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Shield of the Sky (the Stone God Miniseries)
Ever since witnessing a sacred ritual, Rhenna of the Free People has been isolated. Not outcast, yet not part of her tribe, she walks alone, guarding the land's borders. And growing more troubled by the changes in the wind. Anger and war are rising. The mountain-dwelling shapeshifters -- partners to the Free People -- are disappearing, and word has come of an evil new god: The Stone God, whose followers are known by the red stones they hold and the chaos that accompanies them.
So when Rhenna hears that a shapeshifter has been captured by the Stone God's servants, she must rescue him. Now Rhenna is embroiled in a dangerous game as the forces of evil and nature fight to control humanity's future. Together with a growing band -- the enigmatic shaman Tahvo, the panther shapechanger Cian and the rebel Quintus of conquered Tiberia -- she must travel the world, seeking to prevent its destruction.
Whatever danger lies ahead, the downfall of the Stone God has begun....
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December 31, 2006
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Excerpt from Shield of the Sky (the Stone God Miniseries) by Susan Krinard
Rhenna's scar was throbbing.
She touched it with absent fingers and scanned the horizon. The horses were quiet. Mares grazed contentedly, heads buried in the rich fodder of oat, rye and feather grass that stretched in every direction as far as the eye could see. Each foal tested its newfound strength and speed against that of the others. Ears quivered and tails twitched, but none raised the alarm.
Far to the east and west lay the well-guarded borders of the Shield's Shadow, the land of the Free People. To the north stood the snow-capped peaks of the Shield itself, and to the south...
Rhenna frowned, shifting her weight on Chaimon's broad back. To the south were the Skudat tribesmen, Hellenish merchants and the empire--barbarians who entered the Shield's Shadow at their peril. No, there was no danger in the south.
Chaimon stamped and snorted, jingling the tiny bells on his bridle. "Forgive me, my friend," Rhenna murmured, scratching the gelding between his ears. "I'm restless today."
Rhenna echoed Chaimon's snort. For nine years she had watched the herds, far too long to begin starting at shadows. Too wise to regard the dubious warnings of phantoms and memory.
Chaimon jingled his bells again. The mares paused in their grazing, and Rhenna heard the muffled drum of hoofbeats.
A horse and rider galloped out of the tall grass. The girl's pale hair was bound in the tail of a novice, and her ears were bare of the double-axe studs worn by every initiated Sister.