Well, here we are! The end of Fantasy Month (which I totally didn't know February was until after I started the linkup) and the end of our fantastic linkup!
I have had a ton of fun hosting this, and I can't wait to share some fantastical posts with y'all!
First up, Issabelle over at Teen Writers' Nook gave us this amazing glimpse into the City of Lorbalow (plus, there are some fantastic book cover designs Izzy shared with us)! Her style is so fun and unique, and Lorbalow has such a rich history. I can totally see a story springing out of Issabelle's new world!
Second, Linyang Zhang created the City of Casyla and shared it on her Instagram! (She's also got some lovely photos on her profile, as well as the link to her YouTube channel--which you should totally go check out!)
I do hope to continue doing this in the future, so let me know what you'd like to see next time in the comments! Thank you SO much to those of y'all who participated!!!
There was only one gardener the queen trusted to supply her with roses, and she deferred to this sage old gardener whenever deigning to redesign her nursery or when in need of bouquets to decorate the table. Her quality is excellent, her taste impeccable. Some speculate as to just how this gardener is so accomplished, and why she has been awarded such a fine nursery in the center of Palvire, guarded by high walls and complete with a house for bees and a greenhouse for the most delicate of plants. It is often wondered if she is connected to the royal family or in the past gained their favor. Others, those you might would call conspiracy theorists—though don’t ever call them that to their face, as it’s seldom that they are wrong—are more than certain that it is simply the gardener herself, that she has an innate, perhaps even supernatural, ability to cultivate the most beautiful and heartiest flowers in the kingdom.
They are no doubt correct. The Gardener, as she is so aptly called, is surely more than a hundred years old, with the fairest of flaxen hair and the palest of pearlescent skin. No doubt she is immortal, perhaps even part angel or fae or some such as that. Palvire is not one to put stock into myths and legends, as their past generations were, but no one dares to deny that there is something mystical about The Gardener. Those who have the rare pleasure of watching her work are held spellbound by her gentle movements and delicate graces.
I caught a glimpse once, as she floated on mist through rows of hydrangeas and hyacinths. Her hair was unbound, eyes wide and brightened to a blinding blue by the sun. The thin dress she wore was likely made of the plain muslin most everyone else uses, but it moved against her with such life, as though the fabric itself were dancing to the song she hummed to the flowers.
A mere note sung in her voice could cause the flowers to sway toward the sound, capturing it with their petals and soaking the vibrations in down to their roots. And once the notes swelled into a melody, the tree branches were clapping in time and the trunks reverberated the rhythm.
Not once before or since have I ever seen a sight so mesmerizing. When the queen passed and her son ascended to the throne, all of Palvire rejoiced in hoping that the young ruler would finally reveal the mystery surrounding The Gardener. Though his mother had been protective of the otherworldly woman, surely the practical king would give her a real position or open up her nursery to the public. There could be no secrets hidden, of course, by The Gardener. Palvire long ago relinquished such tomfoolery to open knowledge and the pursuit of science. Granted, I have not the mind for science, and it really is easier to believe that The Gardener is a sort of mythical creature.
All of Palvire clung to hope, and when at last the king visited The Gardener, alone but for a solitary guard, we awaited an announcement. If anything, we wanted to know if The Gardener had a name, an origin, a future in Palvire.
Suffice it to say, when the king exited the walls of the nursery, his guard locking shut the metal doors behind him as never was done before, and crushed within his hand the crimson petals of a ripened rose, our hopes were dashed.
The practical young king had sentenced The Gardener to a lonesome existence, permitted to tend to the flowers she had until she or they withered away—whichever came first.
A year later, and Palvire has never seen roses as gorgeous as The Gardener’s. At times, I do believe I hear her hum as I pass by, but never have I glimpsed her dancing dress or blinding eyes or singing flowers since.