Laura Weyr has a new MM high fantasy romance out: The Eighth Key.
The magic is gone…or is it?
Lucian is a jaded flirt and professional bard who knows all the old songs about sorcery. When he meets Corwin, a shy mage who can still use magic despite the Drought, Lucian finds his desire growing with each passing day—not just for answers, but for Corwin himself.
Sparks fly as they find themselves passionately entangled in adventure and each other. But learning the true origin of the Drought and the Key to ending it comes at a price that their bond may not survive…
Hugo Finalist Laura Weyr’s epic is the high fantasy gay romance you’ve been waiting for.
If you enjoyed [N.K. Jemisin’s] The One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, I recommend that you pick up The Eighth Key as well! — Miesha Headon, Loganberry Books
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“Put your hands under mine,” Corwin said.
Cautiously, Lucian obeyed, scooting to the edge of the bed and reaching to cradle Corwin’s hand in both of his. There was a soft thrum where their skin touched. “Now, watch,” Corwin said. “I will call my own power to the surface and you’ll be able to see it.” The sensation under Lucian’s fingers intensified, echoing the strange but exhilarating feeling from the previous night. The tingling spread up his skin, over his hands and arms, but this time it didn’t sink into him. It stayed concentrated beneath his hands. The center of Corwin’s cupped palm began to darken, becoming gray, then nearly black, as though he held a pool of darkness. It was tiny, no larger than a small coin, and looked as though it would drip between Corwin’s fingers if he flattened his hand.
“This is my own power,” Corwin said softly. “If I were to draw upon the great river, I could shift the shadows of the room and do a great deal more. But this costs nothing, because it is mine.”
“I didn’t know mages could do that,” Lucian whispered, awed. “Everyone says that mages can only control, not create.”
When Corwin shrugged, the pool of darkness shifted but did not spill. “It’s not impressive. A few drops for a Water mage. A coating of dust for an Earth mage.” He smiled a little. “It’s handy for Fire mages, though. They don’t have to worry about carrying flint and tinder.” Slowly, the shadows faded, sinking back into his skin. The tingling sensation faded along with them until it was reduced to the quiet thrum once more. “When you can call your own power to the surface, you’ll know what your specialty is,” Corwin said. “Don’t stay up too late trying, though. It took me a year to be able to do it after I learned to Sense the power of others, and I was a prodigy.” He pulled away from Lucian and lay down once more, curling around until all Lucian could see was the back of his dark head and the sheet of black hair fanning out over the coverlet.
Staring down at his own hands, Lucian thought about what he’d felt, the way Corwin’s power had risen to the surface to answer his call. Power must run beneath his own skin as well, or he wouldn’t have been able to Sense anything from Corwin.
Call it to the surface, he thought. Would it feel the way Corwin’s power had felt? A tingling sensation? He envisioned a tiny spark of fire growing in the palm of his hand, smaller than a candle flame, but his hand remained empty. In turn he imagined dirt coating his hand, water dripping from his fingers, and a tiny whirlwind spinning over the surface, but the air stayed inert and his hand both clean and dry. Heat and Cold mages could probably control the temperature of their skin, he reasoned, so he tried to pull first one, then the other into his hand.
He was probably doing this all wrong. Corwin had said that he would know what his specialty was once he produced it, so trying for a specific reaction was almost certainly not the way to go about it. Still, for the sake of completeness he imagined light gathering in the palm of his hand and—
His hand was glowing.
Not just a patch on his palm. His entire hand was glowing, so brightly that it made his eyes water. Corwin sat straight up and whirled around as Lucian willed the glow to spread, to climb up his arms, over his shoulders—
“S-stop,” gasped Corwin. Leaping up, he seized Lucian’s hands. A choked cry tumbled from his lips. “You’re using too much, you’re going to use it all, stop, please, stop!” The tingling spilled out over Lucian’s skin, but this time his own power (his own power!) rose to meet it.
Corwin’s power was beautiful, spreading out over his in patterns as complex and thin as cobwebs. Every place it touched, every strand of it against his own brightness, was like the welcome coolness of shade on a summer’s day. It was the sweetness of fresh juice on a thirsty tongue. It was subtle and spectacular and thrilling in an entirely different way than it had been the previous night.
His own power was the opposite of subtle. It came out of nowhere, rising in him like a tidal wave, shining out of him like he’d swallowed the sun. It made him laugh; it was so easy, as though the power had always been there, and had only been waiting for him to call on it. It should have been shocking. He was no mage, had no training, no background. And yet, it felt strangely natural. As though this power had always been a part of him, waiting for him to call on it. “Please.” Corwin’s desperate, broken voice finally penetrated Lucian’s joy. “There won’t be any left. Please.”
Corwin was wrong, this power was all his, Lucian thought. But the mage was distraught, and Lucian could feel his horror and grief threading in alongside his magic. So Lucian let his own power subside once more, sinking down until it was gone as though it had never been. He knew it was there, now. He could call it any time he wished.
Sinking down, Corwin put his head in his hands. His shoulders heaved as he gulped deep breaths of air, his hair, for once, in tangled disarray. When he lifted his face at last, his cheeks were red. So were his eyes.
“Promise me,” he said, his voice as hoarse as though he’d been screaming, “promise me that you won’t do that again.”
When it comes to fusing elaborate high fantasy with steamy romance, no one does it better than three-time Hugo Finalist Laura Weyr! Her first full-length novel, The Eighth Key, will captivate as well as excite. Laura lives in sunny California with her husband, daughter, and cat. She is currently working on a collection of erotic queer novellas that may be out as early as this year’s holiday season!