Lara, Domina of Terah, has mysteriously disappeared while visiting the New Outlands. The Dominus is frantic to find his beloved wife, but when no trace of her can be discovered, Magnus Hauk turns to two strong allies--Prince Kaliq of the Shadows and his mother-in-law, Ilona, the most powerful of the faerie queens. Who has stolen Lara? And why?
In the Dark Lands, Kol, the Twilight Lord, revels in his victory. The faerie woman Lara is now his possession, and her powers will soon help him to conquer first Hetar and then Terah. But the Emperor of Hetar is hatching schemes of his own--having learned of Lara's disappearance he believes Terah is now vulnerable, and plans to go to war against Magnus Hauk.
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April 30, 2007
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Excerpt from The Twilight Lord by Bertrice Small
The great winged horse galloped across the skies above the Emerald Mountains, a single rider on his back. Strapped to the animal's side was a woven basket in which a sleeping child lay. Lara glanced now and again at her daughter Zagiri to make certain she remained asleep. She was a beautiful little child with her father's dark gold hair; her golden eyelashes fanned out over her pale-pink cheeks. She looks like him, Lara thought. The only bit of me in her are her green eyes.
"We're almost there," Dasras said as they left the mountains behind them. "I can see the fields of the Blathma below us, and just beyond and to my left are the meadows of the Aghy. I wonder if Roan has any pretty new mares."
Lara chuckled."You are as lusty as a Shadow Prince," she told him.
Dasras chortled. "Well, I was born and raised among them," he said drolly. Then he asked, "Is the princess still sleeping?"
"Aye," Lara responded. "She'll be delighted to see Dillon again--and he her. I hope Anoush has gotten over her jealousy by now. She doesn't even understand that I am her mother and her invidiousness toward Zagiri is hurtful."
"She is too young to have developed that attitude without help," Dasras remarked.
"Who can have planted the seed of envy in Anoush? Certainly not your good Noss. She has always been a fine foster mother to your children."
"Vartan's mother," Lara said sadly and with certainty. "She grows madder with each passing day. I have asked Noss to limit my children's visits to Bera but she is their grandmother. Of course there is Cam, as well. Adon's son is Anoush's cousin. And Bera is raising him. I have never found him to be a pleasant child."
"You should investigate the situation and see that it is corrected," Dasras advised. "It does not matter that your children are blood kin to Bera and Cam. If they pose a danger to Dillon and Anoush, you must do what you must to keep Vartan's younglings safe. Bera's feelings cannot matter to you, and Cam has no sensibilities at all to consider that I can see. The safety of your children must come first and foremost."
"I am fortunate to have such wise advisers as you, Verica and Andraste," Lara told the great stallion.
"And the Dominus?" Dasras teased her.
"Villain!" Lara laughed. "My husband is a good man and a wonderful lover, but he does not understand humanity as well as he thinks he does. However, we shall not tell him that, shall we, Dasras?"
The horse shook his head, then began his descent to the lands below him, which were possessed by the Fiacre Clan. He preferred galloping the last few miles into the main village, New Camdene, rather than just descending into its midst. The cattle in his path scattered as his hooves touched the ground. There was no one this bright summer morning to see their arrival until they drew close to the dwellings. To Lara's delight it was her son, Dillon, who first saw them coming and ran toward Dasras to welcome his mother. The horse came to a stop.
"Mother! Welcome!" Dillon said."Have you brought Zagiri?" Standing on his toes he peeped into the basket."Ahh, Zigi, wake up now," he cooed.
The little girl slowly opened her eyes and,seeing Dillon,smiled and held out her arms to him."D," she said excitedly."Uppy, D!"
Dillon lifted her from the basket and set her on her feet. Zagiri slipped her hand into his and together they began to walk. Lara slid down from her saddle to join them as Dasras followed. Lara smiled as she watched Zagiri toddle along beside Dillon on her fat little legs. Her son carefully matched his steps to his younger sibling.