He'll destroy the world. But first he has to save it.
The Nine Kingdoms bleed. Leaderless, ravaged, the land awaits deliverance from Poired Dyrth's devastating campaign. But what if one blight can only be cleansed by another?
The promised Fierian is known by many names. Judge. Destroyer. Scourge. And now one other: Haegan, Prince of Seultrie. Once a cripple, now a gifted Accelerant, Haegan can no longer run from the truth. But neither can he be reconciled to it. He knows only one thing for certain: as the only able-bodied heir to the Fire Throne, he must return to the Nine and fight for his people.
But there are insidious forces at work. When reality itself falls into question, Haegan struggles to know where to fight, whom to trust. Caught between duty to his country and duty to the world, Haegan must see clearly enough to choose the right path to save the world.
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Somewhere over Zaethien
The bloody image of King Zireli fell away as Chima lifted into the ash-riddled air. Smoke and flames streaked into the skies, not only of their own violent will, but wielded at the hand of a master accelerant. Searching. Hunting for Haegan as he fled the hopeless battle that had cost his parents their lives. He squeezed his eyes shut against the devastation, his hands gripping the raqine's dense fur. But no distance or expanse could separate him from the visage of his father in death.
Zireli's son, heir of the Fire King, Haegan glanced back to the smoldering keep. In that heartbeat, he saw the Deliverers standing amid the ruin. Remembered as acid on his tongue the terror they had struck in him. And the furor as they forbade him from killing Poired.
Why? Why would Abiassa stay his hand? Deliverers were her justice embodied. All-powerful. All-knowing.
And they had forbidden him from slaying the beast who had ravaged the kingdoms. Terrorized the people. Murdered his father.
Everything in him wanted to turn back. What justice was there when Abiassa allowed evil to go unchecked? Had not the Council of Nine said Haegan was the Fierian, Her chosen warrior? Was it not his role to mete out her retribution?
He dug his knees into Chima's side, forcing her to angle to the left. To bring her around and head back to the keep.
White-hot fire shot through his wrist. Haegan screamed as the pain blazed across his arm. Glowing. Red. As if an ember itself had embedded itself in his forearm.
You are forbidden, Fierian. This is not yours to do. The Deliverer's reminder scorched his mind as its touch had his wrist.
A throttling-staccato angry purr rippled through Chima. Even with the wind tearing at his ears, Haegan heard her refusal. He turned his face to the sky and let loose a cry of anguish and frustration.
Chastised. Defeated. Humiliated. Haegan, prince of Zaethien and all the Nine, hunched forward over the sleek red neck of the raqine and stared down at the limp body of his sister slung in front of him.
Be well, sister, he thought as they glided away. Months had passed since she had first drawn him, unwitting, into her scheme. What were you thinking, Kae? What madness seized you?
Though anger tinged his thoughts, Haegan staved off the desire to blame her, even as behind them Zaethien burned, Zireli's Jujak army routed.
Grinda. Where was he? Where were the Valor Guard?
His heart seized at the thought. His father's own warriors, the fiercest among the armies of Zaethien. Their might would be needed to subdue this enemy. To bring justice to the deaths of the Fire King and his wife.
Tears stung Haegan's eyes. But he dashed them away. No time or tear could be spared.
The enormous noise drew his attention to what lay below. Trees ... a dark cloud hung over them.
His heart hiccupped. "No," he whispered, the lone word caught on the icy breeze of the wind as he beheld the giant birds that rose from the forest. Not just a flock. Scores! Such that he could not count nor could he see beyond. Beneath them, flames pursued the frantic creatures.
Though he could not hear the taunting laugh now, it filled him. Consumed him. Horror and awe stabbed ice into his spine at the sheer power of the display below, though he was no stranger to the incipient's abilities. On the bridge, with the king's body sprawled between them, Poired had even manipulated Haegan's own thoughts against him. And now — though Poired must be a mile away or more — pockets of fire erupted in once-quiet sections of the forest.
He was driving the birds after them.
Squawking, wings flapping in wild panic, the birds had no pattern. No destination save one: away.
Yet they were coming straight at him and Chima.
His heart raced, watching the sea of black harried wings snapping harder and harder.
A ball of heat blasted past him.
Haegan gave a shout.
Chima banked to the right, hard.
Digging his fingers into her fur, he held on for life and limb. Buried his sister's body between himself and the beast as his world tilted to the side. Nothing but a vast expanse of icy and ash-laden air existed between him and a brutal impact upon the hard earth.
Haegan gritted his teeth, feeling the pull of Primar's gravity against his limbs. They would fall to their deaths. End this battle for the Nine with a great splat upon the fields south of the Throne Road. Poired would win, killing all the Celahars within the span of one hour.
"Chiiiimmmaaa," Haegan ground out, his limbs aching from holding on.
Her body, undulating with power and agility, rippled beneath him. She leveled off, and he breathed a sigh of relief. He reached for a better hold to haul himself back into position.
Pain pierced his shoulder blade — a bird pecking at him. Haegan cried out. "Away with you!"
Another dove at him.
Haegan ducked, but was too late. A stab of the beak took a chunk of his cheek. "Augh!" He covered his head with one arm, not daring to loose his grip on Kaelyria, who lay unmoving, still.
A black blanket descended on him. Wretched birds squawked and flapped. Their wings snapped his own long blond curls in his face. He pressed his chest against his sister's back, only to feel claw and beak drilling into his spine.
Chima banked hard right. Haegan's legs swung around, dangling. Even as he hung off the raqine's side, Kaelyria barely stretched over the neck aright, Haegan noticed the birds were not merely attacking him. They were picking chunks off Chima's back.
Anger rose within him. She was a mighty raqine, breathed into existence by Abiassa Herself. Her kind had faded from the lands, save Chima, Zicri, and Ebose, his brother. It was his task to protect her.
Haegan could wield — but it was as effective and accurate as lobbing a cannon from within a cyclone. Neither could he predict what he would hit or how hard. But ... there had to be something he could do.
A volley from Poired shot into the sky.
Six birds went limp, stunned or singed by the heat wake, and plummeted to the earth. Haegan frowned, watching over his shoulder as they fell to their deaths.
Arms trembling, he held on tight, though he tried not to injure the mighty beast. But with each tremor — both of chill and exhaustion — that twitched his muscles, Haegan felt his grip slipping. Fear washed through his body, threatening.
As he struggled to regain a solid seat atop the raqine, he noted his sister sliding. In the opposite direction. Kae! His heart beat faster. She had been so perfectly situated. Why must she start slipping now?
Even as he wondered, Haegan saw Chima's muscles ripple beneath Kaelyria's body.
"No!" Haegan shouted, his voice lost in the wind. "Chima, stop!"
But another twitch and Kaelyria slid free.
As if finally relieved of the burden and glad for it, Chima shook out her spine. Clinging by a fistful of fur, Haegan cried out. His feet dangled over the lands that were but a blur of greens fading to browns. "Augh!" His throat went dry. He swallowed "Chim —"
Haegan lost his grip. He dropped through the air, his only thought for Kaelyria. He swung around, his body tumbling.
A bird pelted him. Angrily pecked and squawked.
But then fell away.
Haegan saw her. Saw his sister — so far. She would hit long before he did. "Chiiiimmaaaaa!" he howled, terror gripping him tight.
Something large struck him in the back. He flipped up and over, momentarily flying upward. Until ...
His body surrendered once more to the exertion of gravity's mighty claw. But when he tipped back toward the earth, he saw a miracle.
Chima dove, spiraling straight toward Kaelyria. She swept over the princess and glided up easily from the dive. When she sailed out in a graceful arc, Kaelyria was gone.
And still I fall. It would serve him just to die this day. When he had so miserably failed his mother. His father. When he had been stopped from killing the man responsible for so much death and destruction.
Haegan surrendered to the call of Death, unable to shake two thoughts: it would have been easier to have the Deliverer end his life on the bridge, and Chima had been right to shake him from her back. He had not deserved to fight with so noble a creature.
In the battle of Fieri Keep, he had done only one thing well: failed.
But then — a pair of black-as-night eyes locked onto him. With two mighty, thunderous flaps of her wings, Chima shot through the air like an arrow. Straight at him.
Screaming tore at his ears. A din so consuming, he could not shift away from it. Needles peppered his face and hands. Painful. Numbing. Haegan pulled his head up — and saw nothing but a white-gray blanket. He blinked and groaned.
And immediately, he lifted.
He threw his hands to the side and grabbed on.
He glanced around, his wits slowly clearing. Chima. Though he now knew where he was, there was something more. Something ... What? He could not sort his thoughts. He shook his head.
She gave a low, chortling response, her wings locked as they glided miles over the lands. He flipped over and caught hold, only then realizing he could not feel his fingers. They were blue. Ice clung to the tufts of her fur.
Haegan noticed the sun had vanished. Blue skies had given way to blankets of gray etched in white. Where are we?
Haegan took in their surroundings. Compass points were impossible to determine in the thick blanket of white that covered the sky and terrain.
He felt the word as much as thought it. Felt the fear. This wasn't just a passing storm. Like the one that had overtaken his life, this one was here to stay.
"Ch — Chima," Haegan spoke, his teeth chattering against the cold. Every twitch of his muscles hurt. Shivering hurt. Trembling hurt. It was too cold.
But his sister! Forget the pain — had Kaelyria died?
Grief tore at him like the sharp teeth of the wind. Seeking warmth as much as comfort, Haegan lay against Chima's warmed body. Patted her side. "Just get us to Asykth, Chima. Get us back to your home."
But even as he spoke, icy rain broke free from the clouds. Drenched him. Needled him. In moments, he could neither see nor hear. His own thoughts were a chaotic storm as well, tangling and tumbling over one another.
Chima pressed on, her wings flapping harder. Her shoulder muscles pumping fervently as the storm made flight difficult.
As he lay there, Haegan saw the icicles forming on the tips of Chima's feathery wings. Not for the first time did he wish he could wield with as much skill as his father. Warming Chima would be simple for a trained accelerant. But to him, Fierian, destroyer of worlds ...
He curled his hand away from her fur. Should he try? Could he contain the Flames? Abiassa, Chima struggles. I know you tasked her protection to me ...
But if he did not control it — he would burn her alive.
Kill himself in the process.
Yet, if he did not try ... they would die regardless.
He stretched his hand toward her wing. Touched the cartilage support. Took a breath for courage. Please, Abiassa.CHAPTER 2
Afraid to blow them up — it would not be the first time lives had been lost because of his so-called gift — he hesitated. Ice became snow. The air itself seemed to be snow. So thick, Haegan could not see his own hand. He ducked, burying his face against his arm and her spine. He looked at his fingers, close to his face, as he thought to mutter words he had never been taught, yet that sat on his tongue, ready to usher him into his role as Fierian. A role he rejected. Wanted no part of.
But as he realized his heart was slowing because of the freezing conditions, he feared for Chima. Perhaps just a whisper, then. Eyes on his hand, Haegan parted his lips. "Ïmnaeh ... waeït —"
Though no glow erupted, heat wafted between his lips and knuckles. The beginning of embers. Haegan smiled. Pressed his hand to Chima's back and whispered — slowly — the words. Over and over.
Chima chortle-purred her appreciation.
Haegan slumped against her, focusing on her pleasure. On her warmth. With death pushed back and held at bay — for now — he could not shut out the painful truth of the situation — because of him, Seultrie had been taken. His father killed. Poired had won.
He sagged in defeat. His mind ran rampant through the last few months, terrorized by its own paths. Kaelyria's attempt to stave off the attack of the kingdom's enemy. Blazes, she had meant well, but she had unleashed a terrible burden upon him. One that had been at best unfair, and at worst painfully cruel.
Yet he could not fault her, could not lay at her slippered feet the whole of the blame. Would not. He'd lost her — Kaelyria was dead. That was his fault. Darker, more sinister forces were at work to destroy their family's legacy. To tear down the will and purpose of Abiassa across Primar.
And I am the Fierian, destroyer of the very worlds I seek to protect. Those which have been my home and my hope. His father and grandfather and countless ancestors had been tested in battle and proven mighty enough to rule as the Fire King. They fought against tyranny and many little Poireds through the years.
Now he was the one who would destroy all they fought to protect. All he had been raised to esteem.
An escape must exist. He must find it.
Without warning, Chima dropped altitude. Haegan fisted the fur at her neck, noticing the icy shards that cut into his hands. He winced but knew better than to release her, lest he fall to his death.
He squinted around. White sheets of frost and snow drenched his visual field. The sky blurred as snowflakes stuck to his eyelashes. His cheeks burned from the frigid temperature. Though he pried his hand free, his fingers forbade him from uncurling them. With a groan of pain, he focused on heating them.
Again, Chima descended. What had she seen? Were they at last coming up on Ybienn? The flight had consumed hours that felt more like years, for the fright and freeze that had eaten at his courage and strength.
Haegan stretched to the side, trying to see around Chima's broad skull. For a time he saw nothing, then looming gray shapes resolved about them. He strained forward —
A massive rock flew by.
Haegan jerked back, his heart thundering.
He glanced behind them, only to find the face of a mountain glaring back. He whipped around, startled. Disoriented. Where had Chima taken them?
Thwap. Thwap-thwap. Thwap.
Strange, but to his ears each flap of her powerful wings seemed louder than normal. And ... multiplied, as if a half-dozen raqine beat the passage between the cliffs. Haegan frowned, glancing to the side, where naught but white greeted him. Echo? It sounded like —
Chima rattled. Banked hard right.
Haegan grabbed tight, his heart in his throat as she dropped several dozen feet. Tucked her wings.
His heart rapid-fired. What was she doing?
They angled left. His hips slid in that direction. Was it terrible of him to be glad he wasn't fighting to maintain his own seating when his sister had fallen? Vanished. His stomach revolted, churning at the thought. "Chima!" he shouted, angry. Vindictive.
He tangled both hands in her fur, seizing any semblance of a grip. But she canted. His legs lifted up, his body inverted. A strangled cry scaled his throat. His back arced. Air whipped at him.
All at once, with a mighty snap of her wings, she stopped short.
Haegan sailed through the air. The weightlessness terrified him. Though he screamed, the roar of the wind suffocated sound. Terror snatched his ability to think. He fell through grayness and snow. Wind buffeted him. He tumbled over again, his blurring mind reaching for Kaelyria.
Pain exploded through his temple. Breath yanked from his lungs. Fire scored his hands and elbow. Gray clapped to darkness and a halo of snow enveloped him.
Haegan blinked. Found himself staring up at the angry storm. Everything hurt.
Wait. Not true. Nothing. He felt absolutely nothing.
He pried himself off the ground, surprised that his hands dropped several inches before finding terra firma. Propped up, he grunted against the half-dozen aches that permeated his muscles. The excruciating pain of frozen fingers. The inability to shiver because he was too cold. Hunched beneath the pain, he glanced around. Saw nothing but grays and darker grays. Even his breath had gone so cold that it failed to plume before his face.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Accelerant"
Copyright © 2016 Ronie Kendig.
Excerpted by permission of Gilead Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wow oh wow! I couldn't put this book down. I blazed through it and didn't want to stop. I loved getting to know many of the characters in the last book, but this book just kept getting better and better! There were times I wanted to yell at Haegan. Here he is the Chosen One and yet he let his doubts rule over him. This is so much like many of us. God gives us talents and gifts and we doubt, letting satan keep us from being the best we can be. What would happen if we stomped our feet and tell satan, NO! Not this time! Ronie Kendig has written a FANTASTIC story which we can all relate to. The word pictures are so vivid and colorful! I truly can't wait to read the next book in the series!
When this book ended, it was one of those moments where you weren’t prepared to have it all be finished, so it was a “wait….what????” The thing with series, they like a cliffhanger. For us readers though….that wait is just cruel. Ha! But when a reader can’t wait, that is a sign of a good book! In her classic style, and as with Embers, Ronie, takes readers back into her fantastical world with plenty of the unexpected, twists, turns, battles and even some romance. There’s plenty of action to keep the pages turning and I am so ready for the conclusion! If you enjoy the fantasy genre, adventure and battles between good and evil, I think you should give Ronie’s Abiassa’s Fire a chance! What is a recent fantasy series you’ve read? (Thank you to the author for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.) Originally posted: http://booksandbeverages.org/2016/11/28/accelerant-ronie-kendig-book-review/
Wow! Accelerant was absolutely packed with action! Once again, it was exhilarating to return to the amazing lands that made up this fantasy world in the Abiassa’s Fire series. This story has so much to recommend it: action, danger, corruption, romance, guilt, despair…the list goes on and on. I definitely recommend reading Embers, book one, first. There are many, many characters in these stories and in both books, it took me some time to make sure I understood who each person was as they were introduced. Accelerant builds immediately upon where Embers left off. I loved the twists and turns that this story took. The author kept me guessing at how not only Haegan and Thiel’s stories would progress, but also Kaelyria and other characters who I grew to care for. It is hard to decide what I loved best about this book, but I am definitely partial to the story line that took place in Legier’s Heart. I am absolutely on pins and needles to find out what will happen in book three! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A fiery tale of romance, deception, and duty. Ronie Kendig's second fantasy book, Accelerant, is as hot as they come! I seriously loved Accelerant. Don't get me wrong, I loved Embers too, but I felt even more involved in this second book--the stakes were higher, the plot complex, and the subplots the perfect accent to an already thrilling story. To me, this book was a combination of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Hunger Games, and Ronie Kendig's classic, fast-paced and vibrant writing. From the moment I jumped into Accelerant, I felt the characters come alive on the page. It had been a while since I read Embers, but I remembered where'd I'd left off and was excited to see where this book was going to go. The fantasy world that Ronie creates is completely immersive, drawing you in until you forget that you aren't a character in the story. Wait...I'm not best friends with Thiel? Oops... **I suppose there could be slight spoilers to anyone who has not read book 2 (they are in the description as well) BUT I will not spoil Accelerant - I promise!** I love the unique reality that Haegan is marked as the Fierian (the spoiler for book 1). The tagline says it all: "He'll destroy the world. But first he has to save it." The reality that Haegan - a kind, sweet man - is named as the "destroyer" and yet savior of the Kingdom is so deliciously complex. Feel all the tension! Multiple times I found myself lamenting with him over that fact, and yet wondering what else is going to happen. Is the prophecy correct? What does being the Fierian really mean? How will Haegan deal with that? Ronie has done such a brilliant job with intertwining stories in Accelerant as well. I absolutely loved the story line involving Aselan, Kaelyria, and the Eilidan people. That juxtaposed with Tili and Thiel and wondering about what is going on with Sir Gwogh has me DYING to know what is going to happen in book 3. Is it out yet? (*wink*) I cannot recommend this book enough. The story line will pull you in, turning pages late into the night, just to find out what happens. If you're a fan of fantasy (or really just good fiction) I think this will be a breath of fresh air for you. Ronie's style is so unique and her plot lines complex and thrilling. Do yourself a favor and get these amazing books! My rating: 5* Originally posted on my blog: http://eahendryx.blogspot.com/2016/11/accelerant-by-ronie-kendig-review.html ______________________ I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.
I had read some of Ms. Kendig's military stories, and thoroughly enjoyed her writing. When the opportunity presented itself to read and review Accelerant, I quickly volunteered. Although, this series is in the Fantasy genre which turns some readers off, I quickly found myself enjoying her writing style as well as the story itself. I became enthralled with the characters and the nuances of the concept of the series. She created a whole world and language that is fascinating. By the end of Accelerant, I was wanting more information on the different families and how everything was going to work out for each of the characters. The series, Abiassa's Fire, is so creative and interesting, that once I read Accelerant, I had to go back and buy book one and read it, too. Although, you could read Accelerant without reading book one as I did, I do recommend reading book one first if at all possible. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Such a gripping read! Sequels always get me. They feel hopeless and yet somehow the characters end up conquering their trials. I’m hooked. This is such a great series. I love all the characters and the world this is set in. I just can’t get enough. It took a little bit to build and imagine but once it’s set up you’ll never want to leave! Kendig just has something that few authors have. Get this book! Enjoy it.
Haegan's epic adventure continues as the writings foretell of a Fierian who will cleanse the realm of I. Was. Living. The. Story-until the very last page. I was there. Feeling the warble of heat flowing from an embattled son trying to earn his father's love and respect. Feeling the icy chill of the caves where a blossom of love can bloom even in the bleakest conditions. Feeling the camaraderie between a cast of characters that would make Tolkien and Lewis proud. the Nine. Action begins on page one as Haegan struggles to deal with the deadly blow Poired has unleashed on him, his family, and the Nine. It's impossible not to be drawn into the story world Ronie Kendig creates with powerful prose that'll kick start your imagination unlike any other story I've encountered. Not since Frodo and Sam and the Fellowship or The Pevensie siblings and the Narnians has there been a more magnificent gathering of characters. Often times I'll pick up a story with a wide cast of names but in the end I can't remember a single character. Not so in Accelerant. The way Ms. Kendig breathes life into her characters makes them memorable as soon as they step on stage page. These intricately developed characters and their stories took hold of my heart and have left me in hungered anticipation for the continuation of what their future holds and frankly, that means I'll be holding my breath and stressed until the release of book 3. *sigh* Accelerant is a meticulously weaved continuation of Embers and delivers a powerful plot threaded intricately around themes of courage, perseverance, insecurity, love, and the pursuit of honor. It's impossible not to hang onto every word until the final, heightened, prophecy delivered at the very end that'll leave you begging for more! *I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
That moment you're hurtling through the action of a well-written fantasy thriller, and you don't want it to end...but then it does, and you go plummeting off the edge of the book... That's exactly what Ronie Kendig does with this, the second in her Abiassa's Fire series. We pick back up with Haegan immediately following the events of Embers, and follow him on the ongoing journey, battling (or trying to battle) the darkness of Poired Dyrth. It's near impossible to accurately summarise a 400+ page story into one review, but I will try to hit as much as possible. One thing I've always loved about Ronie's writing is her character development, especially as it progresses over the series. In her other series (A Breed Apart, Discarded Heroes), there are always those characters that are coming to the forefront while others take a step back. It is no different in the Abiassa's Fire series. We have our main heroes from last time, Haegan, Thiel, Laertes, Tokar...but others who were not as prominent have stepped forward, and as always, new characters have emerged, bringing new information with them that cast those characters you thought you knew and loved into a whole new light. The beloved tutor...might not be so beloved after all?? One part I was hoping to see expounded upon was Thiel's past. I know this series is primarily about Haegan as he steps into his roles as king and Fierian, but Thiel was such an intriguing character to me in Embers that I was hoping for more about her here. And while I did get some backstory, I'm still wishing for more. Hopefully in #3...?? Particularly in the case of Cadeif and the Ematahri, who we don't even see again until the very end of this book, and suddenly they disappear again. As always, stories intertwine and converge, people come and go, and you get to the end of the book when you least expect it. A gripping saga that will play with your head, but in a good way, and make you look up from the last page and immediately wish for more.