The Sun Witch and The Moon Witch introduced the Fyne sisters, three different and engrossing witches coming into their own. Here, the eldest wonders how she can remain chaste with a sensuous enemy tempting her.
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January 02, 2006
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Excerpt from The Star Witch by Linda Winstead Jones
Twenty-seven years later
LIVING HIGH IN the imperial palace, Isadora had barely felt the passing of winter. Thick walls, well-fed fireplaces, and luxurious clothing and blankets kept the residents of Level One quite comfortable ' even the witch whose duty it was to care for the Empress Liane and her unborn child.
Unborn children, to be precise. Twin boys, though no one knew that but Isadora and the empress herself. The Emperor Sebestyen would be furious when he found out that his wife was carrying two sons, rather than one. It would muddy the imperial bloodline to have two heirs born at almost the precise same moment.
Spring was coming. On occasion Isadora would open the window of her small room and breathe in the warming air as if it fed her soul. She was tired of this damned palace. Tired of the people and the chores and even the luxury.
But until she was strong again and could find her sisters, this was her place. Liane needed her. She had pledged to protect the empress and her children, but once the babies arrived, there would be no reason to stay.
The strength of her magic had begun to return slowly but with a certainty she felt to the depths of her soul. The destruction of the past several months had depleted her powers; it was only through protection that the magic grew strong again. On his final visit to her, the spirit of her late husband had told her that she must choose. Dark or light. Goodness or evil. For a long time she had danced on the edge of both, but one could not live forever in that gray domain.
There were times when she believed that destruction came to her more naturally than protection, but in order for that power to grow she would need to embrace it fully. Over the years her sisters ' and her beloved Will, before and after his death ' had kept the protective side of Isadora's nature alive and thriving. They were not here, now.
She could not believe that Juliet was dead, as Bors had reported before his death at the emperor's hand. Sophie might be safe in the company of her husband, but still, she would need her sisters again. Juliet had said as much on the night the soldiers had kidnapped them and burned the cabin that had stood for more than three hundred years, and where her sisters were concerned, Juliet was rarely wrong. Rarely, not never.
Isadora knew she could not remain in this place. With the coming of spring, the return of her magical strengths, and the birth of Emperor Sebestyen's heirs would also come the time for Isadora Fyne to leave this dreadful place.