Child of the Flame is the story of Pip, a fosterling in Lands End, capitol of the Kingdom of Pandara. Neither he nor his foster parents know his origins. When he is taken hostage by Barbarians trying to force Queen Daphne of Pandara to marry their king, he is rescued by Vera and Tamara from the Land of Fire. While in their company, Pip learns the truth of his birth, and that he has powers that ordinary mortals do not possess. Returning to Pandara, he finds that Daphne has been kidnapped by Tenkuk the Barbarian. With the help of Vera and her friends, Pip mounts a rescue, and is made commander of the new Pandaran army. His life is forever changed as he faces his new responsibilities; one day a commoner, and the next, a member of royalty in two kingdoms.
Charles gives an overview of the book:
He was on his way back to his uncle’s leather shop, after delivering a bundle of cured hides to the saddle maker at the far end of Millwood Lane, when Pip encountered a group of young men idling near the bakery, engaged in some conversation that only appeals to young men. He had sensed their presence, by what means he did not know, just a nagging feeling in his mind, before he saw them.
They were about his age, but taller and heavier of body and limb. As he approached them, their conversation ceased and they all stared at him.
The biggest of the group, Sandrin, son of the richest farmer in Lands End, and leader of the group, nudged the boy standing next to him.
“Well, if it ain’t the little girl who lives in the tannery.” He snickered as if he’d just uttered the funniest joke. The other boys, who always followed his lead, and who secretly were afraid of him, joined him in the laughter at Pip’s expense.
Pip could feel his face begin to burn with a mixture of anger and shame. It wasn’t his fault that he was small for his age, or that he had yet to begin sprouting the scraggly hairs on his smooth chin that would one day grow into a full beard like those worn by many of the men of Lands End. For reasons that Pip did not understand, he seemed to delight in taunting him, and on occasion physically assaulting him.
He moved to the outside edge of the wooden walk to give the boys as wide a path as possible, but under Sandrin’s prodding, the others spread out to block his progress. He either had to stop, or walk out into the cobbled street.
“Where be you going, little girl?” Sandrin asked with a smirk on his face and evil in his eyes.
Pip stopped and stared up at the boy who, though only a few weeks older than Pip himself, stood two hands taller, and already had several small dark strands of hair sprouting from his jutting jaw.
“I be on my way home after an errand,” He responded. “And, I be not a girl. I be a boy, the same as you.”
“Well, you certainly don’t look like a boy, and you certainly be not like me.” The bully taunted. “Your hands and feet be smaller than my sister’s, and your face be as smooth.” The other boys erupted in laughter, repeating Sandrin’s words, and taunting Pip.
A native of East Texas, I have been involved in leading organizations (particularly those in trouble) for over 40 years. I have written a number of articles on history, culture and leadership, and have written three books on leadership in addition to my fiction works. The Al...
kudos to Charlie for his terrific book "Things I Learned from my Grandmother about Leadership and Life ." I gobbled it up and it would be wonderful reading for whatever incarnation of leadership training...
Things I Learned From My Grandmother About Leadership and Life is a small book that makes a great impact. Charles Ray, the author blends his fond memories of his grandmother with his dual career as a...