Confrontations
160 pages
English

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160 pages
English

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Description

In Confrontations by J.L. Walters, a Books We Love Young Adult Fantasy, Ash, Bran, Ky and Jay along with their friends have now mastered their affinities. They now control their ability to use Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The time has come for them to face Dom Senet and He Who Walks with Evil. They have learned a disturbing fact. He Who Walks With Evil is able to exchange an old body for a new one. Dom Senet wishes to obtain the secret and he is willing to sacrifice even his own son to gain this power. The four sets of companions set off to rid the doms and domas of Dom Senet’s bonds and to defeat the two evil men. Can they or will they become pawns to evil?

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Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 05 octobre 2012
Nombre de lectures 3
EAN13 9781773627144
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0032€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Affinities
Confrontations
 
By J L Walters
 
Digital ISBNs
EPUB
Kindle978-1-77145-065-2
WEB
 

 
Copyright 2012 by JanetLane Walters
Cover Art by MichelleLee
 
All rightsreserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reservedabove, no part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in orintroduced into a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form orby any means (electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise)without the prior written permission of both the copyright ownerand the above publisher of this book.
 
JL Walters – Affinities Series

Affinities Book 1 – Escape
Affinities Book 2 – Havens
Affinities Book 3 – Searches
Affinities Book 4 – Confrontations
 
 
ONE
Ashlea

 
Easren
The time hascome. Ash bolted upright. Her heart pounded with a beat reminiscentof one created by a mad drummer. Her gaze swept the room. She sawthe other young women slept. Had someone spoken on the winds or hadthe words been part of a dream she couldn’t remember? When herracing heart slowed she cautiously opened her senses to read thewinds of the keep. Using her affinity for Air she searched. Theonly person awake was the Doma and the cry hadn’t arisen from theelderly woman.
Fingers ofmoonlight slid through the shuttered windows. She moved to the edgeof the bed and pushed her feet into her house boots. Ash crept tothe window to peer outside. She knelt on the stone bench and openedthe shutters a crack. A gasp pushed past her lips when she saw thebirds, one light and the other dark. The pair circled the keep.
She rubbed herarms to banish the chill of the late winter night. “Mama, Papa,”she whispered. “What does your arrival mean?”
Since thedestruction of the Wesren henge the birds had appeared atauspicious moments. Sometimes the pair signaled safety and othertimes they brought a warning of danger. What was the meaning ofthis sighting?
“The time hascome.” Softly she whispered the words. Like a jolt of lightning athrill of excitement swept through her. Did that mean her and herhalfling companions were ready to leave the safety of the keep andventure forth against their enemies? There were more opponents thanshe cared to face. She considered the number of Doms and Domas whofollowed Dom Senet, the four halflings he’d trained plus Zand’sformer step-mother and her two sons. A shudder rolled through herbody. There was also the voice of evil she’d heard on thewinds.
Two years and aseason had passed since the return from the quests for theremaining halflings, the heirs and the talismans. The sixteencompanions had worked hard to gain mastery of their affinities ofthe elements. Four whose element was Air, four Fire, four Earth andfour Water united in four mixed quartets. A sliver of fear stabbed.Were they ready? She fought a desire to return to her bed and pullthe covers over her head.
As the edge ofthe sun appeared above the distant mountains Ash closed theshutters. She thought about the birds and knew hiding was asimpossible as a return to sleep. Not while her emotions rose andfell in waves. Should she wake the others and tell them about thebirds? She frowned. If she did Ky, her younger sister, would scoldand rouse everyone in the keep.
Ash grabbed herclothes and dashed to the necessary to wash and dress. Before shestirred the others into action she had to speak to Doma Jandia.Perhaps their teacher could interpret the meaning of the words andthe arrival of the birds.
As she hurrieddown the stairs she quested for the Doma. The elderly woman wasn’tin her room on the fourth level of the keep. The Doma’s mind scentrose from the stillroom. When Ash dashed from the third level tothe second she heard stirrings from the chamber where her brothersand the other male halflings slept. Since she wanted advice, beforethose with affinities plied her with questions, she grasped therailing and sped downstairs.
On the firstlevel she scurried along the hall and opened the door of thestillroom. Shelves on one wall held jars of various herbs, spicesand flowers. Ash tasted the air as she’d been taught and isolatedattars of roses, lavender and the scent of rosemary.
The elderlywoman who had taught Ash and her siblings since the day they’dfound refuge with her sat on a bench at a stone table. She rested apestle in the mortar, turned and smiled. Hair turned to silver byage framed the Doma’s lined face. The gaze from her brilliant greeneyes met Ash’s. In contrast to the copper-hued skin of thehalflings, Doma Jandia’s was as pale as linen bleached by the sun.Until this moment Ash hadn’t realized how much the Doma hadaged.
“You’re astirearly,” Doma Jandia said.
Ash nodded. “Iheard a voice and saw the birds.”
The light ofknowing flashed in the elderly woman’s eyes. “Tell me the entirestory.”
In a few wordsAsh spoke of her awakening. “Do you think the time has come for usto leave the keep?”
The Domanodded. “I believe so. Though I would rather keep you here andsafe, you young people have a destiny. You have learned all I canteach you and more since you aren’t afraid to try new approaches.Yes, you’re ready to begin cleansing the princedoms. Once that isaccomplished you can confront Senet and his allies.”
Those wordscaused Ash to straighten her shoulders. Fear and excitementslithered through her thoughts. Her breath caught. “Are you sure?”The time had come but she wavered between action and retreat.
The Doma leftthe table. “Senet is on the move. I don’t know what he plans butthe air in the highlands shimmers with strange energies.”
Ash’s handsclenched. “How much danger do he and his cronies pose for us?”
Doma Jandiagrasped one of Ash’s hands and uncurled the tightened fingers. “Hehas full use of all four elements. Alone he can overpower any twoor three of you unless you are joined in quartets of both mixed ora single element. When you are, he cannot overcome the meld formedeven when you are distant from each other. Know that to be thetruth.”
Some of thechurning in Ash’s gut subsided. “Where should we go first?” Thedesire to avoid Dom Senet was foremost in her thoughts. She foughtdark waves of fear threatening to engulf her. She couldn’t forgetthe times he had invaded her thoughts in attempts to lure her intohis web. A vision of a huge black spider with the face of the Dommade her shiver.
He’s not here.You have barriers against him.
What if he canbreak them?
Doma Jandiastroked Ash’s hand. “You are safe. Though in the days to come youwill face danger, you are strong enough to defeat him.”
“I pray you’reright.” Ash swallowed. “Where must we go first?”
“The fourprincedoms must be cleansed. Begin in Easren, then Soutren, Nortrenand Wesren in that order. By the time the four are cleansed, thesixteen of you will be ready to face Senet.”
“Why in thatorder?”
“’Tis the orderof the destruction of the henges and the murders of the Doms andDomas who lived in them. In Easren the damage has lasted thelongest. With the approach of spring the conditions have becomedire.” The Doma stepped back. “Assemble your companions and tellthem the time for action has come. Use the inner room where thelayers of protection are the strongest. Set no plans in theopen.”
“Why?”
“Lest you beover heard by Senet when he’s reading the winds.”
“How will weknow where to go?”
“Let your gemslead you.”
Ash paused inthe doorway. “Do you think the barriers over the keep haveeroded?”
The Domapressed a hand on the long table. “I pray not, but where Senet isinvolved there’s no reason to take chances. As you have discoveredthere are places in the highlands where the winds cannot beread.”
Ash nodded. “Doyou think he’s present in one of those places?”
“Perhaps. Iwill seek but I may not learn.” The Doma smiled. “Go, break yourfast, see to your chores and make your plans.”
Ash hurried tothe huge kitchen where the sounds of meal preparation and the aromaof cooking food scented the air. She listened to the chatter of herfriends and knew her news would end their banter.
Her twin, Branand their friend, Zand, stood at the fireplace and swung a hugekettle from the flames. Together they carried this to the servingtable. Ky and Jay, her younger siblings, stood at a brazier andturned flatcakes and slices of cured shoat. Other friends gatherednear the serving table and selected the food they needed to breaktheir fast.
Ash joined theline. She carried a bowl of porridge to the granite table. She saton a bench and reached for honey. When all were seated she clearedher throat. “We must meet in the inner room when our chores arefinished.”
Zand arched abrow. “Why?”
“Tell you whenwe’re all there.” She bent her head and ate. When she finished shebegan her day’s chore of cleaning the kitchen and starting soup forthe midday meal. As soon as she completed her share she scurried tothe room behind the tower stairs. Here, no windows were present.When sealed the single tightly fitted door prevented spying. Eventhe stones of the wall were bonded with a sealant.
Several stacksof pillows r

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