By Jessica Louise Inman
In the ancient days, when the land was considered special and sacred and its importance was far more greatly understood, water was revered as a precious element that was essential for life. Each well, due to being such a cherished and vital source of water, was therefore appointed a guardian: a maiden, whose duty it was to care for and protect the water. The Maidens of the Wells would offer refreshment to those who passed by, and were also healers and oracles, with the ability to divine the future. Each Maiden possessed a chalice with which to draw her water, which was considered to be a sacred and magical tool, and its use was at the very heart of her work.
One day, King Amangons raped one of the maidens and took her chalice from her. He then bid his men to go and do the same, ordering them to take the cups and bring them back to him. The Maidens of the Wells were deeply afraid, and without their chalices could no longer do their work. They retreated into the Otherworld to hide in fear. Without their presence, healing, and magic, the wells became dry, and the Earth itself began to suffer. Eventually the whole of the land became a barren wasteland as all signs of life withered away.
Gwaynten lives a peaceful life as Maiden of the Well, guarding the water and tending to weary travellers. But when her healing chalice, Kerensa, is stolen, and the land begins to wither, she retreats to hide in the Otherworld: a mystical world not quite like this one, where things, and time, happen differently.
She learns that the Maidens of the Wells are in great danger: and that many others have disappeared, robbed of their chalices and unable to perform their duties at their wells. The disappearance of the Maidens has caused the Earth to lose its connection with the healing energy of the feminine, and the once thriving lands have become barren.
Gwaynten vows to find her chalice and restore harmony to her well and the land around it, and embarks on a great adventure. Magical beings cross her path along the way, and challenges arise at every corner. With no indication of where her chalice may be, will she ever regain it and return to her world? And what will become of the other Maidens, their lost chalices, and the barren lands?
Based upon the legend of the Lost Maidens of the Wells, this is a story of courage, mysticism and romance, which will remain with you long after you have finished reading.
Available as ebook, £5 per copy. All proceeds go to the upkeep of the chapel and holy well.