Across the land of Hytanica, in the villages, infant boys continued to vanish. A count was made of the number missing, but before he could determine what action should be taken, the disappearances stopped. The last Hytanican child to vanish was the newborn son of a wealthy baron and baroness. Within the week, as the bleeding moon waned, the bodies of the infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. Grieving parents collected the rotting remains of their sons, but there was one mystery that would for many years remain unsolved. Forty-nine babies were taken, but only forty-eight bodies were returned.
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Across the land of Hytanica, in the villages, infant boys continued to vanish. A count was made of the number missing, but before he could determine what action should be taken, the disappearances stopped.
The last Hytanican child to vanish was the newborn son of a wealthy baron and baroness. Within the week, as the bleeding moon waned, the bodies of the infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. Grieving parents collected the rotting remains of their sons, but there was one mystery that would for many years remain unsolved. Forty-nine babies were taken, but only forty-eight bodies were returned.
No one knew why the Cokyrians had withdrawn from the land or why they had not been able to destroy Hytanica and her people. The Cokyrians were superior to the Hytanicans as fighters and strategists and did not adhere to any code of honor in war, but still Hytanica had not fallen.
According to lore, the first King of Hytanica, seeking to protect his foundling home, had been advised by his priests that a sacrifice of blood both royal and innocent would hallow the ground and make his kingdom invincible. As my people settled into a long-awaited time of peace, learning to lead normal lives once more, I was brought before them and grew to be a young woman, living with a freedom the war-torn generations before me had never known.
All such things must come to an end, however, and that is where my story begins. My younger sister, Princess Miranna, had retired to her quarters after breathlessly assuring me I would have a lovely evening, but then, she was much more enamored with the man I would be meeting for dinner tonight than I was. He picked up a book from the table beside the burgundy velvet sofa and began to leaf through it. If something goes wrong tonight, Father is going to be so disappointed.
Unruly silver bangs fell across his forehead, contrasting sharply with his deep-set indigo eyes, which were fixed upon me in anticipation of a response. I fumbled for one; every moment I could feel the noose of my impending marriage growing tighter. With my seventeenth birthday just around the corner, a betrothal would soon be arranged, with or without my approval of the gentleman.
How can I spend the whole evening with him? You can survive one evening. My father, King Adrik, had arranged for this dinner between Lord Steldor and me, for he felt Steldor was better suited to be his successor than anyone else in the kingdom. As the heir to the throne, I was to marry on that basis alone, for it was my husband, not I, who would come to rule Hytanica. Even I had to admit that Steldor was the obvious choice.
Three and a half years older than I, he was the son of Cannan, the Captain of the Guard, and had one year ago become a military field commander at the young age of nineteen. He was charming, intelligent and strong, with stunning good looks, but I had disliked him from the moment we had met. A rap on the door interrupted my thoughts, and London stepped into the corridor while I fretfully plucked strands of my brown hair free of its upswept style.
As we walked, I hardly glanced at the intricate tapestries that adorned the walls, for my attention was drawn to the end of the hall where Steldor awaited me. Supporting himself with his left hand on the wall, he was flipping a dagger over and over in his right, impeccably positioned for maximum visual effect. Steldor had returned his dagger to its sheath and was striding toward me.
Although he was dressed more informally than was usual for him, his deportment would have made any clothing appear elegant. He was tall, broad shouldered and well muscled, with dark brown hair that fell in a perfectly careless manner to just below his prominent cheekbones.
His brown eyes were guaranteed to make most girls swoon, and his smile was irresistible, given his straight and even, white teeth. His eyes swept my form approvingly, taking in my shimmering gray gown and the silver locket that graced my neck.
Suppressing a smile, I walked with Steldor through the remainder of the corridor, the savory smells from the kitchen arousing my appetite. At least I would be getting a delicious meal out of the evening. The first-floor dining room was designed to accommodate intimate gatherings. There were twin marble fireplaces, one on each side of the room, with an oblong table that could seat forty-five centered in between. Three candlelit chandeliers were suspended above the table, and oil-burning lanterns were attached at intervals along the walls.
A small, round table draped with white linen had been prepared for us at the far end of the room in front of the bay window. I sat across from Steldor and he offered me a glass of wine, which I accepted with some trepidation, having no more liking for wine than I did for the man extending the goblet.
When none were forthcoming, he smiled. Some food may restore you. The arrival of the kitchen staff with vegetable-laden platters, warm bread and roast grouse saved me from having to reply. Steldor nodded curtly to dismiss the servants, then placed a slice of the sizzling game bird on each of our plates, permitting me to select my own vegetables and bread. We ate in silence for a time, although I found it difficult to do more than nibble, for his eyes continued to shamelessly peruse me.
Clearly this was not how he would have chosen to spend his evening free of duties. I am well suited for such a life, of course—when I was at the Military Academy, my combat instructors had nothing but praise for me. As you probably know, I was allowed to graduate a year early due to my abilities.
But despite the demands of my position, I find time to help train the students at the academy in hand-to-hand fighting. The instructors at the military school continue to hold me in high esteem and readily welcome my assistance.
He paused to settle back in his chair, slowly swirling the wine in his goblet, once more perfectly posed. It was natural that I would become the favored one. Well, then, I suppose I should feel honored just to be here with you. Your father is revered. But I have the eyes of an entire citizenry on me at every moment. That you cannot deny.
Narian is initially captured by the palace guards as a spy from an enemy kingdom, but is eventually discovered to be the son of a noble family that was long since thought to be dead. Alera begins to secretly meet with Narian, who tells her of life in the other kingdom and the two begin to fall in love. Despite this, Alera is forced to marry Steldor while Narian is condemned as a traitor. She finds herself unable to love him and equally unable to forget Narian, the one she truly loves. This provokes conflicted emotions in her, as she knows that Narian is destined to conquer her kingdom for the magic user Overlord, the ruler of the rival kingdom Cokyrian.
[PDF] Legacy Book by Cayla Kluver Free Download (496 pages)
Make sure you check out both posts! Thanks so much for doing this interview! This book is a ton of fun. Okay, I have to ask: have you actually done all of these duct tape projects yourself? My sister Freda, who took all the pictures for my book, Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects , developed a few of my favorites though - she came up with the watermelon and cupcake purses. All of the projects were either developed through my crafting workshops, for my YouTube channel, or for the book itself.
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Legacy (novel series)