Only one can save them.
The Rebellion has fallen.
The door to the Outside has been opened.
And the one who opened it—Jurien Arminius—is now the most powerful man in Darcentaria.
But everything they have known is about to change forever.
Separated by Arminius but fighting to get back to each other, El and Torsten encounter unlikely allies that reveal stunning truths about each other, the Outside, and the very beginnings of Darcentaria itself.
She touched his hand apprehensively. The worst was yet to come, but she had to say it. It was the same truth that had unmade her; if he let it, it would unmake him.
“I believe there will be justice, Torsten, for all the terrible wrong that has been done to you. But until you can forgive, you will never be free. You will never be free to love anything else but the sword in your hand.” Something flickered deep in her soul, too nebulous to name. “Absolution requires blood, yes. But not Arminius’ blood. God’s.”
“So that’s all I have to do?” he said finally, curtly. “Choose between love and vengeance?”
“In my experience, you cannot have both,” she replied softly. “As my father used to say, ‘If you carve yourself out a place in history, El, just remember that it will carve out a place in you.’”
“Arminius took everything from me, El. Including the humanity you keep trying to see in me. I can’t just let him keep what he stole.” His expression twisted into a grimace. “I used to think this pacifist nonsense was just another philosophy for you.”
“It’s not,” she replied. “It’s everything, Torsten, because life means everything to me.”
“Life?” he scoffed. But his face changed slightly. “And if I gave up my claim to the Rebellion and the throne? My claim to vengeance? What then?”
She put her hand over his. “I know you. If you chose me, you would do it because it was what I wanted. You would choose me without any thought of God. And any feelings you had for me would quickly give way to resentment. The right choice made with the wrong motivations can be just as dangerous as the wrong choice made with the right motivations. Choosing me would eventually destroy you.”
Jasmine (J.J. Fischer) is living proof that it is possible to be addicted to tea and coffee simultaneously. Both made it possible for her to complete her Bachelor degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2012.
Jasmine is married to David, and together they are the proud owner-parents of five warring pet chickens who tolerate each others’ existence—most days. When tempted away from the keyboard, she enjoys reading, thinking about lasagna almost as often as Garfield the cat, and working towards her black belt in karate. She vows to one day write the perfect fight scene.
Jasmine makes her home near Sydney, Australia, where most animals want to kill you and drop bears enforce a daily reign of terror. If you’re reading this, please send help.
One winner will receive print copies of The Sword in His Hand and The Secret Fire, a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card and a $5 discount code to Ambassador International’s store (US only)
Ends July 21, 2021