Thursday, May 3, 2018

Top Books of 2017 (and 2016 and 2015)

Yes, yes, I know. It's May, and I haven't posted this for LAST YEAR yet. 

OR THE LAST TWO

Okay, okay, I'm terrible, what can I say? I can't post this at work, which is really annoying, so I have to find time on a day off. So I'm going to pretend that my books didn't fall off the top of my bookcase and didn't break my cat statue at the same time, and instead I'm gonna type this up.


NUMBER 10

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by Various

For those of you who don't follow me on Goodreads or Twitter, I bitched a lot about how New 52 started strong, created a bogus timeline, and then copied Modern before dying and becoming Rebirth. It's the same damn timeline, but the stories themselves are just better, in my opinion.

This is the exception. While the plot point that triggers this is copied and falls flat, THIS DID NOT. Basically there's no Batman, and rather than have the Robins fight to take up the cowl (like Modern brilliantly did), instead the youth of Gotham say EFF THIS and take up the mantle of Robin (who is MIA anyway and has been for a few weeks). This is their story and how we get our newest member (and second or third black member) of the Bat Family, Gold Bat.

This story is told throughout the Bat Family different comics as well as a two part solo story of We Are Robin, so I'd check out the bind up. And remember, since graphic novels can be pricey I would see if your local library has it. :)


NUMBER 9

Image result for star wars servants of the empire

by Jason Fry

This is actually a quartet of books, of which Edge of the Galaxy is the first one, all by Jason Fry. It takes place in Star Wars Rebels, the TV show that wrapped up on March 5th, and ties the original movie trilogy with the new one. While I'm not a huge fan of the new movies--okay, I'm not a fan of Last of the Jedi, Force Awakens was awesome--I adore the shows. In fact the very best of Star Wars is the two shows, Clone Wars and Rebels. If you haven't checked them out, you should.

But even if you don't want to and want a little info about this series, it follows a young black boy named Zare Leonis, who's sister was force sensitive, and disappeared from the Imperial Academy. He has gone into the academy solely to find her, and ends up helping our rebels. The show doesn't show much except him telling Ezra, Rebels main character (MC), that he's going to be transferred off world and hopes to find his sister soon.

These books show from when his sister is accepted into the Academy, all the way through to what happened after he transferred, and I'll only add this: we find out where the First Order came from. I really enjoyed it. They are middle grade/intermediate reader so I could have read all 4 books in one afternoon, but I loved the story they were telling and wasn't able to guess much beyond the ending.


NUMBER 8


by Wendy and Richard Pini

Hello, my name is Lorien, and I'm addicted to ElfQuest by Wendy and Richard Pini.

It's the longest running independent comic in the US, and it wrapped up (for now) on February 28, 40 years to the day. I was heartbroken and cried so much, and even have a review of the last issue, as well as a Why You Should Read ElfQuest video.

But before that happened I read this. Basically this is a huge book explaining behind the scenes of ElfQuest, where the story came from, and little stories of what was happening during certain comics. It's beautiful and I loved it so much, especially all the commentary on the sides from Elf Mom and Elf Pop, as they're called by us fans. If you like ElfQuest, you need to pick this up.


NUMBER 7

Image result for wires and nerve

by Marissa Meyer

This is the manga continuation of the amazing Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. While we had a full cast that was added onto with each book, this manga focuses mostly on two characters, Iko and Kinney, two side characters who don't get along, but now have to figure out how, because some of the soldiers from Levana's war refuse to come home.

It's cute and fun and I enjoyed every second of it, though it killed me to wait a year to get the sequel, which I read this year. :)


NUMBER 6

Image result for sarah scribbles books Image result for sarah scribbles books

by Sarah Andersen

Technically Adulthood is a Myth is a reread, but again, didn't bother to post last two years worth of top books cuz lazy ass, so it counts.

Let me tell you: these books were a blessing when I was super depressed. I would pull them out and just read and laugh and it was a great thing for me every time. I own both and can't wait to get my hands on Herding Cats, which came out on my birthday! I should've asked for it... But I got art supplies instead. :)


NUMBER 5

Image result for ahsoka book

by E.K. Johnston

Yet another book set from the Star Wars TV Shows, Ahsoka is Anakin's padawin apprentice, and one of the big reasons he turns to the darkside. In the show it's very clear that Anakin can hold better to the light with Ahsoka around, because he was her master and role model, so he was doing his best to be on his best behavior. He slowly slid into the darkside, but once she left his life he went into freefall.

But this isn't so much about that, but more about how she survived Order 66, and her path in the darkness after the Clone Wars season 5 finale. And boy oh boy, it's amazing story. My favorite Star Wars book by FAR, and honestly my favorite Star Wars character, followed closely by Kanan Jarrus from Rebels.


NUMBER 4

Image result for ACOMAF Image result for ACOWAR cover

by Sarah J Maas

Yes, I know there are problems in this book series, and yes, I know these aren't the best, but dammit, these are two of my favorite books EVER. Especially ACOMAF. Damn, that book is GOOD.

These are the sequels to A Court of Thorns and Roses, so I'm not going to say much. I enjoyed them immensely, and apparently I'm one of the few who really, really like ACOWAR. Even my bestie Ray/LA Knight thought it wasn't very good. Sure, it could have been better, but damn, I loved it. Rhysand is my new love. I want a Rhysand SO SO MUCH!!!!! *sigh*


NUMBER 3

Image result for black panther and the crew

by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Various

This is a six part comic series from Marvel that was doomed to fail. Marvel refused to advertise it and right after the first or second issue was released cancelled it. So we only get a taste of the majesty that could have been, but what does exist is AMAZING. It takes place in a small neighborhood that is being torn apart by police brutality and big business coming in to destroy the homes and boot everyone out. But T'Challa and several other Marvel heroes love this neighborhood and are going to defend it.

Marvel really fucked up with this one. It had the chance to create a group of black superheroes who would be as well known as the Avengers and refused to give it a chance. They also have been making very racist choices lately, so I've been iffy about continuing to read past these six little comics, but I know that there's so much more out there. This is an Own Voices series, and if you haven't looked into it, head to your local comic shop and pick them all up. It was wonderful to read and I will be seeing what happens next, when I can figure out where the hell it's told.

If it's told.

Stupid Marvel.


NUMBER 1 (TIE)

Image result for the princess saves herself in this one cover

by Amanda Lovelace

This is another one that sorta is a reread, but not really. See I read this when the original edition was self-published by the amazing Lady Book Mad on Tumblr back in 2016. In fact my edition has a signed bookplate that I got when she was sending them out for free right after it came out.

But then it was picked up by Target and Barnes & Noble, and that was a different edition with more poems, and I finally got around to rereading it right before the year ended. I absolutely love this. It will make you cry tears of rage, pain, sorrow, and joy, and in the end it empowers you. I personally have written quite a few poems in response to this, and it's sequel, the witch doesn't burn in this one.

It isn't for everybody. I mean it's poetry, and it's free style poetry on top of that, and that's not for everyone. But if you want something raw, moving, and powerful you should pick this up. And then the next one. And then sit on your hands dying for the third one which isn't out yet.


NUMBER 1 (TIE)

Image result for renegades marissa meyer

by Marissa Meyer

This one easily went to the top of my list. Renegades is the first book of a duology about a world where some of the population has powers. For eons they have been enslaved and mistreated, used for their powers, until a man named Ace decided to take out the government(s) and created the Age of Anarchy, where there was no law. Then the Renegades came up, killed him, and became the number one force in the world, and rulers of their country.

Enter Nova, the niece of Ace, who sees the flaws with a small group of fighters now running the most powerful organization in the world, and is determined to right the wrongs they keep doing, whether or not they even realize their fucking shit up cuz they fucking idiots. Seriously, I have her back 100%.

But also enter Adrian, the son of the two leaders of the Renegades. He also knows of the flaws and wants to right them, but I doubt he can get it done.

This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I had no, and still have no clue what gonna happen next. It gets a bit slow towards the end, but then, OH HO HO, THEN WE HAVE THE FINAL SCENE. It makes the book and easily overshot every other novel I read all year long. It was so amazing, and now I have to wait to see what happens next in book 2, Arch Enemies.


So that's my list! I hope you enjoyed, and I hope I can get this years list up in time. I haven't a clue. I mean I haven't done it for the past two years so... Who knows!!!

Before I forget, here are my book stats for the year:

Books Read: 127
New: 106
Rereads: 16
DNF'd: 5

Best Reread: Six of Crows
Biggest Disappointment: The Enchanter Heir
Best New Series: Wires and Nerve
Surprisingly Good: Seraph of the End
Suprisingly Bad: Wolf Children

As for those past two years, I'm gonna post their lists right now, so if you're curious to see what books I have loved previously, check below!!!



Top Books of 2016

1. Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
2. the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
3. Yona of the Dawn volumes 1-21 by Mizuho Kusanagi
4. The Others Series by Anne Bishop
5. Batman Eternal Volume 3 by Scott Snyder
6. Darth Vader Series by Kieron Gillen and Others
7. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
8. A Bride's Story volumes 1-8 by Kaoru Mori
9. The Wrath and the Dawn Duology by Renee Ahdieh
10. The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling
11. Kanan The Last Padawan Duology by Greg Weisman
12. Redwall & Mattemeo by Brain Jacques
13. Loki Agent of Asgard Trilogy by Al Ewing

Books Read: 180
New: 142
Rereads: 37

Best Reread: Arata The Legend by Yuu Watase, The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Biggest Disappointment: Ezra's Gamble by Ryder Windham
Best New Series (GN): Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi
Best New Series (Book): The Others by Anne Bishop
Best Non-Novel: The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace



Top Books of 2015

1. Winter by Marissa Meyer
2. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
3. A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett
4. Ms Marvel by G Willow Wilson
5. ElfQuest: Final Quest Vol 1 by WARP
6. ElfQuest: In All But Blood by WARP
7. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
8. Dengeki Daisy by Kyousuke Motomi
9. Injustice Gods Among Us vols 1-5
10. Tsubasa World Chronicle by CLAMP
11. Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
12. Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce
13. Thor: Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron
14. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
15. Red Hood & The Outlaws: Death of the Family
16. Hikaru no Go by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata
17. A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

Books Read: 128
Rereads: 2
New:  126

Best Reread: The Herioc Legend of Arslan by Hiromu Arakawa
Biggest Disappointment: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
Best New Series: Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
Surprisingly Good: Batman Eternal by Scott Snyder
Surprisingly Bad: Wonder Woman: Blood by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and Tony Akins

Sunday, February 25, 2018

You're Enough, I Wasn't Me, and Blood is Thicker than Water

I literally forgot I didn't post the last two of my 12 poems I wrote at work randomly. Whoops!

The first poem is impower, but TRIGGER WARNING for the next two.

I Wasn't Me is triggering for PTSD flashbacks, and bullying.

Blood is Thicker than Water is triggering for child abuse.




You're Enough

The world says if a woman likes pink
Unicorns
Rainbows
And lollipops
She's childish

If she likes makeup
High heels
And jewelry
She's shallow

If she likes books
Movies
Video games
And comics
She's fake

If she wears too little clothes
She's asking for it
If she wears too much clothes
She's a prude

If she's fat
She's a slob
If she's skinny
She's a surfboard

If you listen to them
And all those lies
You can't win
So listen to this:

You're beautiful
You're a goddess
You're a fairy
You're a mermaid

You're a warrior
You're a fighter
You're amazing
You're a queen

You're enough




I Wasn't Me

I spent a day at the mall with my best friend
Buying clothes that made us feel beautiful
And walking to the car
We passed him.
The boy who shattered my mind.

When I walked passed him I wasn't me.
A working girl who spent her hard earned cash to look good
With someone who mattered to her
And never treated her like trash

I was that little girl
Being broken for the first time
Beneath a male's fists and words
Until she died

I was an older girl now
Still too young for his vulger words
Ready to reply with violence
You want to kill me I'll kill you first

Then I was 18
When two boys pulled the same thing as him
And that piece I tricked myself into believing had healed
Fractured and broke apart again

And then we passed him by and went for food
I had just finished eating
When he walked in

Suddenly I was a little girl all over again
Breaking
Shattering
Nowhere was safe

And then I went home
And I didn't recognize my reflection

I was a woman
A working girl who spent her hard earned cash to look good
With someone who mattered to her
And never treated her like trash

And I was broken all over again




Blood is Thicker than Water

Blood is thicker than water
It means be true to your family
A nice sentiment

But for the girl whose brothers broke her
Whose sisters laughed
And parents who carved the lesson of pain into her body

For the girl who was pregnant
And told by her own mother
"I hope you lose the baby"

For the boy with a father that
Used his fists and hands to silence him
So that he didn't speak to anyone for over a year

For the girl whose mother
Called her to break her over and over
Just because she could

"Blood is thicker than water"
Is a shackle and chain
Tying them to violence and pain undeserved

Blood may be thicker than water
But love will always matter more than blood

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Some Girls, Dragons, and For Carrie

Yeah, it's been a bit, but I was debating over one of my poems I wrote, and just decided against posting it. It's a personal one that may hurt some people's feelings, and honestly is literally titled "For Ravyn", so for right now she's the only one who gets to see that one.

But here are two more that are little more upbeat. Not as heavy as a few of the other poems I just read to decide what would come next.

First is my declaration that I can be anything I imagine and more. (And so can you)

Second is saying I refuse to live in just this reality.

Third is simply For Carrie.



Image result for magic of books


Some Girls

Some girls are born with wings
And some with tails and gills
Some are born with crowns and tiaras
And some are born with stars

I was born with music in my head
And words and poems in my veins

I may not be a goddess, or a fairy, or a mermaid, or a princess
But once I was taught 10 words
I found a book and read

Then I read and read and read and read
And then wrote and wrote and wrote
And wrote myself to be all of them and more






Dragons

They say
Keep your head out of the clouds
Keep your mind on the ground
Keep your focus in the here and now

They say
Don't look back
The past is the past
Mind over matter

They say
Fantasy is useless
Fiction is pointless
It's better to be real

Well I say
Stories kept me alive
When the world tore me apart

Fantasy is better than a reality
Where there is no justice or mercy

And fiction matters more
Than the world where the innocent
Lose and lose and lose and lose

I say
The fake worlds are better
And kept the fire inside alive
And taught me hope

I don't care what they say
Fiction and fantasy and stories
The made up and unreal
Will always triumph

After all
“Fairy tales are more than true:
Not because they tell us that dragons exist,
But because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
- Neil Gaiman



Image result for carrie fisher



For Carrie

When I was a little girl
I watched a princess who wasn't always nice

She didn't always smile
And called people names
When men came to save her
She grabbed a gun and mowed the enemy down

She kicked asses, took names
And fell in love with a scoundrel
Without shame or fear
And saved the day as any man ever could

When I learned of the women
Who played this princess
I learned that she was almost same
She kicked asses, took names

And yet her mind split into two
She struggled almost her whole life
Just to find a way to live

When I learned she collapsed on a plane
I cried and I prayed
That she would be okay

And instead
God took her away from the world
And so she wouldn't be alone
He took her mother right after

I will strive to live my life
With a broken mind
Kicking asses, and taking names

So that the Star Princess
Will smile down on me
And say, "There you go.
"Show those bastards how it's done."

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Peace and Drop of Sunlight (Poems)

Here are some more poetry I wrote at work last Saturday.

These two are more personal, and not funny. Like I said with Poetry, I took all the feelings in my heart and poured them into 10 poems and wanted to cry. These are so real and mean a lot to me. I hope you like them.

Peace

Once upon a time
There was a girl
Who wanted to be a princess

Her parents told her 
"Be whatever you want to be"
If you have the will
You can do it

Then the girl went to school
And some boys
And some girls
But mostly boys
Ripped her mind apart

By 11 she didn't believe she would live
By 13 she didn't want to live
By 18 her body was ripping itself apart like her mind

But then the girl was a woman
A broken woman who refused to give up

And because she didn't give up she found peace

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Drop of Sunlight

Why is it so bad
When your mind is trapped in black clouds
And each day is like walking through a dark, misty forest
That you need to take a drop of sunlight?

Why are we told it's wrong?
Looked down on for taking it?

When you take it the mist fades
The gray sky clears
The sun rises for the first time in years
And the suddenly there's a path forward

You can breathe
You can move
You can sing
You can dance

And most of all
You can smile

I'll keep taking my drop of sunlight
And ignore the nay-sayers
Because that drop of sunlight
Is the best thing to happen to me

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Poetry and We're Screwed

Sooo...

Hello.

I'm alive.

And I'm sorry for not posting. I'll have a video up at the end of the month explaining what happened and being 100% honest with myself and the world about the why, so you'll have to check my YouTube Channel to learn all of that, cuz it's 1 AM and I'm not gonna post about it just yet.

One thing that has really suffered in my writing. I haven't posted any writing on here for one reason: I haven't written a word in over a year that wasn't something silly or me defending my friends. No stories, no poems, no fanfiction. Nothing. And if that isn't sending up a red flag, it should. The moment I noticed I panicked a bit and knew something had to change.

And it has. NOW I'm back, and the need to write has been driving me crazy for the past 2 weeks or so.

So I tried to edit Warrior.
Nope.
Then I tried to edit a new chapter in W.i.t.c.h. - The Full Story.
Nope.

At work today (or, technically, yesterday) I wrote 12 poems. TWELVE. I've never written that many in a YEAR, or even FIVE YEARS least of all ONE SHIFT AT WORK!!!

Here are actually the last two I wrote. The first explains how today went, while the second just sums up America right this second in my mind. It's something that was expressed this time last year and has only become more real as time went on.

Poetry

Poetry is like picking at scabs
It may feel good at first
A release of an inch
But in the end you still bleed

The difference is you write all your words out
And then you want to cry
But you’re at work
And the big dude sitting behind you would stare

Image result for dude staring

(His reaction in my brain)

We're Screwed

You know the world is screwed
When you look at the last mess of a leader
And look at the current one and say
"There's very little I wouldn't give to put Bush in office instead."

At least he's a good idiot, and not an evil one.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ElfQuest Reading Order

Hey guys! Most of you on here are clicking from my ElfQuest Series Intro/Review from my YouTube Channel. If not you should really go and watch that cuz this will be over your head.

You can read all of ElfQuest HERE.

If you are just starting out one easy way to simply to start at the top and go down. However there are little things you won't really understand unless you start reading them in chronological order. If you want you can go from Hidden Years 1 - 9.5 to Hidden Years 9.5+ and Shards and read the stuff in between afterwards, but personally I'd like to know more about the Wolfriders as well as what I was missing. Or you can read the stuff in between before Hidden Years, but again, it's all up to you.

Without further ado, here's the list:

Main Quest ★★★★★
Homespun ★★★☆☆
Siege at Blue Mountain ★★★★★
Kings of the Broken Wheel ★★★★★
Hidden Years #'s 1-9 ★★★★★
Dreamtime ★★★★☆
Kahvi ★★★★☆
Two-Spear ★★★★☆
Wolfrider ★★★★☆
By Any Other Name ★★★★★
Blood of Ten Chiefs ★★★★☆
The Jury ★★★★☆
A Gift of Her Own ★★★★★
Hidden Years 9.5+ ★★★★★
Shards ★★★★★
New Blood ★★★★★
In All But Blood ★★★★☆
The Searcher and the Sword ★★★★★
The Discovery ★★★★★
Wavedancers ★★★☆☆ (this is not canon and unfinished)
Fire Eye ★★★★☆
Worldpool ★★★★☆
Wildhunt ★★★★☆
Final Quest ★★★★★
Rogue's Curse ★★★★☆
Jink ★☆☆☆☆ (DNF'd)
The Rebels ★☆☆☆☆ (DNF'd)
Future Quest (unread)
Recognition ★★★☆☆
Mender's Game ★☆☆☆☆
Kings Cross 1 & 2 ★★★☆☆

Here's a trigger list by title
ELFQUEST READING ORDER
Main Quest - sex, nudity, gore, racism
Homespun - nudity
Siege at Blue Mountain
Kings of the Broken Wheel - suicidal character, character starves himself
Dreamtime - crud humor
Kahvi - sex
Two-Spear - abuse
Wolfrider - abuse
By Any Other Name
Blood of Ten Chiefs
The Jury - animal abuse
A Gift of Her Own - bullying
Hidden Years 9.5+ - gross images
Shards - abuse, gore, disturbing images
New Blood - abuse, disturbing images
In All But Blood - sex
The Searcher and the Sword - abuse
The Discovery
Wavedancers
Fire Eye - abuse
Worldpool
Wildhunt - rape, sexism
Final Quest - sex, nudity
Rogue's Curse - abuse
Jink - sex
The Rebels
Future Quest
Recognition - sex, gore
Mender's Game - sex
Kings Cross 1 & 2 - rape, racism

Friday, October 7, 2016

W.i.t.c.h. The Full Story: Part II Chapter 7 - Yan Lin

So I've been getting requests for another chapter of Witch the Full Story. Last night, I lost internet, phone, and cable so I decided, might as well. So here's the new chapter where we see what young Yan Lin can do. :)

Chapter 7
Yan Lin
Meridian

The former Guardian could not count the times she had done this in her life time. Too many of her friends had been imprisoned here and died here. Too many failed attempts at freeing the innocent had taken place here.
But that was a long time ago.
And now, these children were lax.
The second Yan Lin passed through the portal it slammed shut right behind her. She flew as fast as she could and hid behind a pillar some 200 yards away. There she crouched and waited. No one came.
Yan didn’t know whether to feel extremely lucky or insulted.
Better to do this without being noticed, since I have no back up.
Pain shot through her at the thought, but she shoved it away. Being young again obviously made her weak to old emotional wounds. She realized that she wasn’t in the dungeon just yet. Instead she’d landed near the guards’ barracks outside the castle itself. There ways to go, and little time to act.
She gripped the Heart.
Where? She inquired of glowing gem.
Down came the reply.
She started to move out of her hiding spot when a gruff laugh froze her.
“Don’t think I’ve ever seen Vathek so happy about letting a rebel starve to death,” one guard’s deep bass rumbled. “I mean, he normally enjoys doing something more… Painful. I mean, just letting him die in the southern oubliette? That’s not….”
As they’re voices faded away Yan thanked the Creator for stupid gossips. Now she knew where he was. She only needed to figure out where the southern oubliette was.
It was almost like a game of tag, except everyone else didn’t know they were playing. She jumped from hiding spot to hiding spot searching for a hole in the dark. Several times she was sure she had been spotted by the guards but the rebels had not broken into the palace itself for over half a century. The guards knew that problems would only come from the prisoners, and they were treated so badly that within the first two days all resistance was crushed.
Yan learned everything she needed to from the gossiping guards who kept trying to one-up each other. His name was Kaleb, and descended from rebels. His father had been one of the two leaders who had rebuilt the rebellion after Nerissa’s betrayal. He wasn’t a leader, but had some information of value. Turned out he was tough. No matter what they did to him, even when they killed a child right in front of him, he never gave in. He spat, kick like a mule, a cursed them through it all. Nothing subdued him.
Yan grinned as she flew through the labyrinth. It was an honor to meet someone that tough. Cassidy had been that tough. Yan hoped Will was that tough. She suspected the redhead was.
Time is short, the heart informed her. Go, and I will tell you if it is wrong.
She thanked the Heart, and started to move.
“Hey!”
Yan jumped. She’d let her guard down as she reminisced.
“Intruder!” The Guldon sounded the alarm.
Time to reveal thyself. Attack and keep moving.
Yan didn’t hesitate to summon a blast of hurricane wind that tossed the guards around like paper. She opted for speed over stealth and moved a tornado through the barracks and down to the prison below. Now it was a guessing game. Being underground bottled up the win which was her guide, so her sense of direction was gone. She had to pick a direction and let the Heart correct her.
I doubt you will give me a hint?
Down.
So very helpful.
Despite her flying in basically circles for a bit she moved quickly, flying at close to top speed, down stairs and in and out of corridors filled with screaming and crying and dead prisoners. Yan did her best to ignore those she couldn’t save, focusing instead on finding the one boy who would perhaps ends this suffering. She also ignored the guards, who couldn’t keep up with her. By the time she was down to the third level they were everywhere.
Yan had started training at 10 years old to be the new generation of Guardians, as each had before her, until her generation was broken with betrayal. Her winds shielded her from arrows, reflecting them back onto the archers, buffeting those with nets and weighted chains into each other’s aim, knocking those with spears into walls and their companions. She quickly blew through them onto the fourth level.
The prisoners soon caught onto what was happening, and began to help her. They tripped up and strangled what guards they could reach, shouting jeers and cheers at the guards and her in turn. The din made it harder for them to find her, and they were distracted beating back the prisoners rather than focusing on her. She made her way deeper and deeper until the Heart called to her again.
This level.
She began flying. It told her when she missed the turns, when to turn right or left. Certain she was going in circles she flew on until…
You passed it, go back.
When she reached the previous corridor lined with cells, the Heart informed her it was here. She landed and walked into the dark until the Heart called a halt.
You stand above him now.
Wishing that Halinor was there to light the chamber, she fell to her knees, and began feeling the floor for the edge of the lid to the hole they’d stuck Kaleb in. The thunder of feet and roar of the guards grew closer.
I need light.
The Heart lit up brilliant, and saw she the trapdoor immediately. As the pink stone’s light faded, she called to her power and used it to carry her voice down into the stinking pit below.
“KALEB! MOVE AWAY FROM THE CENTER! I’M GETTING YOU OUT!”

She waited as long as she dared. Praying that he was not curled up beneath her, she summoned air, compressing it into a small ball, flew up to the ceiling, and then threw it. It crumbled and fell into the darkness. Still praying he still lived, she fell down into the darkness below.