The Fire Mages
Pauline M. Ross
Epic Fantasy Adventure/Romance
January 9, 2015
Amazon | Goodreads
Kyra has always been drawn to the magic of spellpages. She is determined to leave her small village far behind and become a scribe, wielding the power of magic through her pen. Halfway through her training, she has a mage as patron and her ambitions are within her grasp. But a simple favour for her sister goes disastrously awry, destroying Kyra's dreams in an instant.
Devastated, she accepts an offer from a stranger to help her find out what went wrong. The young man sees growing power within Kyra, potentially stronger than spellpages or any living mage. The answers to unlocking that power may lie within the glowing walls of the Imperial City, but its magic is strong and the unwary vanish without trace on its streets. Thirsty for knowledge and desperate to avoid another accident, she feels compelled to risk it.
While she focuses on controlling her abilities, a storm of greed and ambition boils up around her. Kyra is a pawn in the struggle for dominance between unscrupulous factions vying for rule of her country. Trusting the wrong side could get her killed--or worse, the potent magic she barely understands could be put to unthinkable evil.
“Kyra, I’ve found a spell to prevent pregnancy, and if you were to write it out…”
“Deyria, I’m not allowed to! Even if I had the proper paper and ink, it’s absolutely forbidden. I’d be thrown out of the scribery. Besides, I’ve never written a true spellpage.”
“Oh, it doesn’t need to be real,” she said airily, “but everyone knows that writing out the spell and then burning it in a crucible - well, it isn’t guaranteed to work, like the real thing, but it increases the chances.”
“Even a true spellpage isn’t guaranteed to work,” I said acidly. “This is just superstition, Deyria. Without the proper paper, ink and quill, it can’t possibly have any effect. There’s no magic in the words themselves, the power is all in the paper and ink. It’s a waste of time.”
“But it would make me feel better about all this,” she said softly.
It was quite illogical, but many people believed such things and paid a little to have someone write out a spell when they couldn’t afford the silver for a true spellpage. It would do no harm, I reasoned, and perhaps it would bring her some comfort, even if it couldn’t possibly prevent her getting pregnant. It was clear that she was as good as committed to the Kellon already - she even called him by his given name.
So, despite my misgivings, I wrote out the spell on Mother’s regular paper, and watched the letters jump and shimmer as they settled onto the page. Then I gave it to Deyria, and her face lit up with pleasure. She hugged me and thanked me over and over.
“We’ll go to Ginzia’s house tonight. She won’t mind us using her crucible.”
“Not me, no. I’m a scribe, Deyria, I don’t like to watch ordinary pages burned in the crucible. It seems wrong somehow. The crucible is only for true spellpages.”
So she went alone and came back smiling. But that night, I dreamt of flames and ash.
About the Author
Pauline lives in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland with her husband, her grown up daughter and a mad cat. She likes chocolate, whisky, her Kindle, massed pipe bands, long leisurely lunches, watching TV with her daughter, chocolate, going places in her campervan, eating pizza in Italy, summer nights that never get dark, wood fires in winter, chocolate, the view from the study window looking out over the Moray Firth and the Black Isle to the mountains beyond. And chocolate. She dislikes driving on motorways, cooking, shopping, hospitals. ‘The Fire Mages’ is her second published work. ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ was published in September 2014.