Author: Joni Parker
Under the rule of King Arthur, Alex finds the mortal world far from what she’d imagined, and the mortals are less than hospitable. Accused of being the “Blue Witch,” Alex is sentenced to die for treason and has been implicated in the mysterious death of one of Arthur’s noblemen by seemingly magical means. With help from unexpected sources, she escapes and returns to Eledon, where civil unrest and the threat of war looms. Alex resumes her responsibilities as Keeper of the Keys for the Council of Elders, but must execute a series of quests to prove her abilities to handle the magical Keys of Eledon. But are her efforts enough to save the Elves from Civil War? And can she commute her own death sentence by finding the Holy Grail?
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Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teYsqOs0yjI&feature=autoplay&list=HL1343068571&playnext=3
Her prior training as a soldier and tracker had taught her to let events play out and be observant for any opportunities, but right now, she had trouble believing that. She could use magic, but it would only reinforce the belief that she was a witch. She leaned her head back and cried out, not caring if anyone heard her or not.
After a while, the prison door opened. Alex’s eyes turned to the creaking door as three guards came in with food. One carried a large pot, and another had a stack of small bowls. The third man stood watch, torch in one hand and whip over his shoulder. As the first guard ladled soup into a bowl, another set it next to a prisoner and stepped away. The clinking of chains meant the prisoners had figured out how to reach the food.
As the soldiers drew near, Alex recognized one of them. He was an islander and had been in the Northeast Forest Army under Lord Ellsworth, but she didn’t know his name. He set the pot on the floor and unlocked the metal grate. He lifted it up and gave her a nod of recognition. He ladled some soup into a bowl and handed it to the other guard, who hobbled over to Alex and set it beside her. The guard gave her a crooked grin and chuckled. He picked up the bowl of soup and put it to her mouth, pouring it in.
Alex choked on the cool, oily soup that had a faint taste of beef. Then, the man lifted her skirt and ran his hand up her bare leg, chuckling softly. Seductively, he rubbed the soft skin on her right thigh and smiled, until Alex spit some soup on his face. He backed up, wiping his face and clenching his fist, but the islander soldier grabbed his collar and flung him from the cage, shouting at him in the local language. Then, he loosened the rope and dropped the metal grate to form a cage once more. He locked it and picked up his empty pot, pushing the other guards out of the prison as they complained bitterly. The prison door slammed shut, and it turned dark again.
Alex took a deep breath. It was only a matter of time before someone would rape her, and there was nothing she could do to stop it. A sense of panic rose—she had to escape. Once out, she’d find a way to Eledon. With renewed determination, she tucked her legs under her and stood, but had to twist her arms over her head until she faced the wall.