The Katrosi Revolution Book 1
by Jamie Foley
Genre: YA Fantasy
The elementals have decided they're gods, and humans are nothing but fuel for their fire.
A starving trapper.
Merciless drought withers Kira's ranch, leaving her family hungry—and desperate enough to cross the border into the forbidden forest to trap wild game.
But the forest is infested with tree-scorpions and giant cats that wield elemental invisibility, and they're hungry, too. When Kira mistakes one elemental creature for another, she ends up with the last thing she wants in her trap: an enemy soldier.
An invisible spy.
Ryon can't afford to be a prisoner of war. If the Malaano Empire extracts his secrets, the rumors of war will be confirmed—and the tribes stand little chance against the Empire unless they can put aside generations of bad blood for the sake of a Tribal Alliance.
When Ryon's escape leaves Kira injured and her livelihood in flames, Ryon must choose between aiding her… or returning to his chieftess with vital information. But can he survive the trek when an elemental pursues him for his rejected heritage?
A sacrificial princess.
Imperial Princess Vylia is given a powerful ancient stone as her wavesinger trials approach. But is the stone's whispering voice from the water goddess, or a masquerading elemental the creator god imprisoned millennia ago?
When Vylia's diplomatic mission to the tribal lands erupts in fiery revenge, she, Kira, and Ryon must work together to survive—or become pawns in the battle of the gods.
Pain blinded Ryon in a white-hot sear. The Phoera element scattered in his blood and the flows of light abandoned him with a warped flicker. He gasped at the thin stick that protruded from his shoulder, ending in a trio of cut feathers. An arrow? I’ve been shot! He swayed as agony branched out like lightning inside his bones. The arrow entered his chest at a sharp angle and ran back to his left shoulder, where it felt like his shoulder blade had stopped it. Ryon gritted his teeth as his vision darkened and refocused. I’m on the wrong side of the border… He forced himself to his feet and breathed through the pain. At least he had his mask on, but that wouldn’t last long if he couldn’t get to the safety of the forest. A figure emerged through the haze of pain, running toward him. Ryon forced himself to sprint for the tree line. A cry escaped as his gait grinded flint against bone. He steeled his mind and focused on the fast- approaching trees. The chieftess had trained him for this. He glanced over his shoulder at the figure. It was faster. Ryon slid his dagger from its sheath as he ducked into the forest. A woman’s voice behind him cried something in the Malaano language, which he knew well, but his mind garbled her words in a smear of shock. She sounded young. Since when did the Empire post young women as border guards? Or maybe she was just the girl who lived at this ranch, and he’d stolen from too many of her traps. She crossed over the border behind him as if it were nothing but a simple tree line. Ryon cursed. That light-forsaken fox had warned him about hitting the same quarry twice. But the fact that he had to steal in the first place was the chieftess’ fault—he’d told her he needed more rations. And normally the traps at this ranch were placed on the Katrosi tribe’s side of the border. His side. Fair game. Ryon ducked under a branch and summoned the Phoera element again. Energy swam around him, but he distorted it, disappearing into the forest like a distant star on a cloudy night. He only allowed light to touch his eyes so he could dodge joyberry brambles as he sped past. The arrow’s end snagged on a pine branch, wrenching it into his wound. Ryon choked on a scream as the horizon tipped and darkened. He clung to his element, barely maintaining invisibility as he stumbled to a dying oak and slid down its trunk. Running through the forest with no sunlight was a fool’s game, made all the more impossible with an arrow shaft waving like his enemy’s victory flag. But what choice did he have? Just because his pursuer couldn’t see him didn’t mean she couldn’t hear him. And every leaf and twig in this forest was dry enough to snap and crackle like a bonfire waiting to happen. Ryon closed his eyes and breathed through the agony. His gasping was just as loud as his pulse pounding through his ears. Hopefully he hadn’t left a trail. He cracked one eye open and glanced behind him. Swaths of disturbed earth dragged through cracked leaves in the most obvious trail anyone could have left. Syn! He didn’t want to kill her. He’d turned down contracts on the most deserving war criminals the Malaano Empire had to offer. And this girl was probably just a civilian defending her own land. If she were the same young woman he’d spotted from a distance a few weeks ago, she hadn’t looked much younger than him, with a petite frame barely capable of constructing the high-tension snares she laid out. How she was apparently an archer as well was a mystery. “I’m sorry!” Her words came in Phoeran now with a thick accent. “I thought you were a trace cat. Let me help you!” Ryon couldn’t calm his breathing any more than he could will away the pain. If he accepted help from an umber-hide, he’d be a prisoner of war in a heartbeat. He banished light from his eyes and redoubled the focus of his element, plunging his vision into a black void. She shouldn’t be able to see him unless she was familiar with the subtle distortions. Unlikely. Brush crackled behind him. Too close. Ryon gripped his dagger tighter as sweat slicked his palm. Turn around. Just walk away. “It’s all right…” Something brushed his shoulder, and his invisibility shattered. Ryon whirled, grabbing the girl by the neck, but he stopped his blade before it could plunge into her gut. Blue eyes stared up at him, wide as the Sea of Bones. Terror colored her round face and set her full lips to trembling. Wild curly hair bounced as she struggled in his grip, and her desperate cry pierced his heart. Naive, beautiful, stupid girl. She grabbed the end of her arrow and twisted, and Ryon’s world snapped into darkness.
Jamie Foley loves strategy games, home-grown berries, and Texas winters. She kills vipers with her great-grandfather’s rifle but she’s terrified of red wasps. As a graphic design ninja and marketing guru, Jamie loves helping other authors when she’s not writing. She’s the typesetter for Enclave Publishing and the creator of Fayette Press. Her books have been featured in Amazon Prime Reading, finaled for reader’s choice awards, and selected as #1 New Releases on Amazon.com. Her husband is her cowboy astronaut muse. They live between Austin and the cattle ranch, where their hyperactive spawnling and wolfpack roam.
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