The time has come. The opening chapters and synopsis (below) have been sent out to a small selection of literary agents. I hope they like it! Wish me luck!
Mandorlinfiore is the Italian for almond blossom and is the name given to a baby boy, suckled by wild pigs. He is discovered in an almond grove by a childless merchant who raises the child as his own. Unknown to the merchant the boy had been abandoned by the King of Zonza, who had rashly taken him from the arms of a poor fisherman in thrall to ancient custom. Unable to put the mewling infant to the sword there and then, the King left the child to the wild animals of the untamed Corsican landscape.
When Mandorlinfiore comes of age he sets off on a quest to discover his origins, and thereby uncover his true fate. The creatures, customs and characters of old Europe are encountered at every twist in the road.
On his journey he encounters the King of the Animals, who would take him as a slave. He is rescued by the Princess Belfioré of Zonza and three recently deceased mustachio’d bandits.
The King of Zonza offers Mandorlinfiore the post of Treasurer. If he cannot discover why the King’s gold is mysteriously disappearing then he will surely hang. With the help of the bandits and Hector the cat, Mandorlinfiore discovers Rosa-Bella the dragon snoozing on a pile of treasure in a cavern below the castle. She agrees to refill the King’s strong room with gold in return for poetry and mackerel.
Things do not go to plan and Mandorlinfiore becomes the King’s prisoner. The Princess Belfioré rides to his rescue but she is too late to avoid her father putting Mandorlinfiore through ordeal by water. He escapes and disappears. A heartbroken Belfioré leaves the castle in a fury, determined to seek out a new destiny. Meanwhile, with the help of Rosa-Bella, and a little ancient magic, Mandorlinfiore is restored to his post as Treasurer.
Belfioré arrives at the citadel of Bonifacio, home to the Comte, vassal to the King. The Comte welcomes the Princess, then sends out a request for her ransom. The King is busy tending to his sick Treasurer when he notes a scar on the young man’s neck. Remembering the scar on the baby in the almond grove so long ago, he fearfully sends Mandorlinfiore off to Bonifacio with the ransom and sealed orders for the Comte to put Mandorlinfiore to death.
Meanwhile, Rosa-Bella the dragon breaks through the old magic that has kept her locked inside the cavern for so long. She circles the island of Corsica, inspiring fear and new songs. The ancient Corsican magic of the Mazerre is reawakened in response and a fierce battle, that will decide the fate of all on the island, explodes between the two terrifying creatures in the skies over the Straits of Bonifacio.