Curse of the Ice Dragon
From the bestselling paranormal author of The Whispers Series comes a new fantasy saga.
Born with mark of the Mighty Hunter, Markus saves his village from the brink of starvation –for whenever he releases an arrow, his aim is true. But despite his skill and strength, Markus is unable to confront his tyrannical father. Shamed by his cowardice, he distracts himself by needlessly shooting the forest creatures.
When Markus takes no heed of the village prophet’s warning that his actions will attract The Hunter’s Curse—for every animal Markus kills, his loved ones will suffer the same fate—the Sky Goddess unleashes her ice dragon. Now, Markus must flee the dragon without killing it … or his beloved brother will be the next to die.
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Under the mystic glow of pale lights, Madhea sat on her ornate ice throne, looking down into the swirling mists. Try as she might, she could not summon forth an image of her dragon. Lydra was lost for now, trapped under the crush of heavy snow. The foolish beast had failed her.
Cursing, she slapped the vortex of spinning vapor, scattering wisps of clouds across the stones. Madhea was tired this night and her magic was draining, but she needed to know what had become of the boy. With one final attempt, she spun her hand around the circle of stones beneath her, calling forth her vision spell until a faint image of the boy hunter appeared.
He looked too much like his father, with coarse midnight hair and a thick, square jaw. Her wingtips twitched and hummed as her mind conjured up images of the one night she’d spent in the cradle of Rowlen’s strong arms.
Rowlen, why did you leave me?
“Lydra is trapped, My Deity.” Her servant, Jae, a beautiful girl with long coppery curls that fell just below her waist, stood at the threshold of the throne room, her feet obscured by a soft fog rising from the floor.
“Yes, I know about the dragon,” Madhea answered flatly, as her wings drooped at her sides. Unable to mask her annoyance, Madhea waved away the servant with a flick of her wrist.
Jae stood grounded to the spot while she leveled Madhea with the direct gaze of her tapered amber eyes. The girl was bold. Her insolence would have to be dealt with — soon.
Madhea knew it was her beauty that made the servant so. She too had been that way once, when the allure of her ivory hair and vivid green eyes were matched by no woman. Madhea had been a youth then, though it seemed only a few winters ago. But, once her heart had been shattered into a thousand splintering ice crystals, her beauty died with it. Her death from within, from the plague that ate at her soul, crept outward, gnawing at her flesh until naught was left but the wrinkled skin of an old woman.
But Madhea had had her revenge — the curse she put upon Rowlen’s heart before he descended. His young bride and sickly son did not know he would return a monster. Now that he was dead, the last remnants of Madhea’s heart had withered to dust. But she would mourn silently. The Elementals need not gain another reason to doubt her powers.
“Do you wish me to release the pixies?” asked Jae, waving a hand toward the dark, deep void in the wall behind Madhea’s throne. Upon hearing their names, an eruption of squeals began. Thousands of pixies, each no bigger than a child’s fist, screamed from behind an iron grate for their release.
“No, girl.” Madhea leered at her servant from beneath pale lashes and silenced the pixies with a wave of her hand.
Jae’s eyes bulged. “My Goddess, please do not tell me you will waste your magic.”
“Do you dare tell me what to do?” Rising, Madhea slammed her fists against the stones.
The girl worried for nothing, brainwashed by the Elementals of the ice coven. Madhea knew her magic was not waning. The ice was not melting. Her towering pillars of frozen crystallites had withstood over ten thousand winters and they would protect them for thousands more to come.
“Forgive me, My Goddess.” Casting her gaze downward, Jae bit her lower lip.
Sighing, Madhea sank into the furs lining her throne. She was tired and needed rest. By morning, her magic would be revived. “Why should I release the pixies or use my magic?”
Narrowing her eyes, she looked down at the circle of stones as the boy’s image faded away. “I give him no more than another day. The boy hunter will not survive my mountain.”