When Earth cries for help, she must answer or perish.
Only one person can answer Earth’s cry for help. If only she knew how.
Guilt-ridden druid trainee Rianth Royan is on the run. From a Dark druid, from a betrayal, and mostly, from herself. She is not who they think she is. How can she be? She has no powers.
Earth is dying. Only she can free the magic intended to heal the earth before it’s eternally bound to the darkness. And only one person can protect Rianth while she seeks her magic. Kaiden Darcy, True-Named protector. Friend. Betrayer.
Together, Rianth and Kaiden must gather their allies, safeguard a magical talisman, and find Rianth’s suppressed powers to conquer a powerful evil. If they fail, Earth and every living creature will be destroyed.
100 Years AGMW (After the Great Magic War)
Wind whistled through the many holes in the weather-worn walls of the small, thatched-roof hut where they’d found shelter for the night. Rianth Royan’s father knelt on one knee and splayed his hand flat on the dirt floor. With his long, blond hair untethered and a crazed expression in his eye, he had the look of a wild man, made worse by the fact that he hadn’t bathed in days. None of them had. They’d been too busy running.
The small fire, lit for warmth and to dispel the night’s darkness, did not keep Rianth from shivering at the fear she heard in her father’s voice. It also did not disguise the changes in him. Damian Royan’s shoulders held no sign of the regal bearing she’d known. The man who’d been her rock of strength for all of her ten years looked beaten. That alone terrified Rianth, compounded by a pounding in her head that beat out the wind’s screech. The sonorous vibrations grew in intensity. Sounds she couldn’t hear swelled to crushing levels. Something or someone drew closer and closer. Doom would visit them this night. She knew it in her soul, felt it, like her racing heart.
Her father stood, taking the small bag he’d always worn from around his neck and settling it around Rianth’s. His hands, heavier somehow, clutched her shoulders. “It’s up to you now. I’ll hold them off as long as I can.”
“Hold who off? I don’t understand, Father.” Her voice, not more than a whisper, shook. How had they gone from peaceful wanderers to a family being hunted by some unknown enemy?
Unknown to her, at least.
“There’s no time to explain.” He glanced at eight-year-old Uja, who gripped their mother’s hand while she writhed on the floor. “Get you and your brother to safety. I know you can do this. You have the power within you.”
“What about you? And Mother and the babe?”
Valena Royan screamed, and both Rianth and her father knelt at her side. In the final stages of childbirth, she contorted in obvious pain. Father leaned in to kiss her mother’s temple, then whispered unfamiliar words. Her mother’s brow soothed and she loosened her grip on Uja’s hand.
Boom! The building shook under the shock wave. Another explosion quickly followed. Damian stood, pulling Rianth up with him.
“Your mother cannot travel. And it may be too late for the babe already. Help as long as you can. But when I tell you to go, do not hesitate. Grab Uja and run. As fast and as hard as you can. Head east. Find the village of New Hope. Find Bhren. He will help you.”
“No. I don’t want to run. Not without you. I can help you. We can fight together.” Rianth pulled the wooden sword from her belt, the one she’d made so her father would teach her to fight. “We can beat them,” she said, bravado barely concealing the tremor in her voice.
Her father smoothed her hair with his hand and kissed her forehead. “I’m sorry, my dear. You are too young for this war. Besides, you must save yourself and your brother now. That is your fight.”
She dipped her head to keep her father from seeing the tears. He tipped her head up to wipe her cheek with his thumb, breaking her heart with the tender gesture.
“You are the hope of the future, daughter. Do not be afraid to find your destiny.”