[Completed] Fire's Promise [Ashes of the Ylan #1] [A Rama Empire novel]

"I thought you'd kill me," she croaked. "Not much honour if you cannot keep your promises."

Within the world of Convergera, lies the lands of Rama. Though the Rama Empire has long since been disbanded, the Capital still stands as a symbol of prosperity. The Antirian wars are over, but peace is soon disturbed as disaster strikes.

Sarashi is raised on the Wild Plains, but in a culture where freedom is everything, she is tied down by fear and expectations. Her people wants her to embrace her mother's legacy, her own fury screams for vengeance and her heart aches to belong. But when the war between the Sapphire Empire and the people of Rama flares up again, she'll have to make a choice between what she wants, and what is expected of her.

"Both standing on two legs, eyes level, the lion tried to push her into the ground. Her heart beat like never before as it stretched its neck over the spear to reach her face with its teeth. Pain made her dizzy as she growled back, a fiery rage star

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20. Ch 3: Ashes in the Wind (Part 7 of 10)

The Meerkat's Waterhole came into sight, as the sun waved its due goodbyes in rays as red as a night jay's feathered chest. They laid out their sleeping rolls between the thorny bushes growing near the water, but the bushes were too crowded for the horses to enter in between. The thorns gave freely of evil scratches to all three of the travellers. Through the night they took shifts watching the horses outside the ring of bushes, in case lions or hyenas should think them easy prey away from the larger herds. Janko took the last shift and woke them in the morning.

They ate breakfast quickly, and then crawled back onto their horses. Mya and Sarashi felt sorely that they were not nearly as used to constant riding as Janko, and their legs ached from the day before.

Janko rode the same way that Chehera did, as if he knew the horse's every minor move before it made it. Sarashi did not doubt that he did. When nobody looked, he made tiny reassuring movements, touching the glimmering coat with but his fingertips, in small caresses. His mare was named Silver Song, and Sarashi had once heard Janko demonstrate how his bonded had come by her name. He had put two fingers to his lips and let out a high whistle, and in response, Silver Song had thrown her head back and released a long neigh in the exact tone of Janko's whistle. Janko had grinned sheepishly, and stroked the horse lovingly.

Back at the tribe, it had not been unusual for the two of them to communicate like so when Janko was at camp and Silver Song with the herd. Heavy silence and wayward glances would always follow, as people remembered Janko's family's history with the bonds. Remembered his father.

Janko's father had been bonded to a raven, a happy bird prone to pranks and teasing. It had often pulled the tails of the dogs in camp. One day a coyote had made quick work of the bird, killing and eating it, and the bond between the raven's soul and that of Janko's father had broken abruptly. Missing half his soul, the man had fallen apart completely, and wound up dead shortly after. Janko had watched it all happen, and saw the worst outcome of a bond. Even though the bond gave the animals unusually long life spans, it did not protect against hunter or illness, and once one part was gone, it never took long for the second to follow.

The year after Janko looked into a young filly's eyes and lost himself to her.

Sarashi never heard him talk about it.

She wondered if that was the reason he had decided to leave the tribe with her. To get away from the memories.

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