Today for Fifty Shades of Book Boys we are featuring Adrian sul’Han from Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima! Flamecaster is the first book in an all new young adult fantasy series and it sounds amazing. I haven’t had a chance to read anything by Chima but I heard great things about her books and I can’t wait to read Flamecaster! My lovely co-blogger Zed will be reviewing this on the blog very soon so keep your eyes out for it! Flamecaster will be available to purchase on April 5th!
After the awesome post all about Adrian there is an amazing giveaway for 2 ARC copies of Flamecaster so make sure to check that out at the end of the post!
***Also don’t forget to enter here for the international Fifty Shades of Book Boys giveaway***
“You never come to see me these days unless you’re on your way to kill someone,” Taliesin said.
She squatted barefoot between the rows of carrots, expertly lifting them with her digging fork and sliding them into her carry bag. The witch had her back to Ash, had not so much as looked at him, but she always knew him by his step, or the smell of him, or because he was so simple and she so clever that she could tell what he was likely to do on any given day.
Taliesin Beaugarde might be Dean of Spiritas, but she never put on airs. The contrast between the Voyageur and the humblest master at Mystwerk was striking. Wizards were arrogant by nature and Taliesin had her feet planted firmly in the earth.
Yet, after four years at Oden’s Ford, she could still put him off-balance.
“I’m a second-year at Mystwerk now,” Ash said. “There’s much more work than last year. The masters and the deans keep us busy.”
“I see,” Taliesin said, continuing to work. “This is not your usual season for hunting southerners.”
“I thought I’d try something new. In the summertime, the southerners I want to kill are all in the Fells, killing northerners. This time of year, I might find them at home.”
She finally turned to face him, shading her eyes against the declining sun. The sun was at his back, and his long shadow slanted across the rows. “You’ve grown so tall, Mageling, in these four years,” she said, as if she hadn’t really looked at him for a while. “And handsome. Are you taller than your father was?”
“So I’m told. It’s hard for me to remember now.” That was a lie. He remembered—exactly—the measure of his father’s arm around his shoulders, the distance between them when he leaned down to speak at Ash’s level, even the scent of him—leather and sweat and fresh mountain air.
“Other young men your age come to me seeking love potions.” She looked him up and down again. “I suppose you’re not in need of those.”
“No,” he said, shifting from foot to foot. After four years at Oden’s Ford, Taliesin still had the power to put him off balance. She was the closest he’d had to a mother since coming south. A mother who was nobody’s fool.
“Quit fondling that jinx piece,” Taliesin snapped. “It makes me edgy.” Witches had no use for amulets. She wiped sweat from her brow with her forearm, leaving a smear of dirt, then tossed a digging stick at him and pointed with her fork. “Here. Finish that row.”
Idle hands made her edgy, too. Ash squatted next to her. He was in a hurry, but he knew better than to rush his long-time teacher. There was a price to be paid for access to Taliesin’s vast inventory of plants and expertise in poisons.
Every marching season he traveled the south, working as an itinerant farrier. Farriers were welcome everywhere they went—in army camps, in cities, at every farm along the way, in the stables of the highest-ranking thanes—everywhere there were horses…Young as he was, his work was top of the line, and so his services were in great demand. He was good with horses, after all.
He was also good with poisons, garrotes, and the small daggers known as shivs. Poisons were his weapons of choice. Courtesy of Taliesin, he used compounds no one had ever heard of, that no southern healer would ever detect. It helped that green magic was considered witchery in Arden, and so forbidden.
Even if his poisons were identified, it was always too late, anyway. Once he got to someone, they were already dead. By then, young Adam Freeman would be on his way somewhere else, trailing death and misery in his wake.
He rarely took the life of a line soldier if it could be avoided, since many were unwilling recruits from the conquered lands. It wouldn’t make much of a difference strategically, anyway. The King of Arden viewed them as expendable.
He never targeted the horses, either. For one thing, it would draw attention to his work as a farrier. For another, he preferred horses to most people.
“Where are you off to this time?” Taliesin said. She seemed to have a talent for breaking into his black moods.
“Me? I’ll be in the southern islands, studying in the library of the arcane and collecting herbs for the healing halls.”
“Where will you be, really?”
“It’s better if you don’t know,” Ash said. Though she’d never admit it, he knew that she worried whenever he was away.
“Poison is such a scatter-shot technique,” Taliesin said. “You never know where your bolt will land.”
“I know that, but I’m careful. And I’m good at what I do. I had the best teacher.”
If he’d thought he was offering an olive branch, she slapped it away. “I did not teach you to travel about, leaving death in your wake,” she snapped. “I thought you intended to heal yourself by healing others.”
“I do heal others—three seasons of the year.”
“I wish you would stay here and work with me,” Taliesin said. “You still have much to learn.” She paused for a response, but he said nothing. “The time will come when you will wish that you were a better healer.”
Ash thrust his stick into the soil with vicious jabs. “Teach me how to bring the dead back to life. Then I’ll stay and listen.”
Fill in the Blanks:
Adrian sul’Han, also known as Ash Hanson
Also known as Adam Freeman
Also known as Adam Wolf
If it was my last day to live I would: Spend it hunting Gerard Montaigne, the gutter-swiving king of Arden
The biggest flaw I must overcome is: My lack of success in accomplishing the above
My most treasured possession is: The serpent amulet that once belonged to my father
I would rather like to avoid: Entanglements
I would describe myself with these three words: Guilty as charged
The first thing I do in the morning is: Ready my healer’s kit and my weapons
Nobody knows I am: A healer with a sideline in assassination, though sometimes it is the other way around
I am the happiest when: Left alone
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-ass Barbies. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), The Dragon Heir (2008), The Enchanter Heir (2013) and The Sorcerer Heir (2014) all from Hyperion.
Chima’s YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown 2012.) The Shattered Realms, a new series set in the Seven Realms, launched in April 2016 with Flamecaster (from HarperTeen.)
Chima believes in the magic of books. They took her from first grade failure to first generation college graduate to college professor to best-selling author.
Want to read more from Cinda Williams Chima?
This contest is provided by HarperTeen!
Two lucky winners will win an ARC of Flamecaster!!!
Available April 5, 2016 from HarperCollins
About this Book:
The first in a thrilling new four-book fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same world as her beloved Seven Realms series, a generation later
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.
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