The king returned to his throne and bellowed his next words so that they reverberated off the walls of the cavernous hall.
“Stand and accept what you were born to be, my son.”
“Like I said, it’s not a choice.”
Carden reached toward him and clenched his hand into a fist. Braeden’s stomach tightened, as if his father had reached into his gut and squeezed. He curled over himself, stifling the agonizing yell in his throat.
The king twisted his hand and opened his palm, where sparks snapped and fizzled. Braeden’s muscles tore at the movement. Popping noises surged along his biceps and neck. His veins chilled and slowed. He unconsciously stood at a twitch of Carden’s finger. Braeden’s grip on his form was slipping. Smoke escaped his pores. Organs shifted. He screamed in pain until a heavy weight fell on his chest and closed his throat.
“Screams are for the weak,” Carden said.
The weight eased off Braeden’s lungs, letting him sink back to the floor as the internal tearing and popping stopped. The staggering numbness returned. His cuffs twisted as he moved, and searing fire coursed through his veins. Tremors pulsed through him.
Carden scowled from his chair, and the green lizard from earlier peered from the shadows beside the throne. Its outline blurred for a moment, but returned to normal so quickly that Braeden questioned what he’d seen.
It flickered again, more prominently this time.
Dark lines melted around its face. It grew taller, its skin stretching and pouring into the space around it. In a matter of seconds, the lizard filled the massive hall as it transformed into a dragon.
Braeden’s mouth went dry.
The dragon reared its head above the stunned hall and roared. The creature’s tail landed squarely on Carden’s chest, sending him flying into a support column by the main entry. The pillar crumbled on top of the king, burying him, and the dome it supported shattered. The dragon thrashed its wings against the walls by the thrones. Chunks of black marble pummeled downward, cracking the polished floor. Glass rained down on the cloaked subjects. A stampede began for the door.
A new, shriller roar echoed through the great hall, shooting chills through Braeden’s body. A red dragon with a long black stripe down its spine stood over Kara, baring its thick teeth. One dragon was bad enough, but two would be unstoppable. He tried to stand, to run, to possibly escape and at minimum find cover, but one of the spikes shifted and lodged into his bone. The pain buckled his knees.
Another patch in the ceiling crumbled. Pebbles and thick shards of painted glass showered to the floor. What yakona remained fled. Braeden grit his teeth, forced himself to his feet, and staggered to the edge of the hall.
Two thick claws engulfed him, pulling him into the air and pressing the spikes deeper into his hands with a single, deft motion. He cried out as the throbbing agony pulsed through his arms. Shimmering green scales blotted out the sky. The red dragon appeared in the air beside them, Kara tucked away in its claws.
The familiar weight of his father’s control returned on Braeden’s chest. Hatred coursed through his mind like a fever. He turned to the floor. Carden lay trapped beneath the rubble, a shredded look of fury consuming his gray face, and Braeden lost himself to the final ounces of his father’s remaining energy.
Kill the dragon, he was told. Rip it apart. Return.
He writhed, consumed by his father’s commands, but the green dragon clutched him tighter until the pain of the poisoned cuffs outweighed even his father’s will. He dangled in the dragon’s claws and watched the Stele recede from sight.
“The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea. – Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy
Spring 2013 Rankings
#6 Kindle Store | #1 Science Fiction & Fantasy | #1 Epic Fantasy | #1 Sword & Sorcery | #1 Teens
Now an international Amazon bestseller. Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict – a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
Novels in the Grimoire Saga:
Heritage (#3) – Available Fall 2013
Illusion (#4) – Available Fall 2014
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG13
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