Smoke and Memories (The Dark Sorcerer #3) - D.K. Holmberg Page 0,2

be relatively intact, as did most of the triangles that ringed it, but there was an uneven spot along the border of one of them that she worried wouldn’t hold the contents of the spell as she powered through it.

She either had to try it and hope it was effective, or she had to erase the triangle with the uneven spot and start again, which might mean that she would need to erase all of them and start from scratch. The patterns had to be layered in a consistent manner or everything reset.

Of course, they didn’t have a whole lot else they were doing today. They didn’t have a whole lot else they were doing these days in general. Preparations. That was about it. They had spent their time in Nelar getting ready for additional attacks—at least the possibility of additional attacks—in addition to chasing down the occasional dark creature.

But Jayna was happier doing this for now. She didn’t need to go running after dwaring or shiisii or any of the other awful things Ceran had her chasing down.

“What are you waiting for?” Eva asked.

Jayna shook her head. “I am debating whether or not I need to redo this one.”

“Redo it? You have been standing there for the better part of five minutes thinking about what you’re going to do.”

“Sorcery can’t be sloppy.”

Eva snorted.

The entire purpose of all of this was for her to practice making these larger patterns so that she could eventually transfer and use that same level of control to make enchantments in a more skillful manner. That was one part of what she needed.

There was more to it, which she suspected Eva knew. It was probably the reason Eva taunted her a little bit about everything. Jayna wanted to know if she could do it—if she was capable. After having left the Academy, and having abandoned what she had trained for so long to do, she still wanted to know whether or not she could be a sorcerer. She believed she had the necessary skill, but at the same time, having not had the need to do it, she didn’t know if she could.


Though a sorcerer’s magic needed to be neat and tidy, there was a time when a little bit of a mess didn’t matter. There was an advantage to simply attempting a spell, rather than fumbling around, waiting for perfection. There was an advantage to simply getting that magic out into the world.

Eva watched her, almost as if she knew Jayna’s thoughts.

Jayna jumped down and reached into the leather pouch she had slung over her shoulder. She grabbed the strand of horsehair, along with the other two ingredients, and carefully placed them into the center of the marking. Once they were situated, she leaned her hands forward, pressing outward with just a hint of power within her.

“Are you doing it?” Eva asked.

Jayna ignored her. At this point, she needed to focus on her concentration and control over her magic. If she lost that concentration because of Eva, there was no telling what might happen with the spell. It was more likely than not that it would go awry, and she would end up with magic streaking off in ways she didn’t intend, possibly hitting buildings—or people.

She called upon the power from some place deep within her.

Sorcery had always been a part of her. She had known it since she was young. Maybe not in the same distinct ways that she did now, but she had always known she had magic. It had come when she was very little. Things had happened that shouldn’t have. At first, it had been small accidents. Unintentional spells. That was the way it started with all sorcerers. It came as a burst of power, and she remembered her parents’ reaction when she had first demonstrated magic by opening a cabinet. Both of her parents had potential, though Jayna didn’t think that either of them were within the Society. Dular, more likely than not, but they had not revealed that themselves.

She had to push those thoughts aside.

The training from the Academy always came to her as she focused on the magic within her. The Academy had taught her that there was a bubble of magic within her, and accessing magic was a matter of accessing that bubble. Most of the time, it happened instinctively. When she used the Toral ring, however, she simply summoned the power within the ring, letting that flow out from her. It came from something else,