He isn’t the hero anyone wanted.
Dagen isn’t a hero at all, he’s the king’s pigeon keeper.
Blackmailed and backed into a corner, Dagen has no choice but to help his half-brother steal a powerful relic, the Osslian sword. But when Dagen accidentally bonds himself to the sword he discovers the unexpected truth: Osslian is not just a sword, he is a ancient sentient being that now shares control of Dagen’s body.
And Osslian isn’t the only enchanted sword.
The sword Enna has lived in the bodies of her Bearers for centuries. Trapped in their human weakness and longing for the days of her true masters, the Shee who created her and all those like her. And now she has a plan to set them free again.
Osslian remembers the true nature of the Shee, the death and destruction they caused and all those who died to imprison them. He must find a way to stop her, but instead of having a powerful sorcerer as a Bearer, he has a servant.
Dagen and Osslian must learn to work together. If they don’t, then Enna will succeed in freeing the Shee and a new age of death and darkness will begin.
“I’m sorry, Brigy.” Unable to speak, he had to mouth the words, but she would be able to read him. “I love you.”
Tears streamed down her face and she shook her head, clenching her fingers around the coarse cloth of his tunic. The pain of dying was nothing compared to the pain of not being able to hold his sister one last time, but there was nothing he could do.
Blurriness closed in around his vision again. The tingling along his skin moved deeper, through flesh and muscle to his very bones. The throbbing in his wrist slowed and stopped. His whole body relaxed as the tingles slowly faded.
Dagen’s mind floated while his body was anchored like a rock. Was this what it felt like to die? He had expected something more… well, dramatic.
His vision cleared and he stared up at the rough shadows cast by the crosspieces and straw of the ceiling. His eyes closed and Dagen tried to open them again.
His body took a deep breath, seemingly of its own accord. What was going on? Dread fluttered through him like an icy wind.
Eyes open, he sat up, again Dagen had no control of the movements. It was like there was a barrier between his mind and his body. He heard Brighid gasp and his eyes turned towards her.
She reached out and wrapped her arms around him. The relief that warmed him at her touch was swept away almost immediately as he realized his arms wouldn’t move to return her hug. She pulled away. He saw the surprise and hurt in her face at his coldness.
“Who are you, girl?” Dagen’s voice said, but it didn’t quite sound like him. The voice that used his lips was older, cold and unfeeling as Brighid backed away from him.
No, no, no. This wasn’t happening. He tried to reach out again towards his body. Control. He needed control. He felt along the barrier, but there was no way through. He shoved as hard as he could. Pain shot through him and even reached his body as he felt it cringe.
What’s wrong with you, Dagen? she signed in the air between them.
“Answer me!” Dagen’s voice snapped at her.
I’m your sister, Brighid. she signed again, carefully spelling her name out, but what ever was controlling Dagen’s body either didn’t understand sign language or didn’t care.
“Where am I?” he asked, quieter this time, but tight with irritation. Dagen saw the fear in Brighid’s eyes and it tore at him.
Leave her alone! She can’t hear you! He tried to shout, but his lips didn’t move.
Brighid didn’t sign anything more, but shrank back against the wall. Dagen felt his jaw clench as he rose from the ground and leveled a glare at her. She just looked up at him her eyes huge with fright.
She can’t hear you. LEAVE HER ALONE! He screamed the thoughts as loud as he could, fighting with all his strength against whatever was blocking him from his body. Pain arced through him again and spread to stab down his spine.
His eyes closed as his body flinched again, but he still wasn’t in control.
“Hmm.” A thoughtful noise rumbled from Dagen’s throat. His eyes opened again and his gaze swept slowly over Brighid. Cold and calculating. “You can’t speak can you, girl?”
She shook her head slowly.
A snort of disgust huffed out of him and he turned on his heels towards the door.
Relief swept through Dagen as his body walked out of the house and left Brighid behind. He hopped she had enough sense not to follow him. The night was cold and dark now. Lamplight spilled from a few windows nearby and a scatter of stars shone far away, the only things to break the darkness. His eyes looked around as if he had never seen the low squat roofs of the hovels around them. His gaze caught on the brown smudge of the Gate Road that cut through the clusters of hovels. Dagen’s feet moved, taking him to the Gate Road and up through the city. Following the curving main street wasn’t the quickest way, but it was the most obvious. Dagen wasn’t sure what to do. Or if there was anything he could do. Brighid was at least safe from him, but why were they going back into the city? What was this thing inside him? Some kind of spell? He had never heard of anything like this.
He was still three blocks from the king’s hall when a group of guards spotted him. Dagen tried again to pull back control, run away, anything, but his feet just stopped in the middle of the dusty road.
The smell of oiled leather and metal swept over him as the guards fanned out on either side, spears or short swords in hand.
“Take me to king Torem,” his voice came out cool and calm, much calmer than Dagen felt.
Dagen struggled wildly again. No! He had just escaped from the king’s hall. Now he was simply marching back into it, the incriminating sword at his hip? They would hang him for sure.
Wait, the sword. A chill ran through him. Was this what Morenn meant about how becoming a Bearer changed someone? He had expected something, but not this…