A clumsy step, the wrong branch to hold on to and a bump on the head to leave her unconscious – no more than that causes Eryn’s life to turn upside down and to suddenly find herself in the capital city as a prisoner to the king.
She is determined to keep her magical abilities a secret in a kingdom where magicians have only ever been male as long as anyone knows. That doesn’t work out that well, though. The Order, the governing body for magicians, and the king seem to have their own plans with her, none of them caring in the least that she just wants to leave that blasted city behind and return to the peace and quite of her profession as a healer.
And then there is Enric, a high ranking magician in the Order thanks to his considerable strength, who seems to find watching her struggles an amusing diversion.
Ram’an has, to Enric’s great relief, left Anyueel again to return to his home country – which leaves him to figure out the challenge that Eryn still presents to him in more than one area of his life.
Eryn is restless, unnerved by the Order’s demands and her own urge to do something useful. Thus an expedition into the woods to teach the herb gatherers in the city how to provide her with acceptable goods seems just the thing to do to pass the time until the new healer’s place is ready for use. Ten peaceful days of collecting plants far away from the city. Or at least that’s the plan.
After the delegation’s return not only the Old Kingdom has to face changes as a consequence of the contact with the Western Territories. Eryn and Enric, too, realise that their recently established bond is not without side effects. Eryn centres all her hopes on the healer from Takhan who is supposed to aid her for a few months and who is bound to arrive soon…
Astrid Christine Donaubauer – that’s me. I don’t normally use my middle name for any purpose whatsoever, but I thought that two initials look better on a book cover than just one. And thus, after more than 30 years of being either ignored or a nuisance when I had to fill in forms, my middle name has finally turned out to be useful for something. I was born and raised in Austria (not Australia, mind you – no kangaroos!) and still live there with my husband. You might have heard of that small country somewhere in the middle of Europe; we are known for Sound of Music, Lederhosen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and, lately, Christoph Waltz. Another recent claim to fame: In The Big Bang Theory Austria was mentioned as one of the countries that look like a Wiener… Isn’t that lovely. I haven’t managed to look at a map without giggling since. I would call writing a hobby, yet I am not sure if hobbies are supposed to drive you crazy and haunt you at night if you don’t give in to them. Calling it a vocation sounds a bit grand for my liking, so let’s just say it’s what I spend a lot of my free time on. In real life (I like to consider my writing activities as kind of a double life; not quite as grand as Batman’s secret identity, but you get my drift) I earn my keep as a freelance trainer and translator, pursuing the quest of helping people to improve and develop their communication and language skills. I have no wish to make writing my primary occupation – I am convinced that in my case sitting down and letting my fingers type what is going on in my head has so far only worked because I am not bound by any deadlines or financially dependent on producing anything halfway enjoyable. That’s how I would like to keep it.
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