Instruments of Sacrifice Book 1
by Lydia Redwine
When a Royal dies, the realms elect the one to take their place. By reasons Camaria does not know, her realm elects her as the next Royal. Now that she is the new-found sixteenth Royal of the nation of Mirabelle, Cam embarks on a journey with her sisters and a young huntsman to the four realms of the nation to complete training in the four kinds of magic. Once she has completed this training, she will then be permitted to consume her annual amount of magic and possess manifested powers. Her ventures are unexpectedly steeped in precarious events when Cam discovers a secret plan of revolt, a past she never knew, and an ancient people group thought dead who call themselves the Spirit Followers.
They followed after the Cinis Lumen leader and his young son through the only opening in the side of the volcanic walls. Cam’s vision clouded before it was met with blurred blackness and glimmering reds and then flashes of silver in the firelight.
Clanging metal, hammers on stone, crackling fire, splashing water, treading feet and mixtures of hundreds of voices at various tones pounded her drums. The clamorous chaos of integrity and courage placed a rush in her veins. She was energy infused in a smoldering underground. Warm air, metal, leather, sweat, fire, and water combined, creating a taste of unified engineering. These sensations bombarded Cam as they became enveloped in Tyron’s world.
Cam began to perceive the particulars of the place. She glimpsed a silver lake mirroring firelight, weapons, the cavern overhead, and roaming persons. Cast over the lake was built an expansive bridge of rope and wood which led to an enormous slab of stone, jutting from the wall of the underground world. Upon this stone, was built an enormous castle which appeared to have been dipped in the blackest of ink. Though its coloring was like raven’s wing, it nearly blinded Cam, for the firelight allowed it to glimmer mercilessly. The castle’s head was adorned with pointed towers like sharpened
blades. Great bonfires were built in numerous sections, filling the vicinity with smoldering heat.
Cam glanced towards Fiera. Her sister’s face was still grim, but her eyes were alight for the first time in days.
blindingly white. Too white even with a black sky and silver moon hanging within it.
Elizabeth ate a full meal that night, thinking only of how soon Cole must receive her news.
The sky’s visage closely resembled a puddle after a spring rain, gray and wavering. It had rained copiously that spring. At times, in horrendous torrents and others in light drizzles. It had nurtured the earth of Mirabelle. The tree in the center of the Medulla Realm would now have been at its peak of a flourishing state. But instead, the tree lay forlornly on the ground, shriveled up, decaying branch by branch. One fact was known:
Mirabelle had no magic.
The concept seemed quite simple really, but in reality, no one in the nation knew how it had vanished. At least, no one who had yet stepped forward.
Camaria Caddell stood behind the stone castle of the Medulla Realm’s center, surrounded by fallen branches and debris scattered in the wind. The overcast sky correlated the sight before her. The silvery leaves and fruit had vanished. Cam clenched her jaw against a headache forming from the swirling of her thoughts. With brows drawn together and arms crossed tightly over her chest, Cam stared at the fallen tree. She barely noticed that her two younger sisters, Adria and Mista, stood on either side of
Keepers of the Crown
Instruments of Sacrifice Book 2
Camaria is chasing the sparks of a war and trying to put them out before her world erupts into flames and all is gone. The vanishing of the magic of Mirabelle is only the beginning and the Seekers are formed to find its captors. Camaria, her sister Fiera, the young huntsman Caleb, Cinis Lumen leader Tyron, former Gnosi heir Riah, and two others are sent east to find their stolen magic, but each has a mission of their own. Cam, having been banished from two of Mirabelle’s realms, is determined to redeem herself by locating the legendary Crown of Caelae, prophesied by the Watchers, one of which was Peter’s father. Riah continues his secret quest to become one of the unidentified master’s seven warriors. Fiera still holds the wooden ball with its strange message inside, and Caleb has a secret past of his own. Peter, who remains in Mirabelle, is on the brink of discovering all of his father’s secrets and forming a plot of revenge on those who had killed Daniel years ago. Their own ventures are put on hold when they suddenly cross paths with an unexpected enemy in the perilous land called the Valley of Poison.
Before, Now, and After
“I had brothers once,” I say. My voice is an echo of the ancients. A mourn. A scoff.
“But…I betrayed them.”
I shift inward when the darkness folds itself around me. The darkness I’ve summoned for myself. “My brothers…their wings were more…magnificent. The first brother’s were fashioned of gold, but the weight was nothing to hinder him.
They…rippled in the city. Like a banner proclaiming the way of Elyon. He was the only one with golden wings.
“The second brother’s wings were like shimmering sapphires threaded with silver. When I asked him why he would not give up his wings for those of Elyon’s Son, he scoffed.
“And I…the only one with wings fabricated of ash and smoke. The one who would indeed give them up. Or try to.”
I pause, allowing my cold breath to kiss the darkness around me.
Darkness…my friend and my foe.
“I betrayed my brothers for my own form of beauty and for my own ambition.”
The thought sinks into me and shifts my wings.
“Tales of war and bloodshed come from the Between Realm, that which lies between Caelae and the Realm of Shadows. But what most do not know is that the wars of Caelae were far…worse.”
Yes, I can see it now, just as clear as when they were first fought.
“Broken wings dripping crimson about shattered cities of starlight. Bones like diamonds, the foundation of a ruinous place. Caelae was once beautiful, but also…brutal. Brutal because two of its princes fought for its throne. One to defend it in light and honor with wings burnished of gold. And the other…to capture it with beauty and cruelty. With wings of smoke and ash. And when princes battle, they wear their crowns. Their regalty become but instruments. And in the end…one must lose. “We fought three battles once Elyon had designed and placed the heavenly bodies. He had named them after us, his favored creatures of Caelae. To the brother
with golden wings he gave the sun, to the brother with wings like the sea he gave the moon, and to me…the one who would betray him, he gave the stars. Of course, the stars do not belong to me. Even you, as a human, would never begin to think of them in my likeness. They are a reminder to me…that I will never be as numerous, as loved, as brilliant and adored.
“That is what we named the battles: the Battle of the Stars, the Battle of the Moon, the Battle of the Sun. A war fought in three parts for each of its participating princes. Both my brothers fought against me, and so you must know how it ended.
“I lost, but, human, I am still fighting. The wars you see in your own world, in the Between Realm, are birthed of what I have already fought. The wars you encounter are but shards of the ones I have summoned. And even while the battles in Caelae were far more brutal than you shall ever witness, the battle over your souls is
somehow even more valuable. To everyone. To my Enemy and to myself.”
I pause to stare at you. “Yes, you. I am speaking to you. You see, in this world, it is Elyon that writes your story, but I am the one to tell it. You see, just as Elyon gave me the stars, he also gave me the Between Realm. The Realm of Shadows is where I dwell, but it is the Between Realm in which I roam until it is brought to utter ruin.
If I am to be brought to ruin, so will you and your home.
Lucius, Prince of the Between Realm and Traitor of Caelae
About the Author
Lydia Redwine is a young author from Cincinnati, Ohio, who, by the age of 18, has published a fantasy novel and a poetry collection in aim to create work that is both refreshing and impactful.