Book Two in the Manipulated Evil Series
$15.95 USD Trade Paperback / $2.99 Ebook
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The portals of The Unseen lead to another world. The phantom woman from the nightmares materializes. Ravyn and Kyle find themselves surrounded with beings not entirely human, beings who are one with the universe and all its mystical powers. Rania, one of sixteen Elders, reveals secrets of a system created by One. A system dependent on balance for survival, a balance hovering precariously close to obliteration. But even with their new knowledge and powerful allies, can Ravyn and Kyle defeat those who believe they are doing right by the people of the worlds without falling to the lost souls themselves?
Rhynon isn't alone.
Another leads the battle in a war larger than Ravyn and Kyle ever dared to imagine...
"Scattered Souls is a roller coaster ride of a story. As the plot threads weave in and out among a growing cast - none of them superfluous - the author keeps readers grounded from scene to scene by staying firmly within each "on stage" character's point of view. These are characters who grow as the tale progresses, in ways that flow naturally from who they were before the events that change them. That's true for the tale's villians fully as much as for its heroes. The cliffhanger ending left me breathless, after reading the book straight through. Well done! When is the third volume coming out?" — Nina M. Osier, science fiction author
"Like the first book, Scattered Souls takes you on a roller coaster ride of a tale. The pace of the book is frantic, just like the characters who know they are running out of time. You are breathless along with them, urging them on, willing things to go right. The book has a little of everything, sci-fi thriller, action adventure, romance and suspense. With memorable characters and worlds along with a captivating tale, it's a book you won't want to put down." — Annette Gisby, UK author of Shadows of the Rose
Rhynon lay still on a mattress of feathers and stared up at a tar-black ceiling. He saw nothing beyond the ravaging pit his thoughts had become. The wounds in his shoulder and gut pulsed like festering volcanoes, yet those pains were nothing compared to his new knowledge. Ravyn honestly meant to kill him. And she nearly succeeded.
He never thought she would turn so completely against him, she being the only other who could relate to everything he had experienced. Her refusal to join him in his quest also evaded his comprehension. The worlds needed cleansed of the vile filth populating them. Filth like Chione and Carter who took it upon themselves to force life and then abuse it. And after the worlds were cleansed, they would never again be filled with the unruly beings. He, with the others, would rule the new worlds and make sure no one ever stepped beyond the boundaries of nature again. Freedom was overrated. There would always be someone who would abuse it. Just like naughty children, the people of the worlds needed disciplined. They needed strong rulers who weren’t afraid of the absolute punishments.
The slice in his gut smarted when Bryn rubbed it clean. She worked over his wounds too brusquely, her silver eyes narrow, her skinny face pinched in concentration. Bryn certainly was an interesting creature even at her young age, but her beauty was nothing compared to Ravyn. He averted his gaze from Bryn and thought of nothing beyond Ravyn, one woman who could truly stand alongside him and help him with his rule. She was his equal. But she was obviously blinded by the false hopes of free will.
Still, he couldn’t believe Ravyn would stay blind. Somehow, he would make her see the bigger plan. Somehow, he would make her join him.
“Stop being so stupid,” Bryn said. She squeezed his wound together with what felt like the same force Ravyn used to inflict it and wrenched a groan from his gut. He stared hard at the ebony walls surrounding him. Shivering, bloody designs cast by the torches’ red flames danced upon the exquisite angles.
“Sometimes I wonder why Enar doesn’t find a way to off you just because of your weakness for that stupid girl. Don’t you see what she’s done to you? Just a few moments more, one more strike from her, and you would be dead. And then where would we all be? It’s brainless, you risking her ending your life just because you won’t take hers.”
Rhynon ground his teeth and snared Bryn by her slender neck. Her skin felt cool and smooth like snakeskin under his fingers. He wondered about her mother, a woman he figured shared similarities to his own. Bryn glared down at him. Her silver eyes soaked up all his thoughts, he was sure. She grinned and he quivered with the hate he felt for her. He tightened his fingers under her narrow jaw.
“You hurt me and Enar will have a pertinent part of you for a meal, main course,” she said. Her voice hissed in her compressed windpipe.
Anger coursed through Rhynon. It took every ounce of his will to keep from crushing her throat. But he couldn’t and he knew it. His new father lurked at the back of his mind, watching, waiting to siege control of Rhynon if he lost control of himself. And Rhynon knew, in crushing Bryn’s throat, he would weaken his own. He let go.
Bryn landed hard on her tail and a sharp yelp escaped her constricted lips. Rhynon chuckled, but only a little. The pain in his sliced organs halted him. He wondered if Bryn really would heal him like Enar ordered.
“Not by my choice,” Bryn said, answering the question from his thoughts. She smoothed her always-messy hair from her face. “But like you, I don’t dare cross him.”
Rhynon followed Bryn and her snotty little saunter across the elaborately carved room with his gaze. He pondered her last comment. She was a sneaky little brat, a puppet for Enar, but he couldn’t help wonder if she was beginning to play Enar as he had played her from the time she was born.
At the arched entrance, where a thin strand of crimson daylight reached into the hollowed mountain of Enar’s fortress, Bryn faced him and winked one shimmering eye.
“Not yet anyway,” she said and disappeared from sight.