QSFer Ava Kelly has a beautifully illustrated new queer fantasy/fairy tale book out, filled with all the colors of the LGBTQ+ rainbow: Alia Terra.
Alia Terra: Stories from the Dragon Realm draws from personal experiences, Romanian folklore with Dacian roots, and our fundamental need—to believe in ourselves. Richly illustrated by Michigan artist Matthew Spencer in shades of color and gender, the words of Ava Kelly assure that we all belong.
This storybook contains gentle references to ideas of captivity and coping with societal expectations. One scene depicts an in-progress injury and moment of fright, and several pages take place underwater. We believe the content is appropriate for all ages.
Once upon a time, a princess lived in a tower. Far and wide, all the land knew that a terrible, horrible curse had been cast over the tower and its lone princess, trapping her there for eternity. The construction stood tall, above the tops of trees, its purple roof glittering in sunshine and moonlight just the same.
As it was, it had caught the attention of the dragon living in the distant mountains. They spent many mornings staring out the mouth of their lair, a cup of hot tea clasped tightly in their scaled claw, watching the tower. Admiration and loathing warred within the dragon, the mere thought of being caged terrifying. The sparkling, however, like a jewel in a sea of leaves, called to them. That must’ve been how the princess got trapped, the dragon surmised, and they decided they’d go lift the curse. Defeat whatever had imprisoned the princess.
Feeling valiant, the dragon packed their favorite mug and box of teas before leaving the cave that had been their dwelling of late. A meager hoard, but easy to carry as the dragon traveled high and low.
The tower had no door, nor windows close to the ground, but that wasn’t an obstacle for a dragon. Flying in through the topmost balcony, the dragon found themself face to face with the princess.
Ava Kelly is an engineer with a deep passion for stories. Whether reading, watching, or writing them, Ava has always been surrounded by tales of all genres. Their goal is to bring more stories to life, especially those of friendship and compassion, those dedicated to trope subversion, those that give the void a voice, and those that spawn worlds of their own.