Series: Souls of Aredyrah
In this final installment of the award-winning Souls of Aredyrah series, Dayn and Reiv find themselves facing an old foe and falling into the trap of a new one. Struggling to make their way home through a bitter landscape, they soon discover they are not alone. A tribe known as the Taubastets has captured them in a life-or-death scenario, and the tribe’s chief is determined that one of them must be sacrificed. When a young warrior named Tyym vows to see them home, they face decisions that will not only affect their survival, but the spiritual salvation of their world.
While Reiv, Dayn, and Tyym navigate a web of conspiracy and doubt, Dayn’s sister Alicine struggles with loss and the impending threat of invasion. The king of Tearia has not abandoned his quest to slay them, and his seemingly unstoppable army is nearly through the pass. But when Tyym enters the scene, hope is rekindled. Even Alicine cannot deny the charisma of the mysterious warrior who has wormed his way into their lives, and into her heart.
The game is in play. A traitor is in their midst. Can the souls of Aredyrah hope to defeat a monster disguised as a king? Or will they succumb to a darkness beyond their understanding?
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Tyym leaned toward the polished plate that was tacked to Gair’s wall. In the early
morning light, he could barely see his reflection in the grimy blur of metal, and wondered why in
the world the man had it there at all. He leaned closer, tracing a piece of coal along the bottom
lid of his eye, but it came out thick and uneven, nothing like the swift, well-practiced lines he
usually drew. Tyym leaned back and shook his head. He had left Adjo too quickly to pack
personal items, and he now sorely regretted having left his tools. Since coming to this place, no
one had seen him without his paint, and he intended to keep it that way. Painting one’s face was
the tradition of his people, a way to respect their ancestors and the great cats that had guided and
protected them. Unfortunately, the way it looked now, there would be little respect for his
“Curse this thing,” he muttered.
“Having troubles?” Gair said, yawning. He sat up from his cot and stretched his thick
“My apologies. I did not mean to wake you.”
“I was awake anyway.” Gair rose from the bed, the joints of the frame squeaking with
relief. “I don’t know why your kind insist on putting that stuff on everyday,” he said, scratching
behind his ear.
Tyym narrowed his eyes. “My kind?”
“You know, the face-painting kind.” Gair reached for a shirt that was hanging on a
nearby peg and gave it a sniff.
“Your face is painted,” Tyym reminded him.
“Not the same thing,” Gair said, tossing the shirt aside. He pointed to the tattoos that
encircled his own eyes and trailed down to his jaw. “My kind does it smart. My kind does it once
and makes it permanent.”
Tyym turned back to the mirror. “Well this will not be permanent. It looks…” He
frowned. “…wrong.” He grabbed a nearby rag and began to wipe it off.
Gair stepped toward him and eyed his profile. “You’re right. Looks like a damned storm
cloud.” He retrieved a jar from a nearby shelf. “Here, try a little grease.”
“What I need is my tools.”
Gair handed him the jar. “Well try this first.”
Tyym lifted the lid off the jar and gave the contents a sniff. He wrinkled his nose. “What
“Possum fat. Once it’s rancid, it’ll clean off just about anything.”
“And what cleans it off?” Tyym said. “I am sure to be banned from the naming if I go
smelling like…this.” He replaced the lid and handed the jar back to Gair. “Thank you. But no.”
He picked up the rag and continued to scrub.
“Don’t see that it matters much anyway,” Gair said.
“What do you mean?”
“When’s the last time you had on clean clothes?”
Tyym huffed. “I bathed last night. Is that not enough?”
“Would be, if your clothes had bathed with you.”
“Are you saying I smell?”
“Well, it doesn’t bother me any, but as for the ladies, I hear they’re particular about that
sort of thing.”
“Then it is a good thing that I am not interested in catching one.”
Gair snorted. “You can say that now. But the ladies will all be looking their best today.
And I’ll warrant they’ll have their eyes on you.”
“Why should they? I have done nothing to encourage it.”
Gair glanced around, as if to make sure he was not overheard. “You know how it is with
women,” he said. “They like their men kind of mysterious. And you, my boy, are the most
mysterious thing they’ve seen in a while.”
Tyym scoffed, but in truth he was rather intrigued.
“Course it’s one thing how you look at a distance,” Gair continued. “It’s another when
you get up close and personal with them.”
Tyym cocked his head. “And what of you, blacksmith? Which of the ladies will you be
tangling with tonight?”
Gair’s face went deep red. “I won’t be tangling, as you call it.” He looked away with
embarrassment. “But I’d sure like a dance with Brina.”
“Then I suggest you do something about your smell and quit worrying about mine.”
“I’m just saying…if you want to dance with the ladies…”
“I do not dance,” Tyym said. He turned back to the reflective plate. “And if I do not get
painted, I will not be attending either.”
Tracy A. Akers is a former language arts teacher and an award-winning author. She grew up in Arlington, Texas, but currently lives in Florida with her husband, three naughty pugs, and a feisty chihuahua. She graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in Education, and has taught in both public and private schools. She currently divides her time between writing, lecturing, spending time with her family, and costuming at fantasy and science fiction conventions.
Ms. Akers has won numerous awards for her Souls of Aredyrah fantasy series for young adults. As a Florida Book Awards winner, she was acknowledged for her contribution to YA literature by the Governor of Florida during the 2008 Florida Heritage Month Awards Ceremony. Books One and Two of the Aredyrah Series are included in the Florida Department of Education’s 2008 Just Read Families Recommended Summer Reading List. In addition, Ms. Akers has been an invited guest author at major book events and writers’ conferences, a panelist at fantasy and science fiction conventions, and was on the steering committee for Celebration of the Story, a literary event held at Saint Leo University.
The Souls of Aredyrah Series is Ms. Akers’ first series of novels for young adults.
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