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About the Book
Title: The Sailweaver’s Son
Author: Jeff Minerd
Genre: MG/YA Fantasy
The Sailweaver’s Son combines traditional fantasy with a dash of steampunk and takes young readers to a unique world—Etherium. A world where mountains rise like islands above a sea of clouds and adventurers travel the sky in sail-driven airships.
When fifteen year-old Tak rescues the survivor of an airship destroyed by one of the giant flammable gas bubbles mysteriously appearing in the sky of Etherium, the authorities react like a flock of startled grekks.
Admiral Scud accuses Tak of sabotage and treason. Tak’s father grounds him for reckless airmanship. Rumors spread that the bubbles are weapons devised by the Gublins, a race of loathsome but ingenious underground creatures. The King’s advisors call for war, hoping to win much-needed Gublin coal.
To clear his name, solve the mystery, and prevent a misguided war, Tak must do what anyone knows is suicide—visit the Gublins and find out what they’re up to. When the wizard’s adopted daughter, an oddly beautiful and irksomely intelligent girl from the Eastern kingdoms, asks Tak to help her do just that, he can’t say no.
The adventure will take Tak from the deepest underground caves to a desperate battle on Etherium’s highest mountaintop. It will force him to face his worst fears, and to grow up faster than he expected.
“That’s comforting,” Tak said. “Turn your back.”
Brieze turned her back. Tak and Lothran completed their exchange of clothes. Lothran tied the white mask about Tak’s face. It smelled of some unpleasantly medicinal substance. Tak hoisted the tray of tea and edibles onto his shoulder and made ready to exit the front door masquerading as a member of the wizard’s island people. Brieze licked her hands and did her best to smooth down Tak’s wild hair. Ordinarily Tak would not have put up with anyone running their—ugh!— licked hands through his hair. But in this case he found he didn’t mind so much.
“One more thing,” Brieze said, laying a hand on Tak’s. “Your ring. That certainly will get you spotted.”
Tak looked down at his left hand. “You want me to give you my family ring?” he asked. Removing and handing over one’s family ring was a symbol of surrender. There were stories of men in the Kingdom of Spire who had preferred having their hand cut off—or being put to death—rather than hand over their ring.
“Just for now,” Brieze said. “I’ll give it back. I wouldn’t want it to give you away.”
Tak patted at his new clothes with his free hand, looking for a pocket into which he could stow the ring. But Lothran’s simple clothes had no pockets. Tak suspected that Brieze knew this.
“The tea is getting cold,” Brieze said. She drew herself up to her full height and looked down at him with a deep, dark-eyed gaze that Tak, without meaning to, felt like a warm glow in the center of his chest. His hand tingled pleasantly where her fingers rested upon it. Goosebumps blossomed along his forearm.
He gave her the ring.
Jeff Minerd thought he stopped writing fiction a long time ago until the story for The Sailweaver’s Son came to him not in a dream but after a dream. He is grateful for that, and for the opportunity to explore the world of Etherium and entertain others with what he finds there.
Jeff has a son, Noah, who is also a writer and avid reader. Jeff hopes to one day place in the top ten—or maybe even top five—of Noah’s favorite authors. But the competition is pretty stiff.
In a previous lifetime, Jeff published short fiction in literary journals including The North American Review. One of his stories won the F. Scott Fitzgerald competition, judged by former NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse.
More recently, Jeff has worked as a science and medical writer for publications and organizations including the National Institutes of Health, MedPage Today, The Futurist magazine, and the Scientist magazine.
Jeff lives in Rochester, NY.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/X_brXTtCuak