Echoes of Magic
Read the Excerpt
Western England, near the coast
Adrianna stretched her neck and flexed her hands that had gripped the reins for too long. When the band of gypsies she traveled with for the past three years stopped for a rest, she gladly hopped down from her seat of her wagon.
The stretch of road they had traveled was narrow and surrounded by woods. She loved wandering with the gypsies, but for the past week, she couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. Or was about to go wrong. No amount of magic had given her a clue, either.
As a bana-bhuidseach, a witch, she had spent her time trying to decipher just what was out of alignment. Each banan-bhuidseach had a special gift, and hers was seeing the future.
Adrianna was many things, but she wasn’t courageous enough to look into her own future. Not when her kind was cursed and slowly fading into legend.
As far as she knew, there was only one other bana-bhuidseach. Where once they covered all of Britain, soon no more would see the beautiful land.
The bana-bhuidseach had been around for so long that none remembered their true origins, though some text claimed they hailed from an ancient land of sand and sun.
Adrianna pushed a stray hair behind her ear and moved into the forest. She leaned against a tree and let the beauty and nature of the area soak into her. The need to be alone had driven her into the trees, but it would also help to calm her and the constant fear that something…evil…was about to descend.
The other bana-bhuidseach she had meet, Serena, had been followed by a man drenched in evil. Ever since then, Adrianna had sensed a growing malevolence throughout the land.
Her hands traveled down the elm tree, the bark scratching her palms. She sighed and began to turn back to her wagon when she caught a glimpse of something in the underbrush. Adrianna leaned down and peered through the ferns to find a bloodied hand.
With her heart hammering in her chest, she pushed aside the underbrush and found a man lying on his side. His long black hair was matted with leaves, blood, and mud and covered his face. By the look of the fine material of his tunic, he was a nobleman who had been ambushed most likely by roving bands of outlaws.
She sighed at the loss of life and began to rise to her feet when a moan stopped her.
“By the saints,” she murmured and gently pushed his hair from his face.
With her finger beneath his nose she felt his slow, shallow breathing. If she hurried, she might be able to save him if his injuries weren’t too extensive.
“Milosh! Yoska,” she called out.
As tenderly she could, she turned the man onto his back. Blood had pooled beneath him and stained his light blue tunic. She saw no weapons, no jewelry.
“Drina,” Milosh shouted.
Adrianna lifted her head when she heard the gypsy leader call out the pet name he had given her. “Over here.”
When the tall Romanian burst through the trees, his brother, Yoska, was right behind him. The men had the same black hair and dark eyes and tall, rangy build. They welcomed her into their family when she had found them, never asking questions of her past. For that she would be forever grateful.
Yoska said something in Romanian that made Milosh nod absently.
“Please help me get him back to my cart,” Adrianna said. “He’s wounded, but alive.”
“And soon to die,” Milosh said softly.
“Please, Milosh. I cannot just leave him.”