Magic Steps (The Circle Opens, Book 1)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Lady Sandrilene fa Toren knows all about unusual magic--she herself spins and weaves it like thread. But when she witnesses a boy dancing a spell, even she is confounded. To her dismay she gets news of a mysterious murderer stalking a clan of local merchants. The killer employs the strangest magic of all: the ability to reduce essence to nothingness. As the murders mount and the killer grows bolder, Sandry's teaching takes on a grave purpose. It becomes clear to everyone that the killings can only be stopped by the combined magic of two people: the young teacher and her even younger student.
had seen Lark since the duke’s illness, but always at the citadel. This was her first trip home, and she felt as if she’d lost something. She missed open shutters, the sight of Briar’s miniature pine in his window, the lamps burning in the workshops built onto the sides of the cottage. Something else was missing, too. Opening the gate, she realized what it was. Once any visitor would be hailed by canine shrieks and then bowled over, if they were not careful, by the wolfhound-sized dog who lived
imagine! For dancing for one year for him and no one else!” Inside, the door hallways pointed straight ahead and to either side. Open rooms on the halls emitted bursts of music from various instruments, many thuds, bumps, and squeaks, and shouts in male and female voices. At the end of the hall directly ahead, a dancer in leggings and a loose tunic tightly belted around the waist did a handstand, her legs pointed straight at the ceiling. A boy in leggings and belted tunic raced by, stopped, and
monster.’” She gave Sandry two thick pieces of bread with ham and a sliced-up tomato between them. Sandry ate gratefully. “But she is a monster,” Pasco argued. “She’s trying to kill me.” He helped himself to a slice of the iced cake that sat on a counter. “Can you do that dance exactly?” Sandry wanted to know. Pasco grinned, smug. “Yazmín says if she puts a mark on the floor I can land on it on my toes ten times of ten. She says I have perfect body memory.” Sandry glanced at Lark, who winked
to him and his need for study. He didn’t seem very convinced. If she could prove he was a mage, though, he would have to give in. “Make a bargain with me,” she suggested. “A bargain for what?” he asked warily. “I’ll meet you here, tonight, when the boats come in,” she said. “If their catch is better than it’s been in the last month or so, will you agree to talk some more about magic?” He shook his head. “And I’m telling you, lady, you’re plain mistook. I’ve got no magic.” Sandry frowned. “You
missed the next step — they were uneven, to trick robbers into banging their toes just as he did. He cursed; when she looked back at him, he waved her on. When she reached the top of the stairs, two hallways lay before her. One led to the rear of the building; the other cut across it. In the hall to her right, she saw only a flagstone floor, lamps in wall sconces, and closed doors. In the section to her left, the hall sported complexly patterned silk carpets — spelled, like everything else she