Rise of the Zelphire Book One: Of Bark and Sap
(Magnetic Press, Feb. 25, 2020)
Legend says that a spirit sleeps within each of us and that a childhood trauma can awaken it . . . such is the awakening of the Zelphire . . . Young Sylvan Khelmann is one such host, doing his best to hide the strange, tree-like features that start growing on his body. This mysterious condition comes with strange abilities which he doesn't understand until meeting Professor Wernes, who invites him to join an expedition of discovery. But they find themselves pursued by the evil Dreghans, who possess supernatural abilities of their own, tracking down all known Zelphires to serve their secret nefarious purpose . . . The first book in the globally popular middle-grade fantasy series by writer/illustrator Karim Friha, this supernatural tale is steeped in Victorian steampunk and is a delightfully dark adventure, like Charles Dickens by way of Tim Burton.