Here is a special excerpt from my up-coming release, THE FALLEN SHADOW.
Tynan could always tell when his father entered Shadow Manor. Like plucking the string of an instrument his presence vibrated along the whole. A hush fell over the usually boisterous students for a few moments, sensing what Tynan felt now as his father drew near, the spine chilling power of the Master Shadow of Faerie, Nox Tenebris.
A sprawling estate, Shadow Manor was owned by Tynan’s grandmother Elspeth Glenghlas. She was a powerful aristocrat and one of the Seelie Queen’s closest friends and advisors, her position within the Seelie court kept her away from her ancestral home.
That was the story Tynan been told when he was a child, now a young man one week shy of his eighteenth birthday, he knew the truth of his father and grandmother’s estrangement. Elspeth could not abide what her son was.
Even amongst the Fae, Tynan’s father was special. He wielded the darkest of magic, the ability to sense and amplify fear and transform into a person’s worst nightmare, he could merge and melt into the dark; disappear from one dark place and reappear in another, powers Tynan inherited. He was a Shadow, in the Mortal or human realm they called him The Boogeyman.
Tynan realized early that he was different from his sisters. While his twin Clare and younger sister Juno, enjoyed playmates and socializing with other children, he was often excluded; the children too afraid to even come near him. His sisters and parents became his only company. He was comforted by their loyalty, but ultimately they couldn’t fill the void of being the only child Shadow.
He walked to the balcony off the sitting room in his quarters, ten young boys were playing kick ball in the grass beneath him. He smiled as they passed the ball to each other.
Everything changed, for Tynan, and indeed the Faerie realm, as other Tenebrosai began to seek out he and his father, drawn to them and each other by the rare gifts of the Shadows. Nox created within the halls of the disused manor a place to house and educate the Shadow Boys who came to him, the Tenebrosorium.
Although elated that he was no longer alone, the fact that more Shadows were being born was not a cause for celebration. He and his fellows were a harbinger of another attack by a species of conquerors called the Phaji: The World Eaters.
Three thousand years ago, during the First Age, the Faerie, Demonic, and Angelic realms reached across time and dimensions and joined with the Mortal realm to become a new universe, The Four Realms. The Mortal realm acted as a conduit to and from each separate realm that lived in harmony.
Then a fifth realm inhabited by the Phaji sought to join as well but it became very clear that peaceful co-existence was not the goal. The Phaji Swarm would have crushed the Earth, consumed and dominated the humans, then decimated the other realms as well.
It was before this War of the First Age that the first Shadows had been born to the Faerie realm. Their leader had been the legendary Shadow, Vailintin Xivass. The Shadow Boys’ historical brethren had been critical in the battle waged to protect the Four Realms.
Or so the ancient stories told, but Tynan knew the truth, the Phaji had not been defeated, just quietly biding their time until they could strike again. That time was drawing near Tynan could feel it. The Shadows were like antibodies created to fight a disease. History was repeating itself; the universe needed them again.
The signs were clear, the Phaji were back and he was ready. It was what he was born for, his imperative, what he had been training his whole life to be. He was eager to finally step onto the path that would lead to his destiny.
Sometimes though, he thought of what it would have been like to be the son of a simple man, a blacksmith, or tailor. Guilty thoughts were these, he was proud to be a Tenebris; his family loved and cared for each other fiercely. Proud too to be commander of his father’s Shadows, he loved each of the Tenebrosai as a brother. It was just; sometimes he wondered what it might feel like to have simple cares, what he might be if he had not been born to be a weapon of war.