Title: Astarte's Wrath
Series: Book #0.5 of Kythan Guardians
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Genre: YA (Steampunk, Paranormal & Romance)
Synopsis. A tragic love story.
Two thousand years before Dez Harkly developed her secret powers, Guardian Astarte was vowed to protect by the binds enslaving her to the Egyptian pharaohs. Discover the prophecy that originated from a very different time, and spans generations to link two very different girls.
This is the beginning.
Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Actium, in the city of Alexandria, Star struggles with her guardian duties as her feelings for the newly named pharaoh of Egypt grow deeper. Not only is Caesarian her duty, he’s the son of Cleopatra, and he’s human. All of which makes their love forbidden.
But when a conspiracy linked to Caesar creeps its way into Alexandria, Star must choose between helping her fellow Kythan free themselves of their servitude, and protecting her charge—the last pharaoh—while Egypt burns around her.
Habi raises his curved blade catching the firelight. “Defend Egypt!” he roars.
The Shythe break formation and run full force up the dune.
Once I reach the top, my feet stop. I’m planted in place like a wilting lotus as my eyes take in the battle below. Brown-plumed helmets merge together in a sea of amber sand. The armor of the Roman soldiers flash gold and red, the Narcos’ Flame glinting off it like violent sun flares. Spears ignite mid-throw. Smoke billows up from scorched bodies strewn across the desert.
“Move!”Habi yells near my ear.
He slaps my shoulder, his hand already ablaze with radiant blue. Charge zaps my skin, and I’m spurred into motion by the shock. My knees unlock their hold. I follow Habi down the dune, the balls of my feet digging into the loose sand.
The clash of armor hitting armor rings out.
Before I reach for my weapon, I call forth my Charge, shifting into Kythan form. My arms illume blue spreading from the tips of my fingers to my elbows. I feel my ears point, sliding through the loose wisps of my hair. My skin tingles with the shift.
A cry rips from my mouth as I lock gazes with a Roman. I bare my teeth at him, my lips curled back around my sharp canines. He’s on the cusp of the battle, and wavers hesitantly before raising his sword to meet mine. A sneer mars his olive-toned face. I raise my shield and plow into him. He’s knocked off balance, but rights himself quickly. He drives the point of his blade into my shield, and I’m thrust backward. “Just wait, slave”, he bites out, swiping his sword toward my face.
A low, shrill whistle as it cleaves the air. I know some Latin, but he says this to me in Greek as it’s the common language in Alexandria. He grunts and lunges. “Jove’s reckoning is coming.”
I block his attack with my shield, then send a bolt of Charge into his weapon. It careens with his mid-flight, a flash of white-blue crackling energy. He trembles, shocked into silence. I swipe his leg. He falls back, my sword already coming down on his head, but a blast of sand stings my eyes. I stumble and my sword stabs the ground instead. He rolls and comes up with his hands blocking the rising winds.
“Fall back!” another Roman orders.
My foe picks up his sword and follows the retreating Romans. Before I can question whether it was our forces that intimidated them, the swell coming off the red land intensifies, lifting strands of my hair. The sand attacks my skin, biting.
Hunkering low, I bring up my shield to guard against the whirlwind of sand. It pelts the metal like hail. I peek above the scooped top and see the other Kythan doing the same. Where in the heavens did a sandstorm come from this time of year?
A crack of thunder splinters the air in answer.
Beyond the haze of swirling sand, shadowed figures emerge.
Their eyes and arms are lit up blinding white. Draped in black flowing linen, their pale skin stands out, striking, like pearls rising out of the Nile.
About the Author