White Forest Summaries

SPOILER ALERT

These summaries reveal information you may not want to know before reading the stories.

 

 

Summary of Book One: Brigitta of the White Forest

Brigitta is a young Water Faerie from the village-nest of Tiragarrow, one of sixteen village-nests in the protected realm of the White Forest. Brigitta is moody and anxious about going through “The Change” when the destiny markings on her wings will appear and determine her life’s path. As her friends move through this transition without her, she is jealous, yet cannot fathom any destiny appropriate for her fickle nature.

While flying an errand with her sister, a mysterious curse turns every creature in the White Forest to stone, except for the two of them. Brigitta and Himalette have no idea why they are unchanged, but they do know that if they don’t turn everyone back in time for the Festival of Elements, the Hourglass of Protection will run out and so will its protective field around the forest. The Hourglass was “a gift from the Ancients” to protect the faeries after the Great World Cry sent the world into elemental chaos.

The Elders and High Priestess are the only ones who know how to turn the Hourglass, and, unfortunately, they have also been turned to stone.

With no one in their forest left to help them, Brigitta and Himalette leave the protected realm to seek a banished faerie named Hrathgar, who had tried to steal the power of the Hourglass many season cycles ago. They believe Hrathgar is probably lonely, and if she can help them, perhaps the Elders will allow her to return to their forest. On their journey, they rescue an odd hairless beast called Minq from carnivorous caterpillars, and he in turn brings them to his mentor Gola, a blind tree-woman (a Drutan), whom Brigitta suspects of having an agenda of her own.

With Gola and Minq’s assistance, they make their way to Dead Mountain in search of the banished faerie. When they arrive, they find the help they are looking for in Hrathgar, a surprisingly kindly faerie woman who indeed wants to return to the forest, but she has severe lapses in memory and claims to have no magic. It turns out, however, that Hrathgar was split in two all those years ago when she tried to steal the power of the Hourglass, one all good, one all evil, and the evil Hrathgar has been keeping the good Hrathgar under a spell.

It was also the Evil Hrathgar who cast the spell on the White Forest, and if she breaks the protected realm open, it will sever her ties to her “good” twin. The twins are bound so crucially, that when Good Hrathgar sacrifices herself to help Brigitta, Evil Hrathgar dies along with her and the stone curse is lifted. Burdened with the heavy sorrow of Good Hrathgar’s death, Brigitta, Himalette, Minq, and Gola return to the White Forest where Brigitta’s destiny appears on her wings: the markings of a Faerie Elder.

 

Summary of Book Two: The Ruins of Noe

The Ruins of Noe begins shortly after our young Water Faerie has begun her apprenticeship with the White Forest Elders, an experience she should be excited about. But she feels out of place, shunned by the other apprentices, resented by the Elders, and she doesn’t know how to relate to her old friends.

On the day of her little sister Himalette’s destiny mark revealing, she is called to the Elder chambers to learn that the balance of the forest has been disturbed and a faerie has been born with no destiny. Against the Elders’ advice, High Priestess Ondelle requests Brigitta accompany her to the old faerie ruins of Noe, from which their kin had fled a thousand season cycles before. Ondelle tells Brigitta they seek “a sacred item” that might help right this imbalance.

Brigitta and Ondelle travel by “Blue Spell” to the ruins of Noe and discover feral faeries that had been left behind after the Great World Cry. Two warring tribes, ruled by ruthless leaders (Mabbe in the Hollows and Croilus on the Plateau), fight over the remains of the elementally balanced “sorcery sands” in the old Indago lakebed, from which the River That Runs Backwards emerges, and from which the Eternal Dragon used to appear to the Ancients long ago.

When Brigitta and Ondelle are captured by Mabbe’s tribe, Brigitta is sent to steal Croilus’s sands in exchange for their release. On her way to Croilus’s palace (the former House of Ancients), her escort Jarlath reveals that he is part of a small group of rebel Watchers, the crystal-eyed faeries said to have been created by sorcery (revealed later to be descendants of Mabbe). They concoct an elaborate plan to trick Croilus, but one of the rebels turns traitor, and Brigitta barely escapes with her life.

Brigitta decides she must rescue Ondelle from Mabbe’s Hollows and returns to the lakebed to acquire some of her own “sorcery sands.” While at the lakebed, fighting the winds of the River That Runs Backwards, two hulky beasts with armor-like skin (Nhords) appear and tell her they have been sent to assist her as part of an ancient prophecy. They traveled to her through a Purview from the continent of Araglenn, the very sort of object Ondelle had been seeking in Noe, which, the Watcher rebels tell her, Croilus himself seeks.

Brigitta and her new Watcher friends are captured by Mabbe’s guard while attempting to help Ondelle escape. While Mabbe is deciding how to punish them, Ondelle (a deodyte with Air and Fire elements) is injured and transfers her Air element to Brigitta. The Hollows is attacked by Croilus’s guard, and Brigitta finds herself caught in a battle between the two tribes.

During the battle, Croilus reveals Mabbe’s secret: she is actually an Ancient from the Valley of Noe and the one responsible for the faeries being left behind when the rest were moved to the White Forest for protection. Mabbe is swept away by the River That Runs Backwards and Croilus disappears. Sure he has located the Purview, Brigitta trails him and finds the Purview (a large metal ring) on the plateau, but Croilus is gone.

Brigitta and her new friends rush the Purview back to Ondelle, who lies dying from a wound. With spell-cast crystals given to them from the Nhords, they travel through the Purview, taking Jarlath, his brother Rhone, a rebel named Thistle, and her mother Grannae. The rest must stay behind for lack of enough magical power, and Brigitta vows to right things and return.

Back in the White Forest, Gola the Drutan attempts to revive Ondelle, but it is too late. Brigitta is devastated by the loss of her High Priestess, yet through her adversity, she has found new strength and new friends.

 

Summary of Book Three: Ondelle of Grioth

In Book Three, Brigitta finds herself even more ostracized by the White Forest Faeries thanks to Ondelle gifting Brigitta with her Air Element. Brigitta is now a rare deodyte, a faerie bound by two elements, which makes the faeries around her uneasy. Being that it’s the energy of their dead High Priestess makes them even more so. Additionally, Brigitta is haunted by spontaneous experiences of Ondelle’s memories, which even her closest friends, Jarlath and Minq, sometimes dismiss as dreams.

While the White Forest Elders and Village Nest Caretakers squabble over what to do with Gola, destinyless newlings and the depleted scepter passed down to High Priest Fozk of Fhorsa, Brigitta is unable to control her distress. Brigitta is dismissed from her Apprentice duties until she can sort through and contain her emotions. Shortly thereafter, Ondelle’s memories reveal that she and Brigitta were bound to elements formerly bound to Narine of Noe (the Ancient High Sage’s daughter), and there is one left: Earth.

Brigitta knows she must travel to Forever Beach for an audience with Narine and the Eternal Dragon. She concocts a plan to journey to Forever Beach with Jarlath, aided by Minq, but before they leave, Gola goes missing, leaving her moonstone necklace behind. Devastated by this loss, Brigitta and Jarlath still manage to steal the High Priest’s scepter and sneak away from the forest during the Masquerade Festival as the opportunity was too great to lose.

Brigitta and Jarlath travel to the west coast, navigating the dangers of the Dark Forest (including a horde of frightening copies of Brigitta she later names “oddtwins”), and end up on top of an immense plateau of “standing stones” overlooking the Sea of Tzajeek. They decide to spend the night before heading down to the beach, taking turns standing guard, but Brigitta is awakened by Jarlath’s hands around her neck. He swears she was having a nightmare. As Brigitta takes her turn guarding, a young Saarin appears, named Narru, claiming to have come from Pariglenn through a Purview. After Jarlath attacks Narru and then passes out, Brigitta is certain something is wrong with him.

Not wanting to spend too long away from home, Brigitta takes Narru to the beach, leaving a note with Jarlath. When Brigitta and Narru arrive on Forever Beach, they discover that Croilus has taken control of the Ancients’ corporeal bodies. A visit under the sea to Narine tells them he has also stolen the last of Narine’s Knowings and her Earth element. They make their way back to the plateau, only to find Croilus and the Ancients now have control of Jarlath, too. Jarlath breaks Brigitta’s wing, but High Priest Fozk appears before more damage can be done. Concerned for their safety, Minq had revealed Brigitta’s whereabouts to the Elders.

Back in the White Forest, Brigitta discovers that she can “see” what Croilus is up to through Narine’s connected energies. She tells the Elders to seal up the White Forest (where Gola has Ondelle’s Fire Energy somewhere) while she, Wising Lalam, Minq, and Narru go in search of Jarlath. Her plan: to steal back Narine’s Knowing and Earth, open the final two Purviews (on Carraiglenn and Storylglenn), and reunite Faweh. As the Elders complete their “impenetrable spell” over the White Forest, Glennis slips through, trapping herself outside with Brigitta.

The three Faeries, Saarin, and Minq set out for Sage Peak, where Brigitta’s insight tells her Croilus is hiding out, but Narru soon grows “land-sick” an unable to travel. Minq offers to take him to the ocean while the rest continue on. The Faeries journey to the mountains where they find Croilus in pain and confusion, Narine’s Knowing still unsettled in him. Brigitta takes advantage of Croilus’s vulnerable state and battles with him and the Ancients. She manages to extract Narine’s Earth energy into the tip of a stalactite and drive it into Jarlath’s neck, transferring the energy and leaving a shiny star-shaped scar.

This book ends with Brigitta, Jarlath, Lalam, and Glennis on their way to meet back up with Minq and Narru at the Ancient Saarin Lodge of Eastern Months, Jarlath learning to connect with his new bound Earth element, and Brigitta pondering this new connection of Narine’s energies between them.

 

Summary of Book Four: Narine of Noe

Book four takes us back (1,000 season cycles) to the Ancient Faeries of Noe, before the Great World Cry had ravished the land, and when the five civilizations of the world lived and worked in harmony.

Narine of Noe, daughter to High Sage Thorze, has just been assigned as her father’s Mentee. Her best friend Mabbe has been assigned as Mentee to Eld Petra, Keeper of the Hollows. The two spend a few last days together relaxing at the Standing Stones above Forever Beach before Narine must report to her father with Eld Damara (her chaperone and Keeper of the Castle on Dream Mountain). Also at the castle are Vendra, the Nhord Sage, and Bashal, the Nhord Storyteller.

Narine’s first evening on the mountain, a ball of light plummets from the stars to the forest below, lighting it up. Narine ventures with her father and Vendra down the mountain in search of the light. On the way, Narine accidentally disturbs a newling Drutan before it is her time to open her eyes to the moonslight and receive her destiny. Thorze puts her back to sleep, and they continue on, but the incident rattles Narine.

Thorze, Narine, and Vendra discover a portion of forest where a shining dust has settled, turning the leaves silver, but absorbing into everything else, including their own skin. Inside the shining trees, they are at peace, but soon discover everything outside the bright forest has changed. The elements are greatly disturbed, but the star-dust under their skins protects them from the imbalance.

Back at the castle they discover Bashal collapsed after painting wild visions across the Purview chamber. He panics when they arouse him and leaps into the Purview.

Thorze decides they must travel back to Noe to warn the other Sages of the world’s imbalance, but Eld Damara is in a state of agitation and won’t leave. They decide it’s best for her to stay there where it is safe.

In Noe, Thorze presents Narine’s mother Frenzia, Keeper of the Fae (i.e. “lesser faeries”), with a branch from the transformed forest for the Sprites to study. She is also rattled, as the Ancients are quarrelling, and everyone feels the disturbance. The other Sages have gone to Lake Indago, a sacred place where Balu Tzajeek (the Eternal Dragon) makes Its appearance to Transition each Ancient when his or her destiny has been served. This Transition is how the 5th element (Ether) is gifted to the Ancients from the Dragon Itself, and how Faweh is kept in balance. Thorze goes in search of them before the can do anything foolish. Narine sneaks after him.

At Lake Indago, the Sages (Carlotto from Pariglenn, Shonore from Carraiglenn, Trigg from Storylglenn) are not themselves. Suspicious of Thorze’s new connection to this transformed forest, they threaten him and the Dragon appears. As Narine spies on them, Thorze sacrifices himself to the Dragon and attempts to prematurely Transition with Narine, gifting her his Knowing and his scepter. She takes the scepter, but refuses the Knowing as it is too painful and powerful. Narine flees, and the Sages give chase. Lake Indago evaporates, and a fierce backward river bursts from the lakebed. In the confusion Narine leaps into the Purview.

The Purview takes her to the Drutan’s birthplace at the top of the cliff, the mad river rushing up the valley from below. She rescues the Drutan, who opens her eyes and cries out her moonstones. They venture into the forest for safety and run into a giant faun-like creature they name Joop, who takes them to the safety of a stone fortress. Narine decides she must get help from Eld Damara, the only Faerie she knows to be close, and she and Joop leave Gola the Drutan in the stone fortress. They find Eld Damara losing her voice to several fuzzy lights with which she seems to be merging due to the imbalance. The Purview is useless now, so in order to travel back to Noe she must take it to the “white forest,” the only elementally balanced place left.

Carrying the Purview on his back, Joop accompanies Narine to the White Forest. When they arrive, he turns back into his original form: a multitude of fauns. The fauns had been “taken over” by the star-dust and had formed into Joop in order to find help. The fauns tell their story of being a young, lost star being that had inadvertently “exchanged” itself with the forest, causing the imbalance, and lacking the knowledge of how to extract itself again.

Narine leaves her scepter in the White Forest and travels back to Noe with a sack of balanced sands, hoping the Ancient Faeries can use it. She finds Mabbe in the ruins and follows her to the Hollows. Faerie children hide in the Hollows trees, which now wheeze for lack of breath, and Mabbe orders them to take Narine’s sands. Narine flees to the backward river and loses the sands. The Eternal Dragon appears and frightens Mabbe and her faerie orphans off. This time, Narine takes the Knowing from her father, who is now with the Dragon. He tells her she must Transition all the Ancients, dividing their elements among the Fae (who are not bound to elements), and move the Fae to the safety of the White Forest. The Ancients will stay in stasis for a thousand season cycles, feeding the Dragon with the 5th Element until the world can be rebalanced.

Narine retreats to the Fae Realm where she reunites with the Nhords. She convinces the Fae to follow her father’s plan, and she and Vendra go in search of Frenzia, who is being held by the Sprites. With her new Knowing from her father, she enters her mother’s scepter and through it sends a request to the Ancients to meet at the Purview for their Transition with the Fae.

The Fae and Ancients gather at the Purview, but Sages Carlotto, Trigg, and Shonore have gotten there first. Not wanting to be separated from her homeland, Shonore jumps through the Purview with her bird, revealing Carraiglenn to be overrun with fire. A struggle ensues, and Narine pulls Carlotto and Trigg with her into the Purview to the White Forest, where the truth envelops the two Sages and reveals their dishonorable actions.

The Ancients transition with the Fae, gifting their elements save for Ether, and their corporeal bodies move to the waters off of Forever Beach. The Sprites build an enormous Hourglass with which to hold the “exchanged” balanced sands to keep a protective field around the forest. Narine attempts to bring Eld Damara into the forest through the Purview, but whispering lights are all that arrive.

Narine sends Vendra and Bashal to hide the Purview in Noe so it won’t fall into the wrong hands. They also hide the White Forest Purview underground after Carlotto and Trigg have returned to their homelands. Narine leaves the new Elemental Faeries to their White Forest and travels with the whispering Damara lights to the stone fortress in search of Gola, but the Drutan is gone. She leaves the Damara lights to find and protect Gola, a spell cast within the lights that will reopen the Purviews.

Narine gives herself to the Dragon, to rest in stasis with it, to preserve her Knowings and Elements for the Fae when they will need them (in a thousand season cycles) to rebalance Faweh.