Princess of Light (Book One: Heirs of a Broken Land)
The Wall of Loss separating the lands of light and darkness is failingÖ
Despite her attempts to stop them, dark creatures invade Princess Cassara Edolineís small and almost forgotten kingdom, murdering her family and taking her younger brother captive. Torn by guilt and clutching an amulet of powerful magic, she vows to rescue her brother and save as many as possible from the invading hordes.
But first, she must find out what is causing the thousand-year-old magic of the Wall to fail and stop it, if she can.
As Cassaraís resolve and strength are mercilessly tested and her shaky alliances begin to crumble, she must find a way to master her newfound powers which promise both salvation and destruction, or watch her beloved land be consumed by darkness and death.
About the Author:
Marie was born in Montreal to a family with nomadic tendencies. As a result her childhood was spent roaming from town to town in Eastern Ontario. In 1996 she roamed further west in the province, attending Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Along with earning a Bachelorís Degree in Religion and Culture with a minor in Archaeology (fields she has never once come close to working in, although they do come in handy for plot development), she also served two terms as President of the schoolís Science Fiction and Fantasy Club, an honor that she will never live down. Not that she cares to.
When not earning a paycheck Monday to Friday or writing fantasy novels, Marie can be found engaged in the act of storytelling in any location where two or more people have gathered. She tells mostly original stories of her own creation or adaptations of fairy tales and myths. She was instrumental in forming the Kymeras, a group of storytellers, poets, and spoken word artists who perform regularly in downtown Ottawa.
She also enjoys e-cornering authors On the Edge and asking them the most ruthless of questions, such as which drink would best suit their novel.
Marie currently resides in Ottawa where her family finally settled, and she likes it a lot. She lives with numerous cats, two literary fish, and one human roommate. She believes that all foods need to be tried at least once, occasionally to her detriment. [MORE]
"The writing style throughout the novel was elegant and sophisticated, which really added to the overall feel of the story. Many of the scenes were very beautifully written and one particular chapter towards the start was so well illustrated that it gave me chills." - Elle, goodreads
"Marie Bilodeau is a fabulous writer. She writes lyrical, compelling prose, and fully rounded, believable characters. The Heirs of a Broken Land series is fresh and exciting, and Bilodeau is a major new star." Ė Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Aurora Award-winning author of WAKE
"[Cassara] Edoline is one of those powerful female characters that readers will feel the thrill to read about in this first book of an interesting new series." Ė BookBanter
From the fans:
"I loved it! Marie Bilodeauís first novel was a pleasure to read. Princess of Light captured my attention from beginning to end. I fell into the story and couldnít put the book down. Great flow in the writing; descriptive and action filled; the fantastic genre seems a perfect canvas for this writerís creativity. I canít wait for the next book to come out!" Ė GeneviŤve Germain
"I used to be quite a prolific reader of fantasy novels when I was younger, then my English Lit. Degree put an end to recreational reading for some time and itís been years since Iíve picked up this type of book. I must say that the first book in the Princess of Light Series has rekindled my love of this genre by immersing me back into a world that has all of the familiarity of the right elements; magic, warriors, love, tragedy, struggle, hope and the courage and determination to stand up for the things you believe in, things you are destined for.
"This wonderfully crafted story examines the paths that are set out before a Princess whoís coming of age has brought her many more decisions than she had bargained for. Joined by a mysterious warrior woman whoís commitment to uphold the same oat her father was bound to guides her fight, and a sorceress whoís quest to restore her teacherís name uncovers layer after layer of deceit and treachery, our unlikely band of heroines share a journey of discovery, disaster and determination.
"As banished darkness returns to their world, and the shadows grow stronger and more fearful with each passing night, we find our group struggling to search for the truth and justice that can banish the darkness from enveloping the souls of the unsuspecting inhabitants of a world that has once been saved from a fate that now looms again.
"Although this story provides a great set of role models for young girls to identify with, the magic, adventure, fighting and varied antagonists provide a wealth of stimulation that animates the story and will capture that attention of any reader, boy or girl, young or old, who identifies with the eternal fight of lightness against the dark.
"I extremely enjoyed reading this novel and am eagerly anticipating the rest of the tale." Ė Kristian McMullin
"Normally, I donít find myself drawn to High Fantasy, with its Princesses, grand heroes, dastardly villains and world-shattering events. Iím much more of a knife-fight in an alley over a few coppers kind of fantasy fan. Princesses are too, well, frilly.
"All the same, though, I like this Princess Cassara. Go figure.
"Maybe it is because she starts from what has to be a kingdom in name only, being just the village and a small manorhouse. Maybe it is because she loses most of her family early on and has to fend for herself. Maybe itís because sheís loyal and brave and kind-hearted, but still sneaks out at night. Maybe itís just because I like witches and sorceresses far, far too much. Regardless, sheís an engaging character and very humanly drawn.
"The book is a coming of age story, and like the story goes, sheíll discover her powers, discover her limits and discover her inner strength. It is to Ms. Bilodeauís credit that the character draws us in and takes us along on her ride. Youíll run the gamut of emotions as you follow her on her journey.
"But thatís not all you get for your money. Thereís two more protagonists wound in, on different paths and coming from different backgrounds. Ultimately, this isnít a single book, but the first perspective of a three part opus. Each of the three heroines, Cassara, Shirina, and Avarielle will be treated to their own book, but are also very subtly wound together through the other two. What starts as a simple tale becomes very nuanced, with three very different women bound on a grander path that will thrust them against a darkness that hasnít been seen for a thousand years.
"If this is an example of what a small electronic press can produce, Iím in like flint for book two." Ė Matthew Yeo
"Sorcerers, royalty and warrior-heros are often key characters in fantasy stories, but that all three in this novel are women gives a perspective not often seen in the genre.
"Princess of Light drew me quickly into the story, and I found myself reading faster and faster as perils were faced, and intriguing revelations about the characters came to light.
"Though expecting a cliffhanger, the ending still caught me off guard, and I canít wait for the next book to see what trials await our hero(ine)s." Ė Hubert Chan
"Princess of Light Ė You just canít say enough great things of this book.
"First and foremost, I donít read Fantasy books and Princess of Light was my first introduction to the world of Fantasy. I couldnít put this book down; I read it in one sitting. Princess of Light is an enthralling tale of three women battling their own demons yet come together to save their world of invading hordes. You feel connected to the characters Cassara, Shirina, and Avarielle, and canít help but want to turn the page and join them on their journey. It has everything from magic to monsters, tears and fears and strength and resolve making Princess of Light a must read.
"I love the book so much Iíve purchased several copies and have given it to family and friends. The book has received rave reviews from everyone (some have missed their subway or bus stops because they were too consumed with the story) and all impatiently await the release of book 2 (Warrior of Darkness)." Ė Nicole Soucy
"This was one of those ĎI canít stop turning the pageí books ó I didnít want it to end. Look forward to the next two!" Ė Julia Miles
"I read a lot of fantasy, but this book about coming of age in a hostile world stands apart. New monsters, new magic, new motivations. Itís imaginative, clever, enthrallingÖ and the author displays a good sense of humour. The characters are complex and none are purely good or evil; most of them are females, which is refreshing. I loved it so much I bought some for friends, a twelve-year old cousin and my mother. This is a story that can appeal to a wide audience. In fact, my little cousin loved it so much she wants her school to make it par of their curriculum. I only have one complaint: that the second book isnít out yet!!" Ė Anne-Marie Gagnon
"Princess of Light follows the separate yet intertwining paths of three young women caught up in a story with all the trappings of a gripping fantasy tale, from magic to monsters to mythology. Yet the true wonder of the book is the very humanity of its central characters, Cassara, Shirina, and Avarielle. Each character is lovingly crafted and imbued with life by the author, and the reader is compelled to turn the pages faster to follow the three women (and the other characters that surround them) down a path fraught with danger, drama, laughter and tears.
Bilodeau weaves a tight and colourful story bright with imagination and suspense. A promising debut novel from a budding star on the storytelling scene (both oral and written). By the end of the first novel, the reader is left counting down the days until the next instalment in the story arrives!" Ė Jessica Torrance
"Princess of Light is a great coming-of-age fantasy adventure with aspects that will appeal to everyone from teens to middle-aged readers. Although set in a fantasy world, complete with magic, sword fights, and mystical creatures, the author weaves in familiar elements from our own world making the book easily accessible to someone who hasnít read fantasy before. The Author uses simple prose to present complex plot lines involving religion, politics, and mystery in a way that makes the book a joy to read.
"The plot follows three female characters who are independent and self-sufficient, but who find ways of working together to further their causes. This is a refreshing change from the usual male-based fantasy more commonly found on bookstore shelves. Considering the large number of female fantasy readers out there, itís about time." Ė Kerri Melchior
"Princess of Light was a riveting tale that entrances you and carries you into another world filled with excitement, adventure and danger. It was a fantastic ride that I personally canít wait to continue with the next book." Ė Katherine Gallant
"This book was not merely story but a journey. The characters quickly pull you into their lives, their surprises, and their struggles. You canít help but go along for the ride. I can hardly wait to continue the adventure in book 2." Ė Karen Henderson
"What was supposed to be a typical trip into the village turned into a life changing event for Princess Cassara. Learning that there were creatures she knew nothing about lingering in the cliffs below her fatherís castle and that she herself was able to conduct magic should have been enough for her. Unfortunately fate has a bigger plans. After the death of her father, the King and her little brotherís disappearance, Cassara is sent, by her brother-in-law, to be married off to a Prince from another land. On the way Cassara learns many things, meets new friends and enemies, and has to make some very difficult decisions.
"Discovering that things within the Circle, a governing body of witches, were not as settled as the lands thought, and that perhaps they had become corrupt and were trying to take over all the magic was a blow to Cassara and her friends. They had worked hard to keep the darkness at bay, and the very body they trusted may be inviting it in. As the small group works hard to protect themselves and their people they realize that the battle they are fighting is bigger than any of them realized.
"Marie Bilodeau writes a tale of adventure, magic and self-discovery that is uniquely woven in a wonderous way. Cassara is a fabulous heroine who discovers that within herself she has the power to be more then she realized. Her friends are well written characters who bring the story to life with their own look at what is going on. Having someone from both sides of the current war be a part of the group is a great way for the reader to see the differences the women believe and how they overcome them. The magic, the magical creatures and the lands themselves make for a story that will enchant its readers for the entire story. The characters themselves will pull the reader in. I cried, I laughed, I got angry and I loved every minute of the entire thing. This novel is the start to a series lovers of fantasy will want to get their hands on." Ė Heather Gardener
"I just finished reading a great book! Itís called ĎPrincess of Lightí. The author manages to keep the momentum going in the story while weaving in great character development. Iím going out to order the other two books in the trilogy so I can finish the whole story;-) Oh yeah, if anyone else is interested in looking her up, her name is Marie Bilodeau and sheís a Canadian writer from Ottawa area." Ė Teresa Young
Books in the Heirs of a Broken Land series:
Imprint: Absolute XPress