This week I have a new release, Dark Queen, an epic fantasy short story set in the world of my Andovia Chronicles. You can get it here on Amazon.
There’s nothing more deadly than a scorned woman.
Once Evony was immortal and the Queen of the Fae. Until the man she thought was an ally betrayed her. Burned to death and her realm taken from her, the queen found a loophole.
Now stuck in a mortal body, Evony has spent the last century biding her time and plotting her revenge against the man who helped kill her. But time is running out. The body she’s trapped in can no longer handle her powers. Instead, she needs to find a way of finding her true body and restoring herself to her former strength.
That won’t be so easy. Her husband and his followers have done everything they can to prevent that from happening. And she’ll have to risk everything to get what she wants. Even if it means losing her one chance at revenge.
Booms like thunder shook the air and rattled the walls around her. Fire lit up the sky with red and smoke as dragons swarmed around the capital city of Andovia.
This couldn’t be happening. Queen Evony winced as the whitewashed walls of her temple trembled. A seven-pointed star glittered above the high altar and flashed with light as the temple’s protections held in place.
“Mama, what’s happening?” her eldest daughter asked. “What are those loud noises?”
Her triplet daughters huddled together in a corner.
Evony gritted her teeth. “The Archdruid is destroying our city. Why won’t the shield go up? It’s supposed to protect us.” She paced up and down. “It should protect us.” She ran a hand through her long hair that flashed with different colours. Her long, dark wings trailed on the floor behind her.
In the chaos fleeing from the palace, she hadn’t had time to go to the shield and run the crystals that protected her entire realm. Someone should have activated it by now. If it hadn’t activated as soon as the Archdruid and his forces set foot in her realm. She couldn’t understand why. Why hadn’t the shield turned on? It should have activated the moment her greatest enemy had dared come here. Her realm had been at peace for centuries. No one could conquer Andovia.
“I don’t know, my queen.” Lyra Duncan, her most loyal priestess, stood by the altar lighting candles, then recited a protection spell. Her long, dark hair fell past her shoulders, her blue eyes had circles under them, making her pretty face appear hollow.
As if a protection spell would do any good now.
“Where are my guards?” Evony demanded. “Where’s my damned husband? They should be here!” Something crashed against the temple’s outer doors.
She couldn’t understand why her husband, Ambrose, hadn’t come looking for them. He had been acting strange last night, and she hadn’t had a chance to confront him about his behaviour yet.
Something crashed against the doors again. No, they couldn’t come in here. This place had protection. Wards, spells, and much more.
A guttural roar echoed around them. Good, the temples gargoyles had come to life.
“I don’t know. They must be fighting against the Archdruid’s forces. My queen, we must flee.” Lyra grabbed her arm. The priestess’s whirling anxiety roiled through Evony like a storm. As a mind whisperer, she could sense emotions from most people. “The city has fallen. You must get to safety.”
Flee from her own city? She almost laughed. “Never. I will not bow down to the Archdruid. My forces are just as strong. They will force him out.”
Light flashed as an image of a woman appeared. Long, dark hair fell past her shoulders. Her eyes glittered like crystals. Evony’s mouth fell open. She couldn’t believe it. Her mother, the Great Guardian herself, and one of the oldest of immortals had actually come to see her.
“Mother.” Evony blinked, half expecting it to be an illusion. “What are you doing here?”
She and her mother hadn’t spoken to each other in decades. Even though they lived in the same realm. They had never gotten along very well.
“I have seen your demise. You need to leave this realm. Now.”
“I will never leave my realm or my people.” Her hands clenched into fists. “And since when do you hand out warnings? I thought you were determined to never interfere?”
“Andovia has already fallen. Most of your mind whisperers are dead, or they have chosen to align themselves with the Archdruid. I am just trying to keep you safe.”
“I’m not leaving.” Evony gritted her teeth.
Where would she even go? Nowhere was safe for her or her children. Maybe she could get refuge in the upper realm but the Archdruid had followers all over Erthea. It wouldn’t take him long to track her down.
“Please, Daughter. Take sanctuary in the upper realm. Convince the elders to help you. Not all of them like the Archdruid.”
“Nowhere is safe for me. Do you know what he’s been doing to the other immortals? He traps them, paralyses them, and locks them away. He drains their power.” Her fists clenched. “I won’t let him possess me or mine.”
“You cannot defeat him. Think of your children.” Her mother motioned to the three girls huddled in the corner. “Think what he will do to them. He will either use them or kill them. You do not have the strength to defeat him. Not when he has the power of so many of us.” Her mother’s face drained of colour. “The Archdruid will be here soon. Please, leave while you still can.”
The pounding on the door intensified.