by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
Some wizards have staffs, wands, or mediums. Taco Del has a tree…
The Kingdom of Embarcadero is under siege. King Elvis wants to steal its secrets, mysterious outsiders want to expel its citizens, an ancient and sinister Force threatens to devour their souls. Salvation rests on the slender shoulders of a young wizard named Taco Del and his unlikely allies — a red-haired Chinese girl, a ghosty tribe of Mission Indians and a small fir tree named Doug
Taco Del’s story was first published as a novella in Amazing Stories magazine. My agent so loved the world and the characters that he asked if I could write an entire novel about them. Well, duh.
I first met Taco Del in a dream, sitting pretty much as you see him on the cover, in quiet company with the Fabled Tree of Destiny (aka, Doug). Just a boy and his tree.
I first heard his very distinctive voice as I was driving home from work one day and he began telling me his story. “Hello, I’m Taco Del and this is my story: You see, Lord E Lordy wanted the Wiz. That’s where the Last Little War got started.”
No, I am not kidding. And I am not alone in this. Ask Ursula. She’ll tell you that some characters are quite assertive. I managed to keep Del talking until I got home and was able to write down everything he had to tell me. In a sense, I did not write this novel alone. My collaborator’s byline is in the title. — Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
“The book charmed me. I fell in love with Taco and Firescape — and Doug. Bohnhoff’s prose is inventive, yet transparent: a dialect comprehensible to contemporary readers but also perfectly evolved for its near-future setting. It can also be very, very funny. When I had to put the story down, I looked forward to picking it up again. After I finished it, I kept expecting to be able to go back to it, because the characters’ lives extended beyond ‘The End.’ I hope I get to read those adventures, too.” — Vonda N. McIntyre
“I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the hell out of your story. (Read it on my Kindle while waiting for my two-hours-delayed flight.) Especially since I’m staying near the Embarcadero and recognize some of the landmarks.” — Nan (A Reader review)