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It began, as anything does, with magic and a headstrong young person. Every race, even the humans had originated in magic.
However, this did not subtract much from their overall dullness.
On the other hand, there were the Immortals, who could harness magic, or simply transform themselves into creatures of the night. As ever, there were petty fights over grievances that could turn into wars, which is how the High Council came to be.
But its creation was motivated by a tragedy which would dictate the outcome of small choices and bigger mistakes.
This tragedy had begun on the eve of my wedding.
I was walking aimlessly around the courtyard. My thoughts were racing; I couldn’t tell if it was nerves or apprehension. I was obligated to do as my parents wished, but it did not make the event any easier to bear. As I had not been paying attention to my movements, I let my hold on the folds of my dress go, causing me to trip suddenly over the hem; mother always compensated a bit too much for my abnormal height. A hand grabbed mine and I looked up at my soon-to-be husband. I blushed as I straightened up, wishing it was not he who came to my rescue.
He was taller than me, but not much, with his father’s dark hair, but his eyes were pale white. His build was that of an archer, slim, but muscular. Nevertheless, he was as much of a spineless rat as those who use bows.
“You become more radiant each time we meet,” he said, holding out his arm.Too slimy for words, I thought, as I blocked my mind to him. My skin crawled at his touch, but I ignored it, hoping the sensation would go away. Premonitions dominated my vision, but I had brushed them away, an action I would regret.
“Thank you, Lord Tristan” I put my hand on it and we walked for a while, the wind had picked up, pulled at my hair in its intricate knots and braids. The garden had grown silent, most likely due to his presence. There were always small sprites and other creatures darting through the trees, but not on that night, they were afraid, as I should have been. Instead, I ignored it, brushing the nagging sensation off as nerves.
“The garden is magnificent, Princess.” All I could think was that anything elves made was beautiful, even that which they deemed hideous was something most would find entrancing. Evidently, my would-be husband did not know much of my heritage, whether he cared to know was a different story.
“On behalf of my mother, I thank you” he stopped abruptly and sat on a bench, then patted the spot next to him. I hesitated but decided I would have to. I fanned out my skirt and gracefully sat down, my spine straightened more out of disgust than etiquette. The green folds served to hide my shivering, and my face was almost masklike.
He put his hand on my leg, and I cringed inside.So very slimy, the thought came unbidden to my mind. His hands were as pale as mine, but not as delicate. To think that I would have had to put a ring on it makes me physically ill now.
“Tomorrow we will be wed,” he said and I nodded. His hand moved up my thigh and I wished I could slap it away, but if I were to marry him, I would have had to put up with it. His other hand came up to my cheek and I looked nervously at him. He leaned closer and I closed my eyes, hoping it would end soon. His lips were cold and wet, like a snake. I shuddered and he pulled away, obviously thinking that I was enjoying his advances. The hand on my thigh moved further up over my dress and I shot to my feet. “Lord Tristan!”
“Come now, Princess,” he said, looking up at me. “As a soon-to-be married pair, I think it is high time we went further than trivial pleasantries.” His grip tightened, and I began to fear for myself.
He took my hand and pulled me into his lap, covering my mouth as he pulled up my dress. I bit him as hard as I could manage and started shrieking when he pulled his hand away. “You little-“he lunged at me as I tried to run from him, holding the front of my dress up to be able to escape him faster. Silently, I recall wishing that I’d had the sense to wear breeches, but at that moment, it could not be helped.
When he appeared in front of me unexpectedly, I fell, landing harshly upon my knees. He slowly walked toward me and I moved my hand under my dress to pull the dagger my father gave me as a wedding gift out of the strap on my calf. He loomed over me and I chose that moment to attack. I swung the dagger up, grazing his midriff as I stumbled to my feet. He growled in frustration and lunged at me, I backed away carefully, too afraid to turn away from him. My shoes lay abandoned on the grass.
When my back was to the ancient oak tree, I sent a message through it, hoping its fey would run for help. Looking up into the branches, I could see the small sprites cowering behind leaves, sighing; I tried to hide my fear.
Tristan smiled evilly at me, walking closer, the cut I made dripping blood. He cornered me against the tree and blocked my way out. I stood still, waiting for him to try his antics again.
As he ran his arms up my sides and breathed upon my neck, I shoved the dagger underneath his ribcage and pushed him away. I ran quickly through the maze of hedges, but then I heard him speaking. He’d gotten to his feet while my back was turned, and pulled the dagger out, but his wound did not bleed.
He was grinning and motioning with his hands, but I wasn’t close enough to hear him. I suddenly felt a pull from the area my heart was. He was trying to channel my abilities, I realized as I found myself moving closer to him, until I was right in front of him, growing weaker with each breath. His smile grew wider, reminding me of a goblin with a fresh kill.
He didn’t notice the way I moved, the way my arms reached towards him; he was too preoccupied with his spell. I put my hands on either side of his neck and twisted, hearing the snap of his spine as the pull on my chest finally subsided. He collapsed, silently, a look of shock frozen on his face for the rest of eternity.
I fell to my knees by his side, crying silently. I did not notice as people approached me, I did not care for what their conclusions may have been. I had killed him, an act that created so much guilt inside of me, that I did not even register my mother’s approach.
Hands pulled me away from him, and I was set upon the ground again, Morgana by my side, checking me over. Marcus was nowhere to be seen, nor anyone else, to be honest.
Only then did I notice Hades, Tristan’s demented father, screaming in rage, barreling toward me, stopping mere feet away. He dressed as he does now, black pants, red vest, a white shirt and a ridiculously long coat. I always thought it was because he needed to feel powerful and dramatic. His dark hair and creepy red eyes were set into a face one could call handsome, if he weren’t so unpleasant, as he was just then.
I did not notice what he was saying; I was too enwrapped in my guilt. My hearing returned long enough to hear his curse upon me “You will never know the peace of eternal rest, you will never enter my realms or stand before my throne, you will never be forgiven for what you have done.”
Rebecca Weller: Ironwood is an incredibly rich fantasy story with a well built imaginative world. Jacob was a great character, very likable, and you cheer for him as he struggles to restore order to Ironwood. The pacing was decent a good balance of action with plot and character building. There were a few moment...
Drew C. Elyon: I've only read one chapter so far, but from what I've seen, this is steampunk at its best. The narrative flows so beautifully I could envision every scene in an almost cinematic fashion. I believe in the complexity of simplicity, and this story has that in its descriptions.
NancyRichFoster: This second book of the Anmah Series was as awesome as the first story, I disagree with spare runner. The names were ordinary names with different spellings, which I for one loved. I am now going to read the third book in this amazingly awesome story!
mandynova411: Not only was this story captivating, but it tugged your heart in all the right places. I highly recommend. It does get a little repetitive in the middle, but overall the story is a class act. To sum it all up: a love fantasy love story that defies all odds.
Kevin Brand: My overall rating: 4.8/5 starsLoved. Every. Second. Everytime I came back to continue reading I got this overwhelming feeling of getting hooked on the first sentence... Over and over and again!The only things that were missing for me include more descriptions on what happens when Reuben touches s...
Hali McGowan: when will the third book be done? I am absolutely hooked. I red the first two books within less than a week. I'm itching for the third one. The plotline is absolutely wonderful. I've never been much for sci-fi ish books. but you've got me hooked on this series
bloodrosemaiden: I love this book!! I have read it several times and though there could be improvements I applaud the author. I know positive feed back is appreciated!! I enjoy reading about the learning the different character's backstories, and the affects in the overall story!
Janna Niemi: This book turned out to be a real page turner and I loved it. It could have gone on a bit longer but the ending was great although it wasn't completely a happy ending. The characters were great and the whole aspect of a whole different world appealed to me very much
daphneywilliams999: This book is great it is full of Adventure and romance you never know what's coming next. wow Emily is in trouble Libera a half human half Goblin helps her escape from the seven while she is possessed by a baby angel she slowly falls in love with this gentleman and human creature exploring kids ...
JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...
Warren Bull: I thought this was a fast=paced thriller with elements of several other genres woven seamlessly in. It hooked me early and held my attention throughout. I liked the humor and surprises along the way. I really enjoyed the novel. I am not a big fan of romances or paranormal works,but when those ele...