Duplicity and deception:aid from a djinn is a curse under any guise.
Betrothed to a cruel lord, Princess Kordahla dreams of fleeing to her decadent neighbour, a journey fraught with danger, and no promise of sanctuary at its end. Her one hope is to offer the southern shah a prize so valuable he cannot refuse to harbour her: the secret of the mahktashaan, the soldier-magicians sworn to protect her father’s court.
But the mahktashaan guard their magic with blooded sword, and in stealing one of their powerful crystals she will risk her life. Unless she accepts the help of a treacherous djinn intent on tricking her into a deal.
It is a compact which threatens to shatter the fragile peace in the Three Realms.
Agripping tale of realms besieged and honour lost, of blood-ties severed and romance dreamed,Dark Djinnbegins an epic quest to save mortals from the schemes of djinn.
When a fish dropped out of the sky and slapped into her lap, Kordahla could only stare in bemusement. The day was turning decidedly odd. The fish flapped about, gills pumping as it struggled to breathe. Delayed surprise set in, and she hesitantly tried to secure it, but the fish slipped to the paving where the poor thing continued to thrash. She barely had time to return Vinsant’s startled look when another knocked him on the head. He looked about, as though seeking a prankster, fixed his eyes on the back of Levi’s hooded head, and snorted when three more fish plummeted onto the Majoria’s shoulder. Before Levi had turned, a veritable shower of fish assailed the party. Hands shot into the air to ward missiles from heads as the horses shied, their hooves treading on soft bodies, squishing scale, fin and guts into the paving. At the edges of Royal Way, the cheering commoners fell silent to stare in disbelief. Then one boy raced forward and dived on a large fish. He rose with it clamped triumphantly in two hands, no doubt anticipating a succulent dinner. As abruptly as it started, the shower of fish ended. A number of the creatures yet flailed on the ground, grappers all she noted with surprise, dark tops delineated from light bellies by a reddish stripe. The hesitant crowd edged toward the saltwater treat and, at her suggestion, Mariano ordered the group pick their way out of the bounty so that the less fortunate might claim their windfall. Quite literally, she thought with no trace of amusement. She made the sign of the warding but dropped her hand when Vinsant scoffed, jumped off his horse and grabbed a wriggling fish. Levi and Arun, she noticed, had already dismounted and were casting their glowing crystals about the clear skies. Around them, the crowd chanted haunting praise to Vae’omar and Vae’oeldin for their bounty, even though it was not the hour for prayer. Nor was the air chill. For all the utter madness she had just experienced, for all the magic the Majoria was spelling, she, the most sensitive of her family, sensed no still wind. Only when she caught the Majoria’s slight shake of his head did disquiet seize her. Why that should be, she could not say; the absence of djinn should have been an unequivocal cause for relief. As the party covered the final distance home, the heightened attention of the mahktashaan to every deep shadow, to each faint sound, to every gust of wind, only served to intensify her foreboding.
Tia Reed loves nothing better than burying her nose in a story of her own imagining, cuddling her bossy cat and rescuing chewed pillows from her hyperactive dog. She takes every opportunity to do all three when she is not teaching English as a second language. Her other hobbies usually take a back seat but include trying to tame her beast of a garden, hiking and travelling. The latter has thrown her many interesting, sometimes hair-raising experiences, which she loves twisting into stories. She was born in Malta, but lives in Adelaide, Australia.