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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(104) by Anne Bishop
  • Spells releasing. Realigning. Triggering other spells.

    The complexity of what was under their feet staggered her.

    Or maybe the staggering was simply because the texture of the ground was changing. Or because of what she sensed.


    “It’s alive,” she said. “Whatever is under this tree is still alive.”

    They looked at each other.

    “It’s your family, Gray,” she said. “It should be your choice.”

    “Theran,” Ranon said, making a “come here” motion with his hand as he continued staring out an upstairs window. “You need to see this.”

    Joining the other Warlord Prince, Theran watched Gray and Cassidy rock the dead honey pear tree. Then he swore. “What in the name of Hell are those two doing now?”

    Wood that had been impervious to ax or Craft crumbled under their hands as she and Gray used Craft to float the remains of the tree out of the way. When they set it on the ground, its own weight broke it up even more.

    We’ll have a nice pile of wood chips for mulch, Cassidy thought as she and Gray hurried to the shed for picks and shovels.

    “You wash off that slice,” Gray said. “You don’t want dirt getting into it.”

    She didn’t argue, since he was right. It stung when she washed it at the pump, but she made sure the slice was clean before she called in her own little jar of healing ointment and slathered some ointment on her finger before running back to the spot.

    She had to put two shields around her hands and then gloves, as well as promise to let Shira see her finger, before Gray handed her one of the shovels.

    “The ground has changed,” Cassidy said as she started shoveling.

    “Good potting soil,” Gray said, working swiftly but carefully.

    She was so focused on the ground in front of her, she didn’t notice Theran until he was almost on top of them.

    “What are you doing?” he roared.

    “Digging,” Gray snapped. “Theran, you take the other shovel. Cassie’s already done enough.”

    “There’s something buried under the tree,” Cassidy said, seeing Theran’s eyes blaze with fury as he looked at the crumbling tree that had been his family’s symbol. “Something is alive down there.”

    His face was wiped clean of everything but his fury. Then he seemed to absorb the words. “Alive?”

    She nodded.

    Gray hadn’t stopped digging. Now Theran threw himself into it.

    Cassidy looked toward the terrace and sighed when she saw Shira, Ranon, Powell, and a few others, including several servants, heading toward her to find out what was happening now.

    More often than not these days, she felt like a one-woman drama society. It seemed like she never did anything without an audience.

    “Can’t they use Craft to move the dirt?” Shira asked.

    Gray and Theran both stopped digging and looked at her.

    Cassidy stared at the hole for a moment, then closed her eyes. Blood to blood. But this didn’t start when she sliced her finger just now. This started when she had worked her hands bloody trying to run from the pain caused by Theran’s words.

    Her blood had smeared on rocks, had mixed with the soil.

    A Queen’s power connecting with the land.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire