Destiny has called.With Jaevid Broadfeather forever lost to the depths of Luntharda, Felix Farrow struggles to stand on his own. He begins a violent downward spiral which causes him to abandon his post as a dragonrider, hiding in the halls of his family estate. His one hope for redemption lies within the heart of someone from his past—and the very last person he ever wanted to see again.And now the time has finally come.Hovrid, who has ruled Maldobar as a tyrannical imposter, is preparing to make a decisive assault against Luntharda that will destroy what remains of the elven race. Only Jaevid, Felix, and their trusted friends are able to stand in his way. They have only one chance to end the war, and only one hope to absolve the curse that threatens to destroy their world. The stage is set. The plan is in motion.What began as one boy’s adventure will now end in blood.
About the Author
Nicole Conway is a former freelance graphic artist for promotional companies and is now a full-time writer. She enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She is the author of Avian, Fledgling, and Traitor. She lives in Valdosta, Georgia.
Read an Excerpt
By Nicole Conway
Month9BooksCopyright © 2016 Nicole Conway
All rights reserved.
I lost Jaevid and Mavrik in the fray almost immediately.
In front of me, my partner, Lieutenant Darion Prax, was leaning into his dragon's speed as we made our final approach. Behind me, a dozen more riders were following us in. Below me, the city of Barrowton boiled with the fury of battle. Our lines of infantry were broken, but trying to reform. The gray elves fought like savages, wielding spears, bows, and scimitars. Some of them rode on the backs of jungle monsters, others were zipping around us through the sky on creatures called shrikes — our natural enemies.
Prax gave me a few brisk hand signals, instructing me to move into place and get ready. I twisted my saddle handles slightly, applying a bit of pressure under the saddle. With a few heavy beats of her wings, my dragon caught up with him and flew right underneath him. Nova was a big girl, bigger than most male dragons twice her age. But what she lacked in speed she made up for in other ways — something the gray elves were about to figure out first hand.
We dropped down lower. Arrows sailed past my helmet. One bounced off my breastplate and gave me a scare. I leaned down closer to Nova's body for shelter from the hail of fire coming from below. Unlike most of the other dragons, gray elf arrows couldn't pierce her thick hide.
I checked Prax out of the corner of my eye. He was giving me one finger and a closed fist. First target. Time to hit hard. I clenched my teeth and twisted the saddle handles, giving Nova the signal.
Prax and I dove as one, our dragons spiraling in unison towards the ground. We pulled out of the dive flying side-by-side, barely a hundred feet off the ground behind the enemy lines. I squeezed Nova's sides with my boot heels, and I felt her take in a deep breath.
Together, our dragons showered the ground with a storm of their burning venom.
Gray elf warriors screamed. They fired at us with everything they had. But our rain of fire didn't end until Nova had to stop for another breath.
We broke skyward and began preparing to make another coordinated pass.
But the second time wouldn't be so easy. The trail of flames and burning corpses we'd left behind had gotten the attention of a few warriors on shrikes. I spotted four of them heading straight for us.
I gave Prax the news — we had company.
He quickly replied with a plan.
I was slower, so I was bound to be their first target. But that was fine; I was ready.
When his volley of arrows failed, the first gray elf rider had his shrike attack us outright. The bizarre creature was like a furious mirage of mirrored glass scales. It wrapped around Nova's neck and started clawing at her eyes. Nova roared and slung her head back and forth. The shrike's rider was twisting in his saddle, drawing another arrow that was aimed right at me.
"Better make that shot count," I yelled and drew my sword.
Suddenly, Prax blurred past us.
There was a crunching sound and a shrike's yelp of pain as his dragon got a tasty mouthful of the monster. I saw the gray elf rider fall from the saddle and begin to plummet toward the ground. A very small part of me felt bad for him. The rest of me still remembered he'd just tried to kill me.
Another shrike hit Nova. Then another. One was wrapped around her head again while the other hit much closer to the saddle — closer to me — right at the base of her tail. I twisted the one saddle handle I was still hanging onto and Nova pitched into a violent roll. She spun, getting faster and faster.
The shrike on her head lost his grip. He flew backwards, bouncing along her body and whooshing past me. One well aimed thrust of my sword made sure he wouldn't be coming back around for a second try.
The last shrike and rider were a problem, though. She was trying to cut my saddle straps. Clever. Effective, too, if she managed it.
But I wasn't about to give her that chance.
I sheathed my sword and twisted the handles again, hanging on for dear life. Nova snapped her wings in tight against her body and dropped from the sky like a giant, scaly stone. The further we fell, the faster we went. The wind howled past my helmet. The ground was getting closer and closer.
I bit back a curse and looked back. It was working. The shrike was losing his grip, sliding further away from me down Nova's tail.
I squeezed my heels against her ribs.
Nova spat a burst of flame directly in front of us, and I hunkered down against her as she wrapped her wings around herself. Everything went dark. I could smell the acrid venom in the air. It made my eyes sting. I could feel the heat of the flames as I panted for breath.
Dragon venom is funny stuff. It's sticky like sap and highly acidic. It'll burn through just about anything — except a dragon's own hide.
Nova flew through her own burst of flames, shielding me with her wings. When we came out the other side, she flared her wings wide and caught the air like a kite. Below us, a shrike-shaped fireball crashed into the ground.
Prax appeared next to us, giving me hand signals again. You okay?
I gave him a thumbs up.
Good. Time for another pass.
* * *
The battle was over.
The shouting voices and clashing blades had gone quiet. Now, there was only the crackling of the flames still smoldering in what was left of Barrowton. It was a wasteland – barely more than a charred crater littered with the bodies of the fallen.
Yet another ugly scar on Maldobar's landscape.
We'd only just gotten back to the citadel at Northwatch — our little slice of paradise where the forces assigned to protecting the northern border were housed. Group after group of dragons and their riders continued to land on the platform and file into the tower. One hundred proud warriors had left to retake the city only a few days before. Less than forty of us returned.
Still, I was only looking for one.
"Where is he? Does anyone see him?!" I shouted at the top of my lungs and shoved my way through the other dragonriders. I called his name over and over, hoping to spot him or his blue dragon making their way down the corridor ahead of me. They must have fallen behind.
I searched every bloodied, war-beaten face that came walking in from the rain. Before I knew it, I was standing back at the open gateway that led out onto the platform.
Jaevid Broadfeather was nowhere to be found.
Someone grabbed my shoulder. A bolt of hope shot through me as I spun around, hoping to see him standing there.
It wasn't him.
It was my riding partner, Lieutenant Prax, standing over me like a giant in blood-spattered battle armor. He was much older than I was and a far more seasoned rider. That's why the look on his face absolutely terrified me.
"No one saw him or Jace depart with us."
I was instantly sick. I couldn't accept that. Jaevid wouldn't just roll over and die — not this easily. We'd made it this far, gone through all of our dragonrider training together from beginning to end – so I knew he could fight. Sure, I'd teased him plenty about sucking at hand-to-hand combat, but I'd never met anyone faster or better with a blade. He was half gray elf, for crying out loud. Granted, he hid it well, but I knew he had that elven killer instinct buried down deep in his soul. I'd seen it surface once or twice before when someone pushed him too far.
I had to believe he was here somewhere. I just hadn't found him yet.
I turned around with every intention of standing out on the platform in the driving rain until I saw him land. Boy, was he in for it. That little jerk should have known better than to pull a stunt like this after our first battle, the one time I hadn't been standing right next to him while we did something ridiculously dangerous to make sure he didn't get killed.
Prax grabbed my arm to stop me. There was no shaking off his grip. "We can't go out there. They want the platform clear for the riders still landing. We'll have to wait in the stable."
I stole another glance out of the gateway. The skies were choked with rumbling black storm clouds and the rain was falling hard enough to obscure the city below. Every couple of minutes, the ominous, dark shape of a dragon appeared through the gloom, wings spread wide and legs outstretched to stick the landing. As they landed, infantrymen rushed out to help the riders dismount and escort them inside. Some of them had to be carried because of their injuries. Their cries of pain were drowned out by the sound of the thunder.
"Come on." Prax shook me a little to break my trance. "You need to look after your lady. Then I'll wait with you back at his stall."
I didn't like it. I wanted to be standing right here when Jae finally dared to show his face after making me stress out like this. But Prax was right. My dragon, Nova, was still dressed in her saddle and I needed to get her settled in before I did anything else.
The work was distracting. It kept me from staring at the gateway every single second while I unbuckled her saddle strap-by-strap and checked her over for injuries. Thankfully, she was unharmed. Her scales really were as strong as iron plates. And judging by a few nicks and scrapes I found around her chest and neck, that trait had saved her life more than once.
Once she was fed and nestled into a bed of hay for the night, I closed the door to her stall and immediately made a break for the platform. I had every intention of waiting there again. I didn't make it there, though.
Everyone was waiting on me. The other surviving riders in Emerald Flight had gathered outside Nova's stall.
"They still haven't come back yet?" I looked at Prax, expecting an answer.
He didn't have to give a verbal one. Once again, his expression said it all. Jaevid and his senior partner, Lieutenant Jace Rordin, still hadn't returned.
So we waited.
Sitting outside Jaevid's empty dragon stall, we watched the rest of our dragonrider brothers tending to their mounts like I had. It wasn't looking good. The elves had made an impressive stand at Barrowton and our ranks had taken a beating. Less than half of us had returned and many of those were wounded or grounded because their mount had been injured. The riders landing now were barely able to limp in out of the rain. Some of them even had to be carried.
I watched one rider who had to be dragged off the platform by the infantrymen. He was shouting like a madman, still crazed from battle. I couldn't figure out what he was saying or why he was so upset until a big group of soldiers rushed past us to help restrain him. Then I heard why.
His dragon had managed to carry him back safely to the tower, but the creature had died on the platform shortly after.
The rider's grief-stricken screams mingled with the constant rush of the rain. It was a sound I'd never forget.
I couldn't watch anymore after that. I leaned against the stall door with my eyes closed, trying not to think about or imagine anything. Then, infantrymen rolled the iron grate down over the passage that led out onto the platform. It made an awful clanging sound.
That was it. The last of us who survived the battle had landed.
It was over. We all knew it, and yet none of us wanted to be the first to get up and leave.
It didn't feel real. I didn't want to believe it was. There had to be some kind of mistake. He was going to pull off another miracle, come wandering in with that weird, self-conscious smile on his face and start apologizing — he had to. It wasn't supposed to end this way.
"Jace was set on going head- to- head with that gray elf princess again." Someone finally spoke up and broke the heavy silence. "He must've dragged Jaevid into it, too. Poor kid wouldn't stand a chance in a skirmish like that."
I pushed away from the door and started walking away. I didn't want to hear this. I didn't care how he died. He was gone. The how didn't matter.
I thought I managed to get away without any of them following me. But I should've known better than to think Prax would let me go. I heard his heavy footsteps and the clinking of his armor as he fell in right behind me.
He waited until we were well away from the others, standing just inside the stairwell that spanned the full height of the fifty-story tower, to catch me by the shoulder. "I'm sorry, boy."
"Sorry won't bring my best friend back from the dead. Sorry never did anyone any good. It's a waste of everyone's time," I snapped.
He let me go. I could see sympathy in his eyes as he stared down at me. It pissed me off. For a few seconds, neither of us said a word. Then he shook his head. "We've all lost someone today, Felix. Every last one of us. So go do whatever you have to do. Work it out. Then clean up your armor and get ready again. You and I are some of the few who are still battle-ready."
I already felt like a total failure for letting my best friend down. I'd let him die alone in battle. And now I felt worse knowing I'd offended Prax, although there wasn't a lot I wanted to do about it right now. All I knew was that my insides hurt. I couldn't think beyond the rage that was burning in my body like hellfire. I could practically taste the flames crackling over my tongue. I needed a way to let it out.
* * *
Three days. That's how long it took Prax to resurface and try talking to me again.
I knew he'd be coming. I was already on borrowed time. At any given moment, orders could come down and I'd be sent back to the battlefront somewhere to kill more elves in the name of peace and justice. A bunch of crap, really. Neither existed in my world.
My knuckles were bleeding through the strips of bandages I'd wrapped them in. It probably had something to do with me facing off with a sparring bag every day at dawn, pounding at it with all my strength until I was too weak to stand. I didn't stop to eat and sleeping was totally out of the question so I didn't even bother trying.
Honestly, I didn't know what else to do. I was asking myself a lot of hard questions while whaling against the sand-filled training bag, and most of those questions I no longer had an answer for.
Why was I here? Punch. What was this all for? Punch. Could I even justify not being at my estate now? Punch.
"Felix." Prax's voice interrupted the rhythm of my internal interrogation.
I stopped and let my arms drop. They were so numb I couldn't even feel my fingers anymore. I turned around, wiping away the sweat that was dripping into my eyes.
I expected to see Prax there, giving me one of those cautious, sympathetic gazes. But I hadn't expected to see the guy next to him. I didn't know him. Rather, I'd never laid eyes on him before. But I knew right away who he must be.
Jae had never been all that chatty when it came to his family. I could sympathize. My own family life hadn't been great, but it didn't hold a candle to what I suspected Jae had put up with.
When we'd first met, he looked like a pulverized, half-starved puppy. Some of the other guys training with us liked to pick on him because he was one heck of an easy target — but they weren't the cause of all those bruises. Some of those marks had been older. Much older. He'd gotten them long before he'd darkened the door of the dragonrider academy. So I went out of my way to ask Sile about them. Needless to say, the answer had been unsavory.
My father had never beaten me, even when I probably deserved it. He didn't have the strength or the audacity. He popped me across the cheek a few times for mouthing off, sure, but that was more embarrassing than anything else.
Jae, though? He probably weighed eighty pounds soaking wet when we first met. And that father of his had been beating him mercilessly for years, according to Sile.
Now I was looking at the one person who should have stuck up for the little guy whenever his dad decided to use him like a doormat. I knew this had to be his older brother. The family resemblance was strong, even if this guy wasn't a half elf like Jae. Same piercing eyes. Same strong jawline.
"Roland, I presume?" I glanced him up and down. He was taller than me, unsurprisingly. Chalk that up to yet another Broadfeather family trait. "You look like hell."
It wasn't an insult. He really did look awful. His right arm was sealed in a crude plaster cast all the way up to his shoulder and he had bloody bandages wrapped around a wound on his head. He was obviously one of the lucky infantrymen who made it back to the citadel from Barrowton — the uniform tipped me off. Except for the stubble on his chin, he looked so much like Jae it would make anyone stop and take a second look. Granted, this guy had a lot more muscle to throw around, but he had the same squared jaw and high cheekbones.
Excerpted from Immortal by Nicole Conway. Copyright © 2016 Nicole Conway. Excerpted by permission of Month9Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Thoughts - 4 out of 5 Unicorns - I really liked it!!! ***I choose what I read and review based on what intrigues me!! Yes, I got a review copy of this book, but no one tells me what to think, feel, or write about any book! I did buy this book and the whole series too! This is the 4th and final book in this series. It is for young adults. I definitely think you have to read the series in order to understand all of the characters much better. I took way to long to read this story. Life gets in the way, and I’ve been very busy with work and college. I’m working on catching up! At first when I started reading, I was confused because it was from Felix’s point of view. This was not my favorite book in the series, but I still liked it. I know it didn’t go how I wanted especially the end, but I’m just a reader. Jae is the hero, but this book was more of Felix’s journey and his growth. This book definitely departed from the format of the first 3 books. This book had tons of action and tragedy that made me cry for both Jae and Felix. I don’t want to give anything away, but I enjoy this world and this conclusion for what it was….an ending. I recommend that everyone who started the series should read and see what happens, but remember each story is unique!
This fourth book had epic battles and tugged at my heart. I'll admit having the story start from Felix's POV threw me off at first...No, it kind of upset me. Where was my Jaevid? But Nicole Conway wove the story so well I teared up in the first chapter. The alternating POV between Felix and Jaevid was brilliant--a story within a story. The way Jaevid could command nature to help them, including connecting to creatures minds was, once again, creatively spun. And man, I hope there are more sequels to come!
This is the last book in this series but it not the end as the author stated on Facebook their will be more story. The chronicles is just the beginning to build us up for the next step. This one is by far the darkest one out of the series but for a good reason- its war and war is never pretty. Their will be death, in fact your heart will be ripped out and stomped on but it all for a good reason. I was sad by the end of the story but i know that was laid out is the path to the freedom for these characters. The best part is you get a glimpse into the future as their is a sample of what to come in the next series. So strap yourselves in guard your heart and know it all for the freedom and that path is paved with tears and blood