The Meduan and Lanserim ways of life are as compatible as oil and water. But when a menacing threat descends upon both countries, devouring all living things in its wake and leaving only husks of skin behind, Lansera's young Prince Janto and his fiancée, Serra, must learn to work together with the bedeviling Vesperi, an unpredictable Meduan who may possess the only weapon that can save them—the Silver Flame.
Book 2 – Wings Unfurled, coming October 2022 from Meerkat Press
"Rebecca Gomez Farrell weaves together a brilliant fantasy adventure about love, power, and destiny."– Elizabeth Konkel, Seattle Book Reviews
"War, treachery, and star-crossed lovers abound in this high fantasy novel. . . . Farrell's book is imaginative, filled with detailed worldbuilding … Each of the protagonists' stories is engaging in its own way."– Kirkus Reviews
"I enjoyed the writing of Farrell. … Each action was written to such precision that it felt like a well-directed movie in my head, leaving little for me to fill in. And that's great! For a high fantasy book, the author's ability to describe is essential and Farrell excelled at it."– Book Allure
"I would place this book on the shelf next to Anne Aguirre, Veronica Roth, Christopher Paolini, and Ally Condie. Being a former middle grades English teacher, Wings Unseen would have been on my recommendation list and if any of those former students come knocking, I would not hesitate to tell them about Wings Unseen."– JD Dehart Reading & Literature Resources
"Wings Unseen by Rebecca Gomez Farrell is a complex book that clearly owes a debt towards A Song of Ice and Fire in its multi-POV structure. … A lot of adult fantasy books are a slow burn, particularly in the romantic arcs, but this book counters that by laying out the emotional elements in a very forthright manner."– Bookwitty
He was an enticing prospect, Vesperi had to admit. Candlelight enhanced his muscle's curves where they strained against his black tunic. Fluffs of dark feather down stuck to the material, one of the reasons Vesperi knew he was a Raven, a spy from Lansera. The other was the cloak hooked on his pointer finger, its shade the luminous purple of a sunset over Mandat Hall on a cloudy night. A cloak that audacious declared his ambition for Vesperi's hand the moment he rode through Sellwyn's gate. Maybe the spy had chosen it for that effect; her father was drawn to power like a priest to intrigue. But Vesperi doubted Agler had the wits for that deception. Doubtless, the fool simply lacked subtlety.
He stared at her, waiting for an invitation to speak from her bedroom doorway. She let him wait. Meduan men rarely waited for anything. Vesperi constantly had to, especially for her brother Uzziel. She'd cursed the day he was born, and he returned the favor with every contemptuous look he gave her. Not that her curse could have made his life worse than it already was. He'd flown out of their mother's womb with his birth cord tangled multiple times around his neck, his lips and nails deep claret. He should have been put to death—if a girl, he would have been—but Lord Sellwyn longed for an heir and wouldn't hear of it. So the whelp lived and spited her with every breath from his sick bed.
"Lady Sellwyn?" Agler broke the silence with a cough. His muscles tensed appealingly. The man's form was extraordinary.
"Oh, please, Ser Agler, come inside," she drawled. "Do take a seat." She shifted on her side, careful to tug her blouse down an inch. Then she fluttered her lashes.
He blushed and slid into the chair farthest from her bed. She laughed. "Such chivalry from a Lorvian, for a lady like me." This spy had no idea how Lorvian men behaved. With words that fine, he could never have been raised a distant northern noble, no matter how long he claimed to have been at court. She patted the bench next to her. "Why don't you come closer?"
He considered it, uncertainty evident in his downcast eyes. But his voice was stern. "Your father is home. I know he gets . . . angry . . . on occasion." He paused. "I wish to give him no reason to dislike me."
Vesperi grew weary of his manners. This man—this spy—was a waste of her time. She iced her tone. "What do you want with me, Agler?"
"To marry you, of course."
"Of course, of course. So many men come here with that same idiotic idea. I am not the marrying type."
Agler narrowed his eyes. "Are you mocking my proposal, wench?"
Vesperi laughed again. At least he was attempting to be a man now. "No, Agler, I am not mocking you. I am letting you know precisely where you stand."
"I'm a better match than any of those buffoons who've paraded through your father's hall." He spoke faster now, hiding his nerves. "I could offer your father a thousand souzers tonight if you agree to the marriage."
"Yes." She crossed her legs slowly. "But what could you offer me?"
His face flushed, but he had the forbearance to pretend it was anger. "Offer you? That's preposterous, woman. I do not have to offer you a thing. Why, I ought to call the guards this instant to . . . to . . ."
How precious. He couldn't say the words.
"To beat me?" she finished for him. "Spare yourself the embarrassment. I have taken beatings from the guards since I was old enough to talk. I don't feel the fists anymore." She rose, planting her feet on the carpet. "And you do need to offer me something. My father has agreed I may choose my own husband." A lie. Her father had asked her opinion on the matter once, but that hardly qualified as handing her the decision. He would never do that; no man of Medua would. But Agler did not realize it.
"I have yet to meet a suitor who was man enough to impress me. You certainly do not." Agler may have mimicked the swagger of Medua's courtiers with his garish colors and quick temper, but it wasn't in his blood. She wondered whom he had been over the mountains before becoming a Raven. A field worker from Wasyla? Certainly not one of those disgusting frogmen from Rasseleria. She had seen one once in the convent, wearing the bone-studded robe of the advers, Medua's priesthood. The frogman had felt her staring and trained his yellow eyes on her while his tongue flicked out between his lips.
"Vesperi, tell me then. How can I win you over?" Agler's voice revealed only a hint of the exasperation he must have felt. The Raven was a fish thrown into a pool of sheven here, sharp rows of teeth gleaming from their opened mouths. She almost pitied the spy.
He changed tactics. "You are ravishing. And more clever than any other woman I have met—you would make a good advisor for a man like me. I'm going to rise fast, you'll see, and you should be the lady on my arm. You belong at King Ralion's court, not wasting away in a hovel like Sellwyn Manor." His voice hinted at tenderness. The emotion was a ludicrous possibility, but his bargaining chip was not. If she had to take care of her brother much longer, she would do something completely insane, poison Uzziel's porridge or inflict him with her talent the next time they were alone. By Saeth's hammer, she wanted to be rid of her brother.
Agler breathed heavily, his wavy, sandy blond hair shifting. It begged to have fingers run through it. The spy offered Vesperi an easy escape, but she didn't want it, not in truth. She wanted Sellwyn Manor.
Vesperi sighed then waved her hand toward the door. "Go. We're done here."
"I'll say when we're done, woman, not a whore like you."
Agler almost choked on the words as he spit them out. Did the Ravens think this boy fully trained? He would not last two seconds in a camp tavern, much less at court. Luckily for Agler, Lord Sellwyn saw only what he wanted. In this case, the substantial pouch of coins tied around the spy's waist.
It was fortunate she had convinced her father to let her speak with Agler before saying yes to the mummer's proposal. Vesperi would have been a complete laughingstock after his inevitable discovery, forced back into the convent so Lord Sellwyn need never lay eyes on her again. A man who addressed her as "Lady" wasn't one on whom she could hang her future. The more she considered it, the more his pathetic attempt at winning her hand angered her . . . and it had been so long since she had used her talent. She had to hide it until she was ready to show Father how important it could be for him, how invaluable she could be . . . But a little play could be explained away well enough.
Agler sputtered on about teaching her to be a respectable wife or some such nonsense, but he never raised a hand toward her like a true Meduan would have. That final mistake sealed his fate. Vesperi gazed out the tiny window high above her nightstand. Three of the four moons clustered close that night, and she focused on the biggest one—silver-hued Esye. With her middle finger raised, she imagined squeezing the moon by its halo, draining the light from it. Energy flowed into her body and churned within her palm like a hound chasing after its tail.
"Vesperi, what are you doing?"
There was fear in the question—I must be glowing. His rounded eyes reminded her of a lizard's, and then his face went white. She wondered what he saw. The last time, the nun had screamed something about fish scales, and she'd been desperately curious to know how she appeared when channeling the talent ever since. Her hair writhed with the force of strengthening energy, and she breathed in sharply, jabbed her raised finger toward him. A single bolt of silver flashed into his chest, and in seconds, she was alone.
A lick of flame lingered over the pile of ashes then vanished. She was disappointed to see she had burnt the chair to a crisp as well as the man. At least there were no marks left on the wall. Vesperi could summon her talent, but she did not know how to control it.
She yelled down the hall. "Servant. Come clean up this mess."
A young girl with bronzed skin scurried inside, keeping her head low.
"Those ashes." Vesperi pointed at the remains. "Sweep them up."
The girl hurried back into the corridor to fetch a broom, deftly sidestepping the incense-shrouded altar to their god, Saeth, that dominated the hall.
A flash of inspiration made Vesperi call after her. "Bring a box with a lid and a quill and paper also." This will be fun.
The girl nodded as she disappeared down the hall, blending in with the shadows.
Vesperi knelt, sticking her hand in the warm ashes. A waterfall of them slipped through her spread fingers. Such a waste. He had been so handsome.