Darkness stirs in the heart of Courdeval. And in the heart of its very king. But she’ll fight until her last breath to save them both.
After Jon’s near brush with death, Rielle couldn’t be happier when he awakens. As he resumes his duties and his normal life, however, it becomes clear he is changed--perhaps forever. There is a power in him, and a darkness, that threatens to consume him… for all time.
With the Order of Terra and the Tower of Magic now serving the Crown, Emaurria is stronger than ever, but the threats it now faces might lead to the kingdom’s undoing. Locked in open war against the Divinity of Magic, Emaurria is in grave danger and, worse, divided at its core. The Houses see opportunity in a withdrawn king, and Rielle, Brennan, and Olivia fight to keep stability as they try to reach Jon, while Leigh finds himself damned and looks for the strength to save himself before he can save the world from the Rift.
As the Houses and the war poke a sleeping dragon, they invite flames that could char Emaurria to mere glowing embers. Can Rielle and her friends reach Jon before it’s too late, or will he be lost to the darkness, and Emaurria to the flames of dragon fire?
If you like the fantasy romance of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the dark intrigue of the Black Jewels series, the epic adventure of Game of Thrones, and a heroine who never gives up, you'll love this romantic epic fantasy series.
Read The Dragon King this January and dive into a medieval world sensual and dark, full of magic and greed, love and blades, where factions vie for influence and there are no easy choices...
Divine’s flaming fire, it had worked. It had actually worked. The life bond.
Rielle covered her mouth, holding her breath, while Jon stared at the massive four-poster bed’s canopy and shifted beneath the red-and-gold silk coverlet. His chest rose and fell raggedly, while he blinked sluggishly beneath a creased brow.
“Jon,” she whispered. She took his hand in hers and pressed his palm to her cheek. “Thank the Divine you’re awake.”
He turned his head to her and narrowed his eyes, studying her for a long moment before he reached for her face. “Rielle,” he said, slowly, carefully, his voice a low rasp.
Water. He needed water.
Hastily, she reached for the silver goblet and carafe on the nightstand and poured, then held it out to him encouragingly. “Let me help you.”READ MORE
Although she offered him a hand, he shook his head. Bracing a hand on the mattress, he sat up, and his fingers rubbed against the sheets, a fine linen, brushing it languidly. His nostrils flared as he breathed deep, closing his eyes for a long while before opening them anew.
He took the offered goblet and drained its contents, then looked out the window toward the city’s crimson roofs and squinted. After three days of fever, he had to be exhausted.
“How do you feel?”
His fingers curled tighter around the silver goblet, and he took a deep breath. In and out. “I feel strong,” he replied solemnly, then handed her the empty goblet. “Stronger than I have ever felt.” With wide eyes, he scrutinized his arm, flexing and turning over his hand.
It was the life bond—it had to be—but she didn’t feel any weaker herself. Yet she’d managed to supplement his life force with hers? Somehow it was even more miraculous than she and Olivia had hoped for, then.
“That’s wonderful.” She climbed into bed and knelt next to him, following his line of sight to the gray autumn skies above Courdeval. “It’s been quiet ever since the battle. But everyone’s been on edge, nervous. Now that you’ve awoken, things will settle down.”
She took his hand, and the warmth of it… had changed. Before the fever had broken, his skin had been hot, but now… maybe not as much, but its heat still lingered. “Your temperature,” she breathed. “Are you sure you’re—”
“Do you love me, Rielle?” he asked, turning abruptly to her and holding her gaze with a steely intensity.
She huffed, drawing in her chin. “With all my heart. What kind of question is that?”
His gaze lingered on her lips as he leaned in and kissed her. His kiss was gentle at first, soft, and he shifted closer, smoothing his hands over her hair and down its length with a dimpled smile. “Have you been here all this time?”
Her cheeks warmed. “I—of course—”
He rubbed his thumb across her lower lip, watching it with a glimmer of amusement. “I have great plans for this kingdom. Radical plans, even. Will you help me achieve them, Rielle?”
“Of course,” she breathed with a laugh, “but you’ve only just awoken. You should be resting. Don’t you want—”
He held a finger to her lips, halting her words. “Greatness awaits no one’s rest. There’s work to be done.” With a last grin, he threw aside the coverlet and got out of bed, heading straight to the washbasin.
Frowning, she rose hesitantly. “And this work needs to be done right this minute?” she asked, while he washed up. “Aren’t you hungry? Or tired at all? And what about your heart? Shouldn’t we check with Olivia to see—”
“I can feel it. My heart is fine,” he said over his shoulder with a laugh. “I don’t need a healer to confirm that. Anything else?” he challenged, holding her gaze.
Her mouth fell open, but she shook her head, and he returned to washing and dressing.
*A healer.* He referred to Olivia so plainly. It seemed… cold, somehow. Was he upset about the lifebond? They hadn’t even discussed it yet, but maybe he felt it. Maybe he blamed Olivia?
Rielle pressed her lips together and poured herself a goblet of water.
*But she is a healer.*
And this work he referred to—he’d called it radical. What did he have in mind?
Booted footsteps approached her from behind, and Jon’s palms grasped her shoulders before sliding down her upper arms. “I’ll see you tonight,” he said softly, then lightly kissed her cheek.
As she turned to him, he stepped away, fastening the last of the toggles on an intricate black-and-gold doublet.
“Are you going to meet with Olivia and let her know you’re all right at least? Or the Grands?”
He laughed under his breath. “I’m going to call a meeting of Parliament. It’s time we declared war on the Divinity of Magic.”COLLAPSE