Thanks for joining us on our first stop on the #exploreleira blog tour to celebrate the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world.
For the blog tour, we are embarking on a series of alphabet posts looking at the world, characters, and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles. And we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below! To make sure you keep up with the tour, you can find a list of all the stops and dates here: #exploreleira. (Links will be updated once each post becomes live.)
Today, we’re looking at the letter …
A is for Amos McElhenny …
Because really, could I start with anyone but Amos? From the moment the blustery peddler stomped his way onto the page, he’s held a soft spot in my heart. He’s a man on the run from a varied past, making a measly living on the road with no sight to the future, until the danger that threatens his “wee lass” lands him face to face with the past that’s dogged his heels.
He’s often reckless, impulsive, and prone to rely far too much on his own strength. Though of course, he would sooner drown than admit that he’s in over his head. He is, after all, the great Amos McElhenny—a fact that he is not above throwing in his own teeth on the rare occasion when he is forced to admit his “boggswoggling foolery.”
In all honesty, there are few things that I love more than throwing unlikely characters together and letting them hash their way through all sorts of challenges. It is ridiculously amusing. And Amos, well, Amos breeds conflict by his very nature, which in my opinion, makes him just oh-so-very-fun to read about.
But that’s enough talking about him, because what better way is there to get a feeling for the man than to “watch” some of his interactions? Imagine this as a sort of “best-of” reel. Pull up a chair. Help yourself to a bowl of popcorn. And enjoy!
Warning … there may be spoilers ahead.
Amos is a traveler. A man of the road.
He took a deep breath, puffing out his chest. “We’ve supplies aplenty, the wind at our backs, an’ the open road before our feet. What more could a man wish for?”
He is not known for his patience …
“C’mon, ye fly-swoggled lollygaggin’ worthless lump o’ dragon bait! ’Tis only a wee bit further!” Amos yanked at Balaam’s lead rope, forcing the donkey to stumble after him into the yard of the Sylvan Swan.
Though he can be quite longsuffering when the need arises …
Brog’s voice stopped him halfway to the door. “Amos, haven’t you forgotten something?”
Amos filled his lungs with air and slowly turned around. “No, I don’t think I have.”
“A small matter of four coins…”
Amos dug around in his pouch as he stumped over to Brog, and then dropped the coins into the tavern keeper’s hand. He swept his cap from his head, bowed to the tavern and its inmates, and stalked out into the night, thoroughly disgusted with himself and the whole evening.
Some would say that he is not overly good at making friends …
The sword was up to its old tricks again. Amos spat a glob of blood out of his mouth and grinned at the pirate. “Smarts, don’t it?”
The pirate snarled at him and tore the cloak from Amos’s neck, tossing it over the sword before he picked it up again. Then the other pirates closed around Amos and hustled him down the beach.
But his enemies know better than to mess with him …
“Aye, we’ve naught t’ fear from you, Khelari. But ye’ve quite a bit t’ fear from me if ye don’t turn yer prancin’ pony around and get out o’ the Midlands an’ back t’ the North where ye belong.”
And his friends know him well enough to know they can mess with him …
“Ah, ye’ve missed me, have ye? So the first thing ye do when we meet again, is try t’ kill me an’ the wee lass? Fine way t’ greet an old friend,” Amos said.
“Kill you?” The first dwarf snorted. “Well, how do you like that? And here we thought we’d saved your lives.”
“Do not bother asking for an apology, Jirkar,” Nisus said. “Or a thank you. That never was his way.”
When it comes to pure stubbornness, Amos tends to rank at the top.
Dalton swallowed visibly. “Time changes many things, Amos … even men.”
“I’ve heard it said. But there are some things that don’t change, even with time. Amos McElhenny won’t change. The Takhran can be his life on it.”
But he may have met his match in the griffin, Gundhrold. I’ll leave it to you to decide.
With a sigh, he turned back to the griffin. “D’ ye have any idea where we’re goin’?”
“In truth, peddler?” The look of disgust on the griffin’s face might have melted a less hardy man, but Amos McElhenny had walked the secret paths below Mount Eiphyr and witnessed the horrors of the Pit. He was not a man easily dismayed. So he whispered to himself as the griffin’s unblinking stare settled on him.
Amos is a warrior through and through.
Amos clasped his wrists behind his back, coaxing the stiff muscles in his wounded side to stretch. “We are always too few.”
“But fight we will.”
Amos huffed a laugh. “Aye, ‘cause that’s what we do. Ye and I. We’re warriors. It’s how we lived an’ it’s how we’ll die, fightin’ till the last breath leaves our lungs an’ our bodies cling t’ the dust whence we came. It’s the only thing we know.”
And yet, when it comes to his wee lass, he has a heart as soft and gooey as melted chocolate, and that is why we love him.
His arms settled about her battered and bruised shoulders and held her tight. “There now, lass,” he muttered. “It’s all goin’ t’ be all right. Ye’re safe now. Safe.”
Did you enjoy our “best-of” look at Amos McElhenny? If you’ve read the series, what is your favorite Amos moment?
Test your knowledge of the Songkeeper Chronicles! Which of the following is NOT a phrase used by Amos in the series? Leave your answer in the comments.
- Crook-pated moldwarps
- Blithering barnacles
- Clambakes and cribbage sticks
- Bleating bollywags
- Flibbersticks and roughnash
Want to find out more about Amos? Check out the links below for a place to purchase the books.
And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Open to international entries too. Enter through the Rafflecopter below. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.