by Jill Williamson
The Kinsman Chronicles: Part 4
In the second volume of Jill Williamson’s Kinsman Chronicles, a remnant has escaped the destruction of the Five Realms and now lives on several hundred ships adrift at sea. As a flock, they sail north into the unknown in hopes of finding land that might become their new home.
As the king’s illness worsens, Sâr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, and dark magic endanger his life.
One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?
Gozan flew through the Veil, just out of reach of the ocean’s spray. Behind him his swarm followed, a cloudy mass of colors and shrieking sounds. He wished for silence but hadn’t the energy to rebuke them just now.
If things didn’t change, he might never have the energy again.
In the distance the Armanian king’s flagship Seffynaw sat low in the water, a fat tub stuffed with treasure and humans whose greed had nearly killed off their race. The shadir had played their part as well. Gozan hadn’t realized the effects of his dependence on human bonding. None of the shadir had. They had always taken for the sake of taking, for pleasure and power and to please their master Gâzar. They had not ever considered consequences.
But now they must, for their way of life was at risk.
Gozan reached the Seffynaw from its starboard side and circled the hull. He soared above the railing and onto the stern deck. Slights and commons filled the area, invisible to the humans seated at a table there. Magon stood at the back of the ship, leaning against the taffrail. For centuries she had preferred to take form as a human female. Gozan never understood why she wanted to look like her slaves.
His shadir swarm met Magon’s and the cacophony of the two groups intermingling grated on Gozan’s nerves.
“Silence!” he yelled.
To their credit all obeyed, even those shadir loyal to Magon.
Gozan folded his arms ad let the soles of his feet rest on the deck so hat he stood before Magon, looming over her frail, human form.
She smirked at his posture. “Greetings, Rurek.”
The name sent fire through his limbs. “I am Gozan now.”
“Still hiding, are you?”
“Waiting.” He had never been hiding.
“Well, I have waited long enough,” she said, which brought cheers from her botaries. “We must act before all is lost.”
“You have a plan, then? How to survive this setback?”
“I’m bored with no access to my mantic,” said one of Magon’s slights. “It’s no fun merely whispering in ears. I want the humans to see me and be swayed by my influence.”
“Mine hasn’t seen me since we left the land,” said another.
“Mine either,” said a third.
“They are completely out of evenroot on my human’s ship,” said one of Gozan’s brood.
“Mine too!” echoed the first of Magon’s slights.
Stop fretting, all of you,” Magon said. “We simply must lead these ships to land. Once the humans plant and harvest new evenroot crops, our power over them will return.”
“But it takes at least three months to reap a harvest,” a slight said.
“And harvesting that early, the roots will be small,” said another.
“Patience,” Magon said. “We must remain calm and focus on leading the ships to land.”
“But, master,” Masi said to Gozan, “with so little evenroot, we have no control over the captains of these vessels.”
“We only need control the one who leads,” Gozan replied.
Snickers broke out among the slights, and a common behind Magon said, “Humans will never agree on the same leader.”
“They will follow Armania,” Magon said. “They always do despite my efforts.”
“Then we must work together to lead the Armanians to land,” Gozan said.
“I have no power in Armania yet,” Magon said. “I am close. But my mantics are divided at present as to how to proceed.”
Typical. Magon bored too easily. “You never could stay loyal to one human.”
“Where is the fun in that?” It’s much more entertaining to bait them against each other. Better the hiding for decades in lowly position.”
“Jazlyn is loyal to me,” Gozan said, “and now that she in High Queen of Tenma, I am in a place to use my power to advance her realm”
“The real problem is that I am uncertain where land is,” Magon said. “The humans are headed to an island now, but if they are to plant a substantial amount of evenroot without interference from religious zealots, we must lead them to a great expanse.”
“Are you certain another exists?” Gozan asked. “Perhaps only this mysterious island remains.”
“This world is vast, Gozan,” Magon said. “If there is a great stretch of land out there, my swarm will find it.”
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Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several young adult books including the Blood of Kings trilogy, Replication, the Mission League series, and the Safe Lands trilogy. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer.
What others are saying about Jill’s books:
“Expert worldbuilding and fascinating characters collide.”
- ~Shannon Dittemore, author of the Angel Eyes trilogy