We have a very special treat for you as part of the
We have an excerpt from The Burning Sky!
“Tell me about the vision in which she saw you dying,” said Fairfax, returning to her supper. “Did you also read it in that diary?”The Burning Sky is already out in store or your library but just in case you haven't run across it yet here's the description:
Titus slowly lay himself back down. Damn the truth serum. And damn the blood oath that prevented him from lying. One might as well blind a painter or chop off the fingers of a sculptor—he was an artist with his lies. “Yes.”
“When will it happen?”
“I am described as in my late adolescence. So . . . any day now.”
She blinked a few times, looked down at her food, then back at him. “Why?”
“There is no why. Everybody dies.”
“You said that the diary only shows what you need to know. Why is it necessary for you to learn that you’ll die young?”
“So I will prepare accordingly. It concentrates the mind, knowing that time is limited.”
“It could have had the opposite effect. Another boy might have abandoned the whole venture altogether.”
“That boy must not worry about meeting his mother in the afterlife with nothing accomplished in this one. Besides, you cannot escape your destiny. Look at how much effort has been expended in helping you elude the ineluctable—and look where you are now.”
A pot of tea had come with the supper tray. Her gaze dropped to the teapot. Tea jetted out of the spout by itself, arcing a graceful parabola in the air before filling a cup without a drop spilled. She wrapped her hands around the cup, as if she felt cold and needed a source of warmth. “So I might be alone at the end, facing the Bane.”
The thought haunted him almost more than his impending death. “As long as I live and breathe, I will be with you. And I will shield you.”
Her fingers flexed, then tightened around the teacup. “I never thought I’d say this, but I want you to live forever.”
He did not need to live forever, but he would like to live long enough to forget the taste of fear. “You can live forever for me.”
Their gazes met—and held.
She rose, went into the bedroom, and came back with a blanket. As she tucked the blanket in around him, forever became a distant thought—he would gladly exchange it for a few more moments like this.
“Sleep,” she said. “The great elemental mage of our time will stand guard over you.”
A few sparks of fire floated below the ceiling, providing just enough illumination to see. Iolanthe gazed at the prince’s sleeping form, one arm slung over his head, the other kept close to his person, his wand in hand.
Gathering the sparks nearer herself, she took out his mother’s diary and flipped through the pages again. Nothing, except for one particular page which bore a small skull mark that she hadn’t noticed before at the bottom right-hand corner.
When she reached the end of the diary, she turned the pages backward. Still nothing. She sighed and returned the diary to his satchel.
In her heart she was beginning to understand that it was truly written in the stars, her destiny. Yet it still seemed utterly impossible that she would ever find the audacity to face the Bane, she who had lived such a small life, so tightly focused only on the well-being of her own family.
Especially if the prince was right about his death.
Upon his passing, the blood oath would cease to be binding. She would be free to walk away from this mad venture, snatch Master Haywood, if she could, and disappear into hiding.
There was nothing to stop her.
Except the knowledge that he had given his life to the cause, and she would have abandoned the entire foundation he had built.
Not to mention the question that was beginning to tug at the edge of her mind: if she had the power to overthrow the Bane, could she live with never trying, just keeping herself and Master Haywood safe in some pocket of the Labyrinthine Mountains, while Mrs. Needles and countless others like her rotted in Atlantean prisons?
Could she live with herself, cowering, while the world burned?
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.
Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
Here's a little bit about author Sherry Thomas (she also historical romance novels, some of which I've read, really enjoyed and reviewed here on the blog).
English is Sherry's second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger's Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.
Happy Friday and happy reading,
Michelle & Leslie