The Southern Continent Series by Jeffrey Quyle (#1-2)
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Overview: Jeff Quyle has lived most of his life in the Midwest, with brief spans of time spent living in Arizona and Canterbury, England. He is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, US and British history, and the Aubry/Maturin Napoleonic naval war adventure novels written by Patrick O’Brian. The first books he remembers are the "Lucky Starr" science fiction stories of Paul French (a pseudonym of Isaac Asimov), and he spent his youth reading Asimov, Tolkien, Heinlein, and others.
The Elemental Jewels (#1): Grange was a small time pickpocket – not a bad person by nature, just tossed by circumstances onto a rocky shore, and doing what he needed in order to get by. But just when he saw an opportunity to leave thievery behind, fate cruelly dashed him into worse circumstances. Captured and thrown into a hard-scrabble, isolated labor camp, Grange faced exile at best, and death as a more likely outcome. But a whispering voice in the darkness led him to discover a set of enchanted jewels, and the jewels placed him on an entirely new path towards freedom and a new life. But the jewels also slowly revealed that his new life will carry a very, very steep price at some point in the future. Grange’s unique capacity has made him a needed – and hunted – man. A lovely girl appears to lead him, but not love him, and a vagabond lifestyle wandering through a bucolic countryside enchants him, so much so that he forgets the warning of the jewels, until strange and terrible things happen, and the boy realizes that the road to the future will be a dark one. He’ll have to rely on the Elemental Jewels if he is to survive, and carry out his fate!
Perilous Travels (#2): Grange begins to understand the use of his powers, under the tutelage of Brieed, the mighty court wizard in Palmland. But his lessons are disrupted when he is asked to leave the kingdom and accompany a diplomatic mission to a distant land, one where he will be able to display his powers as a demonstration of the might of Palmland. The journey to Kilau is more dangerous than expected though, and the disruption of Grange’s trip is only the beginning of the perilous travels that impact Grange’s life.