The strange adventures of a Cyclops, an Elf, and a Girl who wouldn’t go away.
Perfect Bound Softcover
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Three abandoned orphans in New York find themselves thrown together, and in the process, bring together three separate worlds. They discover a country riddled with spell-casting elves, war-mongering Cyclopes, hidden kingdoms, stolen thrones, and centuries of war. While the three struggle to grow and change, they also transform the worlds around them, breaking age-old hatreds and ushering in new levels of acceptance, trust, and peace. Derek, born a Cyclops with his single eye, lives a solitary life until the young, talkative elf named Ferris, joins him in the orphanage. Restless for change, the Cyclops and elf escape their limited lives for new freedom. When their lives are threatened their freedom demands things of them they never dreamed. Secrets are revealed and trust tested as they decide who is friend and who is foe - the stubborn girl who once wanted to hurt them, the elf king who wanted to tear the three apart, or the revolutionary hoard of Cyclopes? The Orphans is a story for everyone who struggles to be accepted, longs to be loved, and desires to change their world.
Chapter One Some people believe that the first Cyclopes were the children of Uranus. Others say they rise out of the ground or swim out of molten lava. It’s also said they are carved out of stone - formed completely by the earth’s strange thoughts. Me? I was born in a hospital about 45 minutes away from the heart of New York City with two human parents. My parents disowned me of course, and dropped me off at the nearest orphanage with some story about finding me in the snow. That was fifteen years ago. That orphanage closed down and I was transferred to this one. No matter where I am, I’m the same person: a monster hating love and a monster loving hate. Well, that’s according to everyone around me. Me? I thought I was only different, but I guess that’s as bad. Every once in a while the orphanage would assign a new kid as my roommate in hopes that someone could learn to live with me, but no one has yet. I threaten them enough and within a day, the new kid is moved to a different room. I don’t mind. I would mind if they stayed. Due to lack of space, I was stuck with another one of those kids. I never believed anyone could be so annoying. The kid, Ferris, was incapable of closing his mouth. His quietest moments were only pauses to catch his breath. He wasn’t ever scared of me. No matter how many threats I hissed at him, hints I dropped, and glares I gave, he never realized what I was attempting to do. Everyone assumed I liked him. “Why do you always sit alone?”, he asked as is head popped up level to my top bunk where I was lying previously uninterrupted. I didn’t answer. “You could sit with the other kids. I’m sure they would like you if they got to know you.” If only I could bring myself to laugh at that. “They’d be dead before they learned my first name.” “So?” he replied. “There are other people here, you know.” “I don’t like them,” was his simple response. Some days I wanted to give in. Becoming the monster everyone thought I was wouldn’t change a thing. If I could just act on how I felt, if I could release the emotions inside me… “I want to talk to you.” I said as I sat up. There was enough violence in the world today. I could wait until tomorrow to teach him a lesson. “Do you believe everyone should get what they want?” I asked the floating head. He hesitated. “Yes.” “Alright, then, I want you to leave.” His face fell. I mean, I almost heard that sucker hit the ground. After Ferris had picked his face up in a second attempt to redeem me, he spoke. “Those kids… They act different around me.” It was true. The other kids bullied him, and I knew why. It had nothing to do with his personality, although it certainly had its flaws. He survived rooming with me for multiple days. The other kids knew there was something wrong with that, so they avoided him. He had a chance to be liked and wasted it. It wasn’t my fault. “Walk out of this room while you still have your legs…” And he did. Ferris left without a word. A rarity. Tomorrow, he would be gone. One of the kids was leaving, and Ferris would be transferred to that room. In the meantime, maybe I could find him a muzzle or locate some duct tape. As I dug into my mashed potatoes, a voice talked on and on about swimming in a pool of gravy. I thought I had Ferris blocked out, but he came back louder than before. I was back in a grimy cafeteria with people who hate me. And Ferris. He was taking away the only thing I had - peace. If he would just shut up he could probably become friends with the other losers here. “What do you want with me, kid?” I asked louder than intended. Ferris stared at me, then picked up his tray and moved to the next table. Let him be miserable, let him cry. Tomorrow, it would all be over. He was the most infuriating person I’ve had as a roommate. A moment later when my feet directed me to stand, I didn’t know why. I found myself at the door to my room. I opened the door and saw Ferris inside. “Why do you like me?” I hadn’t meant to say that, but I was helpless to my own subconscious. Ferris said nothing for a few minutes. Then he looked up from the ground and studied me. “I know what you are, and I know people hate you for it, but I’ve known worse creatures in my life a thousand times worse than people think you are. So I see you more as a misunderstood creature than anyone who’s going to do me harm.” “You think I want your pity? You think I can’t handle my life on my own? I was fairly happy before you shoved yourself in to my life. I didn’t ask for you. I didn’t ask for anything. And if I need to prove to you that I can do some harm, I will.” Ferris shrugged. “Do what you need to.” “I will.” Ferris waited, but I didn’t move. “And,” he continued after a moment, “knowing a Cyclops has to be a rare honor.” I chuckled. He was crazy! After being rejected again and again for being a Cyclops, someone wanted to be my friend for that very reason? Ferris was like no one else I knew, and maybe that was a good thing. Maybe.
Can a preteen girl write an adventure/fantasy story worth your reading? Yes! The young lady is Ashley Moffett and The Orphans is just such a book. When Ashley was twelve and thirteen years old she quietly wrote The Orphans, telling her family only that she was writing a book. The Orphans is a great read regardless of the age of the author. As you read you will meet fascinating, adorable, yet frustrating characters and travel with them to both ordinary and unbelievable, magical places. The orphans’ adventures will challenge your understanding of friendship, courage, and acceptance. You will encounter struggles and joys so much a part of all of us that you will laugh, cry, and become part of the adventure as you read. The characters in the book bear no resemblance to Ashley or her life. She is a lovely and much loved young lady with a great family. She reads voraciously, excels in her studies, has a delightful sense of humor, and finds great joy in writing.
What a great book! The story line keeps moving, and by the 3rd or 4th chapter I wanted to keep turning the pages to find out what happens to these great characters. Thanks for the entertaining hours of reading from this book!

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