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tropes 'n details
- metal elemental magic
- action & adventure
- sweet romance (secondary to main storyline)
- set in London, UK
- full novel
- free gift with purchase
- written with co-author, Aaron D. Schneider
- connected to Born of Air as a prequel
Every family has history, but hers might be the end of the world as we know it…
Ibukun “Ibby” Bashir is Inconquo, an inheritor of ancient power and with it an unending duty to stand against the darkness. She can bend and shape metal to her will, but she is still only human, she feels and bleeds. A fragile guardian, still she stands.
Uncovered after thousands of years, the dark foundations that make her who and what she is begin to rise again. The progenitor, the very first of her bloodline, stirs fitfully––Ninurta, Founder of Kalhu, Hunter before the Gods, Warrior without Match. If he has his way, he will reshape the world with iron, fire, and blood.
Her mentor stolen away and her friends falling around her, Ibby knows too well what she faces. Merciless conspiracies, ancient horrors, treacheries old and new, all are arraigned against a young woman who only wants to see her broken family safe. But with grit, pluck, and a will of iron she is going to save the world, or die trying.
It’s not the path she might have chosen, but what can she do? It is the family business.
Metal Angel is the third and final book in the heart-stopping Rings of the Inconquo series, a spin off from the bestselling Elemental Origins Series brought to you by a collaboration with an epic creator "reminiscent of Tolkien".
Intro to Chapter One
Intro to Chapter One
“Prepped for entry.” Whispered words came through my earpiece. “Go ahead, Ms Bashir.”
I drew in a breath and punched out with the fused Rings, launching my will like a penetrating bolt. Across the alleyway, the rust streaked door flew off its hinges and spun into the yawning darkness. The rending sound of its impact hadn’t even died away before the TNC security team swept in, weapons drawn.
A heartbeat later, with no resistance met and no shots fired, Sergeant Stewart cleared the point team to advance, then signalled for the rest of us to follow. I put my hand on Stewart’s taut shoulder as I’d been taught less than a week ago and followed him across the paved street and through the gaping portal I’d created.
It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the gloom, but once they did, my skin prickled with horror. This safe-house had become a tomb.
In the first room three bodies were strewn across the floor and blood streaked the walls. Through doorways to my left and right were more scenes of carnage. The door straight ahead was only a foreboding shadow.
More bodies, more blood. Men and women lying on the floor or pitched against walls. Some were dressed in casual business attire, khakis and light polos, while others bore more traditional Gandoura or Djellaba of North Africa. Whatever their dress, all their clothing was stained with crimson drying to shades of black and brown, and every last one of them appeared to have been armed.
Later, the emotional impact of what I was seeing would haunt me, but what struck me now was how … conventional it all seemed.
We’d deployed to this corner of Morocco on word that a known Winterthür safe-house had experienced something strange and violent. Marks had insisted that this had to be Sark. Before I could think too hard about it, I found myself on a chartered plane to Fes with a team of well-armed men.
Three hours in the air had given me just enough time to wrap my head around what was going on before being thrown into a jeep, then creeping along with the team through hot, dusty streets. I’d been prepping myself for a head to head with Sark, or at the very least seeing his ugly handiwork, but now – in a building full of corpses – I found myself perplexed. These people had been shot. Bullets weren’t Sark’s way.
“I don’t think…” I swallowed my words as Stewart raised a finger to his lips, looking stern.
“Sorry,” I mouthed. The frosty glare softened and the old soldier threw me a wink before looking in to see the rest of the building swept.
With a few sharp hand gestures, he left two of the secondary or “clean-up” team with me and took the other two with him. One manned the doorway while the other motioned for me to join him along an interior wall.
In the dim light, it was hard to make out who was who. It didn’t help that they all seemed to fit a similar type. Compact and muscular. None of them were big men – like Marcus was – except for maybe Stewart, who was more barrel-chested than the rest, but they all moved with purpose, power, and efficiency.
As I hunkered next to my assigned escort, his head swivelled back and forth, the barrel of his combat rifle following his gaze. His hazel eyes took everything in with hawk-like intensity, his focus never wavered. Even when he caught me studying him, he spared me only a curt nod, gaze already moving on.
I wished my focus was so tight. Now that the initial rush was over, I had time to process the smell. The intel must have been good because the bodies were probably only hours old, but that also meant their smell was fresh. Sheer determination to not embarrass myself in front of the security team held the contents of my stomach in place, but it was touch and go until Stewart’s thick accent drawled in my ear.
“Right, let’s get this mess sort’d.”
The man at the outer door kept his vigil, but my guardian visibly relaxed, rising from his crouch to move to the doorway leading deeper into the building.
“Go ahead, mum.” He nodded towards the door.
I felt as though the walls were twisting down at me as I stood, fighting to remain steady in spite of the vertigo. Nausea chewed at my stomach like a grumpy, old mutt. I managed a few steps before my foot caught on a body, sending me lurching against the bloody wall, hands out.
Pulling away, I looked down at my hands in horror.
“No worries, mum.” My escort fished something from one of his many trouser pockets. Before I realised what he was doing, something damp and soft pressed into my sullied hands. In the gloom, it looked suspiciously like a wad of fresh baby wipes.
“Really?” My nerveless fingers folded around the wet fabric. I gave him a crooked smile, the corners of my mouth trembling, and began to scrub the blood away.
“Soldier’s best friend.” He gave a gap-toothed chuckle. “Next to spare ammunition, of course.” He stroked the extra magazines with affection.
“Thanks.” I looked my hands over, happy to see they were clean.
“Of course, mum.” He snatched up the used wipes and stowed them in what I hoped was a spare pocket.
“Ms Bashir,” Stewart’s voice was a guttural rumble in my ear. “Are you waiting for an invitation?”
Embarrassed, I moved through the doorway into a dimly-lit corridor at whose end was another door. As quickly as I dared, I crossed the intervening space, grateful not to stumble over any more corpses.