A resident of Brisbane, Australia, Shayla Morgansen is many things- a university student, writer, school teacher. She uses every opportunity she gets to spread and benefit others from her linguistic abilities. She has a background in Drama and New Age, which is reflected in her literary work. Shayla lives with her supportive long time fiancé – they are both avid readers who stock plenty of books at their home.
Chosen is the first book of The Elm Stone series. It’s an urban fantasy story where The White Elm council, ruling all the societies of the world for hundreds years, is challenged by Lisandro’s decision to quit his position in the council. This causes quite the riot due to his strength and popularity among the masses and authorities. The book is divided into two parts – the first is a prologue, where most of the main characters in the story are introduced and sets the tone for the rest of the book. This is where the main protagonist of the story is introduced, Aristea. Aristea is young, an apprentice sorceress, who is, however determined, rather confused about her choices. Her character is full of purpose and promise; an energetic young girl who is quite significant to the plot development and the course of the main story. As we move forward in the narrative, we witness her bloom from a wanderer to a heroine who saves the day. It’s in the hands of Lisandro’s clan of spiteful magicians to either destroy or salvage the Realm.
Shayla has outdone herself through this particular novel. She has set it in present time, which can be seen by the references characters make about the clothing styles, and popular culture, but at the same time, she has created a fantastic and other worldly dimension which vacuums the reader right in without any resistance.