Tempest Reborn (Jane True) - By Nicole Peeler


This book is dedicated to Rebecca Strauss, the invaluable other half of Team Us.

The story so far…

At the end of Eye of the Tempest, Jane found herself the champion of her supernatural brethren, cast to battle an ancient evil. Forces working for her nemesis, Morrigan, wanted to awaken the Red and the White, beings that took the shape of dragons and who thrived on chaos and destruction.

In Tempest’s Fury, Jane traveled with Anyan and the Original, Blondie, to Great Britain in order to keep Morrigan from her goal. There, Jane learned more about her supernatural heritage and the structures that kept it both secret and secure. Morrigan, however, threatened both. Her behavior became increasingly erratic, including very public attacks that risked the secrecy of their species.

For Morrigan was keeping her own secrets. She’d merged with the Red, whose corporeal form was mostly destroyed by the former champion, Blondie. But the dragon had found a way to resurrect herself by merging with another. Morrigan/the Red could shapeshift between Alfar and dragon, or a hybrid of both.

Having a way to resurrect themselves, the Red’s goal was now to awaken her consort, the White. Jarl, Morrigan’s lover who murdered his own brother, King Orin, was the Red/Morrigan’s chosen vessel for the White.

Jarl, however, was less keen on merging with a dragon than Morrigan, and had to be kept under armed guard while Jane, Anyan, and Blondie were themselves busy trying to keep the bones of the White out of Morrigan’s hands. Morrigan needed those ancient relics to resurrect the White, and so Jane’s mission appeared simple: Keep Morrigan away from the bones.

Nothing was ever simple in the Great Island, however, the supernatural name for Great Britain, as both the Alfar who ruled and the rebels who wanted their own power both sought to use Jane against the other. Anyan and Blondie managed to keep her mostly safe, but besides those two, there was really no one she could trust.

A lesson she learned the hard way after a trap was laid for the Red, using the White’s bones as bait. Everything was going according to plan until the rebel leader’s brother turned against them, releasing Morrigan’s minion, Graeme, whom they were keeping prisoner. He also brought Jarl to Morrigan, so that she could complete the ritual and resurrect the White.

Before Morrigan/the Red could complete the ancient rite, however, Blondie – already grievously wounded herself – killed Jarl. Thinking themselves triumphant, Jane turned to the Red…

Who, in dragon form, lashed out her tail, sending Anyan crashing onto the pile of bones. A few chanted words later, and the Red’s magic hit like a nuclear strike. Struggling to her feet minutes later, Jane was relieved to see Anyan still breathed.

Her relief was short lived, however, for when her lover sat up and blinked…

His eyes were the green, slit eyes of a dragon. Jane’s great love shifted into a dragon and flew away with the Red. And then she discovered her greatest ally, Blondie, was dead.

Leaving Jane all alone.

Chapter One

The agony was excruciating, a white heat at the center of my consciousness. Like that pinprick in space that pulls everything into its ever-widening gyre, the black hole inside me expanded.

Only moments had passed since Anyan, in the shape of the White, had flown away with his consort, the Red. The bones that had once held the White’s spirit lay scattered in front of me. The ivory shapes blurred as unshed tears glazed my vision.

Behind me, Magog, the raven, raised her voice in mournful ululation, keening for the woman she knew as Cyntaf, and I knew as Blondie. My friend and my mentor lay a corpse in Magog’s arms.

Meanwhile, my grief beat its own cadence, an infernal drumming reminding me, at all times, of my losses.

Blondie dead. Anyan as good as. Blondie dead. Anyan as good as…

For I knew better than to hope. I’d hoped once before, looking down into my first love Jason’s staring blue eyes, that reality could be malleable. But reality was always exactly that – real, no matter what we told ourselves or how many delusions we tried to build. Like sandcastles, they always crumbled.

[My child,] came the voice in my head.

Creature, I sobbed, feeling its love wrap around me. It, too, was unimaginably stricken by Blondie’s death. It felt she was a daughter, and one of the only remnants of a time long ago, before time began, when the world had been a different place.

Many of Blondie’s memories were its memories, and they died