Two young kirins rushed through a sunlit forest, scrambling over tree roots, dodging pinecones and toadstools. Rabbits and field mice eyed them curiously as they passed.

They stopped to look back. Through a break in the trees they saw it, still distant, coming steadily over a rise. First its head, then a white hairless body with two long arms, then two sturdy legs. It resembled no other living thing.

“No face,” murmured Talli.

The same height as a kirin, the gronom was methodically stalking them.

The dark-eyed Gilin grasped Talli’s hand. “We have to separate. Maybe we’ll both make it. But one of us must!”

Talli looked down as their right feet touched in the time-honored kirin gesture of joy, sorrow, greeting, and parting. We might never see each other again, she thought, or any of our clan.

A burnished blue gemstone was in Gilin’s hand, and he pressed it into hers. “It brings luck. It was my grandfather’s, my father’s, mine, now yours.”

She caressed his hand, then from her belt satchel withdrew a thin gold disc, shiny and worn. “My birth piece,” she said, giving it to him. “Remember me.”

She looked over her shoulder, her hair a shimmer of gold in the sunlight. The enemy was marching intently toward them.


So begins The Spell of No’an, Book One of the KIRINS trilogy.

The trilogy tells the epic tale of kirins, a race of tiny, magical beings who live throughout Earth today. Dwelling in elaborate tree homes and underground sanctuaries, they enjoy a strong kinship with the animals and birds of their region. In the distant past humans knew them well. But an ancient rift occurred between the races, and kirins chose to separate themselves from humans. To help in this, kirin magicians cast a race-wide spell, the spell of no'an, making all kirins invisible to humans. Sadly, we are now unaware of their hidden civilization.

For thousands of years kirins everywhere lived in peace. But now an army of merciless, faceless monsters called gronoms shatters their sylvan existence. A mysterious, dark force has sent them forth to hunt down those kirins with the knowledge of the rising evil.

As Book One opens, three kirin youngsters—Gilin, a determined lad, Talli, a spirited girl, and Reydel, a shy young lass—find the aged kirin magician Olamin moribund in the forest.

Long harboring damning knowledge about the coming evil, Olamin has barely staved off gronoms with his magic. Now he knows he's dying, but also that the special knowledge must survive without him. Before succumbing, he tearfully imparts it to the three youths, fully aware what it will do to them.

Knowing little about the enemy they face, the kirin clans choose a party of five adventurers, led by the wise magician Speckarin, to travel thousands of clan-dominions across land and sea on the backs of birds to seek out and destroy the mysterious evil. What the journey holds in store for them, however, they could never have imagined.

Fly with these adventurers and witness today’s world as it has never before been seen. You’ll find yourself looking to the skies for this mystical race of beings, because maybe, just maybe . . .

All the color artwork appearing with the KIRINS books and on is by Jim Rownd.

All the black and white illustrations are by Marc Johnson-Pencook.

A note about the KIRINS Artwork