Title: Chosen of Azara
Author: Kyra Halland
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours
Juzeva, a princess of Savaru, vowed to the service of the magical Source Azara, sacrifices everything to try to stop a war, only to be caught in a web of evil and deceit.
Sevry, the last king of the war-ravaged land of Savaru, is tasked by Source Azara with finding the secret that disappeared with Juzeva, the secret that can heal Savaru and its Sources.
Lucie, a sheltered young noblewoman, is unaware of her true heritage and the power she bears, until a stranger claiming to be the legendary king of a long-dead land takes refuge in her father’s house.
Torn between her familiar world and the truths her heart can’t deny, Lucie must find the courage to join Sevry on his quest to restore Savaru and its magical Sources to life, a quest that will sweep her away to adventure, danger, and a love that could change her life – and the lost land of Savaru – forever.
Epic romantic fantasy for adults and older teens.
Juzeva: The Flight
IN THE OCEAN cove at the base of the high cliffs where the Source Azara dwelled, waves crashed and sprayed amongst the red rocks. Juzeva stood on one of the largest rocks, droplets of water sparkling in the spring sun as they fell around her. The wind whipped her black hair across her face and icy-cold water soaked the skirt of her white wool robe, but she paid these things no mind. Must this be? she silently begged, her tears mingling with the ocean spray on her face.
It must, my Daughter, though I wish it did not, Azara answered. Juzeva heard the words clearly in her mind, though the Source did not speak in any human language; Azara’s voice was in the roar and hiss of the surf.
But I am sworn to your service! Juzeva protested.
You are also sworn to serve your land and people through me. If that service requires you to leave me in order to prevent a war that would utterly destroy Savaru, then that is what you must do.
Azara was right, of course. Juzeva tried to push her tears and sorrow away, but she still caught her breath with a sob. I wish I could be certain that this will stop the war.
Not even I can be certain of what the future will bring, Azara said. Too much depends on choices yet to be made. But, as far as I am able to see, this path offers the best chance for peace.
But, Mother, I am your Chosen! I cannot live away from you!
Do not fear, Daughter. Have you brought your vial with you?
Juzeva took a crystal vial the size of her little finger from the pocket of her robe. Yes, I have it with me.
Reach deep into my water and fill it.
Juzeva stooped to lower the vial as far down into the churning water as she could reach. When she brought the vial back out of the sea, its facets sparkled with sunlight and magic. Juzeva inserted the stopper tightly, and added a seal of Source-power to keep the vial from leaking or accidentally opening.
Hear me now, Daughter, the Source said. In that vial is my power in its pure form, enough to sustain your life for many years. There is also a small amount of power which the other Sources of our land have sent to me. If the worst should happen, should Savaru be conquered and its Sources defiled or destroyed, you or a daughter of your blood can use the water in your vial to restore life and magic to our land. Guard the vial well, and share this secret only with those whom you trust absolutely. To everyone else, the vial will simply appear to be the Source-token which you, as my Chosen, will need to survive away from me.
Juzeva looked at the vial in her hand. She recalled being brought to the convent when she was eight years old and drawing Azara’s power into herself for the first time. She had always been a sickly child, but the Source-power had given her a strength and vitality she had never known before, along with a sense of love and comfort that she had never even felt from her own mother. Juzeva had known, that first day, that she had come home. She was Chosen of a Source, one of the rare people born perfectly attuned to the power of a specific Source, who could commune with that Source more closely than anyone else could, who was more receptive to its power, whose life depended on the power of that Source.
The vial held not only her life, but the life of the land of Savaru. The magic of Savaru’s many Sources was woven all through the land, in its green hills, clear waters, rich mines and fertile fields, and in the lives of its people, who were hard-working and practical yet valued magic, music, poetry, and fine craftsmanship; who considered themselves wealthy but never flaunted their wealth; who held self-reliance as an ideal but never allowed anyone, friend or stranger, to go without a meal or a warm bed. This was her land; they were her people. She had been born a princess of the royal family, and was Chosen of Savaru’s most sacred Source. Whatever her own will might be, a life lived without regard for her people, her land, would be devoid of meaning.
Juzeva took a deep breath and let it go. With it, she let go of her own desires and fears. She would do what must be done. At least she had the comfort of knowing that, through her Source-token, Azara would always be with her.
The vial’s crystal stopper had an eyelet formed into it, with a narrow silver chain threaded through the eyelet. Juzeva clasped the chain around her neck and settled the vial beneath her robes. I hadn’t thought to ever have daughters or sons.
You will, Azara said. And perhaps they will be compensation for the sacrifice you are making.
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Kyra Halland has always loved fantasy. She has also always loved a good love story. Years ago, as a new stay-at-home mom, she decided to combine those two loves – like chocolate and peanut butter! – by writing the kinds of romantic fantasy novels she wanted to read.
Complicated, honorable heroes; strong, smart, feminine heroines; magic, romance, and adventure; deep emotion mixed with a dash of offbeat humor – all of these make up Kyra Halland’s worlds. She loves sharing those worlds with readers and hopes they will enjoy her stories and characters as much as she does.
Kyra Halland lives in southern Arizona. She has a very patient husband, two less-patient cats, two young adult sons, a lovely daughter-in-law, and two adorable granddaughters. Besides writing, she enjoys scrapbooking and anime, and she wants to be a crazy cat lady when she grows up.