The Silent Skies Trilogy

A dystopian fantasy story.

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Imagine a world where the skies are empty. No birds flutter across it, or fill the air with their song. No insects break the quiet with their soft drone. Silent.

This is the world sixteen-year-old Solma and her younger brother, Warren, were born into: the dying continent of Alphor. A world of silent skies. A world where crops fail before they get a chance to break through the soil, because there is nothing to pollinate them, because the armies of insects that were once the engine of the world vanished a century ago. Only the mysterious power of the Earth Whisperers keeps all of humanity from extinction. They travel across Alphor, helping villagers to grow their meagre crop. But it isn't enough anymore. Humans are slowly dwindling, too. With not enough to eat, the young and the old alike struggle to live through the harsh times. And all times are harsh times.

But then, Solma and Warren discover a miracle, something that might give their barren world a second chance ... if only they can keep it out of the wrong hands.

Join Solma and Warren in this three-part adventure, where the tiniest creature can make the greatest difference, and enemies are everywhere.

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Book One: The Last Beekeeper

Sixteen-year-old Solma is supposed to protect Sand's End village from danger. But how can she protect her people from dying crop? Or skies that have been empty of birds and insects for the last century? Or the fact that so few children live through the winter? Her own brother, Warren, is only seven and she's terrified he'll be the next one the village loses to starvation. 

But then, Solma and Warren discover something crawling out of the soil. Something impossible. Something that could give the dying continent of Alphor - and their little village - a chance. But no-one has seen a bee in a century, so how could this one possibly survive? What will it eat? Where will it nest? Solma is convinced there's no chance, but something strange is happening between Warren and the newly emerged bee, a kind of bond. Another impossible thing.

And it turns out, it's also impossible to keep this tiny being a secret. As other village Stewards invade Solma's little village, having heard whispers about the miracle bee, Solma begins to realise the insect extinction wasn't an accident. Something happened all those years ago, something deliberate and disastrous and terrible. Something that will happen again, if Solma doesn't work out who she can trust, and fast. 

Because not everyone wants the bees to thrive freely. Some want to control them. And some want them gone altogether ...

Book one of the Silent Skies Trilogy is out now! Sign up to Rebecca's Readers' Club for more information.

Praise for The Last Beekeeper

"It's nearly 500 pages long, but I tore through it in one sitting."

Goodreads Review

 

"I dare you to put this book down in the final third."

Goodreads Review

 

"This book was awesome!"

Goodreads Review

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Book Two: The Hive Child

Far from home after a hard winter, Solma and Warren search for signs of the bees they discovered last summer. But instead, they stumble across the village of Skyheart, and another strange piece in the puzzle of the re-emerging insects.

Only someone else has discovered this secret, too. Someone determined to snatch it for themselves ...

Book two of the Silent Skies Trilogy will be released on June 20th 2022.

Book Three: Bee Song in a Burning Meadow

Solma has a brother to rescue ... and a score to settle. A year after the events of The Last Beekeeper, she and an army of Earth Whisperers are marching east, back to the little village of Sand's End, where this all started.​

Where the future of Alphor will be decided once and for all.

Book three of the Silent Skies Trilogy will be released in the autumn of 2022.

Want to know more about the world of Silent Skies?

Click the link below for maps, character interviews and more!

 

How Can You Help the Bees?

Although the events in the Silent Skies trilogy are fictional, one thing is true: our pollinators are in trouble. Destruction of habitat, widespread use of pesticides and swathes of land where humans grow just a single type of plant (scientists call this a monoculture,) mean that our bees and butterflies are struggling to feed, breed and thrive. Evidence suggests bees are responsible for pollinating a third of the food humans rely on. 87% of all plant life around the world relies on animal pollination. That's a lot. And the vast majority of that is achieved by a variety of insects. So what can you do to help our pollinators?

1) The simplest thing is to plant lots of pollinator friendly flowers. And don't spray them with pesticide! Don't use weed killer, don't put any chemicals or pellets down at all. Just plant the flowers and let the critters come. 

You can also work to make your garden, or any space you might have, as wildlife friendly as you can. There's some brilliant advice here for rewilding. (For those not in the UK, the advice on this site is applicable across the globe. Just make sure to focus on flora and fauna native to where you live!) If you don't have a garden, that's ok, Rebecca doesn't either. She's created a little pollinator haven on the Juliet balcony outside her French doors. She has a bird feeder and lots of different flowers that bees, butterflies and hoverflies love. Even a window box filled with wild flowers could be a really important feeding station for a bee. And we need these most precious of creatures. Join the movement to protect them, and other pollinators, for the future of our planet.

2) Learn as much about different species of bee and other insects as you can. Did you know that the vast majority of bee species are actually solitary? Did you know that certain species of flower have evolved to rely on certain species of bee? Did you know that bumblebee queens incubate their first brood by sitting on their eggs, like a bird? The world of bees is fascinating, and you can do a lot worse than read The Little Book of Bees by Hilary Kearne, with beautiful illustrations by Amy Holliday. Dave Goulson's recent, brilliant book Silent Earth is also an excellent source of information both about individual species of insect and the plight of insects as a whole.

3) Sign petitions and join movements to help raise awareness about the plight of our pollinators. The internet is rife with these at the moment, especially those that ask the government to mediate or ban the use of certain pesticides.

4) Write to your MP, Premier, Governor or local government and regularly demand sustainable change. We really need infrastructure and policy to adapt to our insects and ensure they are protected.

5) Join insect conservation efforts, such as bee or butterfly counting, every year. This is really important to help monitor the numbers of different types of insects and give scientists much needed data to help protect and conserve them.