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The Practice of Power 1

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"EXTREMELY impressed with this book. I was not expecting the masterful world building, epic and poetic tone, and weighty themes. Highly recommend if you like dark, powerful writing."

–a reader

Her power was born of a giant's rage...

Jassae should have died the night giants raided her village and slaughtered her people. But her mother, a powerful sorceress, spared her life for a fate worse than death - slavery.

Now captive in the land of the giants, Jassae struggles under the burden of her uncontrolled magic and her mother's chilling legacy. But when she reads the oracle runes one fateful night, Jassae sets in motion events that will determine the course of her life.

Gifted to the chieftain's daughter, Jassae must navigate a new world of political schemes and ancient grudges. The giants conspire to use her forbidden magic to fulfill an ancient prophecy and conquer the continent.

But Jassae has her own destiny to shape. With grit and guile, she will climb the ranks to become a priestess of the Dark Goddess and matron of her own house. To survive, she must master her wild power and gather allies in a hostile land.

Can one slave challenge the designs of an entire nation? Jassae is determined to try, whatever the cost, in this gripping tale of magic, betrayal, and one woman's fight for survival.
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 20, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2174 KB
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 452 pages


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Read a sample

White smoke writhed into the Yatani’s sacred niche. I inched back from the opening, my feet crushing tiny effigies shaped in beeswax, forms of their ancestors and gods. Offerings of berries and flowers squelched between my toes, their fragrance entwining with acrid fumes. Birch bark tapers singed with iron brands twisted and twirled above me, each taper bearing the name of an ancestor. The Yatani claimed the cliff side niches were sacred, and my mother had not contradicted them. Veins of blackrock—kith, my mother called it—streaked its walls.

All that existed for me shone through the niche's entrance. My mother stood at the entrance, a dark shadow against the growing firelight of the burning village. Beyond her an even greater shadow loomed—a giant twice her height, a crazed, monstrous shape cutting through the smoke. The stars of the Bear and the Owl flickered above his head. Starting with the Bear, I recited the names of the stars I could see. Dalxtera no’Baronaste, then Xal, then Rel. I recited their names like a prayer to focus the mind, as my mother had taught me. The litany lulled me into a sleep-like trance.

The giant’s roar brought me back. I receded into the narrow fissure, pushing past cobwebs and the decaying straw screen the Yatani used to block off the deeper portion of the crevice where they believed the dead dwelt. I wanted to meld with the cave wall and, if I could, disappear forever with their dead. But the rock wouldn’t take me. Instead, it pressed against my thudding ribs, reminding me it wasn’t all a bad dream. The tapers crashed above me from the power of his breath, a frigid wind rattling my bones. He stomped the ground and my legs quaked.

But my mother stood as solid as the mountain above us.

The air cleared for a moment. The glow of a burning longhouse revealed the bulk of him and his grimacing, furious face. With his left hand, he held up a mass of writhing ropes. In his right, he shook a heavy maul. The ropes curled like vines about his thick forearm and massive hand. The vines gripped and squeezed so hard his fingers turned pale. They reminded me of the viper pit kept by the village shaman.

He roared and grunted and barked at her, but I didn’t know his words then. I wanted to understand him and the anger seething in his breast, but they sounded like the crashing of waves in a raging sea storm.

She raised her left hand and uttered what I guessed was a curse in his own tongue. From her lips, the words sounded smooth and sharp, like her dagger.

Enraged, he threw the coils of rope at her feet. His bushy hair shook in the orange haze as his terror-laced breath blasted us. Tears streamed down my face; my body shuddered. But my mother stood ready to fight, her fists at her sides. He pointed at the coils and roared his words. The power in them enthralled me, but I did not understand their purpose. And then I realized he wanted to take her captive. That he intended to bind her with the ropes. He was offering her a way out of an inevitable battle and death. The Dark Goddess's priestess, born of an ageless and powerful people, would not yield. Her pride would not allow her to be anyone’s thrall.

She unsheathed her kithaun dagger in a long arc, cutting a shadowed gash through the dense air. A swathe of blackest night and starlight trailed in its wake.

The giant’s eyes widened as a quavering chuckle escaped his lips. She meant to do battle with him. He looked up and muttered. Lightning rippled like veins across the cloudless sky. He laughed, surprised his god had answered, and raised his mallet. Lines of white light descended toward him, enveloping the iron head of his weapon with crackling power. The air hissed and sizzled like fat on a fire, and his thick arm quaked as divine power surged through him. Without warning—he moved faster than I expected—he swung at her. His hammer whiffed as my mother glided away. The battle had begun.

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