The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne
The fate of Ian Troy is revealed in the final installment of C. L. Schneider's epic fantasy trilogy, The Crown of Stones.
In one fell swoop, the resistance was shattered. Lives were taken. Hope was lost. Peace slipped like grains of sand through his fingers. So did the Crown of Stones. Now, forced into hiding, Ian Troy grapples for a way to save the realm—and free its people—from the sadistic clutches of Jem Reth; Mirra’kelan’s new self-appointed emperor. Plagued with the knowledge of a tragic future, he strives to influence events and save those he cares for. But his magic has betrayed him, and Fate has other plans.
Marked by the crown, hindered by the transformation spell contained within, each cast brings Ian one step closer to becoming more beast than man. Each move brings the death and destruction foretold in his vision inexplicably nearer. With Langor on the brink of war, and King Malaq’s plan for peace hanging in the balance, Ian returns to the ancient past; seeking an end to the eldring spell and a means to thwart Jem’s growing domination. What he finds there sets off a chain of revelations that leads Ian places he never thought to go.
Entrusted with the future of his race, Ian becomes the linchpin for lasting change. But how much weight can one man carry? And how much is he willing to sacrifice in the name of peace?
Best Book Bit:
It took me a second to remember where I was. To recall the untimely break of the ladder and the subsequent fall that landed me on my back at the bottom of the hole. Dazed and winded, cradled in cool mud, I listened to the distorted echo of breathing in the dark that wasn’t mine. The circle of gray light and falling rain above me blurred. The drops, as they neared me, seemed to slow. The splatter as it hit my clothes was strangely hollow. It streamed off the sides of my face, filled my mouth, raced down my throat.
I coughed, choking. And full lucidity rushed back with a roar.
In the wan light I saw the torch I’d carried was now a damp rag beside me. Wood from the broken planks and the busted ladder littered the cellar floor. A decent sized sliver protruded from my left shoulder. I must have fallen on it with force. The wood had gone straight through. Yet there was little blood on my coat, and I felt no pain, only a distant sense of warmth.
A face filled the circle above. Krillos yelled down, but thunder drowned his words. He disappeared, and I blew out a breath. Clenching my teeth against the anticipated discomfort, I rolled over to the left and felt nothing. I sat up; nothing still. Deciding on a real test of my apparent, sudden unresponsiveness to pain, I gripped the piece of wood. I was about to pull it out when a fuzzy outline moved against the shadows. Orange eyes and white teeth flashed. The shape was nearly level with the ground; the eldring was crawling. Painfully, I thought, from his stilted moves and low moans.
Krillos was right. The beast was hurt. And hungry, seeing as he’d been trapped for days.
A growl left the gloom. It trailed off with a rattling wheeze. I waited, but the eldring didn’t advance further. It was a hesitation I knew wouldn’t last long.