"You can't escape the past. It is a part of who you are; it has shaped you now, it will shape your future. It is the shadow behind you. Who you once were is still a part of who you are today. This, I now understand. My name is Gracelynn Stevenson. I tried to destroy the Lost Magic. I tried to erase the past. I tried to make things go back to the way that they once were. I failed. And now all the happiness I thought I had found has been lost to the shadows…"Gracelynn is starting to remember all that she thought she left behind. So is Sebastian, although his memories are so painful that he's fighting with everything he has to leave them in the past. But Gracelynn has no choice: the spirits are calling her to lead a group of those who also possess the Lost Magic to fight an evil that is lurking too close. An evil that only she can overcome.
About the Author
Suzi Davis is a British-born Canadian writer and artist and has been writing stories and poetry for as long as she can remember. Interested in the paranormal, there is always an added element of magical fantasy to whatever tale she spins. Suzi lives on British Columbia's Vancouver Island with her husband and young sons.
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By Suzi Davis
Central Avenue Marketing Ltd.Copyright © 2013 Suzi Davis
All rights reserved.
Under the Moon
Everything was black, everything was silent. It was the sound of approaching death. It was the inhalation before a scream.
The darkness stretched infinitely around me. It was everywhere. It was inside of me, thick and cloying, choking. It was me. I could no longer separate myself from the black void. Time ceased to exist here. Nothing could exist here.
My soul constricted with fear. I tried to blink but my eyes were frozen by the impenetrable shadows. Shrill silence rang in my ears. I couldn't feel my own body, all I knew was darkness. I teetered on the brink of insanity. I was lost and alone.
"You are not alone."
The man's voice came from nowhere and everywhere at once. His words slithered through the darkness, his smooth, oily tones sliding into my ears, poisoning my mind. I wanted to scream but there was no air to breathe. "You are never alone. We are always here in the shadows, waiting ... watching ... We are coming for you."
I felt something in the darkness move, the shadows around me stirred. His hatred and contempt echoed in my ears, demanding a response.
"I don't understand." The words came out of me as I thought them, my mind's voice small and afraid. "Where am I? Who are you?"
There was a pause. A heavy tension hung in the air as the darkness seemed to thicken. I blinked and my eyes refocused. I could sense my body again, I was aware of myself. I was no longer floating away in this never-ending nothingness. My relief was short-lived. The darkness moved and separated, slowly swirling all around me, trapping me in tendrils of icy black mist. I shivered.
"Who are you?" he whispered right in my ear, throwing the question back at me. My heart began to hammer in my chest, my throat tightened.
"I ... I'm ..."
Fear gripped me, threatened to overwhelm all my senses. A desperate panic set in as I realized I didn't know who I was! I had a name, I knew I did but what was it? Who was I?
The shadows moved, something flashed past me in a rush of sudden blistering heat. I gasped, staring in bewilderment at the painful, throbbing gash that had appeared in the shadow's wake. The skin across my arm was torn open and dark, sticky blood trickled steadily down to my hand, dripping from my fingertips. My shivers accelerated to a violent trembling, I was losing all control. I hugged myself tightly with my uninjured arm, my hand reaching to my chest, my fingers automatically searching, grasping desperately for reassurance but there was nothing there. My fingertips brushed against my cold, clammy skin with my heart hammering beneath.
"Please, stop! I don't know —"
My pleas were cut off by another disturbance in the shadows around me. Something moved, spinning past me at a speed that defied all reason. There was a quick flash of metal and a searing hot stab of pain. My leg was on fire, my flesh ripped apart and bleeding profusely, the blood pouring down my leg.
"Stop!" I screamed, my voice hoarse with pain and fear. I fell to my knees in a slippery puddle of my own blood, trembling and panting, my eyes wildly searching the darkness. I scrambled in a circle, struggling to focus my eyes on something, anything. "Don't do this. Please."
"I don't want to hear you beg." The man's voice came from behind me now, his words twisted with loathing and disgust. I spun around, clutching at my wounds, blood seeping between my fingers. "I want to watch you die."
As he spoke, something in the darkness caught my eye. There was a flash of silver, a glint of light catching a long curved blade before the shadows swallowed the deadly weapon again. To my right there was another flicker, a brief flash of movement. I didn't turn quickly enough but I thought I might have glimpsed a thin, bony hand holding that wicked knife. My breath caught in my throat as suddenly, directly in front of me, the large, deadly blade cut through the darkness, spinning as it flew straight towards my face. I only had time to close my eyes, wincing as I braced myself for the expected pain but the blade somehow fell short, clattering to the ground at my feet. The sound rang eerily through the pitch black void.
There was no time to think, no point in questioning or asking why. Before I could even reach for the blade, a face began emerging from the darkness straight ahead of me. His black, greasy hair tangled and blended with the shadows, his sallow gray skin was stretched tight over gaunt, protruding cheekbones. His cheeks were hollow and his dark eyes were completely empty, void of all life, glazed over in death.
I tried to move away from him but I slipped and slithered upon the ground, trapped by my own blood and my weak, failing limbs. I briefly thought of the knife on the ground ahead of me but I was too terrified to move any closer to this monster. His face swelled in the darkness as he fed off my fear. His horrifying visage filled my vision until there was no where else to look but at him. His thin, sneering lips moved.
"Do you remember me?" he asked in his oily voice.
"No," I whispered. My heart felt ready to explode as I realized I was about to die. "Please, I don't know who you are. I ..."
His bloodless lips twisted into a mirthless smile as he realized at the same time as I did, that I remembered. I gasped as the realization struck me.
"Walter? But you're ..."
"Dead," he confirmed. His black eyes flared with sudden life. "And so are you!"
In a silent scream of rage and vengeance, his mouth opened wide to reveal row upon row of demonic, razor-sharp teeth. He dove forwards, filling my vision, ready to tear apart and consume my soul. There was a flash of indescribable, excruciating pain, and then everything went black ...
My eyes flew open and I gasped for air. I searched my surroundings, my head tossing wildly from side to side, my eyes struggling desperately to focus. I was trapped within the never-ending darkness still. I could barely tell if my eyes were open or closed. Fear crushed my chest; I couldn't breathe. Where was I?
It took several long seconds for me to get a grip. Reason was slowly returning. As my eyes adjusted, I realized I could make out the faint gray shapes of objects in the inky shadows. There was a small writing desk, an old dresser, the tall four posts surrounding the large canopy bed that I lay in ... in the Jensons' guest room, I remembered with a sigh. I collapsed back against the soft pillows. I was safe. It had just been a dream.
I felt much calmer with this realization but was still shivering and trembling uncontrollably. Even though I was tucked in under a thick quilt that Mrs. Jenson had made, I was freezing cold, much too cold even for the chill, late-Autumn night. An icy numbness had set into my bones that for some reason made me think of a cold, dark, underground tomb. The image of the wide pillared cavern from my dreams, full of shadows and flickering torchlight flashed through my mind. It was a place of danger, a place of death, the mysterious scene for many of my nightmares lately. I shuddered and reached for the lamp on my bedside table, trying my best to push the disturbing images away.
I reached for the lamp but when I flicked the switch, nothing happened. Puzzled, I tried it again but still I sat in the cold, strangely eerie darkness. I shivered, telling myself I was just cold and debating pulling the quilt over my head and falling back asleep when out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something move. My whole body tensed. I sat perfectly still, barely breathing. I stared into the darkest corner of my bedroom without blinking, straining to see what had caused that one, small, movement. When nothing else happened, I tried to relax. Just my imagination, I told myself but I had the sudden disturbing sense that I was being watched. My skin crawled with the feel of unseen eyes, the fine hairs on my arms stood on end. My heart began beating faster.
Don't be ridiculous, I silently scolded myself. It was just a dream.
Rubbing my arms briskly, I tried to warm my icy skin. I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something else there with me in my room, watching me from the shadows ... waiting ... My eyes widened as ever so slightly, the curtains at my closed window began to sway as if someone had just walked past them ...
I jumped out of bed, running from the room and the strange, shifting shadows. I was still haunted by my dreams, unable to escape the fear that still lingered. I was a coward and I fled.
I burst out into the hall and closed my bedroom door firmly behind me. Relief washed over me as the door clicked shut and I gained some distance between myself and my nightmares. I had no idea what time it was, definitely past midnight. It didn't really matter, I'd never be able to get back to sleep now.
The surface of the old hardwood floors felt almost warm beneath my feet as I began tip-toeing down the hall. The peculiar icy numbness that had clung to me seemed to fade with each carefully placed step I took. I crept down the hall quickly, avoiding the creaky floorboards with the ease of someone who had walked this path a hundred times.
A quiet sigh of relief escaped my lips as I reached the other end of the hall and saw the faint light glowing beneath the door. Someone was awake but I wasn't really surprised. I quietly turned the knob and slipped inside.
The room was lit by the warm glow of a lamp. It looked much different in here than it once had. Sebastian's large canopy bed and his writing desk had been moved into my bedroom to make room for the two single beds, one pushed up against each wall, that now filled the space. There was a large dresser beneath the window and only one of Sebastian's bookshelves remained; the other had been moved downstairs to Mr. Jenson's study.
I was surprised to see that both beds were empty, especially when a quick glance at the old clock on the bookshelf told me that it was nearly 4am.
"Are you alright, Grace?"
David's smooth, low voice made me jump, my heart briefly leaping into my throat. He had stood so silently by the window that I almost hadn't noticed him. Disappointment and confusion sank in as I realized Sebastian wasn't there.
"I'm fine," I muttered quickly, taking a small step back. "I was just looking for Sebastian. I ... well, I couldn't sleep."
"Neither could we," David sympathized with a half smile. He stepped away from the window, closer to the lamp. It was then that I realized he wasn't wearing a shirt. The lamp's soft light seemed to make his skin glow, highlighting every contour of his athletic, lean frame. A pair of plaid pajama pants hung low on his hips, too low. I dropped my eyes, feeling uncomfortable as he walked right up to me, stopping so close before me that we were almost touching. "Are you sure you're alright?"
I glanced up reluctantly. David's handsome face was full of concern. He was a few years older than Sebastian and I. He had quickly taken on a big brother role, developing a close and easy friendship with Sebastian and always being courteous and kind towards me. For some reason, he always made me feel a little uncomfortable though. Like now, his eyes bore down into mine, so dark and steady, glowing with an intensity that was difficult to look away from. I swallowed nervously.
"I'm fine. Where's Sebastian?"
A smile briefly tugged at David's lips. "He's outside. Like he usually is when he can't sleep." He turned away as he spoke, dropping down onto his bed and stretching out on his back, his hands behind his head.
"Like he usually is?" I repeated uncertainly.
"Yes, but ... well, perhaps I shouldn't have said it like that."
"Sebastian hasn't mentioned anything to me about having trouble sleeping."
"It's not every night ... he probably just doesn't want you to worry. You know how he is," David dismissed. I slowly nodded my agreement.
"Thanks. I'll go look for him outside."
"It's my pleasure. But wait ..." David hopped back up off the bed, brushing past me to reach into the open closet by the door. Heat radiated out from him, I forced myself not to step back. "Here, take this." He wrapped a thick gray coat around my shoulders, stepping in close as he carefully did up the top button so that it wouldn't slip off. His fingertips paused by my throat, lightly brushing against the thin, silver scar left by a piece of shrapnel from the explosion in which we had all been injured, just two months ago in Greece.
"It's so strange," David commented softly, his eyes never moving from my scar, his fingertips lingering near my collarbone. "Almost two months ago to this day, we all could have died; you almost bled to death at the Necromanteion. And now here we are, and all that's left are our missing memories and this tiny scar."
I abruptly stepped back. "I wouldn't exactly say it's tiny," I argued. The scar stretched nearly three inches down the side of my throat. I was almost glad I couldn't remember how I'd gotten it — almost. Lately, it had been bothering me more and more that I couldn't remember, that none of us could. "And we came away with more than just one scar." I glanced down at my arm as I spoke, noticing that the peculiar, silvery scars that had wrapped around my melted and burned skin appeared fainter everyday. I was healing at a remarkable pace, astonishing in fact, we all were.
"Yes, we also have our friendship," David agreed, smiling once more. He smoothly stepped back. "I truly value having met you and Sebastian, and all that you and the Jensons have done for me."
"We're glad to have met you too," I assured him with a quick smile, though I wasn't sure if I was being entirely honest. I liked David, and he and Sebastian had certainly become close friends. I always had fun when the three of us were together but on the rare occasions when it was just me and him ... something just didn't feel right. Like there was something a bit "off" about him but I couldn't quite place what it was. I shrugged.
"Thank you for the coat, David. I'm going to look for Sebastian now. Good night."
"Good morning," David replied with a laugh. He sat back down on his bed as I left the room, his eyes never leaving me.
I tried to forget about David as I crept downstairs and quietly slipped into a pair of shoes at the backdoor. The dark and violent nightmare I'd had was fading now, I could barely remember what it had been about — some kind of monster, a haunting sense of death and despair lingered — but I still wanted to see Sebastian before I went back to bed, especially now that I knew he was having trouble sleeping and that he had apparently been hiding it from me.
The back door closed behind me with a soft click as I stepped outside. Though Sebastian was sitting on the far edge of the lawn, he turned immediately at the sound. Beneath the moon's gentle light, I could just make out the surprised smile on his face as he stood to greet me. My heart instantly swelled and settled at the sight of him.
I hurried across the lawn, the dewy grass already soaking into my shoes and dampening the cuffs of my pajama pants.
"Grace, what are you doing out here?" he asked with a smile. "Not that I'm truly unhappy to see you," he added, taking me into his arms and kissing the top of my head.
"I couldn't sleep. I had a bad dream and wanted to see you," I confessed quietly. His muscles tensed around me. "What is it?"
"Nothing. I just ... I don't like you having bad dreams," he muttered.
I pulled away and caught him frowning up at the moon, his eyes dark and narrowed. He saw me looking at him and suddenly smiled, his expression instantly brightening.
"So you had a scary dream?" he teased, rocking me slightly in his arms. "Do you want to tell me about it?"
"No. I don't think so. I think I'd rather forget," I answered quickly.
"I might be able to help you with that."
My heart began to race as he bent his head down to mine, his lips easily finding me in the quiet darkness. His cheeks were cold from the chill night air but his lips were warm, and very soft. They brushed against mine gently, teasingly, in a sweet and chaste kiss that only made my passion for him flare. He pulled away much too soon, suddenly looking confused and a little amused.
"Are you wearing David's coat? You smell like his cologne."
"Yes, it's his," I replied, telling myself it was Sebastian's kiss that had made my cheeks glow and not the strange sense of guilt that had crept into my stomach. "He told me you were out here and insisted I wear it. Aren't you cold?" I shivered as I looked over the thin, cotton shirt Sebastian wore and his loose sweat pants, his feet were bare and must have been numb from the cold.
Excerpted from Sapphire Sun by Suzi Davis. Copyright © 2013 Suzi Davis. Excerpted by permission of Central Avenue Marketing Ltd..
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
I loved Amber Frost, which is the first in the lost magic series. Silver Dew was even somewhat good. But this third book had way too much going on. I couldn't keep up with all the plot twists and it seemed like the author was just trying to drag things out longer than needed. Its really too bad because it was a series with a lot of promise.
Silver Dew ended with quite a climatic scene. This scene leads to all the trouble in Sapphire Sun. Gracelynn has tried to fix everyone's mistakes by taking their memories and their magic, but she didn't quite succeed in her efforts. As bits and pieces begin to come back to her, she is visited by spirits with a new task of brining mage back into the world. This seemed a little counter productive since the last book was all about taking it away. This task leads to a very grand adventure involving Sebastion and his past coming back to haunt him (once again). This is a theme that recurs several times throughout the series and I sort of hoped this one would end with a different note. The first half of the book really dragged for me, but the second half (once the get on the island) really picked up and became interesting. There are tons of hints dropped about the big surprise at the ending, but I didn't catch a single one so I was very surprised - in a good way. While this wasn't the best series I've ever read, it was entertaining and had a few really good twists and turns, there was just a littel too much repeating of a theme overall.
*** As Sapphire Sun is the third book in a series, this review will contain spoilers for the first two books. *** All choices have consequences. Even seemingly small choices can have a ripple effect creating unforeseen events, and the greater the choice the greater the risk. At the conclusion of Silver Dew, in a stand-off with her & Caolinn's enemies, Gracelynn makes the self-sacrificial choice to destroy the Lost Magic. A choice which results in the loss of memory and magic for all parties involved. A choice which leads to an unwanted promise and a surprising ally. A choice that threatens Gracelynn and Sebastian's love. A choice in a series of choices that has created a new evil that must be defeated even if it comes at a terrible cost. Gracelynn. I love how strong she's become throughout this series. From the unsatisfied-but-willing-to-maintain-the-status-quo girl she was in Amber Frost, to a girl who's really come into her own. Gracelynn's found courage and confidence, and she's become a leader instead of a follower. She's made mistakes, some rather large ones, but she's becoming reconciled to her past and what Caolinn means to her. She's fallen in love (again) with the boy who's held her heart through time. Though loving Sebestian has helped her discover who she is, and that she's strong with him, she's also discovered strength without him. Her character arc as a whole has just been rather fantastic through this series. That said, it was hard to watch Grace in this novel, though her journey was necessary and entirely keeping with her character. Her anger and desperation made her a little hard to connect with and some of her decisions hard to support. She becomes somewhat reckless and dangerous as she vows to do whatever it takes to get Sebastian back. It's interesting to note in this novel how Gracelynn merges a little bit more with Caolinn, finding a middle-ground, so to speak, between herself and her former self. Sebastian. I'm trying to keep my lips sealed on what's up with him, because through most of the novel I was all, "Suzi! What are you doing to my Sebastian?!" It's been hinted at in the previous books that there's a darkness to Sebastian's character, and in Sapphire Sun, you get to see more of what that entails. His arc throughout this book is hard and heart-wrenching, but well done. David. A former friend of Sebastian's, but more recently a dangerous adversary, David has forgotten both his past and his connection to the Lost Magic, but is trying his hardest to remember. What happens if he remembers? Will he be friend or foe? Characters & Characterization. I wish there had been more time to get to know the many secondary characters Suzi introduces in Sapphire Sun, but I love what Suzi does with Sebastian, Grace and David. She puts her characters through so much, taking them right to the brink and sometimes beyond, and I adore that kind of risky character development. Another aspect of the character development that I really found interesting is in the search for identity esp. in regard to the same soul living multiple lives. It's fascinating seeing some of these characters work through things they'd done, events they'd set into motion, decisions they'd made in the past - things that they aren't necessarily proud of. Are these decisions still a part of them? Are they the person they were or the person they are now? Are they a bit of both? And how do you live with the sins of the past? Yeah. Interesting, right? Romance. Passionate. Heartbreaking. Agonizing. Heart-wrenching. There were a few moments in Sapphire Sun that took me by completely by surprise, made me re-evaluate my feelings, and that left me extremely unsure as to how and if everything would work out. As much as I hated it, I loved the uncertainty - the fact that Suzi made me feel taken aback and conflicted. And did it all work out? [insert maniacal, evil laugh here] I'll never tell. Read the book. Story. Though it felt a little... not as polished as the first two books, and though I had hoped for a bit more transition from the ending of Silver Dew to the beginning of this novel, Sapphire Sun is extremely enjoyable and a great continuation of this series. The pacing of the first third was a little slow, but necessary. And once it gets going, it's going at breakneck speed until the conclusion. World. Small thing, but I love that this series is Canadian-based. I'm wracking my brain trying to think of any other YA series that I've read that's set in Canada, or that even travels to Canada, and I'm coming up with... nothing. Why isn't Canada used as a setting more often? I don't know, but honestly more series should immigrate beyond western Europe and the Lower 48. Same is lame, people. Another thing I love about the world of the Lost Magic is the ancient feel Suzi creates. The sense of historical depth she weaves as she connects her characters' present lives with their pasts. And this ties into the last thing I want to mention - that I already briefly touched on - about consequences. I appreciate the rules of magic in this book. Though triggered according to a person's desires, magic isn't to be used for every tiny whim. The ability to wield magic comes with temptations, opportunities, and a great responsibility. Using magic is a choice, and choices have consequences, and as is often the case, consequences have a way of catching up to a person. Overall. Emotionally-charged, wonderfully conflicting, and achingly romantic, Sapphire Sun is the fantastic third act in Sebastian and Gracelynn's story.
So, first let me say, if you haven't read this series, you should give it a try. I love it and really liked Grace's character and the love story is great. With that said--there will probably be spoilers for the first two in the series. Going into Sapphire Sun, I had forgotten a few things, but I remembered the love and devotion that Grace and Sebastian had for each other. And, as it turns out, the blurb tells you most of what you need to know, and Grace and Sebastian's memories are blank as to what happened in Greece. But I was sucked right back into her world and terror since it opens with a nightmare... But at first you aren't sure that is what it is, and I am not sure if it is memories trying to haunt her and how much the paranoia when she wakes is warranted. The plot is fast and there is so much coming at Grace. Hard, life changing things, and I appreciated how she handled it all. For the most part. I had to remind myself that she was young, and love is all consuming, and as the distance between her and Sebastian starts to grow once her magic reawakens and his apparently doesn't, he withdraws. She can see that he is dealing with a lot, but he doesn't want to burden her so he doesn't talk to her about it. Which only upsets her more, because she felt like she was all on her own. And I can totally sympathize with that, because for the most part, women just want to nurture, and men want to handle it themselves, and these two mindsets don't mesh. But she puts off some of the responsibilities that she agreed to with the spirits, and that creates a whole world of trouble that she couldn't predict. This is where I wished that she could have found some kind of balance before everything went so far downhill. But then they wouldn't have learned and grown as characters so much I guess. And it was quite a journey, watching their hearts be broken, deal with things that no young adult should have to. It made me feel right along with Grace, and watching her learn to be a leader and what that means, as well as embracing what she was called to do, and learn balance with the magic that she has been trusted with. There are both old and new characters in this one. There was one in particular that I didn't know what to make of the seeming changes, and I didn't know if I wanted to trust him, but I wanted to. There is also wedding planning that made me giddy, and some very hot scenes that made me squee and blush a bit. The ending was very satisfying, and had a few twists that I didn't see coming, but it was very sweet and I think that it wrapped up the book very nicely. Bottom Line: Heart stopping continuation of the love story between Grace and Sebastian, with some surprising and emotional twists.