By: Wendy ScottA cauldron of trouble is brewing in Valloaria. Sabrina, a newly fledged healer, is the only one left who can destroy the Lodestone and restore magic. How can a lone girl prevail against an army?
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Book DescriptionSabrina and Lauren's tales entwine - linked by blood and magic. Sabrina, a newly fledged healer, is thrust out of her sheltered life at Mistress Florisah's healing school after the destruction of the witch-ancestor portraits. An anti-witchcraft militia is poised on Karthalon's borders threatening full scale genocide, unless Sabrina, the last of Lauren's bloodline, can destroy the Lodestone, and restore magic to Valloaria, but the Lodestone is buried deep within the heart of the Order's headquarters. Sabrina struggles to accept this suicide mission, and is distracted by her inappropriate affection for Micah, a prospect monk. Lauren's ghost haunts Sabrina's dreams as her diary reveals the tragic events behind Lauren's actions. With invasion imminent, Sabrina embarks on her quest armed only with a sliver of the Lodestone, and Lauren's diary but how can a lone girl prevail against an army?
Excerpt - Lauren
They attacked me alone, in pairs and in mass with their witchy ways, but their magic fell short; I was immune. Blasts of power seared from their fingertips and stonework exploded above, below and next to me, but nothing penetrated the brilliant glow of the Lodestone and they fell back, shrieking in frustration. I glowered at those not fast enough to move out of me way and they vaporized in an orange flash, to black flakes that I trampled underfoot.
Excerpt - Sabrina
A shirtless youth, with his back to her, hummed as he brushed a dark horse. The horse was standing perfectly still as if the boy's song had lulled him to sleep. Sabrina silently observed the prospect as he worked. He was tall with a slender build, but she could see the muscles in his tanned back and arms ripple with each stroke. His brown hair was caught up in an intricate knot threaded by two long feathers; one red, the other purple. She'd never met anyone like him before.
She shuffled forward to get a better view, but her brush whacked into the wooden partition. He whirled around and she found herself staring into the brownest eyes, framed by the longest lashes she'd ever seen. They gawked at each other for a moment before Sabrina rediscovered her tongue. "I … I was sent to care for your horses."
He pointed with his brush, to the horses behind him and said, "I've finished the others. Only Alloni, the brown and white, needs attention."
Sabrina scurried to the indicated stall. Where was his shirt? As if reading her thoughts, he casually reached down and grabbed a white shirt. Slowly, he pulled it over his damp shoulders and Sabrina hastily focused on the horse. Her strokes were a bit shorter and harder than she normally applied and the horse shifted beneath the brush. Before she could correct herself, strong fingers, radiating warmth, slipped over hers and a voice laced with musk, breathed into her ear. "Not so firm. Alloni likes long, languid strokes - like this."
Heat blazed into spots on her cheeks as she followed his movements. After several strokes he said, "That's it, you've got the knack of it now."
He released her hand and stepped away. Sabrina felt as awkward as a newborn foal so she kept her eyes averted and silently busied herself with the horse. From outside, a muffled yell filtered through the stable and the boy said, "Deakon wants me. Will you be all right finishing up?"
She didn't trust herself to speak. "Ah-ha."
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