Scary October needs a scary witch, and the fantasy Autumn Spells by Edie Roones offers us Neehla.
Eager to re-embody herself in a younger woman, Neehla builds her sorcerous spell.
In this life her name was Neehla. Over many lives, she had lost some things, gained others. Through them all, her sorcery remained tangible evil, woven from the elemental air and the incense of her spells.
Her fingers flew across the loom, weaving a snare for the unwary. She snatched a spiral of smoke from the air and twisted it deftly before joining the sorcered strand to the thread on the shuttle. As it shot across the warp threads on the loom, the gray smoke deepened, becoming as darkly hued as the power that shaped it.
Here’s a free glimpse, the first chapter of Edie Roones’ fantasy Summer Sieges, a story of ordinary people battling extraordinary odds and foul sorcery. This book is Edie’s second publication, after her short story “A Matter of Trust”.
Her body jerked.
Beren muddled her way up. Slowly. Into the pain.
Return was . . . sluggish. A great darkness. A lesser one. She wanted to retreat from waking, crawl back into the deep blackness, but pain pulsed in her head and throbbed along her arm, denying any escape.
Her body jerked again.
Hands were on her. At her hips. Metal clinking. A lift. She groaned.
The hands stilled then gave another jerk that peeled something from beneath her.
And then a growl, deep, predatory. As black as the darkness. Danger as old as time.
Whoever had pulled at her scrambled away. She tried to open her eyes then realized they were open, to night-black. The dancing lights weren’t in her throbbing head. They were torches bobbing, some bigger and brighter, others distant, like the will o’wisps that hovered over deepest springs and in magickal glades.
Least becomes great. Greatest becomes least. Two wizards travel sharp-bladed roads in Weave a Wizardry Web.
“Wizard against sorcerer. Fae against dragon. Wyre against Rhoghieri.” As children in the Wizard Enclave, Camisse and her niece Alstera recited that catechism daily. Yet the war against sorcery seems far from the Enclave, and the current leaders have forgotten that childhood chant.
Camisse hasn’t forgotten. Commander of an outpost, she defends the border against the sorcerers and wyre of Frost Clime. Her greatest fear is Dragon Rising, the day banished dragons will join Frost Clime. The Enclave’s forces are not strong enough to repel a triple alliance.
Faeron recently forced a renewed alliance on the Enclave, which angered the hidebound leaders. Her mother the ArchClans had promised to renew an alliance with the Rhoghieri. Camisse is appalled that the Rho haven’t been approached.
Then the wyre slip into the Enclave and kill wizards. Camisse recognizes the evidence of wyre attack, but her leaders won’t accept it. She may be a successful border commander, yet she fumbles when working spells.
With the aid of a Fae masquerading as a wizard, Camisse discovers she wields Fire. With Pearroc’s help, she no longer muddles her spells.
Granddaughter of the ArchClans, Alstera is the greatest Enclave wizard. Frost Clime and Dragon Rising drive her to investigate ways to increase the powers of wizards. Her search leads to a forbidden spell called the Nexus. This taboo linkage funnels power from enthralled wielders to a single wizard, a slavery that breaks a tenet of wizardry.
When Alstera meets Sanglier, he invites her to join a sharing circle. Wielders can link power, each one sharing, each one wielding. Even her cousin Faone, a Naught, can work spells in Sanglier’s circle.
Yet Sanglier is a sorcerer disguised as a wizard, intent on undermining the Enclave. Killing the commander Camisse will wreck the border defenses, allowing Frost Clime’s invasion. Decimating the Enclave in its very heart will ensure victory for his mission. His spells hide the wyre pack from the wizards. Sanglier plots to insert a wyre in the ArchClans’ own house. He commands the wyre Arctos to turn
Faone. And he tricks Alstera into using blood spells as well as practicing the forbidden linkage.
Camisse learns that her scheming mother, in a political maneuver to become ArchClans, was the one who shackled her Fire powers. Angry at her family, she turns to Pearroc—but he is a protégé of her mother’s chief opponent. Can she trust him with her powers and her heart? And can she believe anything he says when she discovers he is a masked Fae?
Alstera’s friend Nevil, for dabbling in the taboo Nexus, is spell-shackled, reduced to less than a Naught. Devastated, he commits suicide. Alstera knows the sharing circle is a type of Nexus. Even though she risks the same punishment as Nevil, she refuses to stop her investigation. The opportunity to increase a wizard’s power is too close.
Then Sanglier sends the wyre pack to kill Camisse and Pearroc.
And Alstera practices the sharing linkage one time too many.
Will they survive the sharp blades on their chosen roads?