BY A. KATIE ROSE
About the Book
When the moon and the sun
Are joined as one,
From tears of strife, from the bitter ashes,
From sorrow and from rage
That what was once parted
Shall again be one.
First Captain Vanyar: Disgraced. Outlawed. Haunted by the chilling murder of his own men, he is consumed by guilt and knows he can never find redemption for his crimes. The most talented Shape-Shifter ever born, only he can save Princess Iyumi from a Witch’s evil, and help her find the child of prophecy. But his Atani brothers, seeking justice for the slaying of Vanyar’s unit, plan his private execution against the King’s orders.
Princess Iyumi: She is the legendary “She Who Hears”, the voice of the gods, and the gods’ chosen tool. Only she knows where to find the child spoken of in the ancient prophecy, the child who will unite two feuding countries and protect the world of magic from obliteration. Caught between two warring men, only her love is hers to give, to offer to the only man she ever wanted.
Prince Flynn: Despised by his own people, cruelly abused by his father, he fights to hide his magical gifts from those who would slay him for possessing them. By blood and by fire, he gains a terrible power, and condemns his own soul. He must find Princess Iyumi and the child, and bring them to his father’s mistress, the Red Witch. Or the only people who ever mattered to him, his mother and his sister, will die.
When the piles of deadwood reached halfway up the trunk, Cian stood up. He lifted my chain. “Van. It’s time.
I glanced at the sun. It hovered over the mountain peaks, its bright rays of gold, orange, pink and rose-blush streaking eastward as though yearning for the dawn. As you love me, your lordships, I prayed silently. As you love her, help me through this.
I offered no fight as Cian and Kado untied my hands only to retie them behind the stout, dried trunk of the old oak. Just more tinder to catch hold. I gazed down at the pile that shifted uneasily beneath my feet. I leaned my head back against the bark and shut my eyes. Focus, damn it. Focus.
Concentrating, I slowed my breathing, my heartbeat. I focused on my sword. If you’re there, I said, deep within my mind, I need you now. Slowly, too slowly, I sank deeper into a trance. Only by casting out all distractions might I call upon the sword’s power. As it lay outside my own, perhaps it was not constrained by the cold pewter collar around my neck.
“May you be reborn in Paradise,” Cian called, safely returned to the ground with Kado in tow.
His voice broke my infant trance. Frantic to reclaim it, I felt it slip from my grasp. I heard a torch lit with a whoosh, scented its smoky flame. I knew someone, probably Yestin, handed it with devout ceremony to Cian.
Down, I thought, my mind fogged, sluggish. Down, deep and down.
The trance hovered at the threshold of my mind, calling to me.
At my feet, flames licked the dry wood and found it palatable. Heat rose to warm my body, and smoke teased my nostrils, burned my eyelids. Ignore it, my mind whispered. Ignore it and control thy fear. Fear is your enemy. Make it your ally.
Dropping deeper into a trance, I called to my own blood, captured deep within the sword. Hear me. Feel me. I am yours and you are mine.
I hear, the sword hissed in reply. I obey.
The flames rose higher, hungry, feeding on the dry wood. I needed no eyes to witness Cian fall back, shading his brow against the terrible heat. I saw within my mind his companions curse in dreadful fascination as they stumbled into one another, seizing arms, tripping over themselves in their haste to escape the licking fires of hell.
Sweat burst from my pores only to dry an instant later under the searing heat. The pain from my busted ribs felt as naught to the savage terror that filled my soul, my heart. The trance slid back, panic emerging, my throat raw and ready to scream. I’m going to die!
About the Author
A. Katie Rose is a workaholic living in San Antonio, Texas. With her day job as a photographer, she writes in what little remains of her spare time. She enjoys long walks, reading (when possible), watching movies, red wine, and drinking beer around a fire with friends. Among her extracurricular activities, she rides her horses and rescues cats.
A Colorado native, she earned her B.A. in literature and history at Western State College, in Gunnison, Colorado. Her first novel, In a Wolf’s Eyes, was published in April of 2012. Her second book, Catch a Wolf, was released in July, 2013. The third of the series, Prince Wolf, was released in May of 2014. The Unforgiven was published in March of 2015. Book Four, Under the Wolf’s Shadow was published in June of 2016. She is busy working on the fifth of the Saga of the Black Wolf series, The Kinslayer.