Sword of Shadows
by Karin Rita Gastreich GENRE: Dark Fantasy
Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a millennial tradition once forbidden to women. When war strikes, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Determined to defend her people, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.
Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.
"War propels the story forward, and the characters are at their best when circumstances are at their worst." -Publishers Weekly
This is the second book in THE SILVER WEB trilogy. It can be read as a stand-alone novel, or as the sequel to the first book, EOLYN.
As Joturi-Nur’s breath slowed, Rishona wrapped her fingers around the jeweled hilt of his broad sword. She adjusted her balance and tilted the blade, trying to see Abartamor’s oversized figure at her back.
When at last the San’iloman laid still, the priest nodded to the princes. Abartamor’s heavy step sounded behind Rishona, along with the slow unsheathing of his sword.
“I, the eldest son of Joturi-Nur, challenge your claim,” he said. “Face me, so that I may send you with my father to the Afterlife.”
Rishona spun, hands wrapped around the hilt of the scimitar, and cut deep into Abartamor’s protruding belly. The prince cried out as metal parted flesh. Blood sprayed across Rishona’s shimmering gown. Abartamor dropped his weapon and staggered backwards, eyes wide and lips quivering in protest.
“What have you done?” he stammered. “My niece? A woman? It’s not possible…not permitted…”
He sat hard on the floor and stared dumbfounded at the entrails spilling from his belly.
Rishona strode forward and drove the scimitar into his thick neck. With a few vicious hacks, she cleaved Abartamor’s head from his torso. Tearing off her veil, she leveled the sword at his brothers and demanded, “Who else would challenge me?”
For several moments there was no sound but the gurgle of Arbartamor’s blood, pooling around Rishona’s satin slippers.
Then Paolus-Nur drew his weapon.
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.