After Naia’s choice to steal a magical object results in the death of her family, the warrior priestess must team up with enemy mages—including the dangerous, but intriguing, Kairon—and learn to harness her magical heritage in order to rescue her sister. #Ownvoices South Asian-inspired fantasy.
“Did you steal it yet?” a deep, familiar voice whispered in my ear, muting the chatter of the Hazalis festival market around me. Heated breath brushed my neck as unease gripped me. I schooled my features into a composed mask and turned around.
Varan stood behind me, his cerulean eyes watching with cold amusement.
“Time’s running out, Priestess. If you want to help your father, then I suggest you get me that syphon.” His head tilted, and he surveyed me, scanning for weakness. I steeled my shoulders, but his voice still pressed against them, weighing me down with his words. “Unless, of course, you don’t want the information I have?”
My fists curled inwards, containing my rage into two focused points. “I’ll have it for you by nightfall.” I was pleased that my voice didn’t break, that I met his gaze, ice against earth, both of us immovable.
“See that you do.” Varan ran a hand through burnished hair. A pair of women walked by us, their crimson muslin dupattas crusted so heavily with pearls that I wondered how they didn’t fall over. They tried to catch Varan’s attention, but he kept it on me.
I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from telling him what I really thought of him. In the end, it didn’t matter.
If I did what he wanted, then I’d have the answers to questions I didn’t know could be asked—where my father was, and if he was truly still alive.