Welcome to the Fire Mages book tour.
Title: The Fire Mages
Author: Pauline M. Ross
Genre: Epic Fantasy Adventure / Romance
Kyra has always been drawn to the magic of spellpages. She is determined to leave her small village far behind and become a scribe, wielding the power of magic through her pen. Halfway through her training, she has a mage as patron and her ambitions are within her grasp. But a simple favour for her sister goes disastrously awry, destroying Kyra’s dreams in an instant.
Devastated, she accepts an offer from a stranger to help her find out what went wrong. The young man sees growing power within Kyra, potentially stronger than spellpages or any living mage. The answers to unlocking that power may lie within the glowing walls of the Imperial City, but its magic is strong and the unwary vanish without trace on its streets. Thirsty for knowledge and desperate to avoid another accident, she feels compelled to risk it.
While she focuses on controlling her abilities, a storm of greed and ambition boils up around her. Kyra is a pawn in the struggle for dominance between unscrupulous factions vying for rule of her country. Trusting the wrong side could get her killed–or worse, the potent magic she barely understands could be put to unthinkable evil.
The highway was lined three or four deep in honour of the Kellon’s arrival, despite a misty rain. I was there with my whole family – Mother, Father, three sisters, two brothers, and my eldest sister’s husband and children. The procession arrived an hour or two later than expected. A long train of horsemen in the local colours preceded several fine carriages, wagons of luggage and finally the open carts for the servants. The Kellon and most of his retainers would stay at the village guest house, with the overflow squeezed into the inn.
The Kellon himself rode near the front, his armour loose enough to accommodate his belly. Guards surrounded him, and behind came several men in leather riding trousers and long coats, the full skirts trailing over their horses’ rumps. I spotted the bulk of the Kellon’s Steward, and one man was recognisable as a mage by the tattoo on his forehead. The others were indistinguishable older men with serious faces looking straight ahead, either uninterested in the village peasantry or with their thoughts fixed on weightier matters. Or perhaps focused on their stomachs, since they were late for the noon board.
One man was different. He was younger than the others, only a few years older than me, and since he wore no riding scarf, his dark hair jumped out of the array of blond heads around him. Odder still, as he passed by, he turned towards me and stared directly into my eyes, as if, somehow, he knew me and had picked me out from the sea of identical women. Yet I had never seen him before.
“Well, that was peculiar,” said Alita, my next oldest sister. “I’ve not seen him here before. Why did he look at you in that way?”
I could only shrug. I shivered, suddenly chilled from standing so long in the drizzle.
Pauline lives in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland with her husband, her grown up daughter and a mad cat. She likes chocolate, whisky, her Kindle, massed pipe bands, long leisurely lunches, watching TV with her daughter, chocolate, going places in her campervan, eating pizza in Italy, summer nights that never get dark, wood fires in winter, chocolate, the view from the study window looking out over the Moray Firth and the Black Isle to the mountains beyond. And chocolate. She dislikes driving on motorways, cooking, shopping, hospitals. ‘The Fire Mages’ is her second published work. ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ was published in September 2014.
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