Book three of the Eldwyn Chronicles
Everyone has a duty in the royal castle--everyone except Jana Haruk. Despite her promising magical bloodline, her gift is weak. As a Reminiscent Seer, she knows only what happened in the past, not what will happen in the future. When the crown prince's life is threatened, Jana vows to do everything she can to help him--including asking the queen, a powerful sorceress, to lend her some magic.
The queen summons Darach, a spell in human form. The arrogant and mysterious man soon discovers there's more to Jana than meets the eye: she's a time dancer, someone with the ability to move backward through time in her dreams. With Darach as her anchor, Jana can explore the past and try to figure out who is behind the attacks on the prince.
Despite her attraction to him, Jana knows little about the handsome warrior. The past is tying them closer to each other with every trip, but Darach is bound to return to his homeland when his mission is complete...and their time together is running out.
For more of the Eldwyn Chronicles, check out Salome at Sunrise, available now!
The Crowned Prince was on fire.
Jana froze for a half breath, her mind accepting the horror. Batu was on fire. Flames licked up his back as he crawled away from the shattered chandelier. His captain, Argot, had shoved him from beneath the falling iron circle but now the bodyguard lay trapped beneath the twisted metal.
Jana jerked from her shock. She grabbed a pitcher of buttermilk from the table and doused the prince as servants rushed in carrying buckets and bowls. The fire fizzled out but embers glowed on his tunic. Smoke blinded her and the scorched scent of burnt wool choked her but she beat at Prince Batu's back until her hands stung.
Desperation shoved all fear aside. The Crowned Prince was Eldwyn's future. More than that, Batu had been her best friend from the time she could walk. It didn't matter that his bloodline was royal. All that mattered was she loved him like a brother. His life held far more value than hers and she'd die trying to save him.
Argot gripped her arms, hefting her away from the prince. "Jana, stop. You're going to break his neck."
Batu coughed and rolled to his singed back. "She just saved my neck. I'll take a few bruises."
The droll humor came with a smoky rasp. She sagged in relief. Batu was safe, charred a bit but breathing. Argot's breeches were burned but he'd climbed from beneath the heavy chandelier alive. Jana blinked, noticing suddenly the rapid clip of her pulse and the heaving of her lungs. Around her, servants kicked at smoldering patches of shattered timber and poured water on puddles of candle wax. The marble floor became a slimy lake. Her gown was soaked and the stench of fire clung to her. Thicker than the smoke, the scent of treachery soured her stomach. This assassination attempt had nearly succeeded.
"That was no accident." Wax dried on Argot's face, and angry blisters oozed along his arm. The tops of his boots and his leggings gaped with holes showing burns on his legs, but he bent to pull Batu to his feet. He dropped his voice low. "I've summoned more guards. Your would-be assassin is here in Thistlemount."
Jana scrambled to her feet. "But how? The castle gates have doubled guards."
"If I knew that, he'd be a dead son of a bitch," Argot sneered, his thick brows knotting over a twice-broken nose. Close-cut dark hair cast the bones of his head into angles.
Chaos reigned in the dining hall as soldiers flooded in. Fortitude lined every face. They took this inside attempt as a personal affront. A small knot of guards surrounded the prince and escorted him up the stairs, a living shield of muscle and armor. Argot watched until the entourage was no longer visible before allowing pain to crease his face.
Jana was there in an instant, slipping her arms around his waist. "Come on. You need to get to the healer."
"Not yet," he muttered. "Someone in this room tried to kill Batu. I need to watch them."
Jana tugged him toward a damp chair then stood as sentinel beside the prince's bodyguard. Wintry wind blew as the servants opened the shutters and cranked the windows wide. A shiver skittered along Jana's neck that the morning sunshine couldn't dispel. She scoured every face, every person in the huge hall. Everyone around was well known, had been part of Thistlemount Keep for her entire life. Was one of them a would-be assassin? "I can't believe anyone here would want Batu dead."
"Believe it." Argot stood with a grimace. He reached to grab a length of thick rope from a servant's hands. The chandelier cording was new and strong, not darkened with age, the ends clean cut and unfrayed. "These ropes didn't cut themselves."