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Out of Annwyn
THE RATH HAVEN CHRONICLES BOOK 2
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-429-4
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 472 Pages
Published: February 2007
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

Jane Weston only wanted to save her best and only friend Margaret from Russell's merciless teasing. But dabbling in the dark Tuathan magic isn't the way to go. The dark magic is tricky--you get what you want quickly, but lose what you love. In the balance of the magic, every plan has a price. Jane's trip to the Forest of Souls in Book 1 saved her Grandmother Ounatha, but it also kindled Maeve's vengeance. The Dark Princess conjured up terror in the Forest of Souls and sent the demon Balor to stalk the woods of Rath Haven. Jane is going to need some help, and not just from Jack, who's learned a little too late some of the pitfalls surrounding his own Averien powers. He had no idea an innocent first kiss could get him into so much trouble. This time, the price of the magic to set things right may be more than Jane and Jack are willing to pay.

Out of Annwyn (Excerpt)


PROLOGUE - NIGHT VISION

The water swirled around me and then died. I stepped into the gloomy darkness of the forest. It disturbed me. In the Forest of Souls there is only day. No illumination from the City of Light sparkled through the leaves. I walked warily over yellow, sickly plants. The absence of lush greenery troubled me. I pushed forward through the thin trees wishing I had company. I found I did. It was a water nymph; a stunning creature with full, thick dark locks tumbling about her shoulders.

"What are you doing here?" I asked without words.

"Iím here to play," I heard in my mind.

"Stay close. The trees harbor danger," I thought, taking her arm. I felt an urgent need to protect her.

A deep mist lay ahead. I turned to my companion. She seemed strangely familiar. I couldnít say where Iíd met her, but I knew she was my friend.

"We have to go through," I announced silently.

What began as vapor deepened to fog and then smoke laced with noxious fumes. The whole forest seemed to be poisoned with it. We struggled forward choking, until we stumbled blindly into a large barrier. We felt about for the edges to go around. It seemed to run on endlessly. I felt a deep despair and looked up in hope. Above us blazed a magnificent structure-something more glorious than a castle. It shimmered gold, a beacon in the darkness that drew us irresistibly to its light.

Suddenly, the ground beneath us shook. I could hear the pounding of hooves. Flames shot from the mists beyond. Panic rose to my chest. I looked about desperately for the light-the little light of my shadow.

"Where is it?" my mind screamed. The pounding grew louder. I grabbed the girl beside me. "I canít save us. Iíve lost my light."

"Itís coming. What is it, Jane? Itís coming closer."

"We have to fly. Itís the only way."

"I canít. I have no wings."

"We all have wings," I shouted in my mind, projecting myself upwards.

I left the trembling earth with my companion in tow. We flew up through the mists, the brilliant gold glittering before us. We had nearly reached its illuminated edge when the nymph screamed. I bent to look in her direction.

An enormous black-winged horse was racing toward us at break-neck speed. Fire blazed from its nostrils nearly singeing her toes. It was too late to flee. He was upon us. I saw the whites of his eyes. He struck us straight on, knocking my friend from my grasp. I toppled spiraling, too inexperienced a flyer to right myself. I fell back through the smoke.

Images spun through the spinning curves of fume and fog-swords and shields, helmets and daggers, frozen souls on blackened shelves, beasts and fire. They flashed across my mind like the previews for a medieval film and then the screen went black. A sense of terror mounted as I waited, falling. The movie had become a horror flick. Flames seared my eyes.

A screeching cry split the air as I hit the ground with a heavy thud, screaming, "Margaret!"

I sat up in bed drenched with sweat, my heart pounding, my chest heaving as I stared out my bedroom windows into the blackness of the forest. I brushed back the moist hairs that scattered unruly from my braids. The moon shaped scar on my palm glowed in the light of the full moon.