Epic Fantasy Excerpt – Reign & Ruin

Today we have the blog tour of J.D. Evans’ Reign & Ruin, the first in her MAGES OF THE WHEEL Series!

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Title: Reign & Ruin 

Series: Mages of the Wheel, Book 1

Author: J.D. Evans 

Genre: Epic Fantasy 

About Reign & Ruin: 

“All magic is beautiful,” she said, “and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.”

She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy.
She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man’s place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people.
His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war.
Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion.
They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm… 

Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.    

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“Do you know why mages of the Sixth House are called death mages?” he asked, disappointed when she slid her arm free of his. The coolness of her demeanor and her magic were calming, quieting the restlessness that plagued him. 

“It seems obvious, which suggests to me that I am mistaken,” she replied, examining his face for some clue to the answer. He suspected she was capable of divining a great deal simply by someone’s expression. Air mages. 

“If you believe it is because the Sixth House and destruction are synonymous with death, then yes, you are mistaken. In ancient days, it was common to employ Sixth House mages as executioners. It was a kinder death to have your heart stopped by their magic, or sleep that became death, than to be hanged, or burned alive, or beheaded. It began as mercy,” he said, trying to keep the resentment out of his voice. 

Her soft gaze and rapt silence made him want to bolt. He was not accustomed to that kind of focus. Most people in Sarkum knew he was a Sixth House mage, and a powerful one. They didn’t look at him directly, as if that would somehow unleash his magic. 

“But, as things often are, it was taken out of context. They began by calling only those employed as executioners death mages. Eventually it spread to encompass the entire Sixth House.”

“I have never heard that,” she said, sadly. “I have studied everything I can find, which is not much. Many of the texts were burned after the Sundering. The entire palace library was almost lost.” 

“A historian and a student of law. Admirable.” He grinned to disguise the depth of the emotion behind the comment. “Now I have shared a fact. So, it is your turn.” It would be an easy and pleasant thing to stay exactly where he was, conversing with her for the rest of the day. There were so many questions her statements raised. The most burning of which was why she was studying the Sixth House. If it weren’t for the half dozen of her attendants watching with razor-sharp concentration and trying to appear as if they were not, he might try and coax her to walk with him longer. 

“I am not a Veritor,” she said, “and am glad for it.”

“It could be a powerful tool and weapon to have that capability at your disposal,” Makram said. 

“As with a blade, the edge can cut the wielder just as easily as the opponent.” There was a tone in her voice, a distracted kind of cadence, that suggested she had seen such an occurrence. Her father?

“A wise point,” he said, his admiration and curiosity rising with each word she uttered. 

“In my case it is the lack of that magic that cuts. Every past generation of Sabris have born a Veritor. Neither I, nor my cousin, are one. Some consider that an omen.” She spoke with words devoid of emotion, but her hands tightened together. 

“An omen of what?”

“The end of the Sabri Sultanate.”

About the Author: 

J.D. Evans writes science fiction and fantasy romance and is the author of the novel, Reign & Ruin. After earning her degree in linguistics, J.D. served a decade as an army officer. She once spent her hours putting together briefings for helicopter pilots and generals. Now she writes stories, tends to a tiny human, knits, sews badly, gardens, and cultivates Pinterest Fails. After a stint in Beirut, J.D. fell in love with the Levant, which inspired the setting for her debut series, Mages of the Wheel.

J.D. currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, though she will always be a Montana girl at heart.

Connect with J.D. Evans: 

Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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