The Hybrid Magic Chronicles Book 2
by Cristy L. Bowlin
Genre: YA Fantasy
A broken enchantment. An uncertain alliance. A dangerous journey.
Aaron has made a terrible mistake. He unleashed a powerful mage who will only make him and his friends more of a target for the Defenders who hunt them. When Theo is taken, Elara must use her newfound abilities to track him down, while Aaron vows to fix his mistake before anyone else gets hurt. With assistance from some experienced seers, healers, and combat mages, Aaron and his friends embark on a quest across the Deravine Commonwealth and into a cold northern land. The trip is anything but easy, forcing the hybrid mages to learn how to rely on themselves. As Theo slips further away from them, the Defenders gain more followers. With few people they can trust, the hybrid mages are left wondering—Is any place safe for them now?
“So, it’s really been almost eleven years?”
“Yes, I turn fifteen next month. I’ve learned how to do a lot more with my abilities.” Aaron pointed to the large double doors at the end of the aisle. “And there are several guards posted on the other side of those doors. There’s nowhere left for you to run.”
Florella grinned. “I’m not worried about a few guards. You may have learned a lot since I last saw you, but don’t forget that I’ve still got quite a few years on you. My father had me start training as soon as I could walk.”
Aaron hadn’t forgotten. He doubted he could stop Florella on his own again, especially if it was just the two of them. The last time they confronted each other in this temple, Aaron was only a small child surrounded by adults who were doing everything they could to protect him, including his mother using her own combat magic to fight Florella. Without her help and the element of surprise, Aaron was at a loss.
Right before Theo had arrived, Florella said, “My offer still stands—I could train you if you’ll join me.”
Now she was making the same offer to Theo. Aaron wondered why it was so important to her. What would she do if both of them said no? Aaron watched Theo across the room, concerned that he hadn’t immediately refused. “Don’t listen to her, Theo!”
Florella cast an angry sidelong glance at Aaron. “All I want to do is help you. Why can’t you see that?” She walked to one of the windows and pressed her hands up to the glass. Moments later tendrils of mist played at the edges of the window. Within a few minutes, the view outside the temple was completely obscured by fog.
“No,” Aaron whispered. Not again. He remembered the fog from last time. It made his friends and family see illusions while Aaron was the only one who knew the city was mired in mist. Florella would be able to walk out the temple doors and go right past the guards without them knowing. She was going to get away.
Aaron’s limbs remained frozen in place, but he used his magic to reach for the stone sphere at his feet. It shook slightly. He concentrated harder until the sphere began to roll toward Florella. It picked up speed and knocked her feet out from under her. She screamed in rage, and her hold on Aaron broke. He could move again.
He sprinted as quickly as he could toward the door that led back into the palace. Theo didn’t turn or even flinch as Aaron ran by. Aaron realized with a pang of guilt that Theo was still immobile. He hated leaving his friend behind, but his only hope was to get help from the guards who were inside where the fog couldn’t reach.
Aaron had just made it to the fountain at the middle of the path when he felt something hit him in the back of the head. Bright spots took over his field of vision as the ground flew up to meet him.
Cristy L. Bowlin is a college English professor and author of The Temple Dancer’s Diary and The Hybrid Magic Chronicles, set in the fantasy realm of the Deravine Commonwealth. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband, daughter, and pet cat. When she isn’t reading or writing, she is most likely tap dancing, hiking, or getting invested in (another) TV series.
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