CHAPTER 1: THE RUINS OF KNELL
Even the finest castle
is not a home without
those you love.
~ fairy proverb
Lily could count the spells she knew by heart on one hand – not many. How can I save the True World like this? she wondered. From the back of the dragon, Ironclaw, she could see the towns far below them, teeming with Fomorians. Their flickering fires lit up the twilight, twinkling like fireflies, but now Lily knew how much more sinister those lights were. Each one represented a hand against them. Lily felt hopelessly outnumbered. How many trolls can Edan gather? A troll might best four, maybe five Formorians?
Lily took a deep breath of cold air. The night was growing frosty and she shivered. She was thankful for Gran leaning against her back to keep her warm. Jude and Heather rode silently behind Gran, each one lost in their own thoughts.
Ironclaw carried them swiftly to Lord Gabriel, who waited for them at Knell Castle. The last time Lily saw the castle, it had been on fire, under attack by the Morrow. Now that the vile lizard-creature was defeated and Lily’s grandmother rescued, her thoughts turned back to saving her mother Eleanor, and her friend Peter, both captured by Lord Kane. Lily shuddered. How could Kane be so heartless, murdering his own brother? Could he really be her uncle?
Lily couldn’t even imagine the evil that possessed him or how they could ever defeat him. She hoped Gabriel would have a plan. She checked the crescent moon amulet at her throat, a gift from her grandmother. They had retrieved the Full Moon Amulet from DuraDor. Had Gabriel found Eleanor’s amulet, the one lost in the Ferraden Forest? Lily was certain he had. He wouldn’t return to Knell Castle without it, would he? Jude’s sudden shout interrupted her thoughts.
“Dragon! Look there!” shouted Jude, pointing to a thick cloud bank ahead.
“I see it,” said Ironclaw. “It’s one of Kane’s storms, no doubt. Hang on tight.”
“Can’t you go around?” asked Lily.
“Knell Castle is directly below us. The only way is through.”
Ironclaw’s head dipped lower and she flattened her wings against her sides, launching into a steep dive. Once in the clouds, a cold stinging ice hit Lily in the face. Lightning flashed, illuminating the gray clouds for a split second. They were not alone.
“Harpies!” cried Heather, as the dragon dodged one of the two hideous bird women suddenly swirling around them.
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