For over a hundred years, the Temple of Ran has been sacrificing young wizards in order to steal their power. When Lorit discovers that he holds the rare ability to use magic, he becomes their next target.
At first, he runs, working to master his abilities on the move so that one day he might be able to resist them. But that was before the Temple targets his beloved sister, Onult. In order to save her life, he infuses her with his own power.
Now, they're both targets.
Together, they'll battle to make the world safe for magicians everywhere... if they can survive the temple's power-hungry priests. If they can't, their enemy will absorb their magic and become unstoppable.
Experience the start of an Epic Fantasy Series filled with dark magic, sinister villains, and non-stop adventure. It's perfect for fans of D.K. Holmberg, Will Wight, and K.F. Breene.
"I am starting on the next one in series as soon as finish this review. Highly recommended this book...happy reading to all."– Reader review
"I chose this rating because I couldn't stop reading until the end. It was a well spun storyline that had me in it's spell."
"I chose this rating because I couldn't stop reading until the end. It was a well spun storyline that had me in it's spell."– Reader review
Vorathorm entered the secret chamber where he made his sacrifice. His movements sent a sparkling shower of dust motes swirling into the single shaft of sunlight that illuminated the bloodstained altar. He stood before it, fidgeting in anticipation, his bony hands itching to reach out and start the ritual. His eyes were focused on the advancing shaft of sunlight as it crept slowly downward.
A statue of a young woman dressed in ceremonial robes cradled the sacred blade against her throat. Beneath her, a small rabbit lay trussed upon the altar. Its legs were bound with a leather thong. It cried out in fear as it caught the scent of blood from its predecessors. Finally, exhausted, it fell silent, its heavy breathing the only evidence of its struggle.
Vorathorm rested his hands on the animal to quiet it. He imagined that a young wizard was trussed upon his altar, not a field animal. He visualized himself performing that sacrifice. He'd pluck the knife from the arms of the maiden at the precise moment the sun struck the blade. He'd make one smooth, quick motion cutting a single slice across the boy's throat.
The power of the boy's magic would be his tenfold, to add to his growing personal reserve.
A shadow fell across the altar, blocking the shaft of sunlight, breaking his reverie.
Rage boiled up within him, as he turned to face the intruder. "How dare you interrupt!" he cried out. "Who could be so insolent as to disturb my sacrifice?"
The interloper stood there, calmly blocking the beam of sunlight. He was tall and thin. His shaved head highlighted the shape of his skull and accentuated the birdlike beak of his nose. His long black robes were trimmed in gold, swirling the dust motes into the air as he moved.
Sulrad was the only person who would dare approach the altar at such a critical time. He was also the only person who would be so bold as to spoil Vorathorm's sacrifice without a hint of hesitation.
"Sulrad," Vorathorm said slowly. "To what do I owe this honor?"
He controlled his breathing and slowed his heartbeat as he'd been taught. Sulrad would not have made the trip to Veldwaite needlessly; something extraordinarily disconcerting must have happened. Vorathorm was not sure he wanted to know, as it never meant good news for him personally.
"I have located a pair," Sulrad said. He stated it simply, without a trace of emotion, as if it happened every day.
"A pair?" Vorathorm asked. A pair of wizards. One wizard, one sorceress. Discovery of a pair was the singularly worst news Sulrad could have uttered. Vorathorm stared at him unblinking.
"Yes, a pair. I sensed them some time ago. A boy and his sister…from what I could tell," he added. "Very early." He casually walked around the altar, looking down at the preparations Vorathorm had made for the sacrifice.
"What did you sense? Where are they? Who are they?"
"Slow down," Sulrad said. He hopped up and seated himself on the altar, arranging his robes as he did. Only Sulrad would dare such a sacrilege.
"You must have a plan," Vorathorm insisted.
"I have a plan, but it is you who will carry it out," Sulrad said. "We can't allow a pair of wizards to come into their power. Thank Ran that they're brother and sister. At least we have that in our favor."
As brother and sister, the pair would be somewhat restrained in their union. At least, he hoped they would. Vorathorm shuddered at the thought.
"Where are they now?" Vorathorm asked. He secretly hoped Sulrad would allow him to take the power from both of them. That kind of power would send him to the top of the temple hierarchy. Maybe even above Sulrad himself.
"To your great fortune, they've already been separated. The boy is fleeing. The girl remains at home with her family," Sulrad said.
He picked up the sacrificial knife and fondled it. He used it to trace arcane figures in the thick, dried blood staining the altar.
"What have you planned?" Vorathorm asked. He wished Sulrad would get to the point. There might yet be time to complete his sacrifice.
"We've captured the boy. Even now, he lies trapped, safely out of your way. You must act without delay. Kill the girl while he is helpless."
"Is he that strong?" Pairs were so rare that he didn't know what to expect. He feared that these two were developing rapidly. They would soon be a threat if they weren't stopped.
"He is," Sulrad said.
"Strong enough to stop us?" He didn't want the boy interfering as he drained the magic from the girl.
"Yes, he's that strong," Sulrad said. He placed the knife back in the hands of the statue. "Don't worry about the boy. He's safely out of your way. Once you finish your part, we'll deal with him as appropriate."
"What am I to do then?" Vorathorm asked.
"Travel to their homestead outside of Mistbury and dispose of the girl. Once you've done that, come back and report to me." He gestured to the knife cradled in the arms of the statue. "Don't forget your knife," he said with a smile as he turned and walked out.
Vorathorm looked at the sunlight just about to illuminate the rabbit. He would have just enough time to make his sacrifice. He smiled and approached the altar with a renewed sense of purpose.