The Chrysillium Tree is a story about having hope even when things are bleak. It is believing in love, even when there are more logical options. It is doing what is right even if that bucks the current system. It is a story of courage, love, and fantastical things.
Magic exists. It lives in the trees, in the water, the stars. It is all around us, if we can but remember how to listen. The old ways of Ulli wither under the domineering subjugation of the Azantium empire. Mæve Faolái is brought to the kingdom of Azantium by slave cullers, who separate her from her family and homeland. Forced into slavery inside the Palace of Light, Mæve struggles to navigate the expectations of her new life. With the cruelty of her abductors, and the lecherous advances of a Crown Prince lurking around every corner, she longs for freedom and to find her parents.
Once Mæve learns the vile truth involving the Azantium exploitation of the Lumani’s sacred Chrysillium trees, she shares these secrets with a Lumani man in the woods. When things take an unexpected turn, Mæve finds herself caught between a forbidden love and a burgeoning rebellion as she awakens a part of herself long forgotten.
An enchanting blend of adventure and lore, sacred trees and found family, The Chrysillium Tree is an adult fantasy story about the struggle for freedom amidst tyranny and remembering forgotten magic.
The inspiration of The Chrysillium Tree came from a dream I had of an ethereal blue tree at night. This was in the early days of the pandemic, when things first shut down and there was a lot of fear and energetically things felt so very odd. And then I had this amazing dream and although the visage of the tree was incredible, what was most inspiring was the sound it made as its branches blew in the breeze. The sound evoked peace; it was something vaguely reminiscent that I couldn’t quite place. The sound’s origin came from the bioluminescent blue crystals growing in place of leaves on the tree that made the most amazing sound as they clinked together in the wind.
My target audience for The Chrysillium Tree are adult fantasy readers. People who enjoy Dune or the film Avatar or the animation Princess Mononoke will enjoy The Chrysillium Tree. But really, even if a reader is not an avid fantasy fan, The Chrysillium Tree is enjoyable because I based it upon history. Outside of writing fiction, I’ve done a considerable amount of academic work studying the works of John Tutino, Fernand Braudel, and others who conduct scholarship on issues of capitalism, patriarchy, slavery, and resource exploitation. These parts of our collective world history form the foundation that I built the fantastical world of The Chrysillium Tree upon. It is a beautiful world and at times can be quite dark; enough to delight fantasy readers and those aware who appreciate history alike.
My hope is that readers enjoy the journey. I hope they come away from reading The Chrysillium Tree still dreaming of the landscapes and the characters. I hope they get transported, for a time, to another place that they enjoy being at and remember fondly.
I am well into writing the sequel. My goal is to raise enough money with The Chrysillium Tree that I can afford to publish the second book. The early response to The Chrysillium Tree have been fantastic! People are loving it and demanding a sequel. So I have no worries that I’ll be able to do this.
Laken Honeycutt is a fantasy author weaving stories from the sanctuary of her forest home in historic New England. Enamored by the stars and with a deep connection to nature, Laken’s work often includes celestial wonders and the natural magic of forests. Laken is a single mom to a beautiful, brilliant five-year-old boy. She is also an avid reader who enjoys hiking, surfing, biking, trail running, and kayaking.
For more information on Laken or The Chrysillium Tree:
Book link https://books2read.com/u/4A5Gqq