The Shadow Lord has the Philosopher’s Stone, and therefore an army of invincible penumbra. He also possesses the fragments of Excalibur, the legendary sword prophesied to be the instrument of either his own destruction, or that of the Child of the Prophecy. The sword, he knows, requires blood to be reforged… and he knows exactly whose blood he wants.
Meanwhile, the Watchers are desperate to steal back the fragments of Excalibur and find out how to reforge them before the Shadow Lord does. Isdemus places Peter and Lily in Carlion’s sister cities for safe-keeping until the war begins. But Peter and Lily have an idea that might enable the Watchers to steal back the fragments, in spite of the Shadow Lord’s invincible army. Their plan requires them to travel halfway across the world, to an island largely believed to exist only in Greek mythology. Along the way, however, the Shadow Lord uses a pawn to convince Peter and Lily that they are powerless. Without their gifts of the Ancient Tongue, will either one of them stand a chance?
In this gripping conclusion of the Piercing the Veil trilogy, the Watchers and the Shadow Lord both amass their ranks, the battle begins, and the true identity of the Child of the Prophecy is revealed—to the shock of all.
Sargon stood on the edge of a precipice. He was somewhere in the Andes mountains, thick fir trees at his back and sheer rock descending to a ravine below. He could not even see the bottom.
In one hand, Sargon held the Philosopher’s Stone. It was blood-red, and cut in a spherical shape. In the other, he held the fragments of a golden sword: Excalibur. He closed his eyes, a blissful smile curling his cruel lips, creasing the jagged scar across Kane’s right cheek.
You’re going to lose, Kane snarled. Peter will destroy you.
You know that is a lie, Kane, Sargon replied calmly. I have the Philosopher’s Stone, and the fragments of Excalibur. I am invincible.
But you don’t know how to reforge Excalibur. As long as they are fragments, you have no hope of fulfilling the prophecy.
Sargon shook his head, still smiling. Kane was right, of course: he did not know how to reforge the sword. Yet. But he knew how to find out.
In a ringing voice, Sargon cried out, “An sprioc, inis dom do speisialta!”
Instantly the Andes disappeared, and the world became silent and luminous. Kane felt himself locked in a rigid lattice structure of purest, deepest red, the light of the sun bouncing all around and through him.
A thousand flashes of the Stone’s memory bombarded Kane at once: the impossible, dizzying, unimaginable heat from the inside of a volcano; the crushing pressure; the explosive force, propelling him down the edges of a mountain amidst running lava.
Excalibur must be reforged, Sargon told the Stone. How can this be accomplished?
Kane felt, rather than heard, the Stone’s answer. He watched without eyes as men slaughtered one another, their blood running like the lava had done seconds before. It was both a memory and a reply.
Blood, thought Sargon with satisfaction. Of course. It is so simple. Had not the Stone required him to spill his own blood in exchange for his immortality.
The red luminescent world disappeared, and Sargon blinked, again standing on the edge of the precipice. Of course, he thought again. He consulted Kane’s memory of the prophecy with a flash: Both shall fall, but the One who holds the blade that was broken shall emerge victorious.
In order to reforge Excalibur, someone must die.
There are three candidates, Sargon thought. I have already taken the body of one; only two yet remain. One will serve the blood sacrifice. Then, with Excalibur restored, I shall kill the other.
Sargon felt Kane’s quiet despair. A cruel smile curled his lips once more.
It is a beautiful symmetry, Kane. Is it not?
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C.A. Gray is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD), with a primary care practice in Tucson, AZ. She has always been captivated by the power of a good story, fictional or otherwise, which is probably why she loves holistic medicine: a patient’s physical health is invariably intertwined with his or her life story, and she believes that the one can only be understood in context with the other.
She still wants to be everything when she grows up.
She moonlights as a college chemistry teacher (she has a degree in biochemistry, with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing), does theater when she gets the chance, sings, plays piano, was once a personal trainer and in coffee shop management. She is blessed with exceptionally supportive family and friends, and thanks God for them every single day!