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Shade is left all but shattered. She must travel to the Ice kingdom along with her 'body guard' Dylan, who continues to be bound with a blood oath to her, where the holder of her magic dwells. Her only chance to right the warring Faerie lands to harmony will be to resist the enchantments of the Ice King, one of the Ancient rulers of Faerie, to regain her power and make it to the Summer Kingdom with her family to claim back her throne.
Only the Ancients of Faerie don't want her to succeed and there are treacheries in every crevice of the land, even among the human mortals and trusted alibis.
“Open the door, Stanis,” Shade hissed. “We’re through here.”
“Just a minute, princess. I have bone to pick with you.” He tapped the wall and moved so fast, only a blur appeared where he had stood. He was in the kitchen now and pulled out a small, blue glass bowl. Bringing it to her, he held it out toward Shade, pushing her to take it. When she did, he resumed his position on the creaky chair, motioning her to sit back on the couch. “Please, sit.”
“I’d rather stand.”
He groaned, rolling his head on his shoulders, his long brown hair spilled over the back of the chair as he did that. He looked like a drunk slumped in the chair, almost falling off the edge.
“Suite yourself, changeling. But I highly suggest you sit. There are more ways than one to use magic, even bound up as you are.” His wild eyes seemed more sober now and she felt a sudden urge to sit as told. The suspicion she felt that he was using magic on her was eating at her nerves. She hated being played, and he seemed a master at that.
“What do you mean, more ways?” She settled between Soap and Dylan and held the bowl out. It was small enough to fit in her palm.
“This is a Pith. It extracts your essence, therefore, your powers are given a release through this bowl. Even in your case, one’s powers cannot be completely contained, as one can never truly trap a mind. This Pith provides another route, another path for your magic to escape your body and work its powers. We’re only trapped by the binds we allow to be placed upon ourselves. This breaks through that. It will let you use your water magic, as if you’d never been bound.”
The others gasped, staring in wonderment at the ordinary blue glass bowl sitting in her palm. It seemed utterly mundane, no etchings on its hard surface, nothing to condone its powerful use. She wondered if he was pulling her leg or not. But it was worth a try.
“One drop into the bowl, Shade. That’s all it takes.” He gestured quickly, to make her move faster. She gulped, mesmerized by the glass. She silently prayed that it would work, if not, they were doomed. No, she was doomed.
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