Instruments of Sacrifice Book 1
by Lydia Redwine
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Clanging metal, hammers on stone, crackling fire, splashing water, treading feet and mixtures of hundreds of voices at various tones pounded her drums. The clamorous chaos of integrity and courage placed a rush in her veins. She was energy infused in a smoldering underground. Warm air, metal, leather, sweat, fire, and water combined, creating a taste of unified engineering. These sensations bombarded Cam as they became enveloped in Tyron's world.
Cam began to perceive the particulars of the place. She glimpsed a silver lake mirroring firelight, weapons, the cavern overhead, and roaming persons. Cast over the lake was built an expansive bridge of rope and wood which led to an enormous slab of stone, jutting from the wall of the underground world. Upon this stone, was built an enormous castle which appeared to have been dipped in the blackest of ink. Though its coloring was like raven’s wing, it nearly blinded Cam, for the firelight allowed it to glimmer mercilessly. The castle’s head was adorned with pointed towers like sharpened
blades. Great bonfires were built in numerous sections, filling the vicinity with smoldering heat.
Cam glanced towards Fiera. Her sister’s face was still grim, but her eyes were alight for the first time in days.
blindingly white. Too white even with a black sky and silver moon hanging within it.
Elizabeth ate a full meal that night, thinking only of how soon Cole must receive her news.
The sky’s visage closely resembled a puddle after a spring rain, gray and wavering. It had rained copiously that spring. At times, in horrendous torrents and others in light drizzles. It had nurtured the earth of Mirabelle. The tree in the center of the Medulla Realm would now have been at its peak of a flourishing state. But instead, the tree lay forlornly on the ground, shriveled up, decaying branch by branch. One fact was known:
Mirabelle had no magic.
The concept seemed quite simple really, but in reality, no one in the nation knew how it had vanished. At least, no one who had yet stepped forward.
Camaria Caddell stood behind the stone castle of the Medulla Realm’s center, surrounded by fallen branches and debris scattered in the wind. The overcast sky correlated the sight before her. The silvery leaves and fruit had vanished. Cam clenched her jaw against a headache forming from the swirling of her thoughts. With brows drawn together and arms crossed tightly over her chest, Cam stared at the fallen tree. She barely noticed that her two younger sisters, Adria and Mista, stood on either side of
Keepers of the Crown
Instruments of Sacrifice Book 2
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“I had brothers once,” I say. My voice is an echo of the ancients. A mourn. A scoff.
“But...I betrayed them.”
I shift inward when the darkness folds itself around me. The darkness I’ve summoned for myself. “My brothers...their wings were more...magnificent. The first brother’s were fashioned of gold, but the weight was nothing to hinder him.
They...rippled in the city. Like a banner proclaiming the way of Elyon. He was the only one with golden wings.
“The second brother’s wings were like shimmering sapphires threaded with silver. When I asked him why he would not give up his wings for those of Elyon’s Son, he scoffed.
“And I...the only one with wings fabricated of ash and smoke. The one who would indeed give them up. Or try to.”
I pause, allowing my cold breath to kiss the darkness around me.
Darkness...my friend and my foe.
“I betrayed my brothers for my own form of beauty and for my own ambition.”
The thought sinks into me and shifts my wings.
“Tales of war and bloodshed come from the Between Realm, that which lies between Caelae and the Realm of Shadows. But what most do not know is that the wars of Caelae were far...worse.”
Yes, I can see it now, just as clear as when they were first fought.
“Broken wings dripping crimson about shattered cities of starlight. Bones like diamonds, the foundation of a ruinous place. Caelae was once beautiful, but also...brutal. Brutal because two of its princes fought for its throne. One to defend it in light and honor with wings burnished of gold. And the other…to capture it with beauty and cruelty. With wings of smoke and ash. And when princes battle, they wear their crowns. Their regalty become but instruments. And in the end…one must lose. “We fought three battles once Elyon had designed and placed the heavenly bodies. He had named them after us, his favored creatures of Caelae. To the brother
with golden wings he gave the sun, to the brother with wings like the sea he gave the moon, and to me...the one who would betray him, he gave the stars. Of course, the stars do not belong to me. Even you, as a human, would never begin to think of them in my likeness. They are a reminder to me...that I will never be as numerous, as loved, as brilliant and adored.
“That is what we named the battles: the Battle of the Stars, the Battle of the Moon, the Battle of the Sun. A war fought in three parts for each of its participating princes. Both my brothers fought against me, and so you must know how it ended.
“I lost, but, human, I am still fighting. The wars you see in your own world, in the Between Realm, are birthed of what I have already fought. The wars you encounter are but shards of the ones I have summoned. And even while the battles in Caelae were far more brutal than you shall ever witness, the battle over your souls is
somehow even more valuable. To everyone. To my Enemy and to myself.”
I pause to stare at you. “Yes, you. I am speaking to you. You see, in this world, it is Elyon that writes your story, but I am the one to tell it. You see, just as Elyon gave me the stars, he also gave me the Between Realm. The Realm of Shadows is where I dwell, but it is the Between Realm in which I roam until it is brought to utter ruin.
If I am to be brought to ruin, so will you and your home.
Lucius, Prince of the Between Realm and Traitor of Caelae
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Here it is guys! My rambling list of reasons for why you should move your mountain of TBR over and read Keepers of the Crown. But since it’s a sequel and all, and some of you haven’t read book one, Spirit Followers, here’s a little bit about why you should read the FIRST BOOK:
Spirit Followers is the first in a 6 book epic fantasy series that border YA and new adult and it features among other things: sassery and stabbing, the gloriousness of sisterhood, MAGIC in four different kinds, betrayal because that’s always fun, glittering balls with tasty food, lots of traveling in a tiny kingdom, and no romance but a whole lot bantering and sassery. Also, the frequent use of a slingshot, a castle inside a volcano, and poisonous magic butterflies. It’s centered around one girl’s efforts to maintain the safety of her sisters’ lives as well as her own and thus risks much in order to warn the rest of her nation of this dude who lives in the north and wants to kill a bunch of people for a reason YOU WILL LEARN.
But this second book, Keepers of the Crown is way BIGGER in scope, in mapping, in the world and story and everything.
- Dragons. Because it’s fantasy. But they’re not evil dragons. They’re like anti-hero dragons and some of them are REALLLLLLY cute.
- The continuation of an unbreakable sisterly bond.
- Some extremely badass villains. I AM SO VERY EXCITED FOR YOU TO SEE HOW DEADLY THESE VILLAINS CAN ACTUALLY GET OMG.
- So with that comes much more stabbing. But also hanging people from trees and wearing fingers around one’s neck as jewelry and other dire circumstances to make you squirm.
- But more pain and torture than anything else.
- Plot twists as usual. HAHAHAHA.
- YOU ARE GOING TO LEARN MUCH, MY FRIEND. QUESTIONS SHALL BE ANSWERED.
- Previously insignificant characters and subplots are coming back in BIG WAYS.
- New characters including an immortal who’s been cursed her nearly whole life, an adorable little bookworm who is also deadly with a spear, and a queen you’ve already been reading about in book one!
- You will meet the narrator.
- Wait. What.
- Yes. There is a narrator. SURPRISE.
- New places: ruins of an old kingdom, a valley in which everything is gross and deadly, a snowy coal-mining kingdom, and a fortress of dragons and more!
- This book is going to deal with heavier topics such as addiction, PTSD, physical impediments, addiction and more.
- Also, this book is quite large. (621 pages) Some of you are laughing because you’ve read George R.R. Martin and Sarah J. Maas which means mine ain’t nothing. And some of you have already moved on with a big, “YIKES.” But you have time to read it. The third book won’t be out for a hot second.
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