The Relic Hunters, Book One
by Lexi Rees
Middle Grade Mystery / Fantasy
Such a small parcel shouldn't cause experienced smugglers much trouble, but this parcel is far from normal.
Lost and scared after a violent storm, Finn and his sister, Aria, take shelter on a remote island. They discover the parcel contains a relic belonging to a long forgotten people. Locked inside are powers which will change their lives, and the world, forever.
As Finn realises his connection to the relic, a vision strikes him - but what does it mean? Who should they trust? And if they decide to follow their hearts rather than their orders, will they manage to deliver the relic in one piece?
Chased across the seas as they try to solve the mysteries within the parcel, the fate of this ancient people depends on them. Finn and Aria must choose between what is right and what is easy - and time is running out ...
All the locations in Eternal Seas are based on real places, although I have taken some artistic license. In the book, Finn and Aria go on a quest which takes them to a castle on a remote Scottish island, near where their father grew up. The castle was inspired by Gylen Castle on the Isle of Kerrera. In reality, it’s not at all remote – a frequent ferry runs from Oban and it’s only two miles away. I love Oban and the surrounding area and have spent many happy holidays there. Random author fact: the Oban whisky is my favourite tipple.
In both real life and in Eternal Seas, the castle is perched on a cliff, towering over the sea. If you’d like to know more about the Isle of Kerrera and Castle Gylen, do have a look here .
Here is my illustration of Gylen Castle
And here is the real castle.
The real Gylen Castle, Image thanks to
I sincerely hope the people of Kerrera will forgive me for my description of the island. As you can see from the image, it is a stunning, rich green landscape, providing a fabulously dramatic setting for an awesome castle. With that said, in this extract Finn and Aria have a slightly different perspective as they approach the castle for the first time …
We line up on deck as we approach the Island of Gylen. Battered by the sea, it’s a barren, ugly, brown lump of rock. A few brave trees hunch over against the wind, clinging onto life in this harsh environment. It’s immediately recognisable as the place in my vision.
Rising out of the rocky cliffs is the castle. The solid grey granite walls soar above us. Even in ruins, it oozes power. I shudder to think how terrifying it must have been to approach as an invading army in days gone by.
Six stone turrets still mark the corners of the castle, the irregular shape following the outline of the cliff. There are no windows, just hundreds of narrow slits for the archers, pointing in every direction. Stone funnels overhang the battlements, ready to pour boiling tar down on anyone who tries to attack the castle from the sea. This was a castle built for war, not for princesses.
Near the shore, Aria grabs her bow and arrow, poised for an attack. But we land without seeing a single soul. The emptiness of the beach echoes. Only the wind comes to greet us, filling our ears with its chilly breath.
‘Where do we go now?’ Aria asks.
‘Up there.’ I point at the castle.
Dad leads the way as we scramble up the rough path. The castle looms above us, growing larger and larger as we climb.
‘I don’t like it here. It’s creepy. Other than the wind, it’s too quiet. Not a soul, not a single bird. I haven’t even seen a seagull, and they get everywhere, like rats.’ Aria grimaces, her long white hair whipping around her face in the wind. She pulls the collar on her coat further up and hunches her shoulders, shivering.
A heavy portcullis blocks the entrance to the castle. Thick iron bars flaked with rust suggest it hasn’t been opened in years. Beyond the portcullis, under the archway, there’s a vast wooden door, studded with iron spikes, and firmly closed. Visitors are clearly not welcome.
From the shadows steps a figure. Sir Waldred. My heart sinks.
"A thrilling and magical adventure with plenty of hair-raising chases and a villain readers will love to hate. ETERNAL SEAS is a must-read for young fantasy fans." Madeline Dyer, author of the Untamed series
"ETERNAL SEAS is a compelling adventure that weaves mystery and intrigue into a tantalising plot for the reader to enjoy. The writing has a lyrical quality and almost seems to capture the movement of the sea as the story unfolds. A very enjoyable read."
Jude Lennon, author of Hal and the End Street, the Lamby series and other children's books
"An exciting debut novel that takes us on a roller coaster adventure ride over high seas to mysterious places and brims with magic and intrigue. Young readers will love this book."
Shalbey Bellaman, author of Dragons in the Looking Glass and Jack in the Wallows
And here she is...
Lexi Rees spends as much time as possible sailing and horse riding, both of which she does spectacularly badly. Attempts at writing whilst horse riding have been disastrous, so Eternal Seas was written on a boat; the storm described in the book was frighteningly real.
Social Media Links –
2 of them!
Win one of two £10 Amazon gift vouchers (UK only). To enter
1. Share a photo of you with the book (paperback or ebook) on Twitter or Instagram
2. Tag @lexi_rees (Twitter) or lexi.rees (Instagram) and #EternalSeas
3. Closing date 30th November 2018
4. UK only
5. Winners will be drawn randomly
Illustration competition - would your children like to see their illustrations published in a book?
· Six lucky winners will have their illustrations printed in the sequel to Eternal Seas
· Winners and runners up will also have their drawings featured on www.lexirees.co.uk and on social media
Drawings must be in black and white, and can be in any of the following categories
· Aria flying up in the sky
· a cat
· mountain ponies
· a snow eagle
· a demon-goddess
· a sailing boat
· Finn and/ or Aria
Please see detailed terms for entry requirements
· Open to children aged 13 or under
· You can enter as many categories as you like
· Winners will be chosen by Lexi Rees
· Children’s name and age will be published together with their illustration. Parents/ guardians must confirm they are happy with this when they enter. Other information (e.g email address) will not be shared.
· No purchase necessary
· Closing date 31/1/19
· Entries must be scanned or photographed in high resolution and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winners may need to post originals if the images are not high enough quality for printing. Postage costs will be covered in this case.
· Full entry details can be found on www.lexirees.co.uk