The Hybrid Magic Chronicles Book 2
by Cristy L. Bowlin
Genre: YA Fantasy
broken enchantment. An uncertain alliance. A dangerous
Aaron has made a terrible mistake. He unleashed a powerful mage who will only make him and his friends more of a target for the Defenders who hunt them. When Theo is taken, Elara must use her newfound abilities to track him down, while Aaron vows to fix his mistake before anyone else gets hurt. With assistance from some experienced seers, healers, and combat mages, Aaron and his friends embark on a quest across the Deravine Commonwealth and into a cold northern land. The trip is anything but easy, forcing the hybrid mages to learn how to rely on themselves. As Theo slips further away from them, the Defenders gain more followers. With few people they can trust, the hybrid mages are left wondering—Is any place safe for them now?
Once Master Killian was gone from the courtyard, Theo looked up at the clock on the wall and cursed. It was already 7:15, and he still needed to change his outfit before dinner.
Hurrying inside, Theo took a shortcut through the kitchens. The faint smell of smoke made him glance around for burning food, but he didn’t see anything on fire. After exiting the kitchens, he spotted the source of the smoke—a singed tapestry hung above a completely scorched plant. Theo looked up and down the corridor. Usually there were a couple guards stationed in this area, but it was currently empty. Between the missing guards and the burned remnants of the plant, something wasn’t right. The hairs raised on the back of his neck.
He turned down a few more corridors and gasped at what he saw when he rounded a corner onto a hallway on the east end of the palace near the guest wing. A man in a guard’s uniform lay sprawled on the ground, his limbs bent at unnatural angles. Theo ran to the man, wishing as he always did that his magic included some healing abilities.
Theo felt for the guard’s pulse and discovered his heart beating unnaturally slowly. When Theo examined him further, he couldn’t find any torn clothing, bruises, or bleeding wounds. There were no indications of a struggle. The man was still breathing, yet his breaths were ragged. Maybe he had been poisoned. There weren’t any of the obvious signs of poisoning that Theo had learned about in the textbooks Bennet assigned him, but Theo knew some poisons were nearly indetectable.
A shiver trailed down Theo’s spine at the thought that a Defender might have done this. Here was another innocent person who might be suffering because he was helping protect Theo and his friends. How had anyone even gotten into the palace who didn’t belong here? There were countless guards, and it was built like a fortress. Theo’s best guess was that there was a traitor working at the palace. Whether that person was a Defender or not, Sir Sheffield needed to hear about this immediately.
A creak sounded down the hall that made Theo jump. He looked up and saw a door cracked slightly open, letting in a sliver of moonlight from outside. Theo crept over to the door and peered around it but saw no one. A gust of wind must have pushed the door ajar. Theo stepped out onto the flagstone path that led to the temple behind the palace.
When he reached the doorway into the temple, Theo saw that the lock was broken. He knew he should turn back. Whoever was inside the temple could be dangerous. But he was tired of running away from danger. His magic was given to him for a reason.
The Hybrid Magic Chronicles Book 1
nations joined peacefully as one, but a band of assassins lurks in
Magic isn’t uncommon in the Deravine Commonwealth, where people can be gifted with the faculties of combat, healing, transformation, or sight. Yet as a hybrid mage, Aaron Ztrong’s abilities aren’t so easily categorized. He managed to save his parents during a dangerous confrontation when he was only a young boy, and now a decade later most people in his life expect him to do remarkable things with his powers. Then there are those who fear what Aaron and others like him can do. When Aaron’s life is threatened by a group calling themselves the Defenders, he takes refuge with two other hybrid mages and the teacher who is training them to enhance their abilities. As the Defenders continue to hunt down hybrid mages, Aaron and his new companions must find a way to survive.
Elara rubbed her arms as a chill in the air brushed over her. She pulled her light brown cloak tighter around her shoulders and undid the knots in the ribbon that tied up her wavy, wheat-colored hair, letting the tresses fall around her neck. Her father used to tease her whenever she stayed out working with the crops until dusk, claiming she was just another corn stalk blending in. She was tall and thin, with tanned skin that almost matched the color of her cloak.
It was just recently that Bennet Wynstrom had taught her to blend in with the trees of the forest. She always knew she was good with plants, but it wasn’t until Bennet found her that she understood the true extent of her powers. She could do more than just heal the plants she worked with—she could become one of them. So far, she had only managed it twice with any success, but she was getting better at it. Like a wood nymph straight out of a fairytale, her limbs and torso turned a sinewy dark green, and her hair became a cascade of leaves dotted with tiny yellow flowers.
Despite the thrill she experienced in her transformation, she sometimes regretted that Bennet found her. She would still be with her family now if it weren’t for him. But if Bennet hadn’t found her first, one of the Defenders of the True Four might have.
Elara never would have guessed that she was a hybrid mage. How could she be when no one else in her family even possessed any of the usual magical faculties? It was only after Bennet contacted her parents six months ago that she learned the truth. Her birth parents had died when she was two years old, and the father she could no longer remember was a combat mage. A fire burned down their house. Elara only survived because of her abilities. Her aunt and uncle found her in a mud pit surrounded by charred vine tendrils. Somehow, Elara had reached into the earth with her magic and guided the vines to the surface, opening up a wellspring in the middle of the family’s kitchen.
Elara’s aunt and uncle didn’t have any children of their own at that time, and they adopted her. Her brother and sisters were really her three younger cousins. She frequently reminded herself that she left before others discovered her abilities in order to keep her family safe. Anyone who didn’t know of Elara’s adoption would assume Rylan, Adaline, and Bella were also hybrid mages. Hybrid magic was the genetic outcome of a specific and rare family lineage traced back through four generations, and siblings with that lineage would all be hybrid mages. Her family’s luck with farming had always caused rumors, which made it better for Elara to get far away from prying eyes.
Cristy L. Bowlin is a college English professor and author of The Temple Dancer’s Diary and The Hybrid Magic Chronicles, set in the fantasy realm of the Deravine Commonwealth. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband, daughter, and pet cat. When she isn’t reading or writing, she is most likely tap dancing, hiking, or getting invested in (another) TV series.
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