New release & excerpt: Spell of Shadow, Tales of the Underlight 2

This week I have a new release Spell of Shadow, Tales of the Underlight 2 short story. It’s set in the world of my Andovia Chronicles. It’s only 0.99. You can get it here on Amazon and read an excerpt below.

 

A prisoner on the run. A warden desperate to find him. Lives hanging in the balance.

Life at Glenfel prison is regimented and orderly. That’s the way Novia, the warden, prefers it. But the normal order is disrupted when a dangerous prisoner escapes.

Novia and her sisters are desperate to find him, but he’s no ordinary prisoner. He’s a former assassin who possesses vast knowledge of the island’s underground tunnel and isn’t afraid to use either to evade would-be captors.

If they don’t locate him before he leaves the island, everyone on Glenfel Island will be put at grave risk. But locating him won’t be as simple as Novia and her sisters believe because they soon find themselves trapped in an underground cave by none other than Cyrus Allen.

Will they escape their trap and find the convicted murderer before it’s too late?

 

Excerpt

Novia winced as she woke. She coughed as dust flew around her from the cave-in. It took her a moment to remember what happened.

She and Niamh had been searching for Cyrus Allen, an escaped prisoner. Niamh was a mind whisperer, pretending to be a prisoner so she could talk to Allen, and apparently, her long-lost sister. They had managed to track Allen down to the Underlight. A series of caverns underneath Mount Glenn. The mountain served as a sanctuary for refugees and members of the resistance.

Novia scrambled up and coughed as more dust assaulted her. Her head throbbed from where a rock had struck her.

She groaned. How could she be stupid enough to walk right into a trap? She should have known better and been more careful.

But no, she’d been so desperate to protect her secret and get Allen back into prison.

Why had she agreed to work with Niamh? Novia didn’t know her or anything about her. Worse still, her mind reading wouldn’t work on her either, so she didn’t know if the other girl could be trusted. She still didn’t know how to feel about finding her other long-lost sister.

“Archie?” She scanned around but found nothing but a pile of fallen rocks that reached to the ceiling. No sign of her owl anywhere.

Had he been hit, or was he on the other side of the cave-in?

Niamh lay a few feet away, unmoving and covered in rocks.

“Niamh?” Novia winced as she crawled over to her. “Niamh, are you hurt?” Her head throbbed and her fingers came away bloody when she touched her forehead. She wiped the blood on her dress.

Niamh remained motionless. She reached out and touched Niamh. Sometimes people’s minds were more accessible when they were unconscious because they were less aware than in their waking states. She scanned Niamh with her senses. Nothing. Her mind remained closed.

She touched the back of Niamh’s head and spotted a huge gash there. Much worse than the scrape she had on her own forehead.

Novia scrambled up and stared at the fallen rocks. She couldn’t move them on her own, and even if she did, they would be buried alive. “Niamh, please wake up.”

Nothing.

She ripped off a piece of her dress and wrapped it around her head. Hopefully, that would stop the bleeding. Then she ripped another piece off to try and stem the blood leaking from Niamh’s head.

Archie? she called for her owl.

No reply came.

Edessa? She tried calling several guards, but silence greeted her.

Why wouldn’t any of them answer? Couldn’t they hear her?

Novia cast her senses out, and a wall of energy greeted her. Someone had put a ward up outside the cave-in to make sure they couldn’t get out.

Curse Allen!

Novia should have brought a couple of guards with her. Trusted ones who already knew about the Underlight. But no, she had been so determined to handle things on her own. She should have refused to let Niamh even come onto the island and concentrated on dealing with Allen herself. At least then Niamh would have been safe. But she couldn’t deny Niamh had been helpful. Without her, she wouldn’t have realised Allen was still alive until it was too late to do anything about it.

“Niamh, you need to wake up,” Novia said. “Please.”

 

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