The Blutjagdfrau Chronicles (Print) - Night Warriors, Histories Book 1

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342 pages | Trade Paperback | 6x9"
Date of publication: 09/26/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-943528-18-9
  • Model: 92503 words

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Heat Rating: 4 Flames

 

"A series grows with unanswered questions and what-ifs." Brenna Lyons

When Reg destroys Ori in a mad bid to claim the mother goddess as his own, the distraught young woman is left to choose another mate from among the remaining Warriors. She knows them all by face and cannot choose. There is only one thing left a man believes will matter.

When Oren and Piet are called before the Stone lord, Gatin, they believe they are to be given extra instruction. Instead, they find themselves faced with the blindfolded and half-naked Ragan. One of them will fall. The other will claim what is rightfully his, by the gods' decree. Ragan.

Orphaned at birth and left to be raised by the barbarian refugees, Korji and Ahdia have no idea which dark giants are friends and which are foes. It is up to Taigh and his family to bring the lost children of Ani home.

What if Veriel had managed to steal Jayde? What if she'd been raised in seclusion, lied to, denied her training... crafted into the perfect mate for the beast? It all happened in an earlier beast war. Gaffin and a team of other Warriors have tracked Veriel to the greatest prize of all...Ragath.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Rajicorin ran, leaving the new Beasts far behind. A roar of her name sent her stumbling into the bushes at the bend in the trail. She pushed up and set off again, sobbing in the realization that Jotem's voice had become something to fear.

"Raji! Come back to me!"

To a Beast? To the King of Beasts?

The sky before her lightened to bands of pink and orange, promising safety. Safe enough to find Goven. Beasts couldn't walk the day. Goven had told her as much when he'd foreseen this day.

He hadn't foreseen Jotem turning against us. He is the strongest. We are surely lost.

Not yet. There is still our young one. He will be his father's downfall.

It was a meager consolation at best.

"Raji!"

Rajicorin. I will never use the name Raji again.

"Do not make me chase you, Raji," he warned. Jotem was closer, clearly chasing her already. "Raji, do not do this!"

Under other circumstances, she'd say he was panicked, but not now. Why didn't he refuse? True, the others had held a blade to her throat, but they hadn't dared kill her.

Or had they? Stealing her from Jotem's bed carried a sentence of death. Threatening her life certainly did. The rogues had nothing worse to fear by following through, she supposed.

"I will find you, Raji. I will find you."

Tears burned at her eyes. Now that he was a Beast, nothing would stop Jotem.

If I stay here. Every word of her training said she should seek her brother Goven's protection.

Something more insistent whispered to her. {Go. Run. As far as you can.}

Rajicorin blinked in the first rays of the rising sun, her lungs straining to keep up the pace, though Jotem couldn't continue his pursuit until sundown. The fork in the trail was only moments away.

Right. A right turn would take her to the huts that made up their village and the safety of Goven's arms.

{Left. If you wish to live to hold your son, go left.}

Right. Go to Goven and safety.

{Left, Rajicorin. Nowhere is safe that is within reach of the Beasts.}

Goven—

{Stay and you will be dead in less than two moons.}

Raji stroked a hand over her growing womb. If she left, she would have nothing but the clothing on her back.

{And your amulet.}

If the stories Goven told were correct—and Rajicorin didn't doubt her bother—the amulet would keep the Beasts from tracking her.

The foreign voice continued. {You also have the sacred weapon you took from the ground.}

Jotem's blade. Rajicorin clenched the hilt in her sweat-soaked hand. She'd nearly forgotten she'd taken it when she ran. Over the years, Rajicorin had learned more than a little about using it, but she didn't doubt she was no match for what was coming for her.

{Left!}

That trail was less used, and she skidded on the loose stones. They drew blood on one knee. Rajicorin ignored it, scrambled to her feet, and forged on.

{The river. They cannot track you if you swim.}

Questioning the voice didn't occur to her. It was reasonable, calming...

Rajicorin plunged in and paddled to the middle, where the water moved fast. There was no roughland for a quarter day's walk. If she stayed in nearly that long, it would be unlikely anyone could track her.

In less than half the time it would have taken her to walk the distance, Rajicorin emerged far downstream and on the opposite bank. She rested there for only a moment. Then she hid the signs of her escape and headed into the thick trees.

 

* * * *

 

People. Rajicorin watched the group from the safety of the trees.

She'd never seen such a mixture before. Some wore animal skins. Others wore wovens. Still others, like herself, wore a mixture of both, but none in the style she wore, of course. Her clothing alone would mark her village, if anyone in this group was familiar with her kind.

Rajicorin shook away the shaft of fear that thought engendered and focused on them again.

There were babes carried in slings, in backpacks, and in parents' arms. Some of the young were clothed in bits of cloth or fur. Others were naked. Likewise, the adults wore varying amounts of clothing from women with only waist wraps to women clothed to their ankles and wrists.

There were a few hide shelters like the Warriors would use when traveling. Only body-lengths away, there were stick shelters. Then simple tarp roofs over open camp sites. Behind them, she spied people moving in and out of caves.

Refugees from the battles. There was no other explanation for such a diverse mixture.

A twinge of regret settled in her chest. Somewhere, more than a moon of walking behind her, Goven and the other Warriors were fighting those battles. And fighting the Beasts.

When Rajicorin had followed the voice of her protector, she hadn't considered what Goven would think. How long had it taken her to lament leaving without word to her brother? A quarter moon? Half?

By now, Goven probably believed her dead. Did he believe she'd been killed by the new Beasts? Perhaps drowned in the river?

There was no way to know unless she went back, and since the voice had not led her astray yet, Rajicorin trusted that going back to her village would be disastrous.

{Go to them.}

To the Warriors? Why now? Why bring her all this way to—

{Go to the group below.}

Her heart pounded in terror. These people had seen battle, and she was a stranger. They might kill her on sight.

{Go, Rajicorin. Go to them.}

She rose on shaking legs. She has never caused me harm, never led me astray. Rajicorin repeated it to herself as she picked her way down the hillside.

A child sighted her first and ran for a group of adults, shouting in the language those to the south of the village used. The adults turned in her direction. The men rushed toward her, drawing their weapons. One of the women snatched up the child and retreated further into the group.

Rajicorin drew the sacred weapon, her opposite hand going to her son. They stopped short, and she backed away. If she could make it to the trees, she could disappear.

"Wait. Please, do not go." An ancient, stooped woman rushed toward her, waving the men back. She halted an arm's length away, and her gaze went to Rajicorin's womb.

"Zasha, come away," one of the men urged her.

She ignored him. "You fled the battles?"

Rajicorin nodded. She'd fled battles, but not the ones Zasha was referring to.

"You carry?" she continued.

"Yes. I do." Would they see that as a burden? Rajicorin prayed the worst she faced was being turned out. She'd lived alone for a moon, but that would be much more difficult as her son grew larger.

Zasha approached. She stared at the weapon Rajicorin held. At last, she held out her hand. "Come. Warm yourself. Our goddess ensures your safety here."

Rajicorin hesitated and then lowered her weapon. "My thanks," she managed.

The men parted and let them pass. By their expressions, Rajicorin guessed they wished to offend their goddess rather than let her into their camp, but Zasha obviously had some measure of power in this society.

At the fire, Zasha offered a bowl of soup and flat bread. Rajicorin took them with a word of thanks. It was difficult to eat slowly, but she forced herself to do so. If she ate at the pace her stomach demanded, the others would surely know how weak she was.

And I would sick up all I manage to eat. Her son needed sustenance, not empty promises.

"Your weapon," Zasha began. "I have heard of such blades."

Rajicorin looked around, fearing an attack in the making. Her grip on the bread eased at the sincere interest. The men crouched, seemingly waiting for a story. She went back to the food. The old woman would get to her point in time.

"The blade is the type carried by a dark giant," Zasha informed her people. "I saw one when I was a child. He was tall as a hut and strong as a horse."

"You must be a great sorceress to have killed a dark giant and stolen his blade," another woman said.

Rajicorin swallowed a mouthful of bread and shook her head slowly. "The blade was my mate's. He is...was the strongest of the Warriors."

One of the men gaped at her. "You were the mate of a dark giant?"

The term aptly described Warriors. "Yes. He was a dark giant." Darker now than he was before.

Zasha reached out as if to touch Rajicorin's womb, then snatched her hand away. "You carry a dark giant's young one?"

"My son is a Warrior, as was his father before him." What his father is now is of no concern to these simple people.

"But a giant?" she pressed.

"Yes. A dark giant." Rajicorin hoped their silence was a good sign.

"Then you must be a sorceress," one of the women attested. "Everyone knows only a sorceress can bear a dark giant's young."

What? Before Rajicorin could question that belief, a man interrupted her.

He pointed to her. "She is. See there? She wears a magic amulet."

Rajicorin faltered, uncertain how to answer that. Proclaiming herself a magical creature could have unexpected results.

"Is the amulet magic?" Zasha asked.

{Tell them. What else would they believe the power to hide you from Beasts is?}

"Yes." A niggling fear worked its way up her spine. "In my hands, it is magic." It wasn't a lie. The amulet alone wasn't enough, and if they believed it only worked for Rajicorin, they might not try to kill her for it.

"My daughter suffers a fever, sorceress," one woman called out. She waved a half-grown girl toward Rajicorin. "Can you do something? Can you save her?"

Rajicorin set the nearly-empty bowl down and reached for the child. There was no question the cut on her arm was infected, causing the fever. Luckily, it could be treated.

"I must lower the fever and draw out the poison." She considered her words carefully. "I believe she can be saved without loss of her arm." But it might come to that.

The mother clasped her hands before her mouth, tears pooling in her eyes. One of the men wrapped an arm around her.

"I need someone with knowledge of plants," Rajicorin continued.

"I have such knowledge," Zasha offered. "I am Zasha, the healer of Mantagi tribe. What should we call you, sorceress?"

All of her titles and names stuck in Rajicorin's throat. Jotem and the other Beasts were searching for her. She had to leave all she could of her former life behind as quickly as possible.

"Sorceress?" Zasha prompted.

"I have enemies, Zasha." It was only right to tell them. "They will be searching for my name on the wind, spread by careless lips. For your own safety and that of my son, I must ask you to call me 'sorceress' and nothing more."

The stillness around her was so complete, Rajicorin felt certain they would cast her out without even letting her heal the young one.

Zasha nodded. "Names have the power to track and bind. I understand, sorceress. It will be as you wish."

About the series: Unknown to humans, Night Warriors hunt the night, saving them from vampire-like creatures called beasts.

Authors:

Brenna Lyons
About Brenna Lyons:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Brenna Lyons wears many hats, sometimes all on the same day: former president of EPIC, author of more than 100 published works, owner of Fireborn Publishing, columnist, special needs teacher, wife, mother...and member in good standing of more than 60 writing advocacy groups.

In her first ten years published in novel-length, she's won 3 EPIC e-Book Awards (out of 15 finalists) and finaled for 3 PEARLS (including one Honorable Mention, second to NY Times Bestseller Angela Knight), 2 CAPAS, and a Dream Realm Award. She's also taken Spinetingler's Book of the Year for 2007.

Brenna writes in 26 established worlds plus stand-alones, poetry, articles and essays. She's a bestseller in indie/e fantasy and horror, straight genre and cross-genres thereof. Brenna has been termed "one of the most deviant erotic minds in the publishing world… not for the weak." (Rachelle for Fallen Angels Reviews) Milieu-heavy dark work is practically Brenna's calling card, with or without the erotic content. She teaches classes in everything from POV studies to advanced editing, networking to marketing. Brenna enjoys hearing from people who read her work and can be reached by e-mail.

Website: http://www.brennalyons.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brenna.lyons

Email: brennalyons4168@live.com

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Brenna Lyons, Brenna Lyons- COVER ARTIST and Kathryn Lively- EDITOR:


This book was added to our catalog on Thursday 10 September, 2015.

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