For years now, Rowan has received visions that always seem to come true, from the death of the family dog to a fawn hiding in the undergrowth of the forest. But in a world where using “magic” has been a death sentence, his parents have discouraged him from even discussing his abilities. When the next vision he receives is of their death, how far will he have to go and how much will he have to risk to save their lives?
Current Status: Back in revision – 5th draft
1st draft: NaNoWriMo 2012 winner ~50K words
2nd draft: June 2015 edits & revision
3rd draft: June 2016 full rewrite
4th draft: August 2016 edits and revision ~77K words
Presale late fall 2017
Anticipated launch: Winter Solstice, December 21, 2017
“Your Majesty, a young man from Hartstead in Wyldewood Province,” the man offered. “He arrived yesterday seeking audience with you.”
She nodded. “Merci.” Gliding down the steps of the dais on which her throne rested, she knelt in front of Rowan on the polished masonry floor, carefully arranging her gown, and locked eyes with him once more. He stood head and shoulders taller than her as she knelt. The smile she wore permeated her entire countenance, and her unusual way of pronouncing words held his attention.
“What is your name, little one? Are your parents in Faolan?”
It was odd, her kneeling in front of him. He really needed that growth spurt. But at least his mind had calmed, leaving him more and more at ease the longer he observed this woman and her magnificently calming glow. Between the comfort it brought him, the warmth of the beam of sunlight he stood in, and a sweet smokiness that surrounded her, he took a chance, ready to be seen as he was regardless of the cost. “It’s Rowan, miss. And no, I came alone, though on their account. Master Kaeyban brought me here.”
“That old dog.” She chortled. “He said he had a surprise for me. I suppose you are that surprise, Rowan. The name suits you,” she said, looking him over. “So what brings you here to Faolan? Kaeyban neglected to share anything more.”
He had lain in bed half the night thinking of what to say. The only thing he could come up with was the same way he had mentioned it to Kaeyban. He was of half a mind to dance around the issue, to somehow avoid using the term let alone insinuating he possessed it, but Blydhes had given him no further ideas. So with a deep breath, he looked into the queen’s eyes and answered her.
“An Dà-Shealladh.” This time he got the pronunciation and inflection from the old tongue correct, having remembered Kaeyban’s correction. Her glow flickered with the red of anger he’d learned to see in his father’s, and the intensity of her gaze as it washed over him gave him a chill. “I’m afraid for my parents.”
“I see,” she said, then stood and smoothed out her gown and sleeves, catching them under her fingertips and wrapping her arms across her waist as she returned to her throne. Rowan stared down at the floor, questioning now whether he’d said the wrong thing after all.
Isolde leaned back in her seat, elbows propped on the armrests and her intertwined fingers supporting her chin. She continued breathing slowly in the silence. After some time, she looked at Rowan, still completely stoic, but her glow calm and clear again.
“Then you possess The Second Sight? Or does one of your parents?”
He swallowed. “I have it myself, miss. I—I know it can be dangerous. My folks have told me I should ignore it, so usually I do when it’s just something silly and small, but it doesn’t go away. And now I’ve seen something terrible. They’re in danger, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t care what the punishment is for magic like this. I’ll pay the price—this is who I am and I’ll not hide it. But I need your help to protect my parents.”