Fallen Rose—Book Two of Sons and Daughters
Vengeful and hungry for world power, Zoser directs his armies to attack Yaracina, and one by one, its elven cities succumb to the humans' superior weaponry. Desperate to escape the relentless pursuit of his assassin, Elysia flees to the mountains. Separated from family and forced into battle, the young elf knows she can never return to her simple life.
Nor can anyone else. Elysia's sister discovers a wounded youth, and he forever changes Lillian's life. As their city of Aseamir struggles to withstand the growing threat of Zoser's men, Lillian nurtures the young soldier as he becomes conscious of a strange and dangerous power within. When human forces lay siege to the city, the two escape with his abilities still hidden ... and carrying another equally potent secret.
Uncertainty, danger, mystery, and ever-varying loyalties keep suspicions aroused in Fallen Rose, Elizabeth McKinney's second book in the Sons and Daughters series. And with no outcome guaranteed--the elves' exceptional strength and endurance counter the humans' advanced arms--all see reason to protect their own and fight for freedom. The rose has fallen, but it has not wilted, not yet ...
An Excerpt from Fallen Rose
(From "They Who Guard the Mountains")
Lliam jerked his eyes to the length of camp in front of them when he heard the deep, guttural snarl rising from the throat of a gargantuan wolf. The deep grey beast watched them from behind several sagging tents, ears pinned back and bloody teeth bared. It eyed them for a brief moment and then began to make its way towards them with deadly intention, carelessly trampling dead bodies with an appalling apathy. Lliam had the distinct feeling the animal was making a particular effort to crush the bodies under its huge paws simply to add further insult in its presence, and Lliam writhed with internal indignation. A raging fury ignited within him at the sound of breaking bones as the wolf moved toward him, and he gritted his teeth in anticipation of their encounter.
Daniel cursed next to him and muttered something else in Italian, too low for Lliam to hear but its meaning clear enough. Lliam sorely wished he still had his sword, but it had been lost in the chaos when he was pinned under the tent. Helplessly, he watched the wolf advance. His first thought was for Daniel, barely fifteen years old; of all the men lost tonight, the scout would not be one. He had a long life ahead of him; the thought of one as young as Daniel dying at the teeth or claws of an unnatural beast sickened Lliam.
“Get behind me,” he ordered softly, shifting so he was closer to the wolf. Daniel looked at Lliam as though he had lost his mind, and he knew the expression was a valid one; he was a fool to honestly think he could protect anyone from such a monster—but perhaps he could give Daniel more time. That alone was worth the effort.
Daniel, get behind me.” He jerked the boy back with his good arm, wincing inwardly as his other flowered with white-hot pain once more. Daniel reluctantly moved so he was slightly behind Lliam, still having to support him.
Another long, low growl emanated from the wolf’s bloodstained lips, and its black nose twitched at the two teenagers as it approached. Lliam exhaled slowly, feeling some of his tension exit his body with his breath, and he met the animal’s intelligent gaze as it eyed them. The wolf’s ears pricked ever so slightly for a moment, and it seemed to hesitate. Then it lowered its head, ears pinned back again, and snarled with renewed hostility, advancing in the position of a hunter cornering his very vulnerable prey. Lliam caught his breath, feeling almost giddy with anticipation, and he pushed Daniel further back.
The next moments were ones of hazy blurs of motion, sights, and sounds so confused and disjointed Lliam could not identify any and an overwhelming panic that consumed his entire being. The great wolf leaped, and when Lliam was able to make sense of things again, he realized that the curved, bloody claws were flying toward him. They struck, and Lliam felt himself forced backwards with such immense power that his head snapped back and collided with the hard ground mere seconds after his injured shoulder did the same.
The fires raged around him, a wolf loomed over him, and then the world grew dark.
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