Available in paperback and ebook at most online book sellers. It is also available as part of a 2-book set.
To save himself and his brother, Joelnar and his companions must find a way to release the souls imprisoned by Darkwind in the Globe of Souls. The key may lie in one of the long-forgotten cities of the Ol’Dans—the old Danarians and original inhabitants of the planet. The group forms an unlikely alliance with the Aerisens—childlike beings who dwell in Llanfayria, but whose wisdom and insights are as astute as the Ethereals.
However, unbeknownst to Joelnar and his companions, a gateway between worlds was partially opened when Neerah tried to destroy the Starstone. The demon on the other side of the gateway, is intent on breaking through to Danaria, and he is seeking the power from the Globe of Souls to help him.
Chapter 1 (Excerpt)
THE THREE RIDERS clung to the back of the wyvern as the winds from the impending storm pummeled them. The gray-green beast pulled its leathery wings back as it spiraled toward the center of the clearing. Despite the wyvern’s great size, it landed smoothly, and with a final flutter of its oversized wings, it hunkered into itself.
Jevans-Joelnar leapt to the ground, and then reached up to help Neerah Dessa dismount. She slid toward him, until his hands clasped her waist and he lifted her down beside him. The final passenger, Massek-Marek, easily dismounted on his own. The Nixian warlord patted the scaled side of the now resting beast as he addressed Joelnar, “A most unique way to travel, friend Joelnar.”
Joelnar’s smile was weary, but genuine, as his black eyes met the laughing amber eyes of Marek. “Yes, it is most unique,” he replied in Nixian.
Neerah, who didn’t speak or understand Nixian, frowned at Joelnar and clutched his sleeve with her hand. Her free hand was busy trying to hold her halo of copper curls away from her face. When the wyvern tossed its head and snorted, Neerah took several steps away from the beast dragging Joelnar with her.
Joelnar patted Neerah’s hand and smiled at her. He knew she wasn’t fond of the wyvern, but it had been the fastest and easiest way to escape Darkwind’s fortress. Neerah loosed her grip on his sleeve, and Joelnar wrapped his large hand around her small one. The scaly beast snorted again, and Neerah started before smiling ruefully at her own fearfulness.
Ignoring the people around him, the wyvern settled its snout on its folded front legs and curled its wings around itself for protection from the cold wind. Joelnar knew that the wyvern would remain where it was until he or one of Darkwind’s windriders commanded it to leave, so he turned his attention to getting everyone to the dilapidated barn he had seen from up above.
He peered around him, until he saw the copse of trees. The deserted barn was through there. He pointed to the band of the trees at their right, and urged his companions to follow him. The wind tore at their clothing, and Joelnar leaned forward and pushed against the gusts. He glanced at the others and saw Neerah trying to hold her hair out of her face, but the wind was too tricky and her hair too willing to take flight.
Joelnar had decided to land here rather than continue to the Ethereal’s enclave because it wasn’t safe to fly with bursts of sky-anger flashing everywhere. Having seen the abandoned barn as they flew over had only given him even more impetus to land here. He hoped the barn could offer some shelter until the storm passed and they could continue on their way.
The group was subdued and had been ever since they had escaped while two of Danaria’s most powerful energy manipulators battled for supremacy. He and his friends had been caught in the midst of the power struggle between DaeNoth of Darkwind and AhnRay d’Oessler, who were fighting for control of the starstone. When the stone had shattered, Joelnar and his friends had escaped, taking the remains of the starstone with them. They had barely made it out alive. The two energy manipulators had nearly destroyed the castle and everyone in it as they blasted energy bolts everywhere. However, Joelnar could sense that at least one of the energy manipulators was still alive.
Because of his partial indoctrination into Darkwind’s service as a windrider, Joelnar had been able to commandeer one of the wyverns. He and his friends had used the wyvern to escape from Darkwind’s fortress. However, this left him vulnerable to detection by the other windriders; not a position he cared to be in. He glanced over his shoulder at the large, slumbering beast.
Hopefully, they would have time to finish their journey to the convergence point where the Ethereals’ world and Danaria overlapped before any of Darkwind’s men became aware of him. The Ethereals had helped them in their search for the starstone, but now Joelnar needed their advice about a different matter, a more private matter.
He ducked into the trees surrounding the clearing where they had landed, Neerah and Marek on his heels. Once through the trees, they would be at the decrepit barn that Joelnar had seen. The thunder boomed overhead, shaking the ground with its reverberations. The wind spoke in gusts, yelling at the trees, which shook their heads and rattled their branches in protest.
Once inside the copse of trees, their only light came from the sporadic bursts of sky-anger. However, again thanks to Darkwind, Joelnar had no problem seeing in the dark. Therefore, he led the way through the trees and over to the barn. Neerah held on to Joelnar’s hand with one of her own, and Marek gripped her other hand.
When they got to the barn, Neerah released Joelnar’s hand and scooped the snarls of copper-colored hair off her face. Seconds later, the hair swirled around her face again, and Joelnar saw her hold both hands to the sides of her face, as she tried to keep the hair out of her eyes. Turning toward Marek, Joelnar motioned toward the barn with his head, and he and Marek stepped inside to check it out.
The interior held nothing more than a few ground scurriers hiding in the weeds that had sprung up through the broken and missing floorboards of the old barn, and some left over rotting hay sprinkled with roDens droppings. Otherwise, the inside of the old structure was empty. Since most of the roof was intact and the building still had all but one-and-a-half of its walls, both Joelnar and Marek thought they would all be safe enough for the night or until the storm passed and they could continue their journey.
As they stepped back outside, Marek told Joelnar that he would take watch, and Joelnar nodded. When Joelnar turned his attention to Neerah, he saw her standing with her back to the wind and her arms wrapped around herself, shivering. He hurried over, put an arm around her shoulders, and guided her inside to the far corner of the old barn.
Although, it was still cold, the gapped and rotted boards of the old structure puzzled the wind, and forced it to flow around them. Joelnar half laid, half sat, with his back leaning against the wall, and a still-shivering Neerah curled up as close to him as she could. He again draped an arm over her to help give her some warmth, while Marek carried an old bucket he had found over to the point where the wall had collapsed. Turning the bucket upside down, he used it as a seat.
Not wanting to alert anyone to their presence, they didn’t start a fire, although Neerah asked several times. Eventually, however, she gave up, and simply burrowed into Joelnar’s side. At first, Neerah’s tremblings helped to keep Joelnar alert, but as the shared body warmth seeped into him, his eyes kept slipping shut. He struggled to keep himself awake; first by pinching himself, and then by forcing himself to sit straighter.