Outside, the bright globe of the moon rode the skies high, and celebrations erupted.
Inside, the might of two armies fought the three who dared challenge the Darak Or, and attempted to swipe the irksome bird from the ceiling.
The darklings hissed, for the constraints of space frustrated them, although not as much as their inability to deal with a woman, a man obviously not made for battle, and one who was, but who was also exhausted. The soltakin made not a sound, but their amber eyes fixated in expectation.
All knew it was a matter of time.
Phet tried to find a way through the water hole, dodging swords with much squawking, and returned nearly drowned.
Too small, he sent, even for me.
“Our goose is cooked, my friends,” Lanto said.
All three were bloodied blue and red, their swords slippery.
“Lanto?” Saska murmured.
“Nice knowing you, truly an honour,” Lanto said, and tossed his sword into the air. It passed through an astonished soltakin before lodging in a particularly nasty darkling slashing at Phet. “Yes!” Lanto crowed, and sank onto his haunches amid dead and dying darklings, laughing hysterically.
Saska reached down with one hand to drag him up.
He shook her off. “I have no more to give.” His head lowered.
Rayne was silent, his gaze again to Raken. “You are the famous pirate almost caught on Ren lake, and ever slippery after.”
She inclined her head. “And you would be considered the ‘authorities’.”
Rayne grinned. “Gods, no. I think I would rather be stupid than in charge.”
She managed a smile, watching him warily. “I gather you’re not stupid.”
“And not in charge either. Trust is required here, Raken.”
“Trust works both ways.”
He inclined his head then. “Agreed. I admit I have followed your ‘career’ with curiosity over the years, and you strike me as a woman of honour.”
She sank onto the sofa beside Lanto, breathing shallow, causing Lanto to frown. “And I admit I have ‘heard’ of the Mantle and its charming leader. Sit. Coffee?”
When Rayne smiled this time, it touched his eyes. “There was a break-in into the archives six years ago, a lady in a skiff, was the tale, sailing merrily away down the Galilan.”
He sat, keeping a distance between himself and the others.
McSee, after a moment of astonishment, started pouring and handing around coffee.
Raken theatrically touched her chest. “So close. I saw this gorgeous fair man come walking calmly down the stairs while around him everyone was in panic – I just evaded you.”
Lanto muttered under his breath.
“Raken?” McSee gasped.
She shrugged. “He could have followed.”
“He would have drawn too much attention to the Mantle,” Rayne said. “And now all is in the open. You have nothing to fear from me.”
“And I am willing to help.”
Caballa, standing in the shadows, wiped at her eyes, and then left as silently as she had entered.
Sabian, arms folded, rested in other shadows, watching, recalling moments when he and Michael laughed together, ate together. He missed his brother.
Lowen too watched, from a different vantage. From where she stood, Torrullin’s face and expressions were exposed to her. She watched the animation there, the release of tension, the genuine smiles and laughter. He was so bright, so very bright.
Tears coursed over cheeks.
There was the man she met in an amphitheatre on Valaris, with snow piling upon the rims. He was so bright then. How she loved him then.
How she loved him still.
I have to admit, I do not generally like people on book covers. I prefer allowing my imagination to paint the characters for me. And yet a part of me is ever searching for the perfect image, the someone who fits with how I ‘see’ my beloved book family.
I haven’t yet found even one 🙂
Still, the following galleries are for the three main characters in Lore of Sanctum. While no image is ‘quite right’, take a bit of each and maybe, just perhaps, you might have an idea of what they look and act like.
THE most important character!
My favourite character!
Now that you have Lore of Arcana’s reading order, let’s move on to Lore of Reaume.
In Reaume, most of the characters you have come to know in Arcana are again present. As this part of the greater tale is set more than 20 years later, a few have died and others are relinquished to their own devices. New characters now step forth, as do new adventures. Many of the adventures take place not only on other worlds, but in other realms.
The Kallanon Scales
An ancient map points the way
Valaris is under attack from an ancient enemy, and a map folk die for in the seeing of it, points to the place of confrontation. Enter the race of dragons – the Kallanon. The defenders enter the Forbidden Zone, far from home.
From Valaris to Atrudis, expect mayhem as war erupts.
The Nemisin Star
Destiny stalks the twins
Someone believed dead returns, and sparks war on Valaris once more. Torrullin’s twin sons seek to end their symbiosis. Their father will be forced to choose on the night Nemisin’s Star shines. When ceasefire is elusive, he chooses to enter another realm, thereby forcing an end to hostilities.
The action takes place wholly on Valaris, with a brief visit to Celaver.
The Sleeper Sword
The Sleeper is Awake
Two thousand years have passed for some, while no time at all for others. Time’s conundrum becomes a player and a certain sword is the proof. A new and terrible enemy steps into the ring. Realms of time and place feature now as part of the milieu.
We are on Valaris, with visits to Scortas and Luvanor.
The Dreamer Stones
As the title suggests, we delve into realms beyond the known, particularly those of dreams, and ancient stones mark the paths. Torrullin vanishes from reality searching for answers, the means to ending the war with the Warlock.
This is a mighty book, the longest of all LORE books. Again, as with Arcana’s 4, there is an ending that concludes the Reaume part of the Lore Series, and yet there are pointers to what comes next in Sanctum.
Lore of Sanctum’s reading order follows Reaume’s