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The Vaelinel Trilogy continues with this absorbing sequel to Silevethiel! Alone and hunted by the Drulaack, Irewen takes advantage of her only option for survival. Pushing her concerns aside, she lets the dead keep her.
But her refuge doesn’t last long. Driven out of their hosts by Laegon, a handful Drulaack have returned to the Spirit World. No longer having the protection of the dead, Irewen is forced to return to Vaelinel.
Finally reunited with her companions, the burdens placed on them are taking their toll. Thoughts of suicide and mistrust plague the company. Slowly unravelling, they must conquer their personal battles before standing against the evil threatening the land.
For the Corrupter thirsts for revenge. And he’ll stop at nothing to satisfy his hunger.
Silevethiel’s voice faded away, leaving a distressing stillness between them. Irewen couldn’t ignore the implication that the lioness still battled those feelings over her former Protector to this day. The new bond she shared with Irewen hadn’t replaced anything she’d lost. And should Irewen die first, Silevethiel’s agony would multiply two-fold. She would lose the fight.
Another of Drell’s cries resounded about the barn, pulling her from her thoughts. His eyelids closed half-way; long dark lashes shielded his irises. She refused to believe nothing could be done for him. Friends surrounded him, all eager to help. There had to be a way to lighten his spirits—even just for a time.
More determined than she’d ever been in her life, she left Silevethiel’s side and made her way to Drell. Kneeling by the Guardian, she lightly ran her fingers along the stripe of white fur running from between his eyes and down his snout. She’d seen Halthed do so on many occasions, and it seemed to instantly soothe the lion. The tension in his muscles eased. Purring softly, he leaned into her hand.
She summoned her link with Míendvel in order to speak with the Guardian. But suddenly recalling something else Halthed frequently did, she changed her mind. Instead of talking to Drell, which everyone else had done to no avail, she began to sing.
Never having hummed the song personally, she relied entirely on her memories of the times she’d overheard Halthed sing it in the stillness of the night. The melody sounded shaky at first, but it gradually came with more ease. The notes flowed from her lips of their own accord, lifting proudly to the highest rafters of the barn.
«I can teach you the words. If you want.»
She started at the sound of Drell’s voice echoing through her mind. Used to Silevethiel’s light, silky tone, Drell’s rumbling baritone sounded almost harsh. She hadn’t expected him to say anything and was encouraged by the fact that he’d decided to speak first. It seemed like such a small detail, yet extremely important all the same. It was the first he’d responded to anyone since Halthed fled.
Andi O’Connor is the award-winning author of The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. Her critically acclaimed novel, Silevethiel, is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013. The Speaker is the 2018 Independent Press Award Winner for Fantasy and a Finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Andi’s novel, Awakening, is a 2018 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite for Fantasy.
You can frequently find Andi as an exhibitor and guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Awesome Con, Philcon, Conclave, WizardWorld, and Chessiecon. You can connect with Andi on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, visit Andi’s website.
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