The Initiate (Time Master Trilogy, Book 1) by Louise Cooper

By Louise Cooper

The seven gods of Order had governed unchallenged for hundreds of years, served via the adepts of the Circle of their bleak northern citadel at the big name Peninsula. yet for Tarod-the such a lot enigmatic and bold sorcerer in Circle's ranks-a darker affinity had started to name. Threatening his ideals, even his sanity, it rose unbidden from past time; an historical and lethal adversary which could plunge the area into insanity and chaos-and whose strength may perhaps rival that of the gods themselves. And notwithstanding Tarod's brain and center have been pledged to reserve, his soul used to be one other matter...

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Against all odds it seemed that his saviors were the servants of Aeons himself! If only he could- Agony flooded him when, without thinking, he tried to sit up. Taunan caught him as he started to retch in reaction to the pain, and when he was laid back on the pile of cloaks and coats that formed his bed he felt as though the whole world were a single scarlet vortex of torture, twisting and tumbling around him. Taunan swore again and they gave him more water to drink, but this time when the pain decreased it left behind a sick, throbbing pulse that wouldn't be quieted.

In the solitude of his room he had invented another name for himself, but no one knew of it, for he never spoke it aloud lest it should be discovered and taken away. And yet the boy felt in his bones that he was, somehow, special. It was the one lifeline that had kept up his lonely spirits as he grew towards adolescence, and lately it had begun to goad him more and more towards a half-formed idea of running away. He would have given much to see the world. He often walked the seven miles to Port Summer on errands, and had been told that from the Port's high cliffs, if he strained his eyes hard enough, he might just see the Summer Isle, home of the High Margrave himself, ruler of all the land, lying in the hazy distance offshore.

The feeling made him want to hurt, to kill, to avenge the brigands' victims, and as the desire formed, an exhilarating sense of power swept through him and took control, fuelled by his anger and blotting out all other forms of consciousness. Had he had time to reason, he would have realized that that power was twin to the force that had struck down Coran-but reason was beyond him. Without knowing it he was on his feet, the strength of pent-up fury filling his body. He raised an arm high above his head, and the world about him seemed to turn crimson-for an instant the upturned face of the brigands' leader was caught and held with terrible clarity in his field of vision; disbelief registered on the broken-nosed features, then was frozen forever as a single bolt of livid crimson brilliance seared with a deafening crack from the boy's fingers.

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