A time of peace and recovery shatters when a routine mission goes awry. Chaos reaches out once more to destroy the prophecy. But the enemy has learned, and this time the attacks are aimed at the prince’s defenders, high priest S’Rak, and Captain Jisten.
Prince Jethain finds true love at last, but his gentle partner is no lady, but a slave. All the slaves he’s ever freed have vanished within days of their manumission. He loves her, but fears to free her and bring the curse down upon her.
Will S’Rak and Jisten survive the traps laid for them, or will Jethain and his new love be left defenseless against all the power of the Unmaker?
Rak concentrated and touched the mind of the fly. He was powerful enough to have contacted insects before, but their minds were so alien that he’d never learned much from them. The last time he’d been here, the dragon had been moving too fast, and the distance too great, for any sort of mental contact to be possible.
Rak was unprepared for the cold blast of hostility from the fly. He’d barely touched the fly’s mind when it reacted to him. The katrami darted at his face but bounced back, unable to touch the priest. He sensed a doubling of its rage. It contained such intense hatred that it defied rational belief. Flies shouldn’t have the emotional capacity that he was sensing. Did it know that he had ridden the dragon that had destroyed its hive?
Moments later the katrami was reinforced by a swarm of its fellows. The mass of flies buzzed around them, unable to penetrate the dual barrier of the amulets and Rak’s powerful presence. Rak removed another amulet from a pouch and tied it onto Vyld’s saddle.
Watching the swirl, Rak discerned patterns in the apparent randomness. The flies moved together as if a single will controlled them. He reached out with his mind once more. The hatred and the fury of the flies beat against his senses, attacking the only part of him they could reach.
Rak gripped the saddle horn as he recovered his mental equilibrium. Jisten touched his shoulder and he drew strength from his Valer. Rak had barely pulled back in time to save himself. Precious few creatures could attack on the psychic plane, and even half-expecting the attack as he was, the power of the flies’ attack left him gasping. The swarm swirled around his barrier in new patterns.
Chilled to the bone, Rak sat up in the saddle. “Impossible,” he whispered at the sight of mystic runes twisting in the air.
Vyld snorted again, flicking an ear forward and back. Zala pawed at the ground with a cloven hoof, unearthing several small bones.
Rak watched the patterns of the flies as the swarm continued to surround him, continuously attacking his barrier with their bodies and their power. “Flies do not live in hive communities. Flies are not social insects. Flies do not reason or write runes. But these do all of that and more. They have a deep malice towards all other forms of life. In all of creation, only one Being hates as fiercely as these flies do.”