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Leftwich Blues/Elfwitch Rules

Jeffrey Cummins



Chayse and Reed Leftwich are twin twelve-year-olds who have a broken home: their dad can’t hold a job and is always behind on child payment and their mom is never home between alternating work shifts. Worse, the twins are one step ahead of a FINS filing and a DHS hearing. That is until one night when Elsie Crutch, a woman claiming to be from CASA, shows up to take the children into foster care. But Crutch reveals herself as the Elfwitch and abducts the twins to another world. In this counterpart world known as the Realm, everyone the twins know is someone slightly different. Here, their parents are different people who think the twins are mad strangers. The twins must learn to help each other and their estranged parents to fight the evils of the Elfwitch in order to return to their own world and heal their broken home.


Prologue:  Vows and Curses


            “Who-who cooks for you?” called the great bird.

            It startled Gina.  She spied out the night hunter sitting in the might oak above her and Frehley.  Large as a cat with bright yellow eyes that took in the night.

            “I’ve never seen one so close,” Gina said.

            “Who-who cooks for you?” called another owl from some other tree.

            “It’s not afraid of us,” she marvelled.  “What does it mean?”

            “Seeing an owl portends mighty things.  They stand for wisdom.  They are a messenger sent by the Old Solemn Judge.  To remind us all things have their season,” Frehley said.  “Look at us.  We met in one season.  Now another season is about to begin for us.”

            Frehley held up both silver necklaces under the large full moon.  The selenite metal glowed blue.  Like an ember taken from the heart of a cold fire. 

            Silver was soft and malleable.  This was the metal of vows and curses.  Healing and unforgiving.   Cauterizing and binding.

            “Oh, Frehley,” his love said.  “It is so beautiful.”

            She was just a peasant girl.  Not much younger than Frehley, truth be told.  Auburn hair.  Freckles across the bridge of her nose.  Full lips.  Sharp chin.  And a mind as bright as her smile.  A heart as deep as her brown eyes.

            Frehley had kissed other girls.  Even chased some women.  A hug.  A kiss.  Some sweet nothings given in an empty promise.  All just a fleeting game. 

            But this was the real thing.

            Rare and true.

            Frehley was just a huntsman.  Part to the Company of Hunters who managed the Royal Forest under Blanc Chassuer who was under the command of the Regent who herself was under the authority of the Old Solemn Judge until the princess came of age to ascend the throne. 

            Word had it that princess wasn’t much younger than Frehley himself.  But that she was ugly as a dog.  Queen she might become but good luck trying to marry her off.  Frehley did not think that any man could justify throwing away his future love and happiness to share in wealth and power that would be in name only and all for a woman that he not only couldn’t love but couldn’t stand to look in the face.

            Wealth and power did not matter to Frehely.  Only hunting.  The forest was his true home.  He lived there.  It provided for him.  That was where he wanted to be buried, the Judge willing.

            Or so he had thought until the day he had met the peasant girl while angling in his favorite  fishing hole beside the great oak.  She said her name was Gina.  And that she admired his strength and free way. 

            Frehley said all he was doing was fishing but if she liked the way that he fished then she should watch him hunt. 

            Gina asked what kind of hunting did he do well?  And Frehley said all of it: stag, boar, rabbit, and even bear.  She said she wanted to watch him do it all.  And Frehley had said there was no need to watch when she could accompany him and learn for herself, too.  Then they could become hunting companions.

            She agreed.  And planned a rendezvous with him.  At this same great oak deep in the Royal Forest. 

            One meeting had led to another.


Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Leftwich Blues/Elfwitch Rules is an engaging fantasy novel in which teenagers in an alternate reality receive powerful messages about faith and family.

Adventure, alternative worlds, and the strength of family come together in Jeffrey Cummins’s riveting young adult fantasy novel Leftwich Blues/Elfwitch Rules.

Reviewed by Gail Hoffer-Loibl