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Book Previews - Veil of Darkness
Book One of The Earthsoul Prophecies

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    “I’m glad we’re so appreciated,” Daris replied dryly, then poured himself another drink. “I hope Alexa found a better mailman, or she may have already had her baby. Think about how your mother would feel about that.”
    Jase shuddered. “Her fury would shake the Nine Lands,” he said. “Fortunately, the letter was dated. She isn’t due for another six months.”
    “Do you think she’s happy with her new life?”
    “I think so. Lavin sounds like a nice guy, even if he is Heir to the Throne of Midion. Alexa always did like attending royal balls and all that other pageantry garbage, so I’m sure she feels right at home.” He paused and took a sip of his ale before adding, “If you ask me, the scheming that takes place at a dance rivals even the most subversive political machinations of the High Tribunal.”
    “You never miss a chance to criticize city life do you?” Daris asked. “Do you truly hate it so much?”
    Jase smiled. “I live here don’t I?”
    Daris leaned forward and fixed him with a stare. “You live here because your mother moved here. Perhaps she’s the one who’s had enough of Trian politics.”
    “I’m sure she has,” Jase said. “But she can still back my uncle and the tribunal into a corner anytime she wants. She moved us down here because... uh....” He stopped. The move had taken place when he was a baby. He’d been too young to know anything about politics or bureaucratic scheming. It had been his mother’s decision. “Why did she move us down here?”
    Daris’ eyes narrowed, and his face grew serious. “Because your father made her promise she would.”
    Jase was stunned to silence. This was the first time he’d heard anything like this, and it was some time before he could force himself to speak. “Why?” was all he could manage.
    “His reasons were his own,” Daris said. “I’m not even sure he told your mother everything. Me, he told nothing.”
    They fell silent, and Jase noticed Tana’s eyes on him from across the room. He knew he needed to talk to her about what was going on between them, but now wasn’t the time. He told himself it was because he needed to work out the details of his mother’s trip to Seston, but really he was scared of how she might react. And with all the emotional turmoil he was going through over the discovery of his Gifts, not to mention this new shock of learning it had been his father’s decision to move to Kindel’s Grove, he didn’t think he could handle a discussion about his relationship with her just yet.
    When the plan for Seston was finalized, Jase waited until Tana was busy in the kitchen before leaving his money on the table and slipping quickly outside. He would explain things to her later. After he figured them out, of course. He just hoped he could. Because sooner or later, she was going to corner him, and he would have to talk to her.
    Back outside, he and Daris parted ways—Daris off to talk to Fadus about the trouble with the Highwaymen, and Jase back to Zander’s to pick up one more thing for his mother.
    The ride home was uneventful, giving him plenty of time to wrestle with the nagging question: Why had his father wanted them out of Trian?
    Lost in concentration, he didn’t notice the bladehawk gliding from tree to tree, a feathery wedge of black following a short distance behind.

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