saving and protecting a young girl destined to become Mistress of the House of H’Aleth. The old woman always seems to know where to go and what to do. Her knowledge of medicinal plants, the preparations of potions, and treatment of wounds is extensive. Even more extraordinary is her knowledge of and ability to communicate with Great Gray dragons. She dies without revealing the source of her knowledge.
H’Ilgraith, Sister of the House of H’Aleth recounts the story of the old woman above, about whom little was known. It chronicles H’Ilgraith’s life and tells of her adventures as a young woman, during a time of escalating conflicts between the Cassius Foundation and the Biogenics Corporation. It reveals how her own personality and the characteristics of her alternate species – a gray fox, a lynx, a badger, and a great horned owl – forged an independent, resourceful, and driven individual. It also reveals how she acquired her extensive knowledge of dragons, potions, and hybrids and came to care for an orphaned child.
H’Ilgraith’s travels took her far from the relative safety of H’Aleth and deep into territories where danger was ever present. There she encountered animal and humanoid hybrids – some deadly, others crippled and impoverished – all caused by the malevolence of Rex Cassius. During one of her forays, H’Ilgraith confronted a gray mountain wolf who tested her patience and changed her way of life.
The time frame for H’Ilgraith’s story occurs after the establishment of H’Aleth and before its subsequent fall generations later, as described in the first novel.
The author continues to thread the science of genetics throughout the story of H’Ilgraith, including how genes exert their effects and the use of genetic engineering. She provides additional explanations in supplemental notes for those readers who want to more information. She uses the genetics of H. sapiens as the scientific basis for the story. The notion of morphogenesis in humans and the genetics that support it is pure fantasy.
The story is fairly straightforward and easy to follow, so it supports many levels of readers. Those who enjoy reading fantasy stories involving both real animals and imaginary creatures including dragons will find the story entertaining. The story contains no foul language, sexual situations, or vulgarity. It does contain scenes describing violent events, including death; however, there are no explicit or gruesome details. The story is illustrated with 8 paintings of scenes from the book and 7 line art drawings of creatures depicted in the book. The professional graphic artists of Epic Made produced these illustrations.
H’Ilgraith [as a great horned owl] had been so focused on the fortress and the wagon, she was unaware that she had been spotted. A harpyacalgryph [hăr-pē-ă-căl-grĭf], a hybrid aerial predator that had been released by the Cassius Foundation, had flown into the forest and settled in the canopy before H’Ilgraith arrived. Silent and motionless, it watched the arrival of the owl and noted where the bird had landed. As long as the harpyacalgryph remained still, the sharp-eyed owl would not see it. So, it too watched and waited. An unwary owl would provide a fine snack for a hungry harpy. With the owl’s attention focused on the wagon, the harpyacalgryph lifted off and dived toward its prey.
Orig. 30 August 2019
Rev. 26 September 2019
Send comments to Mary Elizabeth at Haleth22@aol.org or use the Contact Mary Elizabeth box below.