The Rising King
(Keepers of Life, #3)
By Shea Berkley
The summer before Dylan Kennedy’s senior year in high school is turning out to be anything but boring. Ridiculously hot girlfriend? Check. Killing evil Dark Souls who suddenly have aspirations of taking over the magical realm of Teag because its protective spell is gone? Check.
Not even Teag’s King, Dylan’s father, Baun, can stop them. People are dying, and a dark magic that his girlfriend, Kera, received from Baun is growing stronger. Dylan wants to believe Kera is suppressing the darkness that’s in her, but every day he sees that control slip just a little more.
Baun sends Dylan to find a powerful magic that stop the Dark Souls, a magic so strong that Baun hid it so no one else could use it. When Dylan doesn’t expect to find along with it, are consequences that could end the lives of those closest to him.
I ease my hand into Kera’s and lace our fingers together, bringing her deep violet eyes onto me. They sweep over my face, and the edges of her full lips curve upward as if she’s fighting a smile. She sets aside the book and leans close bringing the scent of summer with her. “You scared me to death.”
I love it when she worries about me. When it comes to my life, someone caring enough to worry is sort of a new thing. “You do that all the time to me.” I tug her hand and bring her closer so I can snag a quick kiss.
Kera pushes away, but I don’t let go. The look she throws me is serious. “I’m not kidding, Dylan. You have to be more wary, especially when it comes to creatures like the millispits.”
“I didn’t die.” It’s a reminder that’s kind of obvious.
“Because I saved you.”
“What’s that make? Two for me and one for you?”
She leans back, testing the limits of our reach. “Are you keeping score?”
“No…” I hate getting caught like that, and slowly pull her back toward me, “…it just sounds like I am, but I’m not.”
I pull her right off her chair and onto the bed and on top of me. I bury my face in her hair and breathe deeply. No one smells as good as Kera. “Was anyone else hurt?” I ask even as I place little kisses along her jaw.
She stretches her neck back for me. “Leo received a splinter.”
“Ummm,” I say, enjoying the feel of her skin against my lips. “Will he live?”
“To see Lucinda hover over him after we got back, you would not think so. She very clearly said we were not allowed to take him anywhere without her.”
I twist and flip her onto her back until I’m hovering over her. As seriously as I can, I say, “Lucinda’s crazy. You know that, right?”
“I am aware of a few odd peculiarities that make up her personality.” She brushes my hair back and twirls a piece over my ear. “With that said, she does seem to honestly care for Leo.”
“Like an owner does a pet. But for how long?” I ask, more to myself than to her.
“As long as it pleases her to do so, I imagine.”
I’m not in the mood to dwell on Lucinda and what her agenda might be. All I want is to hold Kera. I nibble just below her ear and she giggles. I love the sound of her laughter. I stop and place my forehead to hers. “And how long will you care for me?”
“My heart would be crushed if I were to never see you again. I would die a thousand deaths every day.”
Are those actual tears in her eyes? “My heart is crushed every time I see you and I can’t kiss you.” I’ve never said a sappier statement, or a truer one.
She places a sweet kiss on my lips. “That rarely happens.”
I kiss her back, and say against her lips, “Because you crave my kisses.”
She laughs and pushes free. Rolling to her feet, she says with a smile, “Because I like to kiss.”
“Me,” I say, popping up on my elbows. “You like to kiss me.”
Her smile widens.
I snatch her hand. She’s adopted wearing a wide, tight leather bracelet on her right wrist. It’s etched and embossed with a swirling pattern that is so Kera, I can’t remember when she didn’t wear it. We do a quick, playful game of tug of war before I yank her back. “Tell me you love me.”
She winds her arms around my neck and smothers my face with tiny kisses. “I love you madly.”
Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he's never met, he had no idea what.When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents' farm, he knows he's seen her before...in his dreams.
He's felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he's completely insane or he's about to have the adventure of his life, because where they're going is full of creatures he's only read about in horror stories.
Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death...
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There is a magical realm that exists alongside the human realm, but it wasn’t always so. The firsts are beings who were created to nurture the land. The world was split into two realms, and the firsts were allowed to redeem themselves.
Sadly, the majority continued with their self-indulgent behavior to the point where one of their own, a king, became so obsessed with power, he was secretly banished by the court in hopes his absence would calm the masses. But a spark of madness was ignited and not even the lost king's absence could curtail what he set in motion.
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