Check out these excerpts from A Bond of Destiny and Dragons, a sci-fi novel by Karin Tomlinson, exclusive to the Wrath and Ruin boxed set.
Griana unlocked her fangs from her soldier’s throat and released him back into battle.
The clash of steel and the clatter of armoured wings proclaimed the collision of the two armies. The air rattled and magic exploded—the thunderous bursts drowned out the roar of battle between the warrior fae and the monsters of the Chaos realm.
Ruby red blood stained the snow. The new general of King Arjuno’s army inhaled the metallic stench. It filled Griana’s nostrils but, unlike many fae, she relished it.
At twenty-five, she was not old in fae terms. However, Griana had spent years orchestrating this moment—ever since the Goddess of Creation had taken an interest in the heir to the Avalonian throne.
With a sword in each hand, she ducked and spun underneath the clumsy attack of a rotting Dust Devil. With a swift strike, she embedded one blade in its abdomen before decapitating it with the other. As its body exploded into a cloud of black dust, she spun and sank one blade into the belly of the nearest fae warrior. Blood sprayed, his screams lost to the din of war.
Sacrificing her own kind was a small price to pay for earning her chance at immortality.
“How could you do this, Griana? Kill your own kind? You are sworn to protect the monarchy and the people of this land,” the Avalonian king croaked.
“Oh please, I am protecting the monarchy—my own,” she drawled in reply.
“Please. Please don’t hurt my sons. They trust you…” he pleaded, the whites of his eyes visible.
A snake’s smile curled Griana’s lips. She cocked her head, listening to the sound of the ongoing battle. It raged somewhere through the trees, but it was not visible. The forest here was thick with firs and red-leafed Lyca trees. This was the perfect spot, especially as the canopy made it hard for aerial troops to see them on the ground. Indeed, it was going to be easy to hide the demise of this king from any of his loyal warriors.
“Oh, I know they do, your majesty. But don’t worry your royal head about them. At least one of them will survive. After all, I will need a king by my side—or at least in my bed,” she shrugged, “for a time.”
She prowled around the fallen monarch. Under her feet, the remains of Dust Devils mixed with the blood of the slain fae. Her boots squelched through the thick, mud-like mixture. Griana paid it no mind, focused entirely on the pleasure of this moment. Power surged through her blood, and she welcomed her magic.
Around her, most of the fae warriors looked on in horror, but some were utterly still, their eyes dark and stormy. There was nothing any of these fae warriors could do to defy her. Whether she had recently bitten them and injected them with her venom or enslaved them to her will months ago, they were all equally her slaves. Her will was theirs.
Griana completed circling her prey. Once again standing before the king, she made sure to remain out of his reach even though he was on his knees and bleeding heavily from several deep wounds. The fae king was an experienced and vicious fighter, and he knew he was about to die.
Which always makes people desperate, she reflected.
“Be pleased your bloodline will continue, my king. I will make sure that my child, your grandchild, will rule Avalonia long after you and your sons are gone,” she told him.
Using her mind, she bade two of the king’s guard to come forward. They obeyed. With fear and confusion in their eyes, they reached his side. One kicked the king’s wounded wing as the other pulled the king’s sword from his weak fingers.
Through the venom bond, Griana bid that warrior to discard the king’s blade, then both grasped their monarch’s arms, holding him in place.
Sheathing her own blade, Griana bent down and wrapped her gloved hands around the pommel of a rusty, blood-covered sword. Lifting it from the ground, she cocked her head and smiled.
Iron. A far more fitting blade for him to die by.
If you enjoyed the excerpt and want to keep reading, preorder Wrath and Ruin for only $.99 and get A Bond of Destiny and Dragons along with 23 other sci-fi/fantasy books!