Here’s a sneak peak of Shadow and Thorn, book four of The Andari Chronicles:
Darkness was her world. Darkness and silence.
There was nothing and no one to break the silence, for she was alone, and when she was alone, she had neither ears nor voice.
So deep was the darkness, that she had begun to wonder if there had ever been anything else.
From time to time a whisper would find her from outside her formless cocoon, but the whispers could neither break her nor free her, so she slipped further and further into the void, further and further from memory and thought and caring.
At last, she slept, and she forgot that sleep was another word for danger. Even if she had remembered, the memory would have done her no good, for she fell ever deeper into oblivion—so deep that, had she been alive, she might have been said to be dying.
It was the light that woke her. Called to her.
Such a strange, gentle light. Soft, and barely even aware of itself.
She rose through the darkness, barely able even to perceive the light, or to remember why it mattered, but it was important. Before she was even fully awake, it caught her in a snare of fascination and hunger and she could not look away.
It was beautiful. Quick and lithe, graceful and fanciful, a delicate tracery of lavender on the unseen winds of thought. She remembered this. Or something very like it.
She stirred. Or tried. But everything was heavy and slow, and even her thoughts did not obey her as they should. Had she fallen so far?
An irritation began to trouble her, the closer she came to consciousness. Something was not as it should be. She cast about, looking for her bounds, testing the limits of her awareness, and found a crack. A tiny shard of wrongness.
Increasingly roused, she arrowed towards it, faltering now and again, but determined. She had a purpose, and she must not fail. When she found the shard, she circled, pressed and peered into the dark, until the light brightened, and she remembered.
She remembered what the light was for! What she was for!
Light was life, and life was safety. Light was precious, and she must have it for her own.
Reaching out with all the awakening tendrils of her being, she seized it, wrapped those delicate strands of lavender in the unbreakable bounds of herself and exulted, for now she would live.
She almost did not hear the screams, for she was waking faster now, and the wrongness needed to be dealt with. Something had pierced her defenses and it could not be allowed to stay.
Her entire being trembled. The very air bowed to her summons, and with a surge of power and rage, the wrongness was purged, her boundaries were restored, and all could again be at peace.
Except she could still hear the screaming.
She searched, but the wrongness was gone. Her awareness was secure.
She turned inward, and found something she had not anticipated.
The delicate motes of lavender, the lovely and mesmerizing tracery of light was part of her now. And so were the screams.