Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.
Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page.
New roles. New rules. No margin for error.
Zezilia Ilar joins the sept son’s entourage as a defender. Her growing Talent ability makes her a target for the Elitists, and her gender makes people question her competence. She must protect the sept son. Any mistake could be fatal.
Hadrian Aleron always knew his beliefs would cause trouble, but he didn’t realize how much. Rebels are rising. He could lose his title, his position, and if he’s not careful, his life. As the assassination attempts grow bolder, Hadrian must rely upon his young defender and their shared faith in the Almighty to keep him from faltering.
I fought them the whole way. At least one of the young men limped away with a nasty bruise on his shin, and two had teeth marks on their hands. After the second yelped and withdrew his hand, a sweaty-smelling scrap of wool was stuffed in my mouth instead. They dragged me backwards into a dark room, and the door closed behind us with a final thump. Before I could catch my balance, they released me and let me fall to my knees blind and bewildered. I didn’t dare touch my amoveo now that I was obviously being targeted. The men might be in league with the strange man in the Council Hall. Now that I was unhindered, I spat out the rag and peered into the darkness.
“You always were such a pest, Zez.” Vander, one of my elder brothers, lit a lamp, bathing the small storeroom in a meager glow. “Why couldn’t you have come quietly?”
“If I had known I was coming to speak to you, I wouldn’t have protested,” I replied. “The method of my invitation was a bit hostile.”
I scanned the room as I slowly rose to my feet. The lack of windows was hardly surprising. Pressing in on my right and left were towering shelves full of towels, bedding, and pillows. In the shadow of Vander’s solid form, a second door beckoned invitingly. If I could just get past him, I had a hope of getting free.
He grunted. “We had to get you away from the stick-in-the-mud of a sept son without him knowing. Father wants to speak with you, and his exaltedness has made it clear that he will not make you available. So, we had to use other means.”
“You could have at least told me where you were taking me,” I pointed out. Even if Vander had asked, I wouldn’t have come, but it was point worth making just the same.
“I did tell you.” He laughed jeeringly then. “For all that hype about your abilities, you missed my sending from only inches away. Tsk, tsk. Not all that you are supposed to be, are you?”
I almost opened my mouth to explain that I had ConPropped, and my Talent was blind, but I stopped in time.