Publication date: April 10th 2013
by Amazon Digital
Genre: YA Fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the kingdom. But beneath her kingdom’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.
Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.
But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.
This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.
Ciardis sat and dropped her hands into her lap, ready for anything, as long as she found out what her talent was, if any. Sarah took off her spectacles and tucked back behind her ears the wisps of hair that were fluttering in her face. Then she straightened up and put her hands on either side of Ciardis's face.
"Hmm," she said after five long minutes. Ciardis frowned. There'd been no magic spark or rustling winds or anything.
Where was the magical flash of power? Wasn’t that how you could tell a mage from a mundane? Ciardis hoped the lack of magical excitement didn’t mean anything. Perhaps Sarah’s empathic touch wasn’t meant to be a visual demonstration?
Ciardis peered anxiously at Sarah's face, hoping for a clue.
"I don't believe it," Sarah whispered finally. In a slightly louder voice, she asked, "What did you say your full name was?"
"Ciardis Rafaela Vane."
Sarah said quickly, "And it is your true name, registered by the hands of your mother and father?"
Ciardis nodded anxiously. "They went to the birth archives in the town and everything. Named me after the town, in a way. At least, that's what I've been told."
"Then someone misled you. Or deliberately lied." Sarah stared at her intently and abruptly stood, "Come with me now!"
They rushed out of Ciardis's room and into the dorm hallway, Sarah clasping Ciardis's hand as they ran. They passed through three different corridors along the way. Ciardis barely saw a glimpse of the intricate artwork and beautiful statues in the halls as she rushed around corners – trying to keep up with Sarah’s fast pace. Soon they came to an abrupt stop in front of a large door. At the top of the door in scrolled letters was inscribed, “The Companions Library”. As they entered, Sarah asked in a hoarse whisper, "Do you recall what the first part of my mage gift is?"
Ciardis nodded and said, "A photographic memory." She tried to ignore the trembling in Sarah's hands as the archivist led her through the bookcases. For her part Sarah would stop in the middle of the library aisles and turn in a circle while pulling Ciardis with her.
Occasionally Sarah’s hand would tighten on Ciardis's as she cast her gaze around her like a bloodhound on the hunt. Sarah was searching with her magic for something…what exactly that was Ciardis couldn’t say. Seeing the girl’s confusion Sarah explained, “I’m sending out feelers from my mage core in different directions hoping to sense the manuscript that most feels like your mage core.”
“My mage core?” questioned Ciardis, “I have one?”
“Oh, most definitely,” said Sarah in a grim tone, “I would question how you didn’t know about it before this.”
After a few minutes of this, Sarah instructed Ciardis in a whisper, "The imprints that I’m sending feelers out for are like markers. If it's in a book, I can trace the marker back to its source. With my memory and the imprint trail, I never forget where I've placed a book."
After a moment of silence she continued, "Your imprint reminds me strongly of a book I read long ago, as a child. If I'm right, there hasn't been a Companion trainee of your type in more than thirty years."
About this Author:
Terah Edun is an international development professional and author/lover of all things Young Adult Fantasy fiction. She is a native Georgian, adoptive Washingtonian, unrepentant expat currently living in South Sudan, brilliant dreamer, lover of dogs and not-so-closet geek. Her first novel, Red Madrassa, was released on November 8th and her second novel, Sworn to Raise, comes out in April 2013.
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