This week's post is special. I released the third book in my Journey to Chaos series yesterday, it is called Mana Mutation Menace. In its honor, I decided to share an excerpt from it. This scene stars Annala Enaz. She is in both A Mage's Power and Looming Shadow but it is not until this book that she gets a chance to shine as a "kick-butt heroine".
As for context, Samael is a reaper as in "grim reaper". She's trying to recruit Eric as her subordinate reaper because of events that occurred at the end of Looming Shadow.
Suddenly, Samael’s right hand was around Eric’s throat and lifting him off the ground. Her left hand grasped the shaft of his spear. Her Divine Presence smothered his entire being; body, mind, and soul. Her eyes bore into him with a power beyond that of Evil Eye.
"Tasio is not here now. He is in the Abyss and will not be able to hear you."
“In... that case…” Eric gasped. It was getting hard to breathe and he had already lost feeling in his fingers and toes. “Samael, please trans—”
A shimmering arrow streaked across the night and head-shotted Samael. It made her physical form flicker. The reaper couldn't remember the last time she’d felt pain. Standing just off the bridge was her attacker, an elf in a nightgown. Her body shook with the cold and yet she was sweating nonetheless. She panted and her teeth clattered, but she still wheezed out, "That won't be necessary."
Annala stared down Samael like a warrior stares down a monster. In her hands was a gleaming white bow with golden filigree. She drew a second arrow, notched it, and it gleamed as well. Instant runes shone beneath her feet as a magic circle.
"Good evening, Angel of Death. What do you think of my Death Killer bow? I made it myself in my mother's lab."
With effort, Samael removed the first arrow and crushed it into nothingness. Despite the pain and annoyance this caused, her serene expression remained.
"It is effective but presumptuously named. You cannot kill me. No matter how many—”
Annala lodged a second arrow in her forehead and a third in her throat and a fourth in her chest. Samael's form flickered so much it disappeared, and the arrows fell to the bridge. Annala notched a fifth and fired it just as Samael reappeared. This time, the reaper caught it.
"Elf, you try my patience," she said as the arrow burned her hand. "This boy must become a reaper for the sake of the omniverse."
"That’s preposterous!" Annala nocked a sixth arrow. "He's kind and heroic and saves lives! He'd never be happy as a cold and ruthless arbiter of death like you!"
"Hmmm... How odd." Samael reached into a skirt pocket. "Lord Death supposedly has a high public approval rating in this country." She pulled out a book and leafed through it. "I suppose it could be because you're an elf but... Ah ha. Here we are; Annala Enaz, niece to Morrir Enaz. When he arrived, he listed your despair as one of his regrets." She looked up with the disinterest of a busy bureaucrat. "Didn't a reaper come by and address that?"
Just for that, Annala released the sixth arrow. "Hit and run murderer!"
Samael deflected and tsked. "Yes, I imagine Reno Grade wouldn't give a shit about mortal grief." Suddenly, her hands clutched Annala's neck. "Then again, neither do I."
Fear of the reaper threatened to send Annala into shock but her hatred of it enabled her to power through her fear. She smacked the nether creature with her bow. Again, Samael’s form flickered and she grew two more arms to restrain Annala's. By now, the girl was suffocating and, with her last breath, she shouted, “Tasio! Ta—”
Samael broke her neck and tossed her aside. "Even elves can't shrug that off.”
She phased out of Eric’s spear charge and caught him in her arms. She wrapped them around his chest and drew him against her well-developed form. She giggled at his blush.
"You humans are always like this, regardless of your gender."
She leaned in close enough to breathe on his face and Eric felt consciousness leave him. Since the transformation process was basically rebirth into a minor god, it would be horrific and traumatizing. So much pain and he’d have to remember it for eternity. It was a professional courtesy for the contracted to be put to sleep for the duration.
"Did you ever wonder where the term 'kiss of death' came from?"
To learn more about Annala and her world, visit Tvtropes at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/AMagesPower.
Mana Mutation Menace, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, are available for purchase at http://amzn.to/10NsG2i. Speaking of which, there is a special Promotion for the Journey to Chaos series!
To celebrate the launch of book 3, Mana Mutation Menace, I have created a weekend long promotion of the series. From now until Tuesday, A Mage's Power will be free to download and Looming Shadow will be discounted. Until 3:00 PM Sunday, Looming Shadow will be only 99 cents, and after that, it will be $1.99 until Tuesday evening, at which point it will return to its normal price of $2.99