Thursday, February 28, 2013
Book 2 of The Siaris Quartet
Immortal love was never meant to be broken, but the road to restoring it is beyond imagining.
The world of Siaris has been thrown into chaos. Xereth, still reeling from the loss of his children, has bided his time and waited years for the perfect time to exact revenge. That time is drawing near. Little does Xereth know, he’ll have unsolicited help along the way.
Long-dormant prejudices have surfaced among the humans and elden of Siaris, and they are turning their hate toward their Guardian protectors. Neither visions nor spell-craft can predict the mutiny being prepared in their protectorate, and when a human and Guardian fall in love the rule banning their marriage only ignites the drive to retaliate.
In the world Riana and her Guardian family protect, war has broken out, led by the man who once loved her, now Lord of the Shadow Realm. The old rules are crumbling, the spells engraved in the Guardians’ bones are breaking down. Will Siaris and its Guardians survive the changes?
Strength coursed through Riana’s body as if a river had been unleashed, driving her into a sprint. She hurtled down the dark hallway, swiveling an image of the fortress around in her mind’s vision. Locking onto her position, she took an ascending passage.
She ran hard. Mottled folds of cloth whipped around her ankles. The fortress’s black walls pressed in close, dank and smothering. Her footsteps were muffled, all sounds eaten in the gloom. Her bare feet stung where they met the fierce cold of the floor. She veered around a twist in the corridor and rocked back on her heels. Eyes gleamed in front of her, colder than the stone beneath her feet.
The voice slid like ice through her head. No mercy lit Maegren’s features, no hint of the knowledge she’d seen. Torchlight licked at the hem of his cloak, sent a chill line down his black feathers.
Riana forced down panic. “Maegren, let me go.”
She held herself still, but a betraying tremor touched her words. He laughed. Backing away, Riana spun about and slipped into a narrow opening to her left. She fled down a pitted slope into deeper blackness lit only by her fractured halo.
She ran until the breath caught in her lungs, until her feet began to slow. The strength she’d built was sapping from her limbs, draining from fractures in her spellsheen.
I can’t escape.
Every turn and kink in the line of the path was drawing her further into the fortress. The dark communal will at its centre closed in fast, tightening the noose. The soft mutters of the gods gnawed at the edges of her mind. Ancient decay cloyed in her nostrils. She lurched to a halt.
Impossibly, Maegren stood before her again. A vindictive smile curled his lips as he swept a low bow. The black hair framing his face swung in glittering sheets. Catching a faint blue glow at the periphery of her vision, terror knifed through Riana and sent pinpricks though her limbs. She glanced back over her shoulder, searching the darkness. In the corner of her eye, an indigo form closed in on her with predator stealth.
“Xereth,” she whispered.
Her cousin’s blue eyes narrowed, transfixing her.
Run to ground like a wild thing.
Sensing something else, unbelieving, she looked down. Low in her belly a point of light welled. New cells sparkled where an egg snuggled in the wall of her womb. She gasped and put a trembling hand to her body. Maegren’s suppressed sound of shock caught her ear. Reacting to Xereth’s presence, she shielded her sudden awareness with all the power she could muster. The white glow in Maegren’s eyes dulled. Weakness crept up Riana’s legs as a picture formed in front of her. She sank to her knees, oblivious to the icy bite of the floor beneath her hand. Before her stood a little boy, quite calm, his eyes shining. He held a hand out to her, one cheek dimpling.
“Mother, it will be all right.”
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Joanna Fay lives in the Perth Hills of Western Australia with her teenage son and a menagerie of small pets. She writes fantasy novels and short stories, works as a therapist, meditates and keeps an eye on the sky for unidentified flying objects. Her poems and short stories have won awards and been published in Australia, the UK and the USA.