Check out my stop on the blog tour for The Tales of Tarya series by Rachel Nightingale!
Harlequin’s Riddle (The Tales of Tarya #1)
by Rachel Nightingale
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 2017
The Gazini Players are proud to present
For your Edification and Enjoyment
Tales of great Joy, and of great Woe
Ten years ago, Mina’s beloved older brother disappeared with a troupe of travelling players, and was never heard from again.
On the eve of Mina’s own departure with a troupe, her father tells her she has a special gift for story telling, a gift he silenced years before in fear of her ability to call visions into being with her stories.
Mina soon discovers that the travelling players draw their powers from a mysterious place called Tarya, where dreams are transformed into reality. While trying to solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance, she discovers a dark secret to the players’ onstage antics. Torn between finding her brother or exposing the truth about the players, could her gifts as a story teller offer a way to solve Harlequin’s riddle?
Columbine’s Tale (The Tales of Tarya #2)
Release Date: September 2018
For three hundred years the travelling actors of Litonya roamed the land entertaining crowds, but secretly leaving devastation in their wake. Is Mina the only person with the power to stop them?
In the ethereal otherworld of Tarya, Mina begins to master the rare, inexplicable powers attached to her gift for storytelling. She discovers she can touch dreams, influence the real world, and perhaps find out who is manipulating Tarya for dark purposes. In the waking world Mina is on the run, beset by divided loyalties between the travellers, and caught between two men she could love and a brother who desperately needs her help.
“Mysteries and machinations, tragedy and heartbreak, love and betrayal, adventure and fantasy come together in this spellbinding book.” — George Ivanoff, award-winning author of the Other Worlds series
Pierrot’s Song (The Tales of Tarya #3)
Release Date: November 2019
The travelling players of Litonya have destroyed many lives by manipulating the mystical realm of Tarya, and Mina has discovered her brother is one of their victims. Although she is determined to stop them, her hopes for help from the Council of Muses have been dashed. The only possibility for healing lies in a journey to the heart of Litonya, and into a past long lost to history.
When ancient stories give up their forgotten secrets, a path forward begins to appear. But love and talent are pushed to their limits as Mina and her companions come face to face with an enemy who has finally stepped out of the shadows.
Excerpt From Harlequin’s Riddle:
“But where do the dreams come from?” Mina asked, remembering Aldo’s last words to her.
“From the night, from all of us,” Uberto responded. “Do you remember your dreams Mina?”
“That is because the dreams are set free, and drift through Tarya, collecting in the Place of Dreams, until they gradually melt away. If you remember your dream it has not been released properly, and stays in your memory, causing confusion. When you are caught between dreams and reality, life can become… difficult.”
Uberto’s eyes shifted sideways.
“How do you know all this?” she asked.
“The knowledge of Tarya has been handed down through generations. My family has been part of the Gazini Players for three hundred years, since the earliest beginnings, when a traveller learned the secrets of Tarya and taught them to a few men who assisted him on the road.”
About the Author
Rachel Nightingale was a highly imaginative child who used to pretend she was wandering the woods looking for adventures on her way home from school. Once she understood creating stories gave her magical powers she decided to become a writer. Some years, and many diversions later, she is an award-winning playwright, and the author of The Tales of Tarya trilogy, a fantasy series published by Odyssey Books. Having survived improv theatre, traveled the world and immersed herself endlessly in research and creative practice, she often finds herself at the mercy of stories that demand to be written.
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/NightingaleRA
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Inspiration for the series
The Tales of Tarya series came from two sources of inspiration. One was instant, the other was more like making up a kettle of delicious Chai over a long time period, adding spices, then sugar, then milk, then some ginger…
The instant inspiration was an article I read. The actor, Alan Cumming, was starring as the Emcee in a revival of Cabaret on Broadway. In the article he talked about how one of the other actors had said to him that the moment before you step onstage is like a moment of transition before you step into another world. Having done acting myself, I knew exactly what that felt like and I instantly started asking questions. What if you could open the doorway to Somewhere Else when you stepped onstage? What if actors, and other artists, could work magic through creativity? What if the characters that actors become onstage were real people, somewhere in the real world, whose lives the actors borrowed? For me, ideas for stories always grow out of these sort of ‘what if’ questions.
The pot of inspiration came from a variety of sources. I discovered the Commedia dell’Arte, the travelling players of the Italian Renaissance, at a young age and it seemed everywhere I turned I learned more about them. My aunt gave me a beautiful tin with an image of Pierrot on the lid, which I still have. Then I read a wonderful book called Chase the Moon, by Catherine Nicolson, where the central characters write to each other using the names Harlequin and Columbine. It’s a magical story with lush descriptions. Corrie, the female protagonist, is learning to sing, and the book refers several times to the opera I Pagliacci, which is about travelling players whose lives echo the characters they are playing. Then there’s a hilarious Australian musical called The Venetian Twins, whose characters are based on Commedia characters. For me this show encapsulates the frivolity and art of the travelling players. The 1945 black and white movie Les Enfants du Paradis perfectly depicts the romance and longing at the heart of the story of Pierrot and Columbine. Then there is all the artwork – Harlequin, Columbine and Pierrot have inspired many paintings over the years, with their iconic costumes. So much rich material from which to dream up my own story.