The Children’s Book Review | December 13, 2018
Today we’re joined by Alabasel Frond, guildmistress of the infamous Adventurers Guild. Frond has brought along her two newest apprentices, Zed and Brock, as part of their ongoing education.
The Children’s Book Review: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Frond: The dull pain of a dozen old injuries. My wrist aches from when it was crushed in the iron grip of a wyvern’s tail. My knee has never fully recovered from the time I tore a ligament dodging a snake-man’s fireball spell, and I lost half a toe getting too close to a shambling ooze. Not to mention the scars on my face feel uncomfortably tight when the weather’s cold.
Why? What gets you out of bed? The smell of pancakes? The laughter of children? [sneering] Don’t forget you have my people to thank for all the soft, pretty things in your life.
Brock: [whispering] Take it down a notch, Frond.
Moving along … I see you have a bag with you. Will you tell us what you keep inside of it?
Frond: [rising] Too personal. This interview is over.
Zed: Um! Guildmistress, remember what Lotte said? About “representing the guild with transparency and candor?”
[very long stretch of silence]
Frond: It contains the plucked wings of perhaps a dozen pixies. I lost count of how many I caught. I was cleaning away the gristle.
Brock: [pulling Frond back down] She’s kidding!
Frond: I am not.
Zed: Maybe a bit less candor . . .
Are you hungry right now? Can we fix you anything to eat? Maybe we could make you your favorite dish?
Frond: I was once lost outside the wall for fifteen days. We’d been on routine patrol when we were ambushed by a cloaked figure with tentacles where its face should’ve been. It pursued us for miles, and by the time we’d taken it down, we were hopelessly lost and low on supplies. To this day, I’m not sure whether it was the winged snake or the pitmunk, but something I ate out there burned away most of my taste buds. Can’t taste much of anything these days.
I wouldn’t say no to some cake, though, if you have any cake.
Brock: She also eats feelings!
Zed: Brock, don’t antagonize her!
We’ll definitely serve you some cake.
Do you like to read?
Frond: I read the horizon for signs of trouble. I read the dung of the wildlife outside, to discern whether they’re infested with infernal parasites. I can even read the fear in your eyes every time my hand brushes against the hilt of my sword.
Zed: Again, we’re very sorry about your no-weapons policy.
Frond: . . . Hexam, our archivist, enjoys reading books, however. Dark magic, forbidden arts, monster husbandry. That sort of thing.
Brock: This is going rather well, isn’t it?
Do you have a favorite song?
Brock: Oh, come on, Frond! We sing a lot of little ditties in the guildhall. There’s the one about the guy who jumps in front of projectile acid to save his girl; what’s the refrain? “Love hurts and love burns/I hope someone from this learns/Love is a deadly mistake for adventurers/La la la.”
Zed: [attempting to harmonize] La la la!
Frond: [grinning fearsomely] I do like that one.
Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
Frond: What would the two of you say?
Brock: Follower! You never technically disobey the rules. Like that time the king ordered no throwing stars during the Guildmasters’ Gala.
Zed: Breaker . . . Snapping a single tine off of each star so they were throwing triangleswasn’t what he meant.
Frond: I am a rule dislocator.
When was the last time you felt embarrassed?
Frond: I don’t have the luxury of embarrassment. Oh, I hear the whispers behind my back; I see the little children of Freestone quiver and flee at the sight of my face. But I can’t afford to let any of it slow me down. Not when I’m out there, making split-second, life-or-death decisions. And not when I’m in here, advising the king on how to keep the city safe.
The king does not take feedback well.
Brock: To be clear, when she says “feedback” she means “foul language bordering on treason.”
Zed: I thought I saw her blush once when the queen of the elves called her “dear, sweet Alabasel,” but she was only [making air quotes] “flush with righteous fury.”
Frond: I do sometimes get flustered with the public speaking.
If you weren’t answering the questions in this interview right now, what would you be doing?
Frond: I probably would have washed the pixie gristle from my hands, then begun my third patrol of the day.
Zed: You . . . you didn’t wash before . . . ?
Frond: This cake is delicious, by the way. My compliments to your baker. I enjoy the use of sugar.
Brock: I’ve lost my appetite.
Do you have any secrets you would like to share with us before you go?
Zed: [whispering] Should we tell them about our top-secret mission to save the city of the elves from a powerful necromancer and his army of the dead?
Brock: [whispering] Should we tell them about the traitor in the guild, who I suspect smuggled a monstrous spore onto the black market?
Frond: Here’s a secret for you: I hate interviews.
Zed: Worst-kept secret ever.
Publisher’s Synopsis: I should probably start at the beginning, Zed wrote, when things first went wrong?
Zed, Brock, and their friends may have saved Freestone from destruction, but the fight against the Dangers is far from over. No one knows what to expect next from the dark power that forced the elves to abandon their city. And the influx of elf refugees in Freestone strains resources and brews resentment among the townspeople. Things have shifted between best friends Zed and Brock, as well, with their friendship crumbling under the weight of the secrets they’re keeping from each other.
When tensions reach an all-time high, Queen Me’Shala, leader of the elves, approaches the Adventurers Guild with a mission. She wants a small group of adventurers to go behind the king’s back on a covert mission to save her city, and Zed, Brock, Liza, Jett, Micah, and their elven friend Fel join the quest. To face a powerful form of magic thought to be extinct, the adventurers will have to learn how to rely on each other and fight harder than ever before.
Don’t miss this second installment of Zack Loran Clark and Nicholas Eliopulos’s Adventurers Guild trilogy, where the stakes are raised, the action is breathless, and the dangers will stop even the bravest of hearts.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | November 13, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1484788608
About the Author
Zack Loran Clark and Nick Elipulos are best friends living in New York. They have been playing Dungeons & Dragons together every week for more than a decade. Zack secretly wishes that he were an elf; Nick publicly denies that he is a dragon.
This interview with Alabasel Frond, Zed, and Brock, characters from The Adventurers Guild: Book 2: Twilight of the Elves, was conducted between Zack Loran Clark, Nick Elipulos, and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Adventure, Character Interviews, Elves, Magic, Meet The Characters, Nick Eliopulos, and Zack Loran Clark.
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