Sometimes evil has to be the hero.
Her brother throws the first stone. Her family tries to kill her, but Celaise chooses to live, even if it means leaving humanity behind.
She weaves a gown from strands of night and despair. The forbidden magic protects her. It isolates her, and it binds her to a three-headed overlord.
Her lord commands Celaise to save lives, on pain of death. She rescues Jerani, a warrior adorned by a sunburst of scars from a tribal ritual. Jerani fights to defend his family and their sacred cows from crystal-eyed monsters roaming the savanna. He learns to rely on Celaise's magic, she on his strength.
Jerani thinks her divine, a volcano goddess. Celaise dares not confide in him. Engulfing the throngs of beasts in the inferno of her dress will loose her magic's hunger. Then the greatest threat to Jerani and everyone else she has come to care for will be herself.
A. E. Marling wrote his first fantasy novella after his freshman year in high school. In college, he found nothing gave him a greater urge to write than science lectures, and he sat through a lot of ’em. He has yet to repent his fascination with fantasy and is intrigued by its grip on the human imagination.
Both ambidextrous and word-voracious, his diet ranges from Arthurian legends to Jane Austen. He denies being a running addict, though he has to shout it over the noise of the treadmill. He dances as directed by demons. And, yes, he partakes in fantasy-related gaming. His best writing ideas pounce on him when he would rather be sleeping, thanks to insomnia.
His current lair is in California, in ... (more)