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Cover Copyright ©2010
Trace Edward Zaber
by Leslie Roy Carter & Margaret L. Carter
ISBN: 978-1-60272-665-9 (Electronic)
ISBN: 978-1-60272-800-4 (Paperback)
In the climactic sequel to Wild Sorceress and Besieged Adept, sorceresses Aetria and Coleni discover that both their own births and the history of their world have been manipulated in secret by an ancient, powerful race of dragons. Some, like Aetria’s “imaginary” childhood friend Rajii, have benevolent intentions toward humanity, while others want to restore the people of the Domains to total slavery. All, however, have their own agendas with human beings and mortal magic as pawns.
Emerging from their long-lost mother’s hidden home in the deserted Non-Lands, Aetria and Coleni find themselves targeted by assassins under control of the dragons. While the sisters’ powers continue to grow, so do the magical gifts of Coleni’s baby daughter, but will their magic provide adequate protection?
Meanwhile, still viewed with suspicion for their “wild sorcery,” they can’t convince most of their rivals and allies, including Aetria’s old mentor and the commanding general of the army, that the dragons and the danger they pose are real. Even Aetria’s lover Val shows some doubts. To protect her people, must Aetria challenge the whole Council of Magi and claim a leadership role she never wanted? And should she trust the two mysterious voices speaking in her head?
Length: Extended Novel (120k words / 314 paperback pages)
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Read what the reviewers are saying...
"4 Cups!...Mr. and Ms. Carter conjure an unrestrained flight of fancy...This is a book full of vivid descriptions and detailed characters. The cast is full of strong females and mystical creatures. This is a thorough military and political drama with...magic and fantasy..."--Venus, Coffee Time Romance & More
Read a short excerpt...
...Aetria awoke, and looked around. The cave was empty of illusions, or whatever way the Observer created those images, and it was naturally dark. The light from the entrance barely reached beyond the turn into the room. Spelling a hand flare, Aetria sat up, then stood, noting the chill across her back from lying on the cave’s floor. She must have been asleep for at least an hour to lose that much heat. With the cold came a stiffness that she worked loose by twisting her torso from side to side and flexing her arms up and down. The erratic shifting of the light across the rock’s surface distracted her, and she stopped working the stiffness out.
What has my escort been doing all this time? Aetria made a quick tour of the cave’s interior, looking for any sign of someone’s having been there. She found a patch of the ground near the back of the room strangely clean of gravel and dust.
“Someone has swept this area. Why?”
Her voice echoed slightly off the walls. Aetria moved carefully along the swept area and found another entrance to the room. She increased the flare and saw a dark passage leading deep into the mountain. The floor was swept as far back as she could see. She hesitated, wondering if she should proceed farther into the passage when she heard the clash of sword on sword behind her.
Trouble! Zo? She dispelled the flare and ran for the entrance. Emerging into the light, she forced herself to crouch for a moment to allow her eyes to adjust the brightness. Beyond the cave’s adit she could not see anything but the trees that guarded the path to the cave. The sound of a skirmish was funneled to her by the narrow entrance, and she could not tell whether the combatants were to the left or right. She knew she could not stand at the entrance for any length of time to try to figure out where to go, as she would be a perfect target.
Think right, go right, be right, she chanted in her mind and sprinted out of the cave, diving to that side as she exited. Two crossbow bolts shrieked past, bouncing off the rock walls and disappearing into the cave. She forward-rolled to her feet and spelled a fireball in the direction she thought the bolts must have been fired from. Diving to her left this time, anticipating the archers would track her along her original path, she jumped to her feet and saw one green-clad figure sprawled on the ground, clothes burning and setting fire to the grass where he lay. Another staggered backward, the feathers of an arrow protruding from her chest.
Aetria caught the flash of a sword to her left and saw Trehanee’s weapon behead a third Zo. As the Kanchala leader whirled with the momentum of the swing, a bolt struck her in the stomach, and she lurched backward. Aetria spotted the bowman and knew she had little time to throw her knives. She started to cast a fireball instead, and before she could, two arrows slammed into the Zo. Then something struck her from behind. Not again, she thought, as darkness took her...
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