QSFer A.M. Rycroft has a new FF Fantasy book out:
Darkness gathers over Cathell and Thystle Moran may be all that stands in its way.
The nightmares had just begun to fade when Thystle receives a cryptic message from the cleric who helped her and her friends in the battle against the Harbinger in the White City. She returns to find that two of their party have mysteriously disappeared. Worse, men possessing dark magics the likes of which she has never seen before are lurking around the mad god’s tomb in the dead of night.
Thystle sets out on a quest to find out what these dark omens mean and what has become of her friends. What she discovers is a threat to not only to those closest to her, but to all of Cathell as a new order rises.
Author’s Note: If you’ve been looking for a butch main who kicks some serious butt, you’ll want to get to know Thystle Moran.
The Cathell Series, Book Four
A.M. is giving away an eBook copy of the first book in the series, Into the Darkness – for a chance to win, comment on this post below.
Lilla stared at Thystle with a mixture of horror and fear, a perfect mirror to what was in Thystle’s own mind. Neither of these emotions were helpful to Thystle now. She turned away from Lilla, struggling against the urge to tell Lilla to run as far from her as she could get. This would only frighten her more. But if The Harbinger was coming for her, she wanted Lilla nowhere near her.
It should have been over after The Harbinger’s lair collapsed in on itself, taking what was left of Symon’s temple with it. She did not regret helping Aeryn and the others destroy The Harbinger, no matter the consequences now. They did what they needed to do.
Letting him get his revenge on the other gods, those who had banished him from the mortal world for a thousand years, would have ended the balance between the light and the dark and brought about a time of great darkness ruled by him and his hellish minions. She could not let that happen. But Aeryn’s near death and the atrocities The Harbinger committed still haunted her dreams. More and more lately. Thystle wondered now whether those dreams were a warning of things to come.
She returned to the wardrobe and pulled a pair of shirts and leather leggings from it. Part of her hoped her trip to Pius would end up being for nothing, but the knot of apprehension forming inside her argued against that possibility. Colin, after all, did not strike her as the type who would sound an alarm where none was needed. She shoved the clothes she had gathered into her saddlebags.
Lilla finally found her voice again. “This isn’t a good idea, you going alone. What about the others you spoke of? Can they not help Colin? Why must it be you?”
“Perhaps they’re already on their way to Pius.”
Thystle wondered as she said this, if Aeryn was on her way to Pius already, why had Aeryn not sent a message to Haven herself? Why had the message come from Colin? The whole thing felt wrong to her, but she had no choice but to go to Pius if she was going to find out the answer to these questions. Pollinec certainly did not have the answers she needed.
She turned back toward the wardrobe again, but Lilla stepped in front of her, stopping her. Lilla’s dark eyes stared up into Thystle’s. “I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
Thystle forced a half smile. “The Harbinger didn’t kill me the first time. I’m harder to get rid of than you might think.”
“You’re not immortal.” Lilla frowned, not in a joking mood. “I should come with you.”
A quiet laugh escaped Thystle before she could stop it. The idea of Lilla fighting The Harbinger at her side was comical at best. The young woman had a habit of tripping over even the slightest irregularity in the inn’s floor boards. She also cried when she found the remains of mice left behind by the inn’s cats. Thystle could not imagine what it might do to Lilla if she saw the things Thystle had seen when chasing The Harbinger.
The sudden coughing fit she used to cover her laughter did not fool Lilla. She crossed her arms over her chest and retorted, “I’ve had to break up plenty of tavern room brawls and held my own while doing it. I can be of use to you.”
Thystle shook her head. “I don’t think the two are comparable.”
“How can you treat this so casually?”
Thystle sighed and placed her hands on the shorter woman’s shoulders. “I’m not. I desperately want this to turn out to be nothing. But if it doesn’t, I want you nowhere near Pius.”
Tears pooled in Lilla’s eyes. “I don’t want you to die.”
Thystle pulled her into a tight embrace. “I’ll be back. I promise.” She said a little prayer to any god who might still be listening to her that this would be a promise she could keep.
Lilla murmured, “I’m holding you to that.”
“I have something to come back for.” She leaned down and kissed Lilla.
Lilla returned the kiss without hesitation, placing her hands on Thystle’s chest. She pushed Thystle back against the wall by the bed.
Thystle smiled. “I thought you wanted to take a bath.”
Lilla whispered, “It can wait.”