About the Book
Title: Dark Djinn
Author: Tia Reed
Duplicity and deception: aid from a djinn is a curse under any guise.
Betrothed to a cruel lord, Princess Kordahla dreams of fleeing to her decadent neighbour, a journey fraught with danger, and no promise of sanctuary at its end. Her one hope is to offer the southern shah a prize so valuable he cannot refuse to harbour her: the secret of the mahktashaan, the soldier-magicians sworn to protect her father’s court.
But the mahktashaan guard their magic with blooded sword, and in stealing one of their powerful crystals she will risk her life. Unless she accepts the help of a treacherous djinn intent on tricking her into a deal.
It is a compact which threatens to shatter the fragile peace in the Three Realms.
A gripping tale of realms besieged and honour lost, of blood-ties severed and romance dreamed, Dark Djinn begins an epic quest to save mortals from the schemes of djinn.
Kordahla shivered, and rubbed the goosebumps that had erupted along her arms. She couldn’t be sick; Vinsant had belted his coat.
“A still wind is blowing,” she said, her breath forming a white puff. She picked up a cashmere blanket from the daybed to toss around her shoulders. They both made the sign of warding. The temperature, if anything, grew chillier. She stood and turned about the room, fear prickling along the nape of her neck.
“Don’t go,” she said to Vinsant. Wide-eyed, he shook his head. Even let her take his hand when the flickering air in front of the door exuded the salted, seaweed tang of the sea. She gagged as it thickened into substance until a djinn floated before them, vermillion eyes blazing beneath a mop of black hair, indigo skin shocking beneath a shiny vest the colour of his eyes. Vinsant wrinkled his nose.
“You’re real,” Kordahla breathed, repeating the warding sign. For all the stories, superstitions and inexplicable chills, never had she thought to meet a djinn in the iridescent flesh. She would have fled to her bedchamber had Vinsant not wrenched his icy hand from hers.
The djinn snorted, and the curls on the end of his slippers rolled tighter. “Of course I’m real, impudent child. Do you think the gods waste their time toying with you foolish beings? Do you think the still winds a quirk of nature, or a figment of your piddling imaginations?” He flicked dirt as black as his shalvar from under his nail. She sidestepped it, dropping the blanket to make a grab for her impetuous little brother. To her horror, Vinsant dodged. Wrinkling his freckled nose, he began walking a wide circle around the shimmering creature, too calm to have understood their peril.
Kordahla folded her arms tight under her bosom. “What b-business h-have you with us?” It was unfortunate that chilled to the marrow, she sounded insecure.
The query had the djinn bending over with hysterics. “Grubs on the earth!” He flew dizzying circles around the room, forcing Vinsant so hard against her wardrobe the solid thing rocked, its back thumping against the wall, its legs thudding on the floor. She spun to keep track of his blur, had to stop so she would not topple, and shuddered to think he lurked behind her. When he settled, he reclined in the air, head resting on a hand, one leg bent up at the knee. The indigo crystals which formed his joints pulsed with a muted glow. The utter strangeness of it caught her breath and sent her heart into an ill-timed gallop.
“A magical creature appears as you discuss your future, and the best you can think to do is ask why I am here.”
She cringed at the whiff of fish in his breath. Lunged at Vinsant as he stepped forward. His sidestepping evasion was effortless. Dear Vae, what was he thinking, marching right up to the djinn.
“You’re here to grant us a wish then?” he asked, eyes narrowed.
Tia Reed loves nothing better than burying her nose in a story of her own imagining, cuddling her bossy cat and rescuing chewed pillows from her hyperactive dog. She takes every opportunity to do all three when she is not teaching English as a second language. Her other hobbies usually take a back seat but include trying to tame her beast of a garden, hiking and travelling. The latter has thrown her many interesting, sometimes hair-raising experiences, which she loves twisting into stories. She was born in Malta, but lives in Adelaide, Australia.
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