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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(207) by Anne Bishop
  • The night wind didn't answer.

    6 / The Twisted Kingdom

    He climbed.

    The land wasn't as twisted here or as steep, but the mist-wisps that filled the hollows sometimes covered the trail, leaving him with the unsettling feeling that nothing existed below his knees.

    As time passed, he realized the place felt familiar, that he had explored these roads before when he had been strong and whole. He had entered the borderland that separated sanity from the Twisted Kingdom.

    The air held a dew-fresh softness. The light was gentle, like early morning. Somewhere nearby, birds chirped and twittered the day awake, and in the distance was the sound of heavy surf.

    His crystal chalice was almost intact. During the long climb, the fragments had fit into place, one by one. There were a few slivers, a few memories missing. One in particular. He couldn't remember what he had done the night Jaenelle had been brought to Cassandra's Altar.

    As he passed between two large stones that stood like sentinels, one on either side of the trail, the mist rose up around him.

    Ahead of him were the water, the birds, the smell of rich earth, the warmth of the sun—and her promise that she would be waiting for him.

    Ahead of him was sanity.

    But there was also knowledge there, pain there. He could feel it.

    Daemon.

    A familiar voice, but not the one he longed to hear. He sorted through his memories until he could attach a name to the voice.

    Manny. Talking to someone about toast and eggs.

    Daemon.

    He knew that voice, too. Surreal.

    A part of him ached for ordinary conversation, for simple things like toast and eggs. A part of him was very afraid.

    He took a step backward . . . and felt a door gently close behind him.

    The stone sentinels had become a high, solid wall.

    He leaned against it, trembling.

    No way back.

    Daemon.

    Gathering up his shredded courage, he walked toward the voices, toward the promise.

    Walked out of the Twisted Kingdom.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire