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
“It’s not afraid of us,” she marvelled. “What does it
“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
“Oh, Frehley,” his love said. “It is so
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
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
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
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
November 12, 2022
FULL REVIEW: https://www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/leftwich-blues-elfwitch-rules/
A sprawling, engrossing fantasy that deftly explores Christian
themes in a dramatic fashion.--Kirkus Review