There are lots of stories about the children of gods. But what about those cursed by the gods, and their descendants…

Descendants is the first book in the Young Adult, Urban Fantasy trilogy: The Arete Series.

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She turned around and stared at the black lenses and thought of the first time she’d seen her without them. The naked skin was a tracery of scars around deep hollows, where tattered flesh remained.

El had only been five years old when she’d asked her grandma the question that preyed on her, every minute of every day. Even then, she had known enough about her powers to realise that her life, and any life with their ability, wasn’t an easy one. She’d touched her grandma’s scars and asked her if she’d cut her power out.

Chapter 2: Blurred

Exclamations broke from the guests as they watched the man bolt out onto the landing. Some edged towards the door, perhaps considering giving chase, but most remained where they were. Gasps rose and the air seemed charged. Everyone’s focus grew sharper as they watched the man vault over the railings of the first floor. His legs and arms were thrown wide as though his body was pushing itself to bridge a gap, as if with effort he might leap across to a distant ledge. But there was none. He plummeted.

Chapter 1: Vigilance


El Devereux

El has lived a sheltered life and been hidden away from the world because of the deadly power that slumbers in her. When she causes a horrific accident, she learns that there are others like her – others with powers. Forced from her home, she is hunted by a secret organisation known as the Order. But should El be afraid of these beings or has she been right all along: that she is the thing to be feared the most?

Dan Pinton

Dan has spent most of his youth on the run from The Order. Travelling with other arete, he has used his elemental abilities to perform in a fire troupe throughout Europe. He is part of the group who are tasked with keeping El hidden from the Order. But why is he so secretive … can he be trusted?

Luke Laukas

Luke has grown up in the thick of the arete world. He’s honest, open and forthcoming, more so than any other arete that El’s met. But … he’s a supporter of the Order! And he claims that it isn’t dangerous. If El believes him it means that those closest to her are liars.

Arete Origins and Mythology

Arete are commonly believed to have originated from Ancient Greece. The term “arete” was used by the Ancient Greek author Homer to describe the heroes of his stories. Each hero had his or her type of “arete” or “excellence”.

Over the centuries some knowledge of arete has slipped into human culture. Some of the earliest arete to be written about in fiction were the Homeric heroes, such as “cunning Odyssesus” or “swift-footed Achilles”. Nowadays, arete lore often inspires fiction. Their elemental abilities have given rise to the fantasy genre.

Even so, the arete world remains largely concealed. The kerykeion makes this possible. And the source of its power: the serpent blood used to draw it.

Kerykeion disguise the print in books, conceal billboards and even hide entire buildings.




Able to manipulate humans with their gaze, serpents often occupy the highest positions in society.


Fire serpents that have the ability to manipulate and control fire. Drakon are the inspiration behind dragons. Their fiery tempers have sometimes drawn the notice of humans. In the 17th century one of their battles got so out of hand that they burnt down central London, becoming known as The Great Fire of London.


Water serpents that can manipulate and control water. Their name derives from the hydra of Lerna. It was said that every time it got its head chopped off multiple ones would grow back in its place. This has led to hydra often being called two-faced.


Serpents who manipulate and control air. The giant that their name derives from was said by the ancient writer Hesiod to make the “sound of a lion, relentless of heart; and at another, sounds like whelps, wonderful to hear; and again, at another, he would hiss, so that the high mountains re-echoed”. Some say their tempers run high and they are stormy by nature.


A manipulator and controller of earth. The Mythical Ladon was said to guard the golden apples of the Hesperides. This legend later fed into Christian lore and brought about the story of the serpent tempting Eve. As a result, ladon are often viewed as a little devilish.

Sound and Vision


Descendants Playlist


The Order

About the Author

Hi! I’m Rae. I’m an Urban-Fantasy author, most at home in the spaces between reality and the imaginary. When I am in this world, I reside in London. My Young Adult, Urban Fantasy book, Descendants is the first in The Arete Series and is due to be published in April 2017.

I have previously published fiction with Fictuary magazine. I studied Classics at university and a lot of my stories draw on mythology and ancient worlds. In my twenties, I worked as a primary teacher and now run a dog-walking business. I can usually be found sniffing out plots and characters with my trusty hounds. When not reading or writing, I love to scuba dive. I find the big blue to be like a good book – a portal to a different world.

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