The Forgotten Sister
~Rowan has never been freer, but there is a wicked sort of balance to eternity, and freedom for Rowan may come at deadly price for those she loves.~
Beginning where Future Queen left readers, Armored Mage takes Rowan out into the wide world. Her court has been disbanded, she has been disowned and betrayed, now Rowan must set her own course in her quest find dragons and save both her sisters.
Keep checking in for more updates, sneak peeks and book art as it develops.
393 days until Roisin returns
That was the bad time.
Yseult’s hooves pounded against the soft ground, damp with near morning dew. Rowan leaned low over her neck. The wind tugged her braid out behind her and the cool of the evening raced like icy fingers across her cheeks. She pushed the horse as fast as she would ride trying to outrun the voices and fears chasing after her.
Petal was helping Sorcha. Not just to trick her either, she took her side. Keagan’s small frightened voice chased after Rowan.
They couldn’t be headed to the bad time. Rowan wouldn’t let them. So she raced forward not seeing her path, she just following the hum of the whistle. But their pace did not take away Rowan’s anxiety.
You are disinherited. —Father’s voice pounded after her.
We cannot train. You offer us this hope and then you just rip it away. —Peg cried out.
I am sorry Rowan. —Petal whispered as she stole away with Rowan’s heart.
Rowan pushed Yseult harder, trying to shake off Petal’s heartbroken voice, her mind was screaming in fear and rage. She felt so much rage. With her father, with Colum, and Ardal—with herself. That nightmare she’d woken from tortured her, pounding through her mind like Yseult’s hooves, insisting it was real.
“How can you be so cruel?” Gwyneth cried. “They are your family. Don’t you love them at all?”
“Apparently not,” Rowan said with a wicked laugh. “I always thought I did….Thought I would sacrifice anything and anyone. But I was wrong.”
Rowan heard her own voice, the callous slice of it racing down her spine, making her shiver. She could feel Yseult noticing, but it didn’t slow her pace. Yseult knew as well as Rowan that she had to leave the palace. Every day Rowan spent inside those walls allowing her father to control her, or Colum and Ardal to set her down, every day she spent ignoring the jeers of her father’s soldiers, every day the women she’d conscripted went without training, every day Rowan felt smaller and grew more resentful. She grew every day closer to the vengeful woman of her nightmare.
But she might not have truly understood that, had not Petal stood before Rowan as she woke from the dream. Petal bathed in moonlight and as broken to look on as Rowan had felt inside. As much as her own callous attitude towards Father and Roisin in the dream bothered Rowan that feeling that she had been willing to sacrifice anyone to save Roisin bothered Rowan more on waking. She’d already done the worst of her nightmare self; she’d sacrificed Petal’s happiness and safety for Roisin’s. Rowan couldn’t keep doing it.
That was the bad time.—Keagan whispered.
Could you let her die?—Eachann asked. Or will you choose family loyalty over loyalty to friends and followers?
Rowan wanted to scream. She wanted to rip the world apart with nothing but her anguish and wake up. She wanted this all to be a terrible dream—but it wasn’t. She couldn’t wake up. And she couldn’t see how either letting Roisin die, or destroying Petal were acceptable solutions. Something drastic had to change.
The way Rowan went about saving her sister had to change. She had to be better than she was in those walls. Within the walls of her home Rowan was too desperate to prove herself to everyone, to prove herself willing to do anything for Roisin. So sure that if she proved how much she loved Roisin everyone would love her. They’d have to, wouldn’t they? If she saved Roisin. If she never wanted for anything but Roisin’s safety. If she was the hero.
Rowan had to be the hero. And a hero had to sacrifice, or die in the act of saving. It could never be easy. To be worthy of love Rowan had to stand between Sorcha and her sister and bear the brunt of any suffering.
At least that’s how she felt at home. But Rowan wanted—needed to be so much better than that. She needed to be someone who could love herself. She needed to be wiser, and kinder. She needed to defeat Sorcha’s revenge, not just her curse.
Rowan needed to defeat that angry, resentful, lonely feeling that lived inside of her. Every word her father had thrown at her, and every look Colum had given her as he lectured, all of it had made that feeling grow. It was so large it was eating her alive, eating her common sense, her calm, eating her hope!
That was the bad time.
Rowan couldn’t let the worst of herself, or anyone else, be their future.
So maybe it was cowardly, but Rowan the Eternal was running away.
Running from the question that wanted to destroy her.
“Its simple really: whom do you love more?