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Shapeshifting mercenary Aralorn leads a dangerous existence. Now she must return home for her noble father, the Lyon of Lambshold, has passed away. But when Aralorn and her companion Wolf arrive, they find he's not dead, but ensorcelled by the ae'Magi, using him as a conduit to destroy Aralorn and Wolf. She must overcome this mysterious mist or fall to the blackest of magic.
exceptionally well with your hair.” “You really think so?” Lin asked anxiously, suddenly willing to listen to her brother’s previously dismissed judgment. “I wouldn’t say so else, Lin,” he said with obvious affection. She kissed his cheek and drifted off, taking little notice of her long-lost sister. “I apologize for her rudeness ...” began Correy, but Aralorn smiled and shook her head. “I was fourteen once, myself.” He smiled and glanced down casually at Wolf, but when he met the solemn
wizard proper. I’ve never seen him use magic at all.” “He can work magic,” Wolf said. “They’d never have wasted Kisrah—or Santik, for that matter—on just any apprentice. But between Santik and being a Darranian-born mage, Nevyn learned to hate being a wizard. When Kisrah was satisfied that Nevyn could control his magic, he let him choose his own path.” “You knew Nevyn,” said Aralorn slowly. It wasn’t in the details; those were something any wizard might know of another. It was the sympathy in
located in the lush farmland in the rolling hills just northwest of the Great Swamp.” Aralorn paused, sipping out of a pewter mug of water someone had snagged for her. “But there isn’t any farmland there,” broke in a tawny-headed girl of ten or eleven summers. “No,” agreed Aralorn softly, pleased that the child had added to the drama of her story. “Not anymore. There’s just an endless sea of black glass where the farmland used to be.” She paused and let them think about that for a little
truly a friend. You protect yourself with a shield of friendliness and humor.” “I have friends,” she said, taken aback by his assessment; it had come from nowhere—and she thought he was wrong. She wasn’t the loner; he was. “No,” Wolf said. “Whom did you tell when you came here?” “I left a note for the Mouse.” “Work,” he said. “You believed your father had died, and you told no one. What did the note to Ren say? That you’d been called home on family business? Did you tell him the Lyon was dead
until she’d made certain that Kisrah wouldn’t attack him on sight. She supposed that it said something about Kisrah’s state of mind that he did not. Wolf was in human form, clothed as always in black—an affectation Aralorn was determined to change. It wasn’t that he didn’t look good in it, just that it was a bit morbid at times. The silver mask was nowhere evident, and the magic-scarred face looked worse than usual in the bright winter sunlight. “Cain,” said Kisrah softly, as if he hadn’t