The Mages of Starsea (The Starsea Cycle Book 1)
The First Book In The Starsea Cycle Series
The last thing Lucian ever wanted was to be a mage.
No one knows why the mages are being born. No one knows why their powers lead to madness and death in a deadly disease known as "the fraying."
Fifty years ago, the mages fought to build an empire called Starsea, where they ruled over all. They failed. Now, they are vilified and despised, forced to serve the League of Worlds they once sought to conquer.
When Lucian is exiled from Earth, he has no choice but to attend the Volsung Academy. He is to become a Talent, a mage dedicated to developing his powers in service to the League—even if cultivating those abilities will one day kill him.
But during his long voyage, he meets a mysterious sorceress who calls everything into question. Everything Lucian has learned about mages and the past is a lie. What's more, she prophesies he is marked by the Manifold, the source of all magic. It might even be possible for the fraying to be cured.
He must choose: continue down the path prescribed to him. Or answer the call of destiny.
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Enjoy this sample from The Mages of Starsea
The League Health Authority in downtown Miami was the last place in all the Worlds Lucian Abrantes wanted to be.
He mindlessly scanned his electronic slate, looking for anything to distract him from what was about to happen. There was no reason for the League to perform another metaphysical on him—no acceptable reason, anyway. He’d already been waiting for an hour for his turn. If this were any other government agency, Lucian would have already ducked out, but nobody messed with the LHA. As the agency tasked with testing for emergent mages, they were not to be trifled with.
Lucian snapped to attention, catching sight of a tawny-haired nurse standing in the door. Every other head in the waiting room turned his way as if he had been called to his execution.
“Yeah. That’s me.”
“The doctors are ready for you now.”
When he stood, his legs were leaden weights. The nurse beamed a plastic smile that did nothing to lighten his mood.
“How are we doing today, Lucian?”
Was there even a point to that question? “I’ve been better.”
Her smile wavered a moment. “This way, Mr. Abrantes.”
She led him through the open doorway down a short corridor. Everything was gray—walls, carpet, and ceiling. Whoever had designed this place hadn’t wanted it to inspire any sort of feeling.
There was only one reason they would call him back: something had gone wrong on his first metaphysical. Either that or there was some mix-up. Those were the only reasons he could think of, anyway. Because the other reason, the one that made sense, was too terrifying to think about.
She led him to a room that was almost claustrophobically small. It contained a plastic table and four chairs—three on one side, one on the other. Other than that, it was utterly featureless, without so much as a window to break the monotony. It looked like an interrogation chamber from a crime holo-film. It seemed impossible that the bright sun and white sands of South Shoal and the Miami Archipelago were just a couple of klicks away.
During what should have been Lucian’s only metaphysical last week, all they had done was scan his head and send him on his way. He’d read that the follow-up metaphysical exam was worse, though—much worse. It was far more invasive than the scan, but beyond that, he didn’t know what it involved. He tried to stay as far away from anything to do with mages or magic, as did most sane people. They were barely a thought in his day-to-day.
“Are you sure this isn’t all some mistake? I’ve already been tested this year.”
The nurse gave her trademark saccharine smile. “Of course this isn’t a mistake, Mr. Abrantes. Please, have a seat. The doctors will be with you shortly.”
Lucian wanted to tell her that if the doctors had done their job in the first place, he wouldn’t even be here. But that would be a waste of breath. It was like dealing with a droid; she could only follow the scripts she was programmed to say. The League’s bureaucracy was an intricate machine, and within that machine, there was no room for anything as debilitating as human sympathy.
Lucian took the single chair facing away from the door and waited.
He was left with nothing but his unsettled stomach. At least it wasn’t cold in here, unlike the waiting room outside, where the thermostat must have been set to absolute zero. Judging from this office’s inefficiency, he might be here a while longer.
That thought was dashed when footsteps approached from the hallway. Three doctors in white lab coats entered the room and took up the chairs opposite him. The leftmost doctor might have been in his fifties. He was pale, bald, and sported retro, black-rimmed glasses.
The middle doctor was a young woman with perfect features that could have only come from gene-tailoring or wallet-crushing surgery. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and a face too beautiful to be believed. The blue eyes watching Lucian were too wise for her age. Longevity treatments, then. Only the obscenely rich could afford those, but maybe the costs had come down enough in recent years for people of her income bracket to afford them.
The rightmost doctor was a thickset black man with a grandfatherly face. His salt-and-pepper goatee lent him an air of dignity.
All three watched him with the same controlled, professional mask.
Yes, this metaphysical would be entirely different from the last one. Whatever news they had, it wasn’t good.
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