Prince Jayden is unhappy. His family doesn’t care for him. The local sage fears him. And his brother, Constance, is better than him in every way. So, with his faithful pet, Trinket, Jayden runs away. Fearful of being recognized, Jayden wanders deep into the wilderness until he is lost and alone. He becomes friends with a strange girl from the woods, Zalia. She leads him through an adventure far more dangerous than anything he could imagine. But just when things look their darkest, there is a ray of hope. He learns he cannot escape his destiny, but must learn to rise up and meet it.
"Illweed is a sweet fairy tale featuring an engaging world. Brief, yet filled with epic adventure, it's a story sure to warm your heart." – Kriana
"Illweed is a new fairy tale that takes you on an exciting adventure into a magical land. It is geared towards middle school aged readers, but is enticing to read at any age. The illustrations throughout the book add an extra element that enhances your vision of the story being told. Illweed presents just enough action, love and magic to please the masses."–Lulu.com Review
Jayden woke as the sun began to light the sky.
"Wakey, wakey!" Zalia rubbed her nose against his and sat up. Trinket crawled out from around Jayden's legs and licked Jayden on the cheek. Jayden felt grass sticking to him as he sat up.
"Here." Zalia dropped a handful of assorted fruits onto Jayden's lap.
"Where do you keep getting that stuff?" Jayden yawned and stretched.
"My bag." Zalia gave Jayden a huge smile. She ran her finger in a circle around the leather hoop at her side. "It holds all the fruit we could eat!" She reached through the hoop and a piece of fruit seemed to magically appear in her fingers. She took it out and ate it. It was some sort of magic bag.
Jayden ate his pieces of fruit but he was getting sick of them. "Got anything else in there? Like meat or eggs or something?"
"No, no. You need hunters to get the meat. That's what they're for, silly." Zalia took Jayden by the arms and pulled him to his feet. Some fruit fell from his lap which Trinket was obliged to eat. "You'll see!" Zalia linked arms with Jayden and they took off at a healthy pace again.
Jayden was feeling a little better. He had slept well the night before. The walks and healthy food were treating him well, too. He was getting used to Zalia's energetic pace.
Jayden smiled as they continued. He didn't have any idea where they were going, but he didn't mind. He didn't feel alone.
"Careful. Watch out for soft spots. The earth gets soggier and soggier out this way." Slowly the terrain around them turned wet and swampy. Insects and wetland creatures buzzed and croaked through the tall reeds.
"Just follow me, carefully." Zalia led the way. Trinket opted to ride on Jayden's shoulders to keep his paws from getting wet and muddy. "If we make good time we should be through here by sundown. Tomorrow will be dangerous. Creetus doesn't take well to strangers."
"What's a Creetus?" Jayden asked.
"You'll be lucky if you never have to know." Zalia leaped over a mirky pool and helped catch Jayden when he jumped after her.