Heart of Shadra by Susan Faw (Heart of the Citadel #3)
English | 2018 | Children/Young Adult | ePUB | 5.1 MB
A lover of unusual worlds, Susan is a masked crusader for the fantastical world. Championing mythical rights, she quells uprisings and battles infidels who would slay the lifeblood of her pen. It’s all in a night’s work, for this whirlwind writer. Welcome to the quest.
A gritty rebel with dangerous ties. A secretive mine that buries more than it excavates. A handful of ancient bones with dark origins.
Shikoba, feisty daughter of the tribal queen Aisha, has been trained since birth to defend her people. On the cusp of her final trials, she is swept away by a dragon and a Djinn shapeshifter. Bearer of a crystal heart, Shikoba has been marked to free her people from the tyranny of Emperor Madrid.
Shikoba is tasked with the destruction of the barrier that isolates her people from the other provinces, but an ancient evil stands between her and their freedom. Existing only in legend, the Naga is a fierce creature of magic and myth with a secret of its own to protect.
Can one young woman gather the courage to protect all that she loves? The cost will be bitter – her death in the sacred salt mines of Shadra. Only the spirits of the ancestors can say for sure, who will prevail.
Shikoba closed her oval eyes and sent an entreaty to the spirits. There were many spirits, but the Great Spirit was chief. The lesser spirits could hear though, so she was careful to not offend them. She did not have a prayer pipe, so she imagined the sacred vessel in her hand and held it out before her. She prayed to the elements of the four winds, calling them by name and raising her pipe to each birthplace: north, south, east, and west, calling for their blessings and their gifts. From Obsidian’s swaying back, Shikoba mimed grabbing a handful of dirt from the ground and tossing it to the air, uttering a sacred vow to protect Mother Earth and beseeching her protection in exchange.
Shikoba’s hands rose into the air and she pointed the imaginary pipe at the sky. A faint outline shimmered into being between her hands. Barely visible, the spirit form was two feet long and decorated with feathers and stones that dangled from its slim length. Sarcee cocked his triangular-shaped head, stretching to see the ghostly object. Shikoba did not seem to notice the phantom pipe in her hands.
Trance-like, she prayed to the Great Spirit, murmuring the words “Thank you, Great Spirit, for the gift of the elements from which all magic is formed. Shelter and protect us now, as we aid your people.” She prayed for guidance and wisdom and knowledge, mimicking the actions of the elders at every prayer gathering since she had been born.
Shikoba opened her eyes. The roiling cloud had risen higher into the air and broadened as the prayers sought their destination. Some of the prayers were lost, wandering about the sky as though their guidance had been damaged by the restricted passage through the chimney, altering their path. A couple of the more aggressive prayers veered off from the main group and shot toward Obsidian. Shikoba cried a warning to Obsidian, but she had already seen the speeding missive. She dived below the elongating finger of thought, her speed sweeping the prayer apart.
“Do not let it touch you!” screamed Shikoba. “If you contact a prayer not meant for you, it will kill you!”