Title: Sorcerous Rivalry
Author: Kayleigh Nicol
Length: 294 pages or 13.7 hours on Audible
Synopsis/Blurb: In the peace following the Great Mage Hunt, the king’s long-time mistress is revealed as a sorceress. Locked away for the safety of the kingdom, bounties are placed upon the heads of the seven children she birthed. Mage hunters have scoured the kingdom for four years, searching for the seven scattered mage-born bastards.
After growing up in an orphanage, Reshi discovers his parentage and learns to hide his magic, living peacefully in a remote village with an unusual friend. But when an alluring mage hunter comes to town, his secret is revealed, forcing Reshi to reach out to his brothers and sisters for help. A family reunion might be Reshi’s only hope for survival–or it might become a spell-slinging battle royale.
Who can Reshi rely on when his own family turns against him?
I ducked out the door before it could seal itself shut. Kestral and the pigoblins had reached the street just in front of the inn. Most of the beasts were bleeding—a few lay injured or dead. The trouble with pigoblins was that they were faster than they looked and their skin was tough; an injury that would kill a human often just enraged a pigoblin.
Kestral moved through the pack of monsters like a scythe through wheat. His sword moved like liquid steel, carving a path of blood and flesh. No move was wasted, each step was sure and solid. He was a perfect warrior, beautiful and terrible all at once.
There was no way I could stand against this man.
Two pigoblins broke free of the massacre, heading straight for Wix’s inn. I might be no match for Kestral, nor for such a large group of pigoblin all at once, but I’m not completely useless. I fell back into a familiar stance, one leg behind me for support, the other ahead for balance. I tucked my hands behind my back and as the pigoblins charged, I surged forward, drawing twin daggers from hidden sheaths. The blades bit deeply through the beasts’ necks, spraying blood impossibly high on the inn’s outer wall. A few quick steps brought me within reach of another pigoblin. I feinted with my right dagger, then plunged the left through its piggy eye. The beast screamed and whipped its head, trying to gore me with its tusks. I leaned back to avoid the swipe, kicked it down and sliced through its windpipe. Another came charging at me from the side and I had to kick off the thrashing body of the one in the dirt to leap out of the way. A sword whistled past me, striking the pigoblin from behind and biting deeply through its spine. I turned, putting my back to Kestral’s, before reversing my blades with a flourish and taking a balanced stance.
“I didn’t pick you for a fighter,” Kestral said, his voice controlled if slightly breathless.
“I’m not, when I can avoid it.” I tried counting the remaining pigoblins as they regrouped a short distance away. “How many are there?”
“There were almost twenty.” I felt him shift to a new stance behind me. “Have you turned pigoblins away before?”
“At least once a month.” The pigoblins were grunting to each other and spreading out. A new charge was coming. “Never a group this big before.”
“They must have spread the word. It’s not usual to find a single fairy without a glen to protect it.” Kestral paused, then added, “I thought you were the fairy.”
“What? But I—Oh.” My eye color, the talk of ‘debts,’ his examination of the wood in the inn. “A lot of things just started making sense.”
“I was only sure after the shura flowers. We’re going to talk after this.” I could hear the threat in his voice. I didn’t expect I would enjoy the coming conversation.
“Well, we gotta live first.”
Lifelong nerd and fangirl Kayleigh Nicol earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science at Cal Poly Pomona, California. After years of volunteering at zoos and aquariums in California, Kayleigh now works at a therapeutic horseback riding center in Long Island, NY. When not taking care of her own menagerie of rescued animals, she enjoys watching anime, playing video games and reading as many fantasy books as she can get her hands on.
Sorcerous Rivalry was a Finalist in the LGBT category for the Independent Author’s Network 2018 Awards and a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off!