Welcome to the book blitz for THE LAST BEEKEEPER, the first book in the young adult dystopian fantasy trilogy, The Silent Skies, by Rebecca L. Fearnley. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book
Title: THE LAST BEEKEEPER
Series: The Silent Skies Trilogy #1
Author: Rebecca L. Fearnley
Publisher: Lightning Hyena Press
Release Date: April 20, 2022
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Solma is a fighter. Trained by her village Steward to protect their community from the predators of their harsh world, she is fierce and loyal. But how can she protect her friends and family from crop failure and starvation? With flying insects extinct for over a century, nowhere on the forsaken continent of Alphor is safe and Solma is terrified her little brother, Warren, will be one of the next to die. The villagers cling to life, waiting for the Earth Whisperers—mysterious nomads with a strange magic that helps plants grow—to arrive.
But then Warren finds something. Something impossible. When the first bee in a hundred years crawls out of the earth, Warren forms a strange bond with the creature and Solma fears he might have a new power. One that leaders of Alphor would kill for. As she and Warren fight to keep the bee secret and safe, word of this miracle sweeps the continent. Allies and enemies alike descend on the village. Some demand the bees for themselves, others want to destroy the colony to level the odds. When words become threats and then violence, Solma and Warren are caught in the conflict, and now it isn’t just the bees in danger.
When whoever controls the bees controls the world, how will Solma and Warren know who to trust?
Suddenly, Blume launches herself off her flower and buzzes to the base of a tree. She zigzags across the roots, droning excitedly. Warren scrambles round to see what she’s doing and gasps.
Blume has landed in the dirt between two tree roots and as they watch she disappears down a tiny hole. They knock their heads together trying to see where she’s gone. Warren clasps his hands together excitedly.
“I hope she likes it,” he murmurs. Solma looks at him.
“Her new nest,” Warren says. “It’s perfect, ain’t it? Bell was right!”
Solma scowls. It’s annoying that Bell was right.
They peer at the dark hollow. Solma tingles with anticipation.
“How will we know—?”
“Shh!” Warren hisses. “Wait!”
Solma scowls but obeys. They seem to stand there forever, staring at the ground, until Solma feels restless. She glances over her shoulder, peering towards the watchtower on the horizon. Her patrol’s in a few minutes. They need to go soon. If they’re seen … if they’re caught …
Then Blume’s happy vibrato cuts through the silence and she emerges from the hollow, lifting into the warm air. She flies a lazy circle around the burrow. Then another and another, rising higher into the air with each pass. Solma frowns.
“What’s she doing? Is she sick?”
Warren chuckles. “I don’t reckon so,” he whispers. “I bet she’s memorizing. She’s making a map of the burrow in her mind before she goes to get more pollen.”
Solma frowns. “I don’t think she’s that clever, Warren,” she says. Warren flashes her a furious look.
“How would you know?” he retorts. “Just ’cos you don’t understand her or speak her language, doesn’t mean she’s stupid!”
Solma opens her mouth to protest, then closes it again. He’s got a point.
Suddenly, Blume seems to feel she’s done enough mapping and hums off towards the managed forest. They watch her go in silence.
“Right,” Solma says after Blume’s tremolo song fades into the distance. “Let’s leave her to it, eh?”
Warren, of course, kicks up a fuss about having to leave Blume.
Solma checks the sun through the canopy of leaves. She doesn’t have time for this.
“Come on, Warren,” she says, trying and failing to keep the impatience out of her voice. “Please?”
There’s a rustle and snap somewhere up ahead. They both freeze. Solma’s rifle is off her shoulder in seconds and she’s gathered Warren behind her. They peer between the trees, out into the long grasses beyond. Silence.
Solma is about to relax when a flash of russet catches her attention and she snaps her gaze round just in time to see a figure running in the distance, dressed in Gatra black, with a red braid bouncing against a rifle. Her gut twists.
“Who was it?” Warren whimpers. “Did they see?”
Solma swallows against a sudden lump in her throat, “It was Olive,” she whispers. “And I don’t know. She might’ve seen nothing, or …”
She shoulders her rifle, lungs tight with worry. “… or she might’ve seen everything.”
About the Author
Rebecca has been obsessed with two things since she learned to walk and talk: stories and animals. Luckily, the two seem to be very compatible. Rebecca writes stories set in strange worlds filled with bizarre creatures, strong female characters and magical powers. She started her writing career as a poet, performing all over the country and publishing her first collection, Octopus Medicine, with Two Rivers Press in 2017.
In addition to writing, Rebecca is also a teacher and, in 2018, decided that she wanted to write quality books for the young people she works with. Her books tend towards themes of respect for the environment, protecting the planet and the new generations challenging the old to face up to their mistakes.
She lives in Reading, UK, with her unusual family, which includes herself and her partner, a friendly little mini-lop rabbit (called Cleo) and a gregarious and feisty quaker parrot (called Maya).
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