The third and final chapter in the Changelings series has been live for a month, and now I’m happy to report I have a paperback edition share! Get it here on Amazon.
In other good news, today begins the Changelings E-Book Summer Sale on Amazon!
Changelings: The Memory of Myth
Pirates ~ Rebels ~ Wanderers
The war between Man and Fae is over.
Nuada is dead, but so too is Sean. Dubh has disappeared back into the mists of time, and Maureen is alone.
When all the magic is gone, what remains?
Aunt Margaret, torn from her own time, remains, and she is waiting for Maureen to come home and bear witness to the family she saved.
With Aunt Margaret’s help, Maureen will unearth the secrets Dubh did not have time to tell her and unlock the tragedy at the heart of the family she created.
The war between Man and Fae is over, but the War of the Gods is just beginning.
I had known war. I had fought Bres and Balor, those fearsome brothers whose combined might could not match Nuada’s force – Nuada, who could command the Fuathan and their host of evil, which travelled the watery byways of the worlds of man and Fae. Nuada, who commanded the wandering malevolence of all the realms – who created it, and nurtured it – who would finally, by the grace of the gods who fought at my side, lose by it, too.
I had known war, but not since my days as a man, reeling from my father’s murder, had war so consumed me. My blood surged as Maureen crossed the barrier to stand at Sean’s side. Their kinship tingled at the edges of my senses, and their radiance, as they prevailed at the head of a column of Niamh’s forces, slowly woke me from my screaming fury as I stood in the maelstrom of Nuada’s demons.
Demons I once led into war at Nuada’s command.
I stared across the battlefield at my kin and nodded as our eyes met. Their foes lay scattered before them, their malevolent power stripped.
With my nod, Maureen, body before the fire at Dunn Ussie, shimmered and winked out of Faerie as the landscape shifted back to the Moor, and the two worlds Sean and I straddled collided.
I noticed the soldier before Sean did, but I was powerless to stop him.
As Sean’s body fell to the Hessian’s sword, his fierce love swept across the battleground.
His love rendered the seething masses of Fae on both sides of the battle mute. Nuada’s host of gnashing fiends stood adrift in the mists. Hate melted from their faces and they blinked as if just woken.
The king howled into the night, defeated as those who rose to his standard quaked and abandoned his side.
And yet, only part of Sean fell to the sword which cleaved his skull. The other part stared at me, the understanding that an earthly tether had been severed stark in his dark blue eyes.
Nuada saw it too, and though beaten, he smiled.
“Do it now, Druid – end my war – my life,” he said as he sank to his knees before me and barred his neck. “Let him pass from this plane with this knowledge in his heart. You can’t save him, but you can give him peace.”
Yet, even as my sword sang through the air and fell, so too did Sean.
† † †
I was falling again.
Again, and again and again.
The sword cut through the air in one land, while Sean’s triumphant face fell into lines of shock in another.
Wars won and lost in the same breath.
Maureen faded from the shifting mists of the Fae battlefield, and I swore I would never forget the sorrow and betrayal on her face as she realised Sean was no more.
I promised her.
I made so many promises.
And I did it again.
Again, and again and again.
“You are all in my keeping. I will make us whole.”
There was movement and shouting, figures flitting to-and-fro as I held Sean’s limp form, but I could not even compel myself to look up.
This must not end here. It must not, and would not.
Niamh was calling to me, but I ignored her, so she grabbed my chin and forced me to look at her.
Miach was at her side.
“He shall not be the sacrifice.” My voice was rough with screaming and tears. “Heal him. Please.”
Niamh’s golden head bowed as she touched my forehead with a kiss. For a moment I knew peace.
“You must give him to Miach, Dubh. He cannot pass here.”
I turned to the young healer and offered up my charge.
Immediately, Miach and the boy vanished.
Her hand was firm on my shoulder. “He has taken Sean to Tír na nÓg. The life which stood on Culloden Moor was beyond repair. Healing him in Donn’s realm – with Donn’s magic would create—”
But I was no longer listening.
“He—I did not mean for him to die.” This war was not meant to be the boy’s final battle, although it was the last for every other king arrayed on the battlefield.
“No, nor will he,” she said quietly. “We can save him, but we will need your help.”
I stood and wiped the blood and tears from my face. “And?”
“And saving him will come at a cost.”
“I don’t care. Take whatever you need of me. I gave them my promise.”
“You shall keep it, my friend.”
Changelings: The Memory of Myth, Volume 3 in the Changelings series, is available NOW on Amazon.