Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a millennial tradition once forbidden to women. When war strikes, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Determined to defend her people, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.
Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.
“War propels the story forward, and the characters are at their best when circumstances are at their worst.” -Publishers Weekly
This is the second book in THE SILVER WEB trilogy. It can be read as a stand-alone novel, or as the sequel to the first book, EOLYN.
Mechnes strode to the table where a soldier had left Renate’s head. He took his time unwrapping the bundle, exposing Renate’s matted tresses, the ragged edge of severed flesh, the face—oh, Renate’s face! Stiff, gray, and lifeless. Never again would she laugh, drink wine, cast a spell, or heal a friend.
Adiana’s stomach clenched, and she fought the surge of bile in her throat.
Calm, she told herself. I must remain calm.
Just as Renate had, just like Eolyn would, without as much as a change in the rhythm of her breath.
“Who is this woman?” Mechnes’s voice hit Adiana like a spear.
“It is…” Adiana’s throat tightened. “Was Maga Eolyn.”
Mechnes grunted as he studied the gruesome package. “And who are you?”
“My name is Adiana.”
“You are this woman’s scullery maid?”
Adiana swallowed. She had learned how to lie during her youth in Selkynsen, after her parents were killed and she fled to the piers. Lies must be presented on a bed of truth, or they lose their seductive power. “No, I am not a servant. I am a musician from Selkynsen. Maga Eolyn brought me to Moehn to teach music to her students.”
“Music?” Amusement broke on Mechnes’s face. He seemed genuinely surprised. “What use do magas have for music?”
“Music is also magic, according to the traditions of Moisehén. Eolyn says…used to say that it’s a form of Primitive Magic, the oldest and most sacred of all.”
“So you are a maga?”
“No.” The thought came, terrible and unbidden, that now she would never be. “I only play music.”
“Then Maga Eolyn was trying to protect you by saying you were a scullery maid? How curious.” Mechnes draped one end of the bloodied cloth over Renate’s disfigured face. “I can assure you a musician will find a much better place among the Syrnte than a scullery maid.”
“I don’t intend to find a place among the Syrnte.” Adiana’s breath stalled under the look he gave her. “What I mean is, my home is here, in Moisehén, not with the Syrnte.”
“It’s all one kingdom now. Or perhaps better stated, will be soon.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review – only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.