Paperback Edition Release Date September 9th, 2016
In a battle between humans and mystics, Kala must choose between the family who raised her and those who left her behind.
Growing up under the care of her uncle, one of the King’s most honored soldiers; Kala believed that the magical creatures her people had conquered were responsible for the death of her parents. When she is captured while defending her property, it is an elf named Azlyn who comes to her rescue. His parting words reveal that her mother had been part of a rebellion seeking to unite humans and mystics; and that her death was not at the hands of his people. This shatters her perceptions of right and wrong and sparks her curiosity. Kala pursues Azlyn and their friendship grows into romance.
When Azlyn believes her heritage may be the key to uniting their people, Kala begins to question everything she was raised to believe.
As her people prepare for war against the mystic races, Kala’s indecision threatens the lives of those she loves.
“The first time I saw it I was alone. It was nearing dusk and I was supposed to be ushering the chickens into their coop for the night. Instead I had crept up the hill and sat in the grass to watch the sun setting. It was one of the few memories I had of my parents- sitting outside and watching the daylight fade.
“Well there it is, the end of another day,” my father would say, right as the last sliver of the sun was fading from our view. He tried to sound exhausted, but if you looked, you would see a playful smirk run across his face as he glanced at my mother. She would slap his arm playfully as darkness overtook us. Then she would lean down to me and whisper in my ear.
“The fools who see it as an end, my lovely, are blinded by their own limited realities. What is the end of one day, if not the beginning of another?”
She would look out of the corner of her eye at my father and smile as if they were sharing in some secret that I was too young to understand. Then, standing they would lock hands with each other, their fingers intertwining as they started across the yard to the house. I always stayed a moment longer to look up where the sky had exploded into thousands of tiny flickering lights surrounded by the darkness. I’d always imagined those lights were where the next day began.
I was jarred back to reality by a loud squawk. I was on my back. The grass beneath me was cold and damp. The sky was dark. Around me, the hens were in a tizzy. I must have fallen asleep! In a panic I stood and began to round up the chickens, counting them as I went along. The rooster was missing.
I ushered the hens into their coop and locked it, then turned to the house. Uncle John was away again, so my only worry was that Audri might still be awake. The windows were dark. I breathed a sigh of relief and trudged back up the hill to look for the rooster, or his remains.
While I was sure that I’d have awoken at the sound of a struggle, it would not be the first time we had lost livestock to local wildlife. Raccoons, foxes, even coyotes would sneak in from time to time if we weren’t careful, but, despite the lack of fencing on our property, we had never had an animal escape.
I scanned the area where I’d collected the hens. The grass where I had been lying was bent, a telltale sign of my diversion from my daily work. I was in so much trouble. Briefly, I tried to rustle the land up with my feet, hoping to destroy the evidence. I was mildly successful. I turned, hoping to have a halfway decent view of the property, but I was out of luck. It was overcast, and the light from the moon was barely seeping through the clouds.
There was a rustling sound in the distance behind me. I spun around. The air was still. No explanation for the noise. I thought I detected movement in the tall grass that covered the land between territories. I squinted. Nothing. Then another noise:
The rooster! I dashed toward the sound, stopping just below the treehouse. My hand rested on the rough trunk of the tree as I listened again. For a long time there was silence, and then:
But this time the sound was different. I could not explain how, but it sounded almost hollow. Like an imitation. Then a rustling again and I saw the tall grass moving. The path it was creating was big, too big to be a rooster. It was coming my way! I took a step back, hesitating. If it were a coyote or wild-cat climbing in the treehouse might be wiser than running. I did not think I could outrun a large predator. My blood pounded in my ears as my brain worked in overdrive trying to commit to a plan of action, but my body stood frozen. Whatever was coming seemed to be taking its time, moving not in a straight line, but more in a swaying side-to-side pattern. Then it stopped.
Again a false crow, followed by a pause, as if whatever was down there was waiting to see if I would walk down to investigate. A shadow rose from the grass. I could not quite make out its shape in the darkness, but it stood upright like a man, though its stature was not quite as tall. Then I saw two yellow lights hanging parallel to each other, reflecting the dim moonlight that shone down through a break in the clouds. The phenomenon reminded me again of the wildcat. No man’s eyes reflect like that.