We must overcome and prevail …
King Raemon is slaughtering tattooed scribes and mages, forcing them into hiding. All marked and those associated with them are destroyed. The people are desperate. Months after challenging Raemon, the marked rebels of Medeisia must rise against their bloodthirsty king or chance being annihilated.
Sixteen year-old Drastona Consta-Mayria is the prophesied phoenix of peace, desperate to be a leader for her people despite her reservations. Following the lead of a scarred and forgotten prince, Drastona will embark on a journey with an unlikely band of rebels and a dragon across a cursed desert to bring down a king and save a kingdom.
One corner of Kye’s lips quirked upward, his hand taking mine. He turned it over, his fingers playing slowly across my palm. I should have pulled away, but I didn’t.
“You will never change, will you, Stone? You will never accept that some must be lost for much to be gained.”
I shook my head, my eyes on his fingers as they traced the lines of my hands. It was a curious sensation, and warmth unfurled in the pit of my stomach, lighting a fire that heated every corner of my body.
“Should I change?” I whispered hoarsely.
Kye’s smile grew. “No, you keep us balanced. I keep the rebels fighting for freedom, and you keep us all humble.”
I forced my eyes away from my palm. How was I supposed to think when he was drawing shapes like that on my skin? I tugged on my hand. Kye refused to let go.
“You’ve forgiven me,” he stated.
It wasn’t a question, and his boldness with my hand made me bold as well. I lifted my free hand, reaching tentatively for his face. He watched me, his eyes alert, his breathing stilled.
My finger touched the scar on his temple, and he exhaled, his eyes closing. The fingers he’d been drawing circles with on my palm froze.
“So many scars,” I breathed. “You had enough without my hatred.”
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, R. K. Ryals is a scatterbrained mother of three whose passion is reading whatever she can get her hands on. She makes her home in Mississippi with herhusband, three daughters, a Shitzsu named Tinkerbell, and a coffeepot she couldn’t live without. Visit her at www.rkryals.com