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Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Book Reviews

Book Excerpt – James Clinton’s Tales of Airn

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James Clinton, better known to Beachcomberland as Clint Mahle, has just made Tales of Airn – Book I: What Should Be, Will Be available as an eBook at www.smashwords. com. The story was originally conceived as a dance performance for children in April 2010, but Mahle’s creative partners at Northwest Florida State College requested a story outline. That eventually became the book, which generated positive feedback from “people between the ages of 10 and 76,” says Mahle. The stage version was produced and directed by Mahle in December 2010, and the author is currently working on Tales of Airn – Book II.

It was a time long forgotten, in a place far from our own, where nature and people lived together to serve one another. It was a time of wonder and a place of beauty. The place was called Airn and in this place were many kingdoms and many sights to see. Some of the kingdoms lived with nature to serve in peace and harmony, but some also used nature to serve the cause of selfishness and slavery for its own purpose.

Airn was a land of many different places and people. There were the desert races and the forest natives. There were the sea nations and those that lived in the clouds. Most of the people of Airn lived in harmony with the spirits of nature. These spirits ruled the places where they lived. Those of the desert lived with fire, those of the forest with the earth. Those who lived in the sea were ruled by water and those who lived in the clouds were directed by the air.

One of the kingdoms, called Danaan, lived in the forest. The Danaans loved all things in their realm. They lived so as not to disturb the plants and animals and you could walk for miles through their kingdom and never know they were there. That is, until you looked up.

Looking up, you would see in the tree tops the most beautiful houses made of wood and with straw roofs. The trees of the forest of Danaan had wide thick trunks that would take twenty children holding hands to circle around. The branches of the trees were almost as thick as their trunks and it would take fifty children standing on one another’s shoulders to reach the first branch. These great trees spread out far and wide. So much so, that the light from the sun barely touched the ground. In those branches were the homes of the Danaans and there they lived happy and content.

The kingdom of Danaan was ruled by an honest and loving king named Tuatha who had a beautiful queen called Dana. It was Queen Dana who the kingdom was named after because the beauty of the forest was matched only by hers. Together, Tuatha and Dana had a beautiful and charming daughter named Tara. Princess Tara loved her father and mother very much.

She often spent long hours in the forest with her mother learning how the plants could help people from being sick. She would also go hunting with her father learning how to track the animals and how to move through the forest without making a sound. Tara was so good at this that she could step on a dried leaf and not even a crunch could be heard under the weight of her foot.

On a bright sunny day, Tara was out on the balcony of her palace room when her father came in and asked her if she would like to go hunting. Always ready to spend the day with her father, Tara ran for the bow and arrows on her wall and was ready in an instant. Smiling, her father scooped her up in his arms and jumped off the balcony.

Now you are probably wondering how the Danaans get to the ground from so high up in the trees. Well, the Danaans are very strong and at every balcony are long vines stretching from the tops of the trees to the ground. All a Danaan has to do is grab a vine and slide down. It is very easy for them. There is, however, one thing they like to do. They constantly have contests to see who is the best at swinging. It is quite showy but they have fun.

King Tuatha snatched up Tara, jumped off the balcony, and by the time he was at the nearest vine, she was on his back and down they swirled. King Tuatha was the champion vine catcher of the kingdom. Tuatha and Tara had a little thing they liked to do when catching a vine. Tuatha would swing straight out from the vine and spiral down and just before they touched the ground, Tara would jump off and see how many flips she could do. The trick was that she had to time it so that she and her father would touch the ground at the same time. Her record was five flips. In the competitions at the festivals no one could beat them.

Copyright 2010 James Clinton