Andvell A-Z

Welcome to Andvell

As you may know by now, I’m currently working on a return to Andvell, a third trilogy in the saga focused on the next generation. Dragons! Romance! Magic! It’s going to be great.

To celebrate the new series, but also to mark the fourth anniversary since Evensong (my first novel!) was released, I have compiled the trilogy into an easy-to-download boxset. All three books, all three of Jeff’s adventures, at one click of your finger for a great price.

As of this morning, the trilogy is available on Amazon, but should be added to Kobo, Nook, and iBooks throughout the next couple of days.

Meratis Box Set

Even authors fight their own imaginations.

Fantasy author Jeff Powell spends most days struggling with his next book from the safety and comfort of his computer chair.

So when he wakes up in the setting of his best-selling series, he is unprepared for the threats awaiting him. His characters aren’t familiar, there are problems he never wrote, and the dragons…are much larger than he pictured.

Faced with evil sorcerers, vengeful lords, and the pursuit of his true love, Jeff’s time in Andvell is a constant battle. But will his imagination be enough to save the world he created from falling apart at the seams?

This epic fantasy boxset takes you through all three of Jeff’s adventures in Andvell. Meet the ensemble cast that has so many people falling in love with this new fantasy world. Krista Walsh will draw you in with the beauty and heart of a world-within-a-world and keep you hoping that the line between reality and fiction really is so thin.

Tumble into Andvell today!

Are you already a fan of the series? If so, please consider leaving a review on the boxset. Every review helps get those algorithms chugging.


F is for Feldall

[The tapestries] tell the story of Aenfeld, the first of the Feldall name and House, and alive the last time the dragon woke. He was a farmer, just starting out and having a rough go of it. Talfyr came and somehow – the story isn’t clear – Aenfeld got him to go away. The tapestry suggests he fought the dragon, but as we now know from experience, that’s not plausible. No matter how he did it, he was granted this Keep from the Sisters as thanks.

It’s time for another history lesson! The origin of the Feldall name is described in Evensong, but of course there’s much more to the story than is told in the tapestries. It’s true that Aenfeld was a simple farmer. He’d moved to Andvell from Drest as soon as he hit his age of majority, having had a falling out with his father, who told him he would never amount to anything. This prophecy nearly came true. Believing he’d learned enough of farming from his parents to make a go of it out from under their watchful gazes, he set up a small shack of a farmstead and purchased from land in a small village — barely large enough to feed himself let alone earn a living.

Not long after he moves, Talfyr awakes after five hundred years, terrorizing the territory to feed and refuel. Aenfeld, while cursing his bad timing, is determined not to let this set-back ruin his plans for the future.

What his parents never know is that he had a touch of magic in his blood. Not enough to make him a full sorcerer, but enough to give him an edge. Without the resources to the many books Brady would later have at his fingertips, Aenfeld learned through trial and error and a great deal of patience. He watched the armies go out to face the dragon, watched as few men returned, and knew there had to be another way. If the dragon returned every half-millennium and the country remained standing, there had to be a way to cope with him.

In his dreams, three voices came to him with images of diplomacy and peace. The vision warned of what would happen if the dragon continued his feasting on their land: the farms would burn, and nothing would be left of the forest. The voices spoke with such urgency that when he woke up, he felt he knew what he had to do.

When the dragon would fly over his land, he would stop his work and wave his arms, calling after Talfyr. His neighbours thought him mad, but he didn’t care. He refused to go back to his parents as a failure and figured if he was going to be roasted in his bed anyway, it wouldn’t be without a decent attempt to do all he could.

Then one day as he stood waving his arms, Talfyr wheeled in the air above his farm. Once, twice, and then a third time before landing a good distance away. Steam rose from the grass as the dragon scales burned through the wheat, and smoke poured from his massive nostrils. Aenfeld was certain he looked at his last few minutes on earth.

With no weapon, and no idea what he’d do if he had one, he held up his hands and began to speak. He talked of poverty and starvation, of the need for Talfyr to leave the crops alone to keep the people alive so they could continue to breed the cattle he required to survive. Aenfeld pushed the importance of the human/dragon relationship, and how they didn’t need him, but he needed them.

He spoke with no hope for success, and yet Talfyr watched him without moving, his golden eyes sharp and intelligent. By the time Aenfeld had made his case, the dragon rose to his feet, towering over the man and the farm, and flew off. That was the last the village saw of him except as a speck in the distance.

Although he had saved them, the people avoided Aenfeld even more after his “meeting” than when he was just waving his arms like a madman. He didn’t care. That night, the voice returned to him with images of wealth and success, and a week later, a messenger arrived with a letter from the king, congratulating him on his success and bestowing on him land, money, and the title of Lord Aenfeld of Feldall territory. Building began on the Keep almost immediately, and under his rule, the people flourished.

The letter he had his scholar write to his father granted him a perverse sense of satisfaction.

From that time, House Feldall continued to stand for integrity and honour. The head of the family never lost the name’s reputation for giving peace and prosperity to his people. Right up to Jasmine and Jayden, the latest of the Feldall name, the monarch knew who to call on in a crisis … perhaps always with the hope that another Aenfeld would appear through the generations who could bring peace across the species.

D is for Dragons

A shadow passed across the setting sun and for a minute the world went dark. Jeff lay on his back and stared up with growing horror as the shape circled two hundred metres overhead, its green iridescent scales and razor-sharp wingtips glinting golden in the sunlight.

Talfyr, as designed in the Hello Kitty style of artist Adam Tupper. Not a true-to-life representation of the real Talfyr. He's larger, with more teeth.

Talfyr, as designed in the Hello Kitty style of artist Adam Tupper. Not a true-to-life representation of the real Talfyr. He’s larger, with more teeth (Prints available for $10 on request)

This week we get to touch on the ever-fascinating subject of the Andvell dragons.

These creatures come in a variety of sizes, colours, and defenses determined by age, geographical factors, such as climate and terrain, and primary food source. Green, red, and blue are the most common colours in dragons under three thousand years old, but after a time, the colours fade. Older dragons appear either brown or grey.

Dragon attacks, though rare, are not unheard of in this world, although it might seem that way from how House Feldall reacts when Talfyr wakes up.  The people don’t know what to do with the new threat, their fields and cattle scorched and stolen, not having had to deal with the situation for the last three hundred and fifty years.

We learn a bit about Feldall’s history with Talfyr in Evensong, when Brady explains the story in the tapestries (to be seen in week F), but the connection between Andvell and dragons predates even that.

In Eventide, Brady mentions the Dragonkin, which is the last time the dragon and human worlds collided to any extreme degree. Before those days, after so long without hearing from the dragons, the Andvellians believed they’d disappeared from the earth, and allowed them to fall into legend. As a result, fewer daring and adventurous heroes scaled the Nagan Mountains to slay the beasts and destroy the nests. This meant half a century of hatching eggs and growing dragonlings, all unbeknownst to the people below, until one day the creatures grew tired of their mountain fare and unleashed their boredom on the nearest fields, making it as far as the capital and destroying hundreds of towns and villages along the way.

King Allarion had no idea what to do. He sent his army to ride against them, but they had to retreat from the fiery blasts of a dozen young dragons. His best sorcerers gathered to create wards around the city, but all that achieved was to protect himself while leaving the rest of his people to bear the brunt of the dragons’ hunger.

For three months Andvell was under siege, the sorcerers and soldiers working slowly but steadily to take down the beasts who came too close. Dragon meat, though tough and mostly tasteless, became a popular dish as other meats became too expensive or difficult to acquire. Encouraged by the fact that they’d managed to slay so many of their enemy, more brave adventurers came out of retirement to hunt for glory, and the more of them that rode out, the faster the dragons perished. Soon, the sightings came every other day, and then once or twice a week instead of a few times a day, and hope rose that the siege would soon to be over.

One night as Allarion slept, he felt himself rise out of his body and travel towards the Nagan Mountains. Believing it to be a dream, he allowed the journey, amazed at the vivid details of the land below as he passed. It wasn’t until the darkness of the mountain swallowed him that he began to feel afraid. The space around him was vast, the smallest noises echoing, and, unable to see, he felt small. A whoosh of flame, a spark of light, and suddenly the room was aglow as the walls lit up with fire, and Allarion’s dream passed into nightmare.

Before him lazed a large brown dragon — larger than any he’d seen flying over his country. This one would have been too large to fly. It stared at him with golden eyes, the pupils slitted vertically, eyeing him with what Allarion could only call amusement.

His horror increased when the beast spoke, the words — perfectly comprehensible — falling into his head without being spoken. It introduced itself as Ixandris, the oldest of the Andvellian dragons, and among the world’s dragon elders. He had slept for a thousand years and only woke now because of the risk to the last of his children. He knew they had been rash and stupid in attacking the humans, and that, as they would only realise once the humans were gone, they needed the soft folk to survive. Now, instead of worrying they’ll starve to death, he has to worry they won’t live long enough for starving to be an issue. So he would like to negotiate.

Allarion was uncertain, accepting that he wasn’t in a dream, but actually present in some form in front of the dragon elder and having to make a decision that could potentially destroy his people. From the little he knew of dragon lore, he didn’t know if he could trust Ixandris’s words.

Ixandris assured him he expected nothing in return except for the Andvellians to leave his children alone. As thanks, he would ensure the same. He would scatter the nest, send them across the world to find new mountains, and Andvell would not be bothered as long as he lived. Although Allarion knew the solution couldn’t be a permanent one, he saw that it would give his people time to develop better defenses, so he agreed.

The elder dragon did die eventually, but by then, so many dragons had left the Nagan Mountains that Andvell remained safe from all but the most occasional attacks. Taflyr is one of the few to remain, and is old enough that he only wakes up every five hundred years to feed. Except, of course, when his sleep is interrupted by power hungry sorcerers…

C is for Connell

Although Venn and Siobhan (pronunciation: SheVON) Connell are known for their strong roles in the Meratis and Cadis Trilogies, these sisters didn’t get to where they are without a long history of tough times, survival, and quick thinking.

The Connell family was not a rich one. Patrick and Francine Connell  were hardworking people who had grown hard over years of bad harvests and worse luck. When they finally decided to have children, it was in the hopes of having a boy to help work the farm. Instead, they ended up with two daughters: the oldest a tall, largely built Siobhan, who was able to pull her weight, and eight years later, a short pixie-like Venn. A number of failed pregnancies and stillborn children preceded Venn, so by the time she came around, added to the fact she wasn’t male, her parents didn’t have much love for her.

The Connells ran a farm in Brindley, a small town in western Andvell owned by a Lord Percival Went, a cruel and unhandsome man with the opinion that he owned the people as much as the land. He pushed his tenants to high standards and quotas, so when the opportunity was presented to Patrick that Siobhan be married to the man, he jumped at it. Siobhan, nineteen years old with no real training or education except for the work she did around the farm, had no say in the matter, and within a few months, found herself married.

The reason Percival chose Siobhan is largely unknown, although it’s rumoured he had no luck with the wealthier families in other towns due to his reputation for being an overbearing and nasty man that most fathers wanted to protect their daughters from, and Siobhan was the only single girl of marrying age within his own territory. Since heirs were more important to him than money, he settled for what he could get. His decision did not go well for Siobhan. Almost immediately, she found herself trapped in a world of isolation and abuse, until one day she rose up and drove a knife into his heart.

Venn Connell grew up believing she was worth next to nothing. Given the most menial tasks around the house and farm, she built up the skills and strength to keep herself alive. In the lack of consistent parental supervision, Siobhan took over her sister’s care, although Venn didn’t mind her independence too much. She enjoyed having a run of the farm, doing her chores in her own time, in her own way. She learned how to sneak around and steal food without being noticed, and still managed to find a cynical pleasure in the small moments of her life. She never saw herself as a victim. Siobhan watched out for her, tried to instil some discipline, and succeeded so far as to earn Venn’s undying loyalty, and be the only authority figure her sister would willingly acknowledge.

After Lord Percival was murdered and Siobhan arrested, Venn knew her only course of action was to get her sister out of prison before she could be executed. The community turned on both of them — Patrick and Francine Connell turned on their children — and at nineteen and eleven years old, both girls had either escaped from or been forced out of Brindley, never to return.

Although Venn never saw her sister again, she always held a close bond with her. For the longest time, Siobhan was the only person she would admit to respecting or loving; and although she was far from home, Siobhan never forgot her sister’s gesture, or stopped worrying about Venn’s fate.

Want to read more about Venn? Pick up Bloodlore, the first book of the Cadis Trilogy!

B is for Brady

A tall wiry man with ginger hair that reached his chin and curled under his ears, the scholar had homed in on the first book he could find. He appeared to be absorbed in whatever he was reading, but every now and then sent an appraising glance towards Jeff

Brady Reed: a man of unlimited curiosity and a mind like a steel trap for the written word. He grew up in Feldall Territory, essentially adopted by William Feldall at a young age to apprentice with the House scholar when the boy’s insatiable love of knowledge became apparent. At five years old, he was taking apart farm equipment on his parents’ land to figure out how it worked. By six years old, he was a member of House Feldall, and had lost his heart to Jasmine Feldall, taking her for picnics in the Fountain and helping with her studies. His passion for her never faded as she grew into a woman of strength and independence – not even when she fell in love with someone else.

Always more at home with his books than with the people around him, Brady had a difficult time blending with the family, unable to understand the other children’s desire to play. Fortunately, William had a high respect for him, tutoring him personally and standing up for him when other higher ranking peers tried to put him in his place. William Feldall believed intelligence held more importance in leadership than strength, so held Brady up as his ideal. Instead of inflating Brady’s ego, William’s encouragement only made him extra determined to absorb more from the thousands of books he now had access to. While he did develop a certain arrogance over time, it’s the sort that shows itself as a desire to raise others, and to use his knowledge to help those in need.

Not that Brady’s curiosity and love of learning doesn’t get the man into trouble. Superficial understanding is never enough for him, which means no matter how unpleasant or dark the lesson, he’ll dismantle each element until he can see the foundation. He’d go right down to what first inspired the idea if he could. This perseverance leads him down some dark paths, the consequences affecting not only him, but his entire family.

Brady Reed is the model of the caveat that knowledge can be a double-edged sword.

A is for Andvell


So we begin with the setting of the aptly named Andvell Saga, which begins with Evensong and Jeff Powell’s arrival in his fantasy world, and continues through the Cadis Trilogy (and will it end there?)

Andvell is the second largest country on the continent of Dunira, sitting in the centre between Margolin to the west and Drest to the east. The population has reached roughly 35 million people, spread out around an expanse of farmland and forests. The capital and surrounding area hosts about 3 million people, with the rest of the country mostly broken up into territories, the land given to its lesser rulers by Andvell’s monarch as thanks for service in the country’s military or for deeds of great bravery.

The Gendron family has been on the the throne for three generations, the current queen being Ansella, named after the first of her house, King Ansell. But more on the royal family later on. The country hit some hard times under the reign of the previous house, King Francis losing his mind and deciding he would rather a dead people than a thriving one that might try to overthrow him. Many families were made or broken under his name. Feldall managed to escape unscathed, being far enough away from the capital to escape the blow. This era wasn’t the first civil war within the country, but probably the most brutal, hundreds hanged a day on top of those struck down in the street on the kingsguard’s whim.

Only two other historical events compare in sheer horror of that one. The first happened during the Dragonkin, when the new wave of dragons were born and attempted to gain dominion over the country through fire. Although they had the upper hand for a good while, they were eventually defeated and the species nearly wiped out before a truce was made with the dragon elder.

The most recent atrocities were performed under the reign of the madman, Raul, although I can’t say much about the fun he has without spoiling the Meratis Trilogy for you.

Southern Andvell, being more heavily populated than the north, is fairly self-sufficient within its own territories, trading with Cordelay for the ocean-sought goodies. Northern Andvell on the other hand relies heavily on trade with Orland and Margolin for their survival. Orland is a mining country, primarily, so the exchange of goods benefits both sides of the border.

But aside from the day-to-day of politics, commerce, and household drama, Andvell has its share of magic (more in detail later). Although magic users went into hiding under King Francis, they’re highly respected under House Gendron. The land is infused with power, creating areas known for their magical disturbances. One such area is in the Andvell Forest, which will be familiar to those of you who have read about The Sisters; another would be The Fountain, the secret glen near Feldall’s Keep. Other magical “hot spots” like this exist around the country. Random patches where people walk towards them only to find themselves walking away; stretches of road one can only see if one is invited; and, of course, the Nagan Mountains, where the dragons come from.

A country so full of history, mysteries, and surprises, is it really any wonder its residents fell into the paths of so many adventures?