Queen of Oblivion

Queen of Oblivion

by Giles Carwyn, Todd Fahnestock

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061980114
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Series: The Heartstone Trilogy , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Todd Fahnestock and Giles Carwyn met in high school nineteen years ago. Within an hour of meeting, they started a philosophical conversation they haven't been able to finish yet. Their nomadic lifepaths have crisscrossed again and again. Through the years they have dated the same women, been best man at each other's weddings, and attended the births of each other's children. They currently live twenty-five blocks from each other in Littlewood, Colorado, with their stunning wives, Lara and Tanya, and their freakishly well-named children: Liefke, Elowyn, Luna, and the Dash-man.

Read an Excerpt

Queen of Oblivion

Chapter One

Baedellin crouched in the shadows, hiding from the moon. Bony knees pushed against her shoulders as she wrapped her arms around her mud-caked shins. Her breath came in ragged gasps, drying the inside of her mouth, cracking her tongue. She had to get away, get out of here. The dark queen was looking for her.

She crept forward, hiding behind the dried up ferns of a roof garden, watching the street below. Her filthy dress fluttered in the breeze and her heart pounded so hard her chest ached. Tears streamed down her face, burning her skin. She couldn't stop crying. After all this time, the tears kept coming. She was all alone in the empty city. They were all gone. Everyone gone. Or dead. Or running, like her.

She had to find Astor. No. Her brother had thrown her away. And her father had sent her to the queen. Baedellin was never going back there. Not to the filthy tower and foul darkness of that voice.

She would find her mother. Mother would wrap her up in her arms and it would all stop. It would all go away. Mother was strong, not lying on cold stone covered in flowers. Mother was happy and smiling, in a clean white dress. Waiting for her. Waiting in the north.

Baedellin reached the edge of the roof and paused, listening carefully to the streets below. She had to be careful, so careful, or she would never get away.

Someone had to find her. Help her. Before it was too late.

Shadows shifted, shortened and lengthened again as the moon traveled across the sky. Wind tried to lift her greasy hair as she stared at the empty streets, the darkened city, the boarded-up buildings.

Then she heard whispers in the distance. The clink of metal. It was them.

She swung her legs over the edge of the roof and dropped to the street below. Her bare feet slapped across cobblestones as she hurried into an abandoned café at the end of the block. She crept along one wall, hiding below a window filled with dead flowers.

She heard them turn the corner outside the window. Nine or ten of them. They had to help her. She had to get away.

"Go slow. Go careful. Listen for their breathing," someone said. "Check every cellar, every cupboard."

Baedellin peered outside, her grimy face hidden among the dying leaves that had shriveled long ago. Fear and joy rushed through her as she saw the golden slashes on the tunics of the Lightning Swords. Maybe her father was with them. He could take her home, back to Astor and the Sisters. They would bring her north to find her mother. Clean white dress. Smiling. Red hair shining in the sunlight. She tried to cry out, tried to scream, "I'm here. I'm here. Help me!" But nothing came from her mouth except the huffs of ragged breath.

The Lightning Swords split up and she heard footsteps approaching the café. She clung to the shadows, drifting behind the thick red curtains. Two of the Lightning Swords paused just outside the doorway, lifting lanterns high in the air. "Help me!" Baedellin shouted, but again she made no sound but the tortured breathing. She pressed her hand to her mouth to muffle the sound.

"I'll check the kitchen," the first one said, crossing the threshold. His sword glimmered in the torchlight.

"Look sharp," said the other, a woman with a gaunt face and ill-fitting armor.

Baedellin wanted to run to them, cling to their knees and beg for help. They had to help her, but she shrank farther into the shadows as they weaved through the overturned tables and disappeared into the kitchen. She followed them, perfectly quiet on bare feet, and peered around the doorway behind them.

"There's a soup pot in the fireplace," the man said. He crept to the far side of the room and peered into the pot. His head jerked away in disgust as a rancid smell hit him.

"By the Seasons!" he hissed. "Why do we even try?"

He moved to the cupboard and checked inside. "Nothing but rat droppings!"

"Look everywhere," the woman told him. "Check the oven." She strained to look into the shadows all around them.

Baedellin held deathly still in the darkness. She clutched the doorjamb, feeling her fingernails sink into the soft wood. "Help me!" she cried silently.

The man knelt before the oven built into the fireplace and looked inside. He started laughing. "Bread! Two loaves!" He held them up to show her. "They're a little burnt and very stale." The soldier tried to bite one and could barely break off a chunk. "But soften them up in a little water and—"

The dark queen's voice slid into Baedellin's mind. Now, my child, she whispered. Now.

Baedellin leapt, clinging to the woman soldier's back. She shouted as Baedellin slipped her knife under her chin and slashed. Hot liquid flooded down her arm.

"No!" Baedellin screamed, but it only came out as ragged breathing, quick and rhythmic.

"Maelin!" the man screamed, dropping the loaves of bread. He rushed forward and swung his sword, knocking Baedellin into the wall. It didn't hurt. Nothing hurt anymore.

"They're here! They're here!" the soldier screamed, fleeing from the room.

Hunt them down, my child. The horrible voice filled her head. Hunt them down and kill whenever you can.

Baedellin rolled to her feet and gave chase. She tried to stop herself, tried to curl into a ball and make it go away, but the queen's voice was so close and she was so far away.

She chased the man across the room and jumped on his back, knocking him to the ground. "Help me!" Baedellin whispered, slashing at his face with the knife. He screamed, trying to turn over, trying to grab her, but Baedellin surged forward and buried the blade in his neck. Dark blood splattered the tile beneath her and the man's head rolled backward, his mouth opening and closing wordlessly.

Queen of Oblivion. Copyright © by Giles Carwyn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Queen of Oblivion 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The minions of sorceress Issefyn threatens to destroy the Ohndarien Empire. Using her dark magic ability, the sorceress has infected many of her opponents with the magical ¿black emmeria¿ that turns them into her slaves.------- Zelani priestess Shara wants to join with her soulmate, the Heir of Autumn, former ¿Sleeping Warden¿ Brophy, but the evil sorceress has infected him with her black emmeria poison. Brophy feels he is being pulled into two opposite directions. The love for his beloved Shara battles with Issefyn¿s droning voice inside his brain to join her side. As he struggles to hold back the overwhelming dark sorcery, he needs to obtain the mythical Heartstone gem that allegedly counters psychic maladies that he believes is the only hope to save the freedom loving empire.-------------- The final Heartstone epic fantasy (see MISTRESS OF WINTER and HEIR OF AUTUMN) is an enjoyable conclusion as Shara learns you can¿t come home since home is not the same as your memory in this case home is radically changed with the black emmeria turning everyone into slaves. The story line is action-packed from the onset and never slows down even when a detour twist occurs. Newcomers will be lost in spite of Giles Carwyn and Todd Fahnestock providing two backdrop prologues (One half way into the book) as the QUEEN OF OBLIVION is a well written complex ending.--------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago