Guardian Angel Files Book 1: Spirit's Bane: A Young Adult Guardian Angel Christian Fantasy Novel
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The Kindred Spirit Bond makes them powerful ... Lucifer has noticed.
As with all young angels on the Guardian path, Allister and Mina undertake a wide variety of missions to discover their Gifts.
Meanwhile, Satan and his top lieutenants have a new secret weapon to test, so they set a trap for the pair.
Now, the Guardian Angel candidates need protection. If Spirit's Bane successfully destroys the angels of light, the last line of defense between humans and demons will disappear.
This is Book 1 in the Guardian Angel Files series. Book 2 is Kindred Spirits. Both are available as audiobooks narrated by Reuben Corbett. It's Christian fantasy written in a style reminiscent of C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters.
Release date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Julie C. Gilbert
Print pages: 235
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Behind the book
Available as audio, ebook, paperback. I'm not sure the combo is a paperback though.
Guardian Angel Files Book 1: Spirit's Bane: A Young Adult Guardian Angel Christian Fantasy Novel
Julie C. Gilbert
Trainee Case Report #: AK-101
Case Agent: Mistress Adira Clarimond
Guardian Candidate: Allister Knight
Today, we’re going on a tour of the world’s forests. It’s hard to work up great enthusiasm. I understand plants help shape the world, but when am I ever going to use this in my future? While waiting for the elevator that will take us to the field trip, I think about my friend.
Mina’s been quiet the last few days. I mean more quiet than usual. She’s weird. I mean, she’ll go through these long periods of almost complete silence then want to talk for hours. The battle with those demons in Mark Dyer’s room shook her up. We train every day for such encounters. I saw the memory captures. She did fine, great even, and Mistress Clarimond would never have let her come to harm.
I wish I’d been there.
Turns out Caliana didn’t really need me. Her mother kept her surrounded with a nice, thick blanket of protection prayers, heard and acknowledged by the Glorious King. Mina claims the prayers are meant to enhance our protection, not substitute for it. Technically, she’s correct, but what demon would mess with someone surrounded by that much light? They hate prayers and the fact that the King always hears and answers them.
“Some of you might think you have no use for the things we’re about to explore today,” says Ranger. His voice isn’t loud, but it is commanding. I respect Ranger, but that doesn’t mean I want to follow in his footsteps. He draws awesome protection details, but he also spends most of his time wandering one heavily wooded place or another.
Mina’s look tells me she knows the comment’s directed at me.
“You are wrong,” Ranger continues. He stares deeply at each of us in turn.
Besides Mina and me there’s only Adelmo, Aderes, and Osmund. I stare back, but the others avert their gazes or nod solemn agreement. Mina doesn’t seem to notice he’s even speaking. She’s wearing her glazed look this morning.
“The natural world offers more than simple beauty and danger.” Ranger’s words move faster as he warms to the subject. “There’s a complexity that declares the Glorious King’s handiwork. If you can understand and appreciate the lessons available in the forests, you can gain insight into the hearts of mankind and every living creature that moves on the Earth.”
“Will we get to see any creatures today?” asks Aderes. Her eyes light up with the possibility. I don’t know her very well, but given her enthusiasm, I’d say there’s a good chance she would happily follow a path similar to Ranger’s.
“Will we see any demons?” Adelmo wonders. “I want to fight a demon like Mina did.” He looks at her adoringly.
I steal a glance at Mina to gauge her reaction, but she’s still ignoring everybody.
“Do not seek conflict, young one,” says Ranger. Seeing Adelmo sag at this statement, he adds, “Enough of it will find you in time. That is a lesson nature can show you.”
In the blink of an eye, we’re standing in a forest wearing our temperate weather street clothes. One of the first things guardian angel candidates learn to do is arrange suitable clothes to wear when visiting the natural world. It wouldn’t do for a human to see us in our true spirit forms. That would probably frighten most of them.
Aderes and Adelmo beam with excitement. Osmund rights the glasses he wears. I like that about him. He doesn’t need glasses, but he enjoys the feel of them. Nothing anybody says to him can convince him it’s pointless. Mina remains impassive, of course. I knew Ranger was powerful, but few beings can teleport this many others with them at one time, especially without touching them. The thrill of adventure shoots through me. Maybe this field trip won’t be so bad.
“Where are we?” Aderes whispers the question with awe, staring up at the enormous trees around us.
The answer comes to me even as Ranger explains.
“We’re in the Giant Sequoia National Monument in the state of California, along the western edge of the United States.”
The place is aptly named. Standing on the ground and looking straight up the side of one tree trunk, I’m not sure I can see the top. If I spread my arms wide, I might be able to encompass about an eighth of the tree trunk.
“They’re beautiful!” Aderes exclaims. Tears of wonder glisten in her blue eyes.
I think she’s only a year younger than Mina and me, but times like this make me feel ancient. I agree that the forest is quite impressive, but I’m just not moved by it in the same way Aderes seems to be. Is there something wrong with me?
“Something’s wrong,” Mina says.
“What?” I ask, though I think I just barely beat Adelmo and Osmund to the question.
Ranger nods slowly and waves for Mina to explain, but she only shrugs and frowns.
“Touch the tree,” Ranger instructs.
Dutifully, we obey. When my fingers brush the rough bark, my stomach twists, and I jerk my hand away.
Adelmo yelps and pulls back his hand.
“What was that?” he demands, voicing the question I want to ask.
“The tree is in pain,” Osmund notes. His jaw clenches, but he keeps his palm firmly placed against the tree trunk. “Spiritual pain.”
I draw breath to tell him trees don’t have feelings, but once again, Osmund’s quicker.
“I thought trees didn’t have spirits?” His inflection makes it a question, which he directs to Ranger with his gaze.
“Trees do not have souls like humans or angels, but every living thing contains a spirit,” Ranger explains. “Even the beasts are susceptible to disease and spiritual rot. What you feel is demonic effort to pervert what our Glorious King made grand and good. We’re here to correct that.”
I look to Mina and she glares back.
“Stop watching me,” she growls. “I’m fine.”
I grin. The anger’s better than the cold distance I’ve gotten for the past few days.
“Why would they bother?” Adelmo crosses his arms, not quite ready to reach for the tree again. “Aren’t there more important targets for them to torment?”
“Let’s invite the demon out of the tree to ask,” I say, only half in jest.
Ranger clears his throat.
“There’s not just one demon in there. What we’ll face is a legion. That is why I brought all of you.”
Best field trip ever.
My fingers itch to summon my sword, Tyre, from the Heavens. That’s another trick we learn early on. We can keep it in our quarters in the Heavens or choose a spot in the Veil, the land between, to store our weapons.
“You may draw your swords, but we’re going to try a rebuke first,” says Ranger.
The excitement of willing Tyre to appear keeps me from voicing my doubts about a rebuke actually working. I’m told some demons can be reasoned with, but I much prefer the direct approach. They chose their side in this war. They ought to deal with the consequences. No tales have been told of demons returning from their chosen path, but there’s much of the Prince’s story we do not know. He was a human at one time, I know that for sure, but did he also spend time as an ordinary angel? I can’t dwell on such things right now. Besides, I have no way of knowing the heart and soul of any being, be they angel, demon, or human. Ultimately, the Glorious King knows these things. I can only do my small part, and for the moment, that means fighting these demons here and now.
A gray mist suddenly surrounds us when we enter a space in between the realms. To us, the gray mist is the only change. Should a human stumble upon us, they would merely see a bunch of teenagers and a man staring up at a big tree.
Mina’s standing on my right with Kentaro held in a comfortable two-handed hold. I admire the smooth, clean edges of the katana. Were it a normal, man-made sword, she might have fallen over from the weight of it, but as a spirit sword, anybody could handle it with ease. Mina’s pretty good with that weapon at least in dueling circumstances. We’ve only recently started our practical lessons. This will be our first real conflict, if it turns into such. I’m hoping it does.
I haven’t met the others’ weapons, but Aderes holds a stubby little dagger and Adelmo waves about a sword much like Tyre. To my surprise, Osmund wears a quiver across his back and has one nocked arrow pointed toward the ground at a ready position. Few opt for arrows for they take a lot of patience to master, but I’m not surprised Osmund’s chosen the unconventional weapon.
“Legion, come forth, we wish to speak with you,” calls Ranger, once we’re in position.
Mina and I line up left of Ranger while the other three line up on his right.
After a long wait, a squirrel with glowing red eyes descends from high up in the tree. It halts about twenty feet above our heads and glares at us defiantly. It starts chattering angrily at us, but Ranger draws his shoulders back and shouts.
“Release that creature!”
The crack of command in Ranger’s voice makes me stand up a little taller.
“Go away!” The voice that speaks has no ring that would identify it as male or female, and thankfully, it doesn’t come from the squirrel this time. It seems to come from the mist surrounding the tree.
“This forest is under the protection of the Glorious King. Leave it at once,” says Ranger.
The mist twists into a broad cord that snaps out and knocks Aderes over. Her surprised cry gets drowned by outraged shouts from the rest of us.
A chorus of evil laughter fills the air. More mist forms itself into cords that hang over us ready to strike. Different mist arranges itself into the shape of a woman’s face at Ranger’s eye level in the tree.
“What can you do with these angelings, Brother of Light?” asks the mist woman.
The face twists, goes blank, and reforms as a man’s face.
“A better question would be what can we do to these angelings, Brother?”
Aderes is almost back on her feet now, but suddenly, mist winds around her wrists and ankles. She’s held aloft inches above the forest floor, but before the mist can completely bind her, Mina and I cut through the cords. Once free, Aderes flings her dagger at the mist demon’s face.
The demon moves, and because Aderes is controlling it, the dagger mimics its upward movement before lodging in the tree.
“Enough!” Ranger’s voice causes us to freeze.
The male mist face smirks.
“You missed, girl.”
Dropping to her knees, Aderes folds her hands and leans forward.
“She wasn’t aiming for you,” says Mina.
“But I will,” declares Osmund, drawing back the arrow attached to his bow. “Obey my commander and leave or prepare to fight.”
With shrieking cries that might have damaged human ears, demons pour out of the tree. Instinctively, I step in front of Aderes and nearly run into Mina who’s doing the same. After a moment of awkwardness, we turn our backs to each other and slash at the nearest mist forms aiming for Aderes.
Hacking and slashing consume my attention for a time. A battle sense honed early during our education keeps us from slicing each other. Ranger kneels behind Aderes and places both hands on her shoulders. Osmund guards the area behind Ranger with an impressive display of well-aimed shots and the occasional slash with the longbow itself.
The demons materialize just enough to hold substance in this thin layer above the natural world. Some form recognizable creatures, but most keep to their mist forms—small, feral beings that vaguely resemble humans with sharp teeth and claws, glowing red eyes, and pointy ears.
One dives at my face, and I spear his left shoulder with my spirit sword. He shrieks and dissolves into angry, black smoke. The damage resets him, casting the demon back to point of origin where he decided to follow the Prince of Darkness. Immortal creatures are understandably very difficult to erase from the universe. I have no way of knowing if the comalike state will last minutes, days, years, or centuries, but at least he’s out of this fight.
The battle ends with the demons in full retreat. When I get a moment to reflect, I notice Aderes still hasn’t moved. A faint beam of light shines between her and the dagger still lodged in the tree. The light now surrounds the lower half of the tree, wrapping completely around the trunk. With the demons gone, the process goes faster, and the glowing barrier shoots up the rest of the tree, surrounding it with tiny golden threads.
I help Aderes to her feet. She thanks me and retrieves her dagger from the tree. The golden light blinks but then shines brighter.
“Our work here is finished,” says Ranger. “Well done.”
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