The dragonrider didn’t know she was a sorcerer…

Her father’s voice was a snarl, and his hand shook as if he were barely restraining himself from striking her, even though he was standing on the deck of Dyrfinna’s ship, surrounded by the people she’d picked to go to war with her.

“Dyrfinna, I am stripping you of your command because you are unworthy,” he said. “You are filled with delusions as to your own greatness, when you are actually soured and filled with deceit.”

Dyrfinna wrenched herself free from her father’s grip. Her voice rang out coldly. “Don’t talk to me about deceit. Who lied to my mother and then left her alone for two years?”

“That is a lie!” Papa hissed into Dyrfinna’s face. “I was on a mission. You don’t even know what happened. You were too young!”

Dyrfinna leapt back and grabbed a shield off the side of the ship, ready to fight back. “I was not too young. I remember everything. I remember how you left and how you never came back. I remember my mama crying, day after day. But she wasn’t just crying because you were gone, was she?” she asked. “What mission were you really on?”

Papa’s eyes widened as if he’d been struck by lightning – or he was about to inflict it, because she felt the pull of magic from the air around him.

A raging fire burst into being in her heart, and she felt its flames kindling within the rest of her body.


The people all around Dyrfinna cried out, scrambling back, shouting at her to stop what she was doing, now.

“No!” her father cried, and instead of moving away, he moved forward. “Tamp it down, Dyrfinna. Tamp it, now!”

“Do you feel this intention in the air? This lightning?” she said with a calmness that she did not feel as the hair on her arms and the back of her neck rose, as the magic slowly rose around her knees like nightmare waters. “You can leave my ship now, or you can see how this magic feels.”

She said this, but she did not dare to move.

The last time she’d done this, her little brother had died.


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