Taking Vengeance by MK Theodoratus
Historical Fantasy Fiction
In a tale older than time itself, Taking Vengeance tells a story about the strength and conviction of a mother’s love against those who would harm her family. After witnessing centuries of fighting and chaos against her people and her own bickering with Linden, the ruler of the Far Isles Half-Elven, Mariah has withdrawn from politics to seek a peaceful life as a healer.
But Mariah’s peace is short lived when Sea Raiders attack her daughter’s family, leaving her at death’s door. The act of bigoted cruelty plunges Mariah into despair. Her grief is sensed by Ashton, her partner who is far away spying on their southern enemies, and he uses his elven magic to rush to her side. The couple’s rage boils over at the outrage. Ashton urges Mariah to belt on her sword and seek vengeance against their daughter’s attackers. Mariah discovers the Sea Raiders wield a strange new magic that threatens all they hold dear. But can she convince Linden that their country is in danger before it’s too late?
Taking Vengeance is a tale set in the world of the Far Isles Half-Elven, who constantly fight among themselves even though they’re beset by enemies on all sides.
Mariah lifted her arms over her head, stretching to feel the full impact of the retreating gale. If only Ashton and I could sail away from our troubles with our daughter!
Tired from a day of mediating petty disputes for her holding and helping at the healer’s hall, Mariah stood on a promontory over-looking the churning eastern sea. The wind whipped her loose chestnut hair around her head. The gusts tempted her to ride the buffeting air currents, not keeping her pointed ears politely tacked to her head out of sight under her hair. The illusion of freedom teased the weight of time and sorrow from her thoughts.
For a moment she thought of removing her shirt to feel the wind against her unbound breasts but changed her mind. Flight held no allure without Ashton next to her. When alone, they often sailed the air currents, making love, their souls merging until their bodies glowed and sparked with their commingled power.
Her mind reached out to caress the tether of woven energy between them. Ashton was angry. Her lips tightened, but she couldn’t help him. They had agreed to live apart to ease Linden’s complaints that they picked at him, two against one.
:Mother, where are you?
Her daughter’s silent cry riveted Mariah’s attention. Norerah and her family should be far at sea by now. Unexpected pain invaded her mind as she sought out her daughter, only to catch a dim glimpse of her own hall far to the west.
The thought was a bare whisper before the connection between them went dark. Mariah transferred home across the leagues without thinking and found her daughter bleeding on the floor of her own hall. A harpoon pierced the babe in her carrypack and opened a gaping wound across Norerah’s back until it embedded in her shoulder. Her daughter’s reddish-brown warrior’s braid fell across the blood-soaked rag rug the two had stitched together during the long winter nights.
Kneeling by the expanding stain, Mariah struggled to remain calm. She took a deep breath as her fingers traced the path of the harpoon barb under the skin. Using the magic that made her a skilled healer, she mentally probed the broken ribs and lacerated flesh as she sought the source of pulsing blood. She needed to stop the flow; Norie had already lost too much.
Mariah took deep breaths to stay calm. The aftermath of battles always crippled her thinking. She forced the mocking memory of her elder son, sprawled on a battlefield pierced by arrows, from her mind. The healer had no time to soothe that wound to her heart. Only a thread tied her daughter’s life to this world.
Twisting her hair into a knot with bloody hands, Mariah bit her lip. I refuse to give her up to the Fates! The Summerlands can’t have her. One child is enough to give up too early.
Comics first hooked M. K. Theodoratus on fantasy. When she discovered L. Frank Baum’s first Oz books, the strong female characters drew her into the possibilities of alternate worlds. Then, she stared writing in grade school when a teacher assigned a short story lesson. The assignment was incomplete at 25 pages, but she finished the book by the next summer. The Children’s Librarian, the only other person who’s read it, thought it well-done.
Theodoratus has enjoyed at least four writing careers, including non-fiction. Now she writes fantasy … mostly because it amuses her. Theodoratus writes in the world of her grumpy Far Isles Half-Elven, often featuring Mariah del Oesti or Renna of Ren Creek. She also explores other magical worlds of ghosts, gargoyles, and Fae. Most of her newer stories are set in Andor where demons prey on humans. You can read more about her fantasy athttp://www.mktheodoratus.com