The rain poured down in torrents, slanting at a steep angle and driving into the deck, sounding like a thousand hammers. Above the ship, lightning flashed across the black sky, accompanied by roll after deafening roll of thunder.
Tabia had read enough by then to know that some sorcerers had the ability to control the weather, or at least influence it, but every time she’d started to broach the subject with her mistress, her stomach had rebelled, sending her back to the railing. She considered attempting it on her own and though she didn’t relish the idea, she couldn’t help but try.
She hung on tightly to the railing, looked up at the sky, blinking through a bolt of lightning and began to stare. As with the chakleti, nothing happened for a long while. She’d decided it wasn’t going to when the sky started to glow like a sunset against the thunderheads.
The crew began to shout. Tabia didn’t need to look at them to know they were pointing at the clouds as they shifted, breaching overhead. A patch of blue sky visible in the centre.
She was doing it.
Tabia began to grin as the ship settled. The wind slowed to a stiff breeze. The temperature rose swiftly as the cloud split to reveal the sun. She followed them with her eyes, pushing them a mile from their anchorage.
The crew let out a resounding cheer and Tabia turned, triumphant, to face them. Until she heard a resounding crack echo across the ocean.
Whipping her head back, she watched the clouds disintegrate. The water within them gushed from the sky, hundreds of gallons raining a tumult on perhaps a quarter mile of sea in a circle around the ship.
The waves rose, slowly at first, before the force of the rain pushed them higher and faster, smashing them against the hull. The ship started to list dangerously to one side. Everything not nailed down slid down the deck to the opposite railing, including Tabia, who slammed painfully into the mast, bounced and slid the rest of the way as the waves threatened to engulf the ship.
Title: Crimson Fire
Author: Mirren Hogan
Magic was the last thing on Tabia’s mind — until she discovered she could use it. When her father hands her over to the princess of a neighbouring country to pay his debts, she may have the chance to learn how to control her new abilities.
But her new mistress’ enemies have plans of their own. Caught up in a web of divided loyalties, coercion and betrayal, Tabia can trust no one.
Can Tabia find a way to regain her freedom and return home — or will the struggle cost her the ultimate price?
Mirren Hogan lives in NSW Australia with her husband, two daughters, dog, cat, rabbits and countless birds. She has a Bachelor of Arts (English/ history), a Graduate Diploma of Arts (writing) and a couple of degrees in education. She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal fiction.She has several books due for release with The Dragon’s Rocketship publishing within the next year, including a trilogy co-authored by Erin Yoshikawa. She’s also had several short stories published and has co-edited two charity anthologies; for breast cancer research and Plan Australia.
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