Julie Mayden is an outsider in her own home. Her mother was murdered when she was young and her father is on his fourth wife. So how could she possibly know she’s being watched by the two eldest members of the 1,200-year-old Quinn Clann to become their next Keeper of Magic?
With little time and even less understanding, Mayden must discover and claim her own innate talents. She’ll need the help of the elderly matriarchs and their two teenage great-grandsons — sophisticated Michael, who is a natural with Magic, and straightforward Jake, who wants only to protect Mayden as she is pitted against the dark and powerful Helene.
Swept up in a world of mystical forces, family rivalries, and shapeshifting great-grandmothers, Mayden is taught to harness her power and prepare for the challenge of her life. Yet what she chooses to do with her profound gift has everyone reeling, wondering if goodness can possibly prevail as the next generation rises to take its place in the legendary Quinn Clann.
Go on a Journey!
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She’s 16, daughter of a very rich father in his late 50’s and a bombshell, 32-year-old step-mother (her third). She doesn’t know exactly who she is, and she’d rather be rejected for reasons she understands than reasons she doesn’t. She’s super smart, but not bookish; pretty but not typically beautiful; anti-social but very socially aware. She’s dying for something interesting to happen. She will soon meet both Josh and Michael, and both will fall for her. But who will she fall for? Scottie is her beloved cat. But what animal spirit is she truly related to?
She’s 88, and though they look nothing alike, considers herself the “twin” of Bea. She’s been in a nursing home an endless 2 years because her daughter, Helene, put her there. The official diagnosis is that she has Alzheimer’s. In reality, prescription drugs are keeping her insane. When she goes out into the woods, she comes alive for brief moments. Deep inside, she’s related to the spirit of the mountain lion.
She’s 64, the wealthy daughter of Anna and the niece of Bea. She’s Mayden’s father’s “silent” business partner. She knows all about her mother’s magical world, and will do anything to keep her from it. Her grandson, Josh, is already lost to the magic, and for this she will never forgive Anna or Bea. She knows the animal spirit family she’s related to, but rejects it completely and will never tell a soul.
She’s 88, born on the same day of the same year as Anna. They have different mothers (Bea’s mother part Italian, part Indian, while Anna’s mother was from the Old Wealth East Cost of the United States), but they share the same father. Long ago, there were rumors a third sister was born that same day. Bea’s grandaughter died giving birth to her great-grandson Michael. Bea promised her granddaughter on her deathbed that Michael would not learn to “shapeshift” into his spirit animal until he was old enough to decide for himself if he really wanted a magical life. Bea lives on a patch of land owned by the government with Josh, and her magic helps them both hide who they really are. Her spirit family is that of the black panther.
He’s 17, the grandson of Helene and great grandson of Anna. He’s rash, handsome, angry, and as yet unable to control his shapeshifting (so he must stay with Bea, away from the world, until he learns). Mayden is the first girl he’s seen in years, and it doesn’t take him long to know what he wants. His spirit family is that of the leopard.
He’s 17, the great-grandson of Bea. His mother died at childbirth, and until recently, he’s been raised in European boarding schools. Now living with his father, he is eager to get to know his maternal great-grandmother, especially if she can explain the magical events that keep happening to him. His old girlfriend in Italy keeps texting him, but Mayden is far more interesting. Who can say what animal spirit family he will be related to, once he reaches the age that Bea will allow him to learn the magical ways in which a person can find out?
one of Mayden’s two closest friends from childhood…but does he want more than friendship now that she’s so much more grown up?
This book reached my imagination in ways I never imaged. It is more than a series of pages lined with words, it is truly a story with vivid characters and brilliant atmospheres. As soon as I began to read, I was swept up into a fast paced adventure filled with people I grew to love and know. I got to escape into the forest and live through the pages by each and every characters side – no, not characters -friends!
It was incredible! What makes this book exceptional is that the magic is real; the events that occur in this book could very well be possible. That realization opens a door to the reader, and henceforth, how they perceive events developing around them will shift. A world that they never knew existed will be washed in vivid earthy hues before their eyes. I loved every page of Mayden – I did not want it to end.
Magic with truth to it – showing inter-generational care and concern, and current issues shaping age-old traditions, this first book in the Mayden Chronicles is inspiring!
In Mayden, the main character, what we find is indeed magic… magic that shows us that these days, anything is possible if we just believe. Mayden is a young woman full of character, strength and love. She is a young woman other young woman can look to for guidance. The story takes us through her journey on discovering magic, love and a belief in herself and others. Mayden herself is a full of such amazing qualities that you might think the other characters in the book would be lost under her but this is the exact opposite. Each character in this book represents something that is important for us to learn for ourselves, to be open to possibilities. The book deals with some major emotional and social issues, death, grief, divorce, love, family dynamics and dysfunction, fighting for equal rights for women and the LBGTQ community. This book helped me to feel the magic in myself and the remember that were all fighting a battle and that perhaps we could learn a thing or two from someone else, if we take the time to “see”them. I cannot wait for the next installment of Mayden and her journey into herself and the world around her.
I have just finished this book; mere hours after I started it… I could not put it down!! The writing goes beyond the compelling story and truly seems to activate something long missing in my soul… If only I had found this type of book and writing when I was younger!! No matter what your age, gender, spiritual path, or beliefs; please pick up a copy of What Claims By Fire. It’s like Harry Potter, only real. This really does feel as if this is how Magic works, and that I just got a year-long tutelage in how to tap back into my own Magic in the few hours it took me to devour these pages.
As a reader all my life, having opened my own library at 11, I have devoured more books than I care to even begin counting. I am blown away by What Claims By Fire, consumed and literally on fire inside, no pun intended! Robin, it feels, has literally dived right into the depths of my soul and retrieved something magical from all the mundane and fear that I am surrounded by. There is a way with her writing that speaks of family-huddled around the stove with no electricity and drinking tea from the pot on the stove… no memory of why the electricity is gone but every detail of the laughing and memories shared and created while sipping tea together there. Not only to achieve that but to ingrain some of the more serious topics faced in our community with such emotional depth and lack of preaching is impressive. I literally found myself in the depths of a chest infection legging it down the stairs to get something (not tea cos it would take too long to brew!!) and then it was straight back to the book as quick as possible, like if I stopped for a minute the magic would disappear…. This touches me on levels I cannot even describe!
Delightful! You know it’s good when you don’t want the story to end. It is totally captivating and woven into the rich tapestry of the story there is a sense of deeper wisdoms about magic, mystery, ourselves and more.
I couldn’t put it down! Within the first few pages I found myself invested in the characters and genuinely wanting to get to know them more. I finished the book wishing for more.
…crackling dialogue, some brilliant set pieces, humor, romance, suspense and Magic, the kind found in fantasy novels as well as that found in the awakening heart of a lonely adolescent girl. Other people will rehash the clever plot, but I’d talk instead about the risks the writer took and how she turned them into gold… As one of the characters remarks to Julie, “Things are not what they seem, Mayden.” I suspect they’re better. Much better. Magically better.
Magical, delicious, compelling and littered with hidden gems of wisdom. Robin Rice is my new favorite author! This isn’t just another story about magic, this story is magic. This is one of those books that will have messages for you at any stage in your journey if you’re willing to open your heart to receive it.
WOW! I could not put it down – so many twists and turns! A great combination of magic/intrigue/modern day themes woven into a beautifully told story. I particularly loved the telling of a magic story from a feminine point of view. The female characters are strong and magical. Robin Rice is a gifted story teller.
A breathtaking story. It just pulls you in. It is by far the most impactful novel I have ever read… the mastery of storytelling that you find in a Harry Potter book with the depth of new understandings in spiritual teachings. In one word, a masterpiece.
I could hardly see through the tears as a read… OMG, wow!!!!!! I must let it all sink in, but to say that I LOVED it is a major understatement.