The world has changed. The Great Families are no longer in power. Queen Nix of the Hands of Tarot has been stripped of her title and incarcerated. The League of Cities has been formed to provide a new line of defense to the smaller tribal nations.
Not without consequences, though. Another of the original Great Families has been destroyed. As the new leaders rise from the ashes, a new threat comes to light; something no one saw coming, something that had been lurking under the surface of their society for generations.
The Skyborne. As they discover just how deep the Skyborne’s influences are, they realize the war they thought they’d been fighting . . . . . . wasn’t the real one.
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Read an Excerpt-
“Where are they?” Ino Nami demanded, her hands fisted behind the wide, blue obi bow of her sash, her
voice crackling with age.
“Just out of radar range, Koko Heika,” a meek mannered female said, bowing her head.
I had never in my life heard my mother, or any person of the tribes, addressed in this manner. I vaguely
recalled these words and what they meant, but they were so ancient. Empress? Had the technician really just
called my mother Empress?
“He has better radar,” Mother spat. “What do my eyes in the sky see?”
“They are fighting, Koko Heika,” a man said. He lifted one headphone from his ear and turned to her. “So
far, we only see his planes.”
“Any sight of his other vessels? I want to see what he’s done, how he’s modified them. I want Balbir’s
ships to draw him into battle.”
Balbir Shankara? The two largest tribes; Ino and Shankara.
Our League of Cities was too new, to inexperienced, too small. If we stood up to them, if we fought, we
didn’t stand a chance.
“Sama,” a familiar voice said, his tone laced with concern. I sought out Ino Yotaka’s weathered form,
finding brief comfort in the craggy features of my old instructor. “Be careful. Balbir is not a man to command
A temporary wall spanned two columns, partially closing off the control room. Behind the column, I was
too exposed, though, hiding behind the thin wall didn’t add much more concealment. I ducked behind it
“Where is the Han?” Ino Nami demanded.
The Han? I prayed to the master of the holy Library that my mother had not asked the Han’s position
because the tyrant was an ally. The Ino, Shankara, and the Han?
“He is not good in this kind of fight, Sama Nami.”
For the love of dirt! My mother had created an alliance of her own to rival the power of the League of
Cities? Because I had left her? Because I refused her control?
I shouldn’t be surprised.
Yet, I was.
“I am aware, Yotaka-saan.” She spun on him with a snarling sneer. “And I think you forget your place.
Where are the El’Asim’s vessels? Where are his airships?”
“In the storm, Koko Heika,” the first female said, her voice barely over a whisper.
“In this storm?” Ino Nami stilled. “Impossible.”
“We knew he was making modifications.” Yotaka took a step forward, his hands tucked into his large,
bell sleeves. “He may not be a brilliant tactician, but he is well adept at design.”
“What is he thinking?”
“I believe,” Yotaka said, raising his voice and turning his head in my direction, “he is ensuring his fleet is
I jerked, my breath caught in my throat. Had he seen me? I’d been sure no one had. Would he betray my
“Perhaps you did your job too well when you ordered the destruction of his Family.”
“You don’t have to yell it, you senile old man.”
The breath escaped from my body as the full weight of their words crashed into me. She’d been the one
to murder my tribe on the day my sister had wed. My mother. My own mother.
Meet the Author:
SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation.
She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.
She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!
Find out more about her at:
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