The Resistance: The Fourth Book of the Fey

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9780553577136: The Resistance: The Fourth Book of the Fey

For a conquered people, a long-forgotten magic holds their only hope.

Blue Isle's capital lies in ruins, leveled by the new invasion force of Fey. But to hold his conquest, Black King Rugad must capture his two half-Islander, half-Fey great-grandchildren: the fiery Arianna and the gentle Gift. For one of them will inherit the Black Throne, and Rugad will not rest until he owns them both, body and soul.

Yet, in the wily and courageous Arianna, this legendary warrior may have met his match. Fugitives in a wasted land, she and her father, Blue Isle's King Nicholas, plan the destruction of her ruthless great-grandfather. Drawn to a forgotten sacred place in the shimmering Cliffs of Blood, they will find Arianna's long-lost brother, Gift. But an old enmity stands between Arianna and the reluctant warrior Gift, and an ancient Fey prophecy darkens their future--and that of the world.

The brilliant epic of the Fey continues in a blaze of beauty and savagery, treachery and enchantment.

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From the Publisher :

Two peoples locked in a death struggle...
Two royal children who could save or shatter the world...

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

The day dawned clear and cold on the Eyes of Roca.  The Shaman wrapped a blanket around herself and watched the sun turn the mountains the color of blood.

She had not slept in two days, not since the Islander King, Nicholas, had arrived with his half-Fey daughter, Arianna.  Arianna was unnaturally thin, her eyes sunken into her head.  She had used her shape-shifting skills too often in her battle against her great-grandfather, Rugad.

The Black King.

The Shaman shuddered and drew her blanket tighter.  She sat on a rock outcropping, her feet dangling above the snow.  Behind her, Nicholas and Arianna slept in the cave the Shaman had found when the Black King invaded less than two weeks before.  If she had not fled, she would have died with the rest of her people, the Fey who had come in the first invasion.

Failures, Rugad had called them, and according to Fey law he was right.  He had no choice but to kill them.  He could not trust them.  He certainly could not trust her.

There was no wind.  The air was so cold it chilled her lungs.  Despite her lack of sleep, she was not tired.  Her mind was too busy.  She had Seen a dozen futures, and young Arianna, in her first Vision, had Seen a dozen others.  The future was in flux.

The Black King had brought danger to the world when he had come to Blue Isle.  For one of the Shaman's Visions had shown the insanity brought on by Black Blood warring against Black Blood.

She raised her head and looked toward the valley south of her.  It spread below her, green and gold and crisscrossed with roads and buildings.  In the distance, smoke still colored the sky, making it hazy.  The Black King was there, in the city built by Nicholas's people, the city he burned according to Fey tradition.

The Black King had ignored the wishes of his granddaughter, Nicholas's wife, Jewel.  She had sacrificed herself so that Blue Isle could become part of the Fey Empire.  Peacefully.  She felt that her children would link the Islanders with the Fey, and the Fey would leave the Isle alone.

They had not.  Jewel's death and the strange magick that flowed through this Isle had created a rift so powerful not even the Shaman felt it could be mended.  The events would play themselves out now.  All she could do was counsel Nicholas, counsel his wild children, and hope the insanity would not come.

She wiped a strand of her coarse white hair from her face.  Her hands were cold.  She had seen a dozen dawns on this mountainside, and none of them had been this red.  Something was in the air, a change of huge proportions.  She could feel it.

Then she felt slightly dizzy.  She let out a sigh and turned toward the cave.  A Vision was coming.  She wanted to get inside before it hit.  The last time, she had wandered off and nearly died in the snow.

A Vision--

And then it struck, tilting her world, making her spin for a moment before she found herself in a cave.

Not her cave.  A different cave.  It was dark, and yet it glowed with an inner light.  All around her, Powers flew, whispering things she couldn't quite hear.  She was half in and half out of the cave.

She had been here before.  On her pilgrimage as a young Shaman.

In the Eccrasian Mountains, the birthplace of the Fey.

It was the Place of Power.

But Visions never went backward.  This was the future.  In the Eccrasian Mountains? How did they get to Galinas? How did they go all the way back to the place where the Fey began?

Then she looked up.  Nicholas was stroking her face, his eyes glinting with tears.  He had Arianna over his shoulder.

She looked dead.

"What can I do?" he asked.  His voice, usually so strong, was filled with panic.

What can I do?

Behind him, she saw Fey faces, peering out of the cave.  Magick flowed beside them, like water.

The Place of Power.

She reached up toward him--

And the world shifted again.  Rugad, the Black King, was lying among shards of stones, his body crushing an ornate chair.  He had a healing wound on his neck, and bruises on his face--

--And the Black Blood boiled and spilled over everything.  They were drowning, drowning, drowning in madness--

She came to herself facedown in the snow, her entire body chilled.  She stood slowly, trying to get her balance, then she brushed the snow off herself.  The cave that she had found, the one Nicholas and Arianna slept in, was still behind her.  They hadn't awakened yet.

She gazed at it a very long time, remembering the shaky feeling she had had in her Vision as she lay within the entrance to the Place of Power.  That feeling was familiar, yet unfamiliar, and mixed with it was a love she hadn't acknowledged.

Her reasons for fighting against her own people might not have been as altruistic as she thought.

Nicholas.

The Place of Power.

And the blood.  All that blood.

They still hadn't prevented the worst crisis of all.



    

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Kristine Kathryn Rusch
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