Brenn has spent her life being quiet and avoiding the attention of her father, the psychopathic emperor. He keeps her close and anyone who befriends her is in immediate danger.
When she is offered a chance to leave on a design mission and she is given one year of freedom, she is not going to waste a minute. She is preparing to return to defend herself with everything in her.
Designing a Citadel is right up her alley, and watching it being built is a dream come true.
The Drai acting as host shows her that her father's people can have more than a homicidal personality—they can be kind and bring a sparkle to her soul.
Brennika hunkered down as the thud of artillery shattered the walls around her. She put up a wall of protection before her and the others in the bunker.
The collision of ordinance on stone seemed never ending, but finally, it stopped.
Brennika collapsed to the ground next to her mother. Her mom stroked her hair. "You did good, Brenn."
Brenn stared at the rest of those in the bunker who were staring at her like she was radioactive and they were more afraid of her than the incoming army.
Her vision was blurry and her head was throbbing. Her mother stroked her hair one last time, and then, the boots came toward them.
Brenn tried to fight. She tried to lift her head and defend her people. She was just too tired. She heard the guns and the screams. Her body did what it could and put a barrier around her. She felt the impact of the weapons, and her mother fell beside her.
"Mom!" She reached out, but her protection wouldn't let her touch her mom.
A soldier came up and wrapped her in a blanket, lifting her into his arms.
His companion said, "Notify the general. We have his daughter."
She struggled to look at her mother, but she couldn't get past the man who was holding her.
"How did he know that the falling building wouldn't crush her?"
"He knows his daughter."
"She's so tiny; how old is she?"
The man carrying her looked into her eyes. "I believe she just turned six."
She stared at him as he carried her out of the broken building. He was wrong. She had just turned five.