After her grandfather's death, Sara inherits an ancient pendant and a near-impossible questmaster the mysterious pendant's source of magic. Driven to do so, she must find the other two stones of power, long considered lost, while preventing an unknown enemy from finding her first.
Unprepared and alone, she travels to where the keepers of the stones, the Siobani, were last seen. Along the way she meets Tobar, leader of the nomadic Heleini tribe. As Sara wrestles with feelings for this intriguing man, she is also invigorated with her grandfather's passion to find the ancient Siobani race.
After a rival tribe kidnaps Tobar's son and heir, Sara must harness the stone's healing magic to unite the tribes and save the boy. But as the dark power stalking her gains ground, will she continue on her quest to reach the Siobani or risk everything to save the warring tribes from eliminating each other?
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There was no going back now.
Sara paused to let the cold waves dampen her leggings, smiling at the small pebbles visible through the crystal waters. Finally. She suppressed the urge to run through the cold water, jump into the boat and shout her joy to the heavens. After so many years of waiting, they were returning to mainland Anatar.
A cough sounded to her right. She glanced up toward the boat and squared her shoulders. Jith looked at her with something like pity. "Ye might miss this wee island, lass. The mainland isn't some kind o' paradise." He stared out over the shore. "Some'd say you found that here."
She followed Jith's gaze. The golden sand rose away from the water's touch, forming a hill that protected their little house and its gardens from the worst of the ocean's fury. A shadow of melancholy tempered her excitement. She would miss the island. It was the only home she could remember. But she knew every tree, had followed or made every path through the dense interior forests. Each waterway, every animal's den had long since been mapped. She was a warrior of Shi'ia, trained by one of the greatest commanders of all time, Willam of Ardal, and now she was full-grown. An adult by anyone's standards. An island hideaway was not the place for her. She was ready. Ready for change, ready to use the skills her grandfather had taught her, ready to begin her life. She placed a hand on her chest and traced the hard contours of her pendant. Ready to discover the world outside their little island.
She waded through the cold waves until she reached the bobbing craft. The gray ocean waters sucked and plopped as the waves lapped the skimmer, urging it to come and play. It was a beautiful craft of bleached timbers, fifteen hands wide and fifty long. The tall, slender mast stood off-center to the prow and held a spar longer than the skimmer itself.
One hand on an anchor rope and the other on the skimmer's transom, she vaulted out of the water. Her feet hit the deck with a hollow thud. Jith turned to offer her an approving nod, but the old waverider's gaze didn't meet hers before he resumed securing baskets to the skimmer with a stout rope. She turned back toward a dune sheltering the small house from the ocean winds and spied Haboth, Jith's son, cresting the rise with the last load. Her grandfather had stayed behind to close up and waved off her offer to help. Sara hadn't insisted. He wanted time alone to say goodbye to the house, the garden, their life on the island.
Absently, she toyed with the thick silver chain around her neck. The weight of a large blue stone nestled between her breasts. She resisted the urge to pull out the stone to stare out it, something she'd been doing since her grandfather placed it around her neck only a few days before, and instead stroked the smooth gunwale. The warmth of the wood soaked into her chilled hands.
Once a moon, Jith and Haboth brought supplies to the tiny island where she and her grandfather lived. What little they knew about the stone was garnered from the tale her father had left them and the ancient books Jith managed to find, but those books were few and far between. She knew her grandfather only wanted to keep her safe, but he'd deemed her ready to receive the stone, and now that she had, it only made sense they'd leave for the mainland sooner rather than later. There was nothing more they could accomplish on the remote island.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Just finished this book and I loved it! I am looking forward to the rest of the series. The character development and the sense of history give this world seemingly effortless authenticity. Write more, Shawna Thomas. Thank you for this book.