House of Enchanted: The Revelations of Oriceran, Soul Stone Mage, Book 1
By Sarah Noffke & Martha Carr
The Kingdom of Virgo has lived in peace for thousands of years… until now.
The sunlight streaming through the stained-glass window danced across the old wooden floor as Azure hurried down the hallway. She didn’t know where she was going or who she was looking for, but if she poked her head into enough rooms in the House of Enchanted, maybe she’d find someone who could give her answers. Her mother was sick, ill in the worst way. A witch without magic was nobody. Almost everyone on Oriceran had magic. Even some of the humans, the ones with a rare genetic mutation, although only a few used it for darker purposes.
Azure poked her head into a sitting room where a wizard stood tall, his hands over his head, eyes wide. “The dragon was this tall, I tell you,” he caroled to the crowd of witches and wizards sitting in front of him. Shaking her head, Azure pulled back into the arched hallway. Maybe she ought to try the first floor. But that was where the staff was cleaning and decorating for the coronation and its accompanying festivities. She’d heard that just cleaning the spider webs from the ceilings had taken a whole day. Spiders weren’t native to Oriceran, but had flourished once they got here.
Now the only time anything got through was when an illegal portal was opened. When spiders had invaded the House of Enchanted, they had taken on some of the magic and built spider webs that instantly rebuilt themselves when destroyed. Continuous spells kept the spider webs away, but nothing worked permanently. And cleaning spells were not generally used in the grand ballroom, since it was only for special occasions like the upcoming coronation.
“There you are!” Monet’s voice rang out as he came around the corner. “I’ve been meandering around this place for ages trying to find you.”
“One doesn’t meander if they are trying to find someone,” Azure corrected, realizing her voice was a bit too high-pitched. Must be nerves.
“What’s wrong?” Monet asked, his face turning serious.
He knew. He always knew when something was bothering her. It had been like that from the beginning, since the first time they played in the gardens of the House of Enchanted. Azure had been wishing that her mother would be more available, not always off on the business of the realm. She’d felt like she was missing something that day, a part of herself.
Monet had strolled up to her, run his hand through his light-green hair and said, “You look lost, but that’s a pity for you, because I’m the one who gets to be found. You’re it.” He tagged her shoulder and sprinted off through the topiaries and rosebushes in an impromptu game of hide-and-go-seek. They had been eight years old.
Now she was closing in on the age when witches dislodged their soul stones. She felt so much older, and yet the one thing that marked a witch and wizard’s full maturity hadn’t yet happened to her.
“Do you want to go down to the artisan market?” Azure forced the corners of her mouth into a smile.
Monet moved his jaw to the side, studying her. He nodded, not wanting to push her. “Fine. We need another deck of Elements cards anyway.”
“You need them, since you’re the one who loses all the damn time.” Azure picked up her dress as they made their way down the carpeted stairs.
FROM SARAH>>>> Hey ya’ll. I’m camping at the beach. Well, glamping, trying to escape the heat in Southern California. What are you doing this long weekend? Here’s another teaser. Can’t wait to release the book.