Ember and Ash (Castings Trilogy)
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The old ones will have their revenge.
Two peoples have been fighting over the same land for a thousand years. Invaders crushed the original inhabitants, and ancient powers have reluctantly given way to newer magics. But Ember was to change all this with a wedding to bind these warring people together - until her future goes up in flames.
Ember's husband-to-be is murdered by a vengeful elemental god, who sees peace as a breach of faith. Set on retribution, she enlists the help of Ash, son of a seer. Together they will pit themselves against elementals of fire and ice in a last attempt to end the conflicts that have scarred their past. They must look to the present, as old furies are waking to violence and are eager to reclaim their people.
step, stumbling together, gasping for breath, higher, steeper, until his foot came down on gravel and rock, not on ice, and they climbed on hands and knees as the slope grew steeper and they could look back, finally, at the brilliant ice below them, where there were no wraiths to be seen. They leaned against each other, panting, and heard the triumphant howl of a wolf cut across the sky. Ember had heard stories about the molten rock which could stream from places like this, but although the
Ari’s people, soft and troubling, throbbing with pain. “Together, you may remind Her of the glory which comes when Fire joins with Air.” “Joins?” Ash said. His voice was furious and Ember looked at him, astonished at the anger on his face. Ash never got angry, not like this. “You want to pimp her!” he shouted. “You brought her all this way to turn her into a whore!” Fire smiled strangely. “I tried. But she would not be turned,” He said. “She rejected every lick of desire for you I sent Her
nightshade, dogbane. But there were many others, like the heart-shaped twayblade and cow wheat, horsetail fern and bracken and even some sedges by the streams that she could cut with her belt knife and stash away. She came back triumphant from one sortie with a handful of tiny strawberries, sweet as honey in the mouth. Only one berry for each of them, and one over which she gave to Tern, who blushed. All the herbs were in blossom. She walked through them surrounded by butterflies and bees,
track over this stony ground. “Let’s go quietly,” he suggested, taking Thatch to the lead. “Watch for goats,” he added. Cedar nodded understandingly and took his own bow from his saddle. It wasn’t good for the bows to ride with them strung, but in unknown country it was safest. Ahead, the path twisted around a large boulder and turned sharply into the next valley. With luck, the goats would be there. Ash clicked his tongue to Thatch and he picked up his pace, drawing ahead of the others. If
have an altar, or anyone who can hear the gods—but we’ve asked those who can hear to alert them. Whether they’ll get to everyone…” Martine passed Elva a cup of hot cha. Luxury, in these circumstances, Arvid thought, but Elva deserved it. She was clearly exhausted after communing with the gods for hours. Martine didn’t look at him. She hadn’t looked at him directly for two days. The cold was so intense now that frost had formed on the inside of the precious glasses which were used at his