Previously known by the working title “Faerie Tale.”
During a power blackout, a frail and obviously poor old woman stops to ask for a glass of water from a back yard barbecue party. Given a good supper instead, she looks around the group, and tells them, “Be who and what you truly are.”
A contemporary fantasy novel about self-identity and priorities
Several days later, seven of the people from the barbecue find themselves inexplicably drawn into going out for a walk, despite the late hour. The summons leads them into the hands of a pair of wizards and their medium accomplice, who kidnap them into a bubble reality connected to the usual one only by a single doorway.
All seven, who started school together in their mid-sized town and have known each other all their lives, though contact has in many cases been sporadic, are told that they are not in fact entirely human: they have active fae blood, due to a series of conditions culminating with the blessing of the elderly fae woman.
The transformation into fae form comes as a shock: all seven, whether originally female or male, find themselves now unreasonably beautiful women. More urgent even than that, though, is their captivity. Their kidnappers, they discover, snatch faelings to study in anticipation of another war between the fae and wizards, and use drugs and magic to make their subjects forget their pasts and to make them more pliant. An unknown number of other faelings live on this island, earlier victims. Getting back to the real world and to the families they’ve been stolen from is a higher priority than this metamorphosis that rapidly begins to feel natural… but they also discover that this is only the first step, and there will be further changes, as the specific type of fae blood each has expresses itself.
With no resources except themselves and their long shared history, how can they escape this prison? If they succeed, how can they possibly reclaim their lives, or ask loved ones to stand by them if they’re no longer even able to pass for human? Just how many other faelings have been kidnapped, anyway? And is there a way they can make certain that their captors never put anyone else through this?
Back in the real world, Kayla, who learned long ago to trust her gut instincts, is absolutely certain that something is very wrong. The pattern in the list of missing friends is easy to spot, but makes no sense at all. Then a young woman turns up at the back yard gate who knows more than she should and has an explanation for everything, and even though the explanation makes even less sense, every instinct tells Kayla that Riley is her only way to get her best friend Theo and his oddly-assorted classmates back. If they’re not quite what they were, well, that’s a bridge to cross later…
This is being released as a serial, with new chapters on Tuesdays and Fridays (usually). Previously, much of this was posted on Wattpad, but it has now been removed. You can find it on Royal Road.