They shun her as a beautiful monster, with her scarlet eyes and bone-white hair.
But Essence singlehandedly sustains the Seventh Demesne walls, protecting the walled city from a gray-skinned, sharp-toothed race that seeks to invade.
However, haunted by her solitude, she seeks solace in letters from a young mage in a distant demesne.
Something isn't right with him, though, or with his magic.
And then he appears in her city... and he offers her the one thing she cannot resist: love.
Enslaved by the guild, I ache for freedom.
But the guildmaster magically imprisoned my soul inside amber, and I must be obedient to him, always, ever.
Docile, sweet, and beautiful, I must never let myself scar, for my beauty is all my worth.
A beautiful thing, I am commanded to dance with my beautiful husband.
A guild slave like I, he never smiles, and yet every night, he loves me inside moments that are marred by breathless and unfathomable melancholy.
But every day, in the softest way, I escape: into clandestine moments in the park with another man I'm sure is--
--something I must never speak.
Because this thing is so forbidden that, every night, a shadow enters my room and steals these moments from my life.
A mediocre sorceress at best, Melynda nevertheless desperately tries to protect both Lysium and Essence.
But she must contend with the guildmaster who posesses the souls of her children.
She must fend off the master of mages who craves more power.
All while resolving the mystery of her assassin lover, a man with an unknown past who's been concealing an unexplained power.
Outside the Seventh Demesne, a spirit--once the queen consort of mankind's foe--strives to save humankind.
But her lover, the enemy king, has spread his plans throughout the kingdom like a spider web.
Now he watches. And waits.
Then he acts.
And the city is not prepared.
About the Author
Born in Texas but somehow having escaped without the accent, Sonya Lano currently lives in Prague, Czech Republic with two cats and a bunch of dust balls, hairballs, fur balls, spiders, story manuscripts, dreams, chocolate, books, and whatever else is hanging around her flat. Her full-time day job testing software pays the bills while her nights are (mostly) filled with living in other worlds.