When Cyndra Raine inherits her grandmother’s crystal, she inadvertently awakens a lethal elemental force she doesn’t understand. Panicked and desperate, she flees the safety of her village, determined to find answers only to run into a man named Rune with the same abilities and questions.
Zorin has spent twenty-five years soaring over his island waiting for something, anything, to change. After sensing caster power he can’t ignore, he leaves the island and finds two casters under attack on the mainland. He’s shocked to learn Cyndra and Rune are ignorant of their lineage and the war that destroyed the world.
Intrigued by Cyndra and the immense power she possesses, Zorin promises her the truth about the past in exchange for her help. Inexplicably drawn to the winged man, Cyndra agrees to his terms and together they begin a journey that tests everything she knows about her world and discovers a connection to Zorin more profound than any she’s ever imagined.
Long after sunset, the last straggler of the day walked up to the vegetable/fruit shelf and pulled two bananas off the pile. Cyndra readied a paper bag as she covertly eyed the older man, noticing the new pair of shoes hiding underneath his pristine jeans. She normally charged everyone the same, some lower if she knew they were in dire straits, but never more, regardless of what they wore or how clean they appeared.
“Pleasant evening,” he said, speaking softly and lifting his dark eyes to meet hers.
“New to Virginialand?”
“Passing through.” He paused at the counter offering no more and setting the fruit down. “Do you take the Zonecoins?”
“As a matter of fact I do,” she replied, smiling casually, hoping to make the sale, “but one is already too much for bananas.”
The man jerked his chin to her left. “How many for the bogwood box?”
“What’s bogwood?” Cyndra glanced over, furrowing her brow.
“Wood that’s cured in peat bogs, very rare these days and the carvings are…Six Zonecoins.”
“I’m sorry, it’s not for sale,” she said, motioning to the canned food section and trying to hide her disappointment. Zonecoins were like cowmeat to Southzoners. “I have a jewelry chest on the home goods cart.”
“Eight,” he said sharper, narrowing his eyes and moving closer to the box.
“Not for sale,” she reiterated and stretched to her full height, a couple inches taller than the old man.
His lip curled and his eyes flashed with anger. “You don’t even know what this is, what you have in your possession, do you?”
“The box?” Cyndra dropped her hand to her side, ready to grab her weapon, when the zone’s curfew warning alarm blared through the air.
“Your ignorance will destroy you,” he snapped, glancing back to the door. He had half an hour to get to wherever he needed to go. Everyone knew the penalty for traveling after curfew.
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