Jaysen Magal had inherited all his father possessed: power, position, money...and Senna Ravensky. Senna had been enslaved to his father, a bitter, unwilling ally in Jedean's rise in the mages' ranks. Jaysen has watched her for years, his hunger rivaling her own, forbidden to touch...until now.
Brenna gives an overview of the book:
"Watch, Jaysen," his father instructed, pointing to the corridor furthest below their balcony perch. Jedean whispered, though the pulse of magic around them made it painfully clear to Jaysen that the shields between them and the floors below would protect them not only from attack but also from being observed or overheard.
He stared at Jedean a moment longer, taking in his father's ice-blue eyes and the light-brown curls cropped only a finger-width down his neck. Jedean's tanned chest was uncovered in his typical form of dress for inside the keep, nude save his white trousers.
Jaysen's resemblance to his father ended with the tanned skin and mode of dress; he was undeniably his dead mother's son, possessing her midnight blue eyes and black curls that he kept longer than was fashionable for a man under his father's protest.
Even his sensibilities ran more to his mother's tastes, something Jedean assured him would change as he became a man and learned more of the cares a man had. Jaysen hoped he was wrong, though he dared not speak that thought aloud.
Jaysen's mind worked at the powerful mage's great glee. It was unbecoming, something Jaysen himself had been counseled about by his teachers many times.
"This is how a man grows powerful. Watch now."
Jaysen sighed. He was ten and six winters, a moon from his manhood ceremony, and his father still treated him like a child. Still, he looked where his father directed. There was a lesson to be learned here, a lesson that might make him a mage as powerful in radiant light as his father was.
He gasped in surprise at the sight of their greatest rival, stripped to his ceremony wrap and standing in the lowest corridor of the keep, tanned skin in stark contrast to the rosestone walls, feet uncovered on the bare floors. Jaysen would have thought him a prisoner had he been restrained in any way, but he was clearly a penitent, fresh from some rite or about to engage in one.
Within our keep? Such a thing defied reason.
"What is Delek Tro doing here?" he asked in amazement.
Jedean chuckled darkly, urging Jaysen along the upper corridor ahead of him. For a moment, the only sound was that of their feet against the thick carpets of the family core, brick red to offset the rosestone and golden accent pieces along the walls.
"I possess something Delek desires ... something many strong in the radiant light desire, something they will pay in loyalty oaths and riches to obtain."
Jaysen looked back, watching the house steward leading Delek the same direction they traveled. "It must be a precious possession," he mused.
"The most precious," Jedean agreed.
"What could be--"
"She." His father stopped at another balcony and motioned to the room below.
"A woman?" Jaysen questioned in disbelief. No woman was worth the risk of entering an enemy's keep unshielded, even one as lush as the one stretched out nude on the bed below.
Though, she is a striking woman. He took a moment to consider her before stating his disbelief more firmly, certain that he was missing something that would encompass the whole of his father's intended 'lesson.'
She was young, no more than a year or two his senior, an adult but barely so. She was unadorned by jewels, her beauty speaking for itself. Her skin was unnaturally pale, a sign that she spent much of her time inside the keep ... or inside some keep. It only added to her allure, setting her apart from the dark tans of the nobility. And yet, something about her spoke of a noble background, the cut of her face, perhaps. Her hair was long and straight, as black as his own, well-kept and untangled, an invitation to touch her unspoken. Yes, she was stunning.
Still, entering an enemy's keep in such a fashion was madness. Tempting flesh could only tempt a man so far. "What could--"
She opened her eyes, and the breath caught in Jaysen's lungs. Green-gold eyes. They fairly glowed in the candlelight.
"A Blood Mage," his father confirmed. "One of the last and of bastard lineage, but powerful and eligible stock."
Brenna Lyons wears many hats, sometimes all on the same day: former president of EPIC, author of more than 80 published works, columnist, special needs teacher, wife, mother... In addition, she’s a member in good standing of ERWA, MWW, RWU, WPM, IWOFA, and Broad...