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Destroyer (The Elemental Series #7)
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“My name is Larkspur, and I am an Elemental.”
My people use the power of the earth to sustain life and defy our enemies. I should be at my father’s side as a royal princess. But as a half-breed, bastard child, that isn’t going to happen.
Taken away by the last Spirit Walker, I am mean to train with him so that I can finally stop the false mother goddess and her plans to rule both humans and elementals. I am meant to train so that I can meet her on even ground, but training takes time.
Time is not something we have. The world is coming apart at the seams as the humans rain down destruction upon their own kind and the supernatural world. The false mother goddess is hunting down the most powerful elementals to take the last of their power, and through it all, the secrets of who I truly am begin to spill upward.
I must find the strength to stop the mother goddess, and to save our world, but which aspect of my heart will hold me up and what will it cost me in the end?
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Talan had taken me from my home, away from the Rim when I was needed there more than ever. In the moment, I saw what was left of my family standing with the wolves…
The asshole—Talan—had knocked me out so I couldn’t fight him to stay.
In my mind, I knew I wasn’t truly asleep. I did my best to push off what held me under the cover of darkness. The immobility of my limbs, my eyelids closed against the light, the way my breathing was steady and slow—none of it was truly rest, but confinement.
There was no way for me to break free. Talan’s power was too strong for me to cast off, which only infuriated me. The world around me moved and flexed. The wind in my hair tugged at me as we flew from the Rim, and yet I could not see. The smell of pine trees, the feel of Talan’s arms holding me so I wouldn’t slip off Shazer’s back, the rush of feathers in the wind as the Pegasus underneath us flew to wherever Talan had decided.
I’d done what I’d had to do; I agreed to let him train me. But that was before I’d seen the danger to my sister Belladonna and my family in the Rim.
I’d gathered four of the five stones of power and used them against the false mother goddess. I thought we had dealt with her, that the blow would be enough to keep us safe from her vengeance.
I was wrong.
And she was there, now, in the Rim, ready to hurt those I loved.
Even though I said I would willingly go with Talan, I would have fought to stay. He knew it, and knocked me out using Spirit before I could do anything to get away. He was supposed to train my ability with Spirit. Hell, he’d made a powerful case that the fake mother goddess would come for me, come for my family, and the only way to be strong enough was to learn from Talan. I understood that. I was an Ender, after all, a protector of the Rim and my family above all others. I was also the Destroyer, named by the previous Queen of the Sylphs as the one who would rain chaos down in an effort to change this place we called home. She never did say whether the change would be for better or worse.
None of that mattered now. I was as weak as any elemental in Talan’s hold.
The last image I’d seen of the Rim haunted my mind.
Viv, the one who’d falsely claimed the title of the mother goddess, the one who’d manipulated me for years, had stood behind my older sister, a threat on her lips only I heard.
Run while you can, little Larkspur. And while you hide from me, I will destroy your world.
With all I had left in me, all the power of Spirit that I carried, I hammered at the bonds Talan had on me. He grunted as though I’d physically hit him. “Lark, you can do nothing to stop Viv now. And if I thought for one second you would be rational about what is truly happening, I would let you come out from under this.”
“Damn you, Talan!” Peta screeched, and her body was gone from her place in my lap. He gave a second grunt and then his grip on me loosened. Just for a moment, and it was enough that I could drag myself from under the bindings of Spirit he had on me. I sat up, drew a breath, and looked around to get my bearings. Barren landscape, the flat badlands of North Dakota spun out as far as I could see. I had precious little time before Talan regained his hold on me. Which meant I needed the ground under my feet, the earth at my beck and call. He might rule the power of Spirit…
But I ruled the earth and all it offered in its strength.
“On it, boss.” The Pegasus tucked his wings and dropped from the sky at a speed that swept both Talan and me back almost to his rump. I scrambled for Shazer’s mane, caught it with the tips of my fingers as my legs were swept out behind us as we free dove from the sky.
Behind me, Talan swore as he slid backward. He managed to grab hold of one of my ankles, and tangled his arms around that leg to keep from falling off. Now that I was awake, I held onto my two elements and let them hum through me. I was afraid if I dropped my guard, Talan would put me back to sleep.
I couldn’t let him do that.
Shazer swept his wings out only feet above the ground, jerking us to a hard stop that slammed Talan forward into my back. I twisted as I leapt off Shazer so I could face the Spirit Walker.