A speculative fiction book by a Filipino-Canadian author, which uses elements of Philippine folklore, was recently brought to my attention — because how could I ignore artwork by Usok artist K. Lapeña? So here’s a synopsis of The Lost Amulets (Kindle link here) by Cindy Lapeña:
Four children are recruited to join a party of Littlefolk to search for the High King and are thrown instead into an adventure where they travel by land, sea and air all over the islands of Dapit-Adlaw to find three magical items that have to be restored to their rightful places. Their mission is conveyed to them by a spirit seer who gives them only a cryptic rhyme:
“Nine Kingseekers seek more than a King
Nine lives to save oneNine nights by three tokensNine and nine and nine and threeor what there is will no longer be.”Their only other information on what they must fulfill is to return “to the night the breeze, to the sky the bridge of colours, and to the hunter his magic spear.Armed with only this information, the party of nine sets off to save Dapit-Adlaw and the High King.