Today I bring you another pre-publication extract from Wizard of Ends, Book 3: Mountains of Eclador. This will probably be the last until the book is published next year. Enjoy!
Lanaran and the soldiers of Ends followed Rune along the narrow path she had opened in the mountain face. The sorceress still followed the kreag’s magical trail, which Lanaran wished he, too, could see. It irked him that he would be lost without someone as insufferable as her.
Rune slowed her horse until she was alongside him. “The trail grows thin.”
Lanaran’s heart sank.
“That’s a good sign,” she said. “With an enchanted tail spell, the ‘tail’ gets thinner the closer one gets to whatever it is one follows.”
Lanaran heaved a sigh of relief.
“We must proceed with greater caution, lest we give away our presence.”
He nodded, adrenaline searing through him in anticipation of the fight he imagined would soon come.
They rode in silence until the noon sun was directly overhead, then Rune gestured for them to stop.
She pointed ahead, to where solid rock blocked their way. “We’ve reached the other side.”
Lanaran groaned. “Don’t tell me we have to go through that whole trance-like procedure again?”
Rune shook her head. “No. I saw this when I followed the magic to its source.”
She waved her hands and the rock shimmered and vanished, revealing a lush valley beyond.
Lanaran urged his horse forward, followed closely by Rune and his soldiers. Greenwood trees lined the valley sides, their melon-sized yellow flowers in full bloom, which was strange for this time of year. Unknown red-flowered bushes spread out between the trees, so small they were half hidden in the long grass. Birds chirped above and the familiar hum of a night insects filled the air – also strange, since night insects never came out at day.
Rune whispered, “Something’s wrong here.”
“I agree,” Lanaran murmured. “Is it more magic?”
The sorceress frowned and flicked her long fringe out of her eyes. “Yes. Of the worst kind.” She scanned the surroundings, as if expecting to see an enemy. “I know Lashlor said it’s impossible, and it is, but…”
“Yes?” Lanaran hissed, impatient.
“It’s Eldryn’s magic. I’m certain of it.”
Lanaran cocked his head. “The ancient sorcerer – the one who’s dead?”
“As you said, that’s impossible.”
“I’m not wrong,” Rune insisted. “It’s Adranalis – magic that survives death. It’s almost impossible to undo.” She fell silent for a moment, then her eyes widened almost imperceptibly and she spun back to the rock face, which once again looked solid. She waved her hands as she’d done just minutes ago, but, this time, the rock did not shimmer and vanish. She touched it and cursed, then whirled back to face Lanaran.
“I’m trapped! I’m trapped in this insufferable mountain again!” Rune sank to her knees and put her face in her hands, then looked up at Lanaran. “You should not have sent Lashlor away.”