Title: Flames of Nevyana
Author: Edward Willett
Publication Date: August 01, 2016
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing
Blue Fire is both blessing and curse. A gift from the gods, its mystical light and energy powers and protects the land of Nevyana, but it also divides her people into three distinct groups. In the wrong hands, it becomes a formidable weapon. When sacred objects for channelling Blue Fire are stolen, sworn enemies Petra, Amlinn, and Jin set out to find them, and their paths converge on a collision course with the truth. Can they bridge the centuries-old divide between their communities? Or will their search for the truth and the explosive power of Blue Fire signal the end of Nevyana? Biography Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than fifty books of fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults, and adults. He lives in Regina with his wife, Margaret Anne; their teenage daughter, Alice; and their Siberian cat, Shadowpaw.
Amlinn spun across the stage to the wild, wailing music of the Sun Organ with her finger cymbals ringing, bare feet and arms and legs flashing in the light. The ruby in her naval, the coins hanging from her scarlet breast band and headband, and the silver bracelets on her wrists and ankles glittered with every turn. The wide-eyed faces of Citydwellers gleamed in the light of Sparkglobes hung above the stage, spinning in and through and out of her vision.
And then, sudden as a slap, the music ended.
Amlinn stumbled to a halt, panting, her skin wet with sweat that could not evaporate in the steamy air. In the sudden silence, she heard the steady patter of rain on the canvas high above. She smelled sweat and frying meat and her own musky perfume and something else: the sharp smell of Blue Fire, the same nostril-stinging scent she had welcomed when Samarrind activated the Fence.
She looked left toward Annjia, who poked futilely at the red, yellow, and black keys of the abruptly silenced Sun Organ. Then the Sparkglobes flickered. Amlinn looked the other way, toward the Sunwagon hidden from the audience behind the painted curtain that created wings for the stage. In the uncertain backstage light, the wagon’s Sunscales glistened like wet stone. But somehow the Sunwagon looked wrong, and it took her a moment to figure out why. A black-clad figure, a living shadow, knelt atop it, tugging furiously at a Sunscale with both hands. As Amlinn watched open-mouthed, the intruder gave a final wrench and pulled the glass square free.
Blue Fire flashed and the lights went out.
Men and women shouted and screamed. Almost at once, tiny new flecks of blue light pricked the blackness as Freefolk rushed into the tent carrying Lightwands. But only Amlinn had been in position to see the thief on the Sunwagon who had caused the blackout—a thief, stealing a Sunscale, the greatest secret of the Freefolk, the gift of the Goddess Arrica.
The first rule of the Freefolk flashed through her mind: “When you see something that needs doing, do it!” If she took time to find Grandfather, the intruder would escape, so Amlinn leaped off the back of the stage into near-pitch darkness that was alleviated only by the faint glow of lights from the City through an opening in the back of the show tent—an opening that shouldn’t have been there. With another jolt of outrage, Amlinn realized the thief had slashed through the canvas to gain entrance.
She felt her way toward that opening, half crouched, her hands outstretched to keep from tripping over ropes and barrels and other odds and ends littering the backstage area. Even so, she banged her shin painfully hard against something that boomed like a drum, carrying even above the hubbub of the frightened audience out of sight beyond the stage. At the same instant, a dark figure blotted out the light in the slashed opening. He—or she—paused as though listening, then darted out into the rain.
Less than a minute later, Amlinn emerged into the sodden night too, shivering as water ran down her bare arms and belly and soaked her thin skirt, which clung to her legs like a second, ice-cold skin. She shoved stringy tendrils of hair back up under her headband as her eyes darted this way and that.
There! The thief—and now she could tell it was a man—wore a pack that surely contained the stolen Sunscale and darted toward the blue glow of the Fence. Except, in one spot, there was no blue glow. Somehow he had slashed an opening in it too, just as he had in the canvas of the tent! Terrified the gap would close behind him, Amlinn dashed after him toward the City, her bare feet splashing through puddles.
Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than fifty books of fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults, and adults. He lives in Regina with his wife, Margaret Anne; their teenage daughter, Alice; and their Siberian cat, Shadowpaw.