The Vale Chronicles
By Chelsea Starling
Genre- YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Jesobel Vine wants nothing more than to be a typical Pyxie teenager.She wants to ride her beloved horse, Firefly, shoot her bow, and fall in love with her dreamy best friend, Glyn. But Jesobel is marked not only as the future Royal Starkeeper of Pyxis, but as the Heart of Azimuth—the one to lead her people back to their lost realm—a burden too dangerous for daydreams. As Jesobel struggles to accept her destiny, reluctantly studying mystic magic, she becomes doubtful she will ever be worthy to rule. And when her fiery temper enrages the daemon-possessed Starkeeper of Equuleus with a hex-gone-wrong—igniting an orphic war—Jesobel must find a way to alter the global disaster foretold by a celestial legend.
And now an Excerpt from Quickbane-
The winged boy paced circles around the tree, flexing his wings and fingers, as if pondering some great mystery, or concocting some sort of plan.
“Who… who are you?” I asked again. “What do you want?” I could barely stand up straight. Magic whirled from the compass, pushing me this way and that. I envied the boy’s sapling to lean on. I hoisted a foot upon the rock to steady myself.
He sighed as if bored beyond measure and bent into a dramatic bow with a flourishing hand gesture. “I am Vallax, Orphic Prince, Ruler of Daemons. Some call me the Dark Angel.” He stood, stretching his jagged wings upward in a showy way, and curtsied. And then I heard him mumble, “At your service.”
“At my service?” I stumbled around, the spinning needle knocking me off balance. I felt drunk and gave the rock a dirty look for failing to hold me still.
“Indeed,” he said, yawning. “Say, why don’t you tell me about that fascinating sigil lighting up your chest.”
Vallax focused on the sapling, whose papery bark he used to sharpen the edge of a talon. “Is that a compass?” A hint of a smile passed across his pale lips, sparkled in his black eyes.
A cold and sinister flood of energy seeped into my hand and shot up my arm. It strangled my magic, yet at the same time gave me a wild surge of power—for a brief second I was limitless, my quickflame radiating from me with immense force. It was intoxicating. I felt I could do every spell Aggie had ever attempted to teach me and then some, but it was all wrong. Way too much devilsflare. I pushed back with my quickflame, guiding the dark magic back down my arm, out. Out into the amulet in my hand.
“Did you like that little blast of extra power? Want some more?” The winged boy leaned forward, suddenly attentive, grinning, pointing at me with a hooked claw.
Another surge blasted up my arm. “No! Please, stop!” The needle spun out of control, waves of nausea surged in my stomach like a tempestuous sea. I stumbled, dizzy and delirious. I clapped a hand over my chest, tried to calm the needle, hide the bright light bursting from my sternum. “Please, please stop!” I begged, as the compass grew icy cold with devilsflare.
Warrior, mermaid, wordsmith, performer for kings and queens, Chelsea Starling is fucking awesome. She raises bear cubs with one hand, and conjures whole worlds with the other.