Wings of Arian by Devri Walls
Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.
With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.
However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.
And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.
Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK
Kiora was huddled into the corner of a small room she had found while blindly stumbling around the colony. Pushed up against the cold stone, she sobbed into her knees. How could she have been so blind, and stupid? She knew he cared for her, and she for him. But this was different. The depth of it nearly drowned her.
She took deep, gulping breaths trying to calm down, but she was shivering violently. Grateful for magic, she pictured a fire burning in the middle of the room. A warming fire erupted in front of her, the lone flames lapping happily at the stone. She smiled through the tears. Sticking her hands out to the flames, its warmth penetrated her, warming her, while the mesmerizing patterns of light and shadows calmed her mind.
As the shivers subsided, she felt a little less vulnerable. She shook her head. I could have pretended not to feel anything, she thought. Instead, she had run away crying and hid like a child. Not willing to focus on the repercussions of what had just happened, her eyes slid back to the fire, letting the flames mesmerize her into blissful numbness.
She felt his thread all too late, the price she paid for choosing not to think. Setting her jaw, she cursed herself for not paying better attention. She was not ready to talk, not ready to face him.
“Hi…” Emane’s voice came.
She winced. He sounded sad, and hurt. “Hi,” she said meekly without looking up.
“You’re not easy to find.”
“But you found me,” she answered coldly.
“I had some help.”
Kiora stared blindly into the fire, she didn’t want to look at him.
“Can we talk?”
“I thought you didn't like to talk,” she was being cruel, she knew it.
She heard him sigh and fall against the wall. Not looking at him wasn’t helping. She could still imagine exactly what pose he held. The one he always held if he was frustrated and a wall was nearby.
“I don't understand why you are so angry, Kiora.”
She bit her lip; she didn't understand why she was angry either. “I don't know.”
“Kiora,” his voice was so soft, so vulnerable. “Please, look at me.”
Kiora sighed and pulled her eyes away from the flames to look at Emane. He stood there leaning against the doorway just as she thought he would be. He was so beautiful—his blond hair was casually lying across his forehead as it always did, his blue eyes shining just beneath. She felt a stab of regret as she saw the sadness in them. His shoulders, normally proud and strong, seemed to sag.
“Please, you have to talk to me. I can’t make sense of this without it.”
“I don't know what to say,” her voice trembled.
“May I?” He gestured into the room. She hesitated before nodding.
He walked slowly over to her side as if he were scared that he would frighten her away again. Sitting cautiously down next to her, he stared into the fire with her. They sat there side by side, in silence; a thick tangible one full of questions.
“Why did you run? What did you feel, Kiora?”
Her throat tightened, pulling her knees up to her chest she said, “You know what I felt.”
He sighed, heavily. The flames of her fire twisted away from his breath. “I thought I did. But your reaction is making me question whether I know or not.”
Her heart began pounding so hard she thought it was going to beat right out of her chest. “Emane, I…” her voice just stopped, held back by the tugging arm of fear.
“Please, Kiora,” he urged, “tell me what you felt.” His hand came up as if he were going to touch her, but stopped. It wavered there for a second in her peripheral view before he lowered it slowly back to his side.
“You…” she stopped, “I mean, I—I felt…” She paused again. Why did this scare her so much? “Love,” she whispered, dropping her head onto her knees, refusing to look at him. “I felt love.”
Emane was quiet, his eyes fixed ahead of him. “And that frightens you?” The lilt in his voice betrayed his pain.
Her legs itched to run, she tightened her arms farther around them. “Yes.”
He cleared his throat, “That’s all right, it frightens me as well…” It sounded as if he were trying to convince himself of that as much as he was her. “What I don't understand is why it makes you angry.”
She wanted to tell him that she wasn’t angry, but the pain lodged in her throat again prevented her from speaking. So she sat there mutely, vaguely aware of tears trickling down her cheek.
“Are you really going to make me bare my soul before you decide to talk to me?” he asked gently.
Her gaze remained unmoved, refusing to look at him.
“All right.” Pushing himself to his feet, he began walking back and forth across the tiny room trying to formulate his thoughts. She watched only his feet as they paced just behind the fire. “Kiora, I don't understand why you are surprised. I thought that you cared for me as well. I thought you cared for me as much as I...”
Her head jerked up, starting to object, but he put his hand out.
“Stop,” he said running his fingers through his hair. “Please...stop...let me finish. I can’t believe I am saying this and if you stop me now I will never get through it.” He took a deep breath, lurching forward to resume his pacing. “I knew we were something, I wasn't sure what we were but we both know we were closer than friends.” He looked at her with the same intensity he had when he kissed her, the same depth that made her head spin. Her cheeks flared in response before she looked away. “I believe you even referred to it as a relationship. This...love, is the natural next step for a person.” She startled as he kicked a pebble, sending it clattering across the floor. “Sorry,” he murmured. Turning to her, he groaned, “Kiora, I can’t just make this go away. I wasn't looking for it, and it happened so fast. Kiora,” he pleaded in desperation, “please look at me.” Her eyes slowly rose to meet his. They were dark with desperation and something else. “Kiora,” he said, leaning in as if he wanted to move forward but was riveted in place, “I love you.”
Enter giveaway 1 for the chance to win an ecopy of Wings of Arian (all my usually giveaway rules apply - can be found on the giveaway page). You can also enter giveaway 2 to win a $10 giftcard, the book and bookmarks.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway