A TYRANNICAL KINGDOM. AN OPPRESSED PEOPLE. AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST.
Tempani of Amarill, a young noblewoman of mixed race, dreams of a Kamara united in race and class. Thrust from the convent into court life, Tempani struggles to find her place in a city she no longer recognizes.
Starved commoners fight the crown, women have no rights, and her mother’s people hide in the south to avoid persecution.
Banned from using her powers, Tempani feels helpless. But her magic is always there. A gentle hum under her skin, threatening to explode the more she sees people suffering.
She wants change, but is she willing to spill the blood of innocents to get it?
The Convent had been safe, protective charms keeping unwanted species away, but there were none here that she could see or feel. And no guards to keep the people safe.
They rolled past a large group of common men, their bodies caked in mud, as they trudged up the grassy hill towards the fields. They stared at her, their faces devoid of any emotion.
“Keep it moving!” A deep voice thundered as he advanced on the men.
She flinched as the flesh of one man was whipped. The harsh sound was foreign to her ears, and she brought her hands up to cover them. The fallen man was met by the boot of the whip yielder.
“He’s hurt,” she cried when Rando kept the carriage moving. “I have to help him.”
“Ain’t nothing you can do for him, my lady. Best keep moving.”
“No, I can help him. Turn around. Please.”
Madoc wheeled his horse around and rode up alongside them. “What’s wrong?”
“That man’s hurt,” she said. “We have to go back so I can help him.”
Madoc shook his head. “There’s nothing we can do.”
“I can help!” She cried. “I’ve been trained.”
“No,” he snapped. “You’re not at the Convent anymore. There’s nothing you can do. How a man chooses to treat his people is up to him. We stay out of it.”
She glared at him, shocked by his stance. Wasn’t a knight supposed to protect people? Didn’t they take oaths pledging to help those weaker than them? Or was it all just for show and all they did was escort young ladies to and from the city? If that was the case then she didn’t want a part of it.
“Take me back to the Convent,” she said. “I would prefer to stay there then keep company with men who stand by and let others be hurt.”
Madoc turned his horse around and kicked it forward. “We’ll stop for the night soon. There’s a merchant nearby who will give us shelter.”
She opened her mouth to object, but he was already gone. She slumped back against the carriage and angrily swiped away her tears. Tilaw whined beside her as he batted her with his paw. She looked down at him, but he was fixated on something up in the sky. She glanced up and found herself calming down as she watched the eagle flying above them. Kwahi stayed with them until they stopped for the night.
Excerpt from The Jewel of Kamara