Barbara Kloss studied biochemistry at California Polytechnic State University, and after she began working in a clinical lab, found herself daydreaming about far off lands and slightly deranged wizards. She, her husband, baby boy, and Lhasa currently live in Arizona, where she escapes the summer heat by writing about lush vegetation and moderate to cold climates. Author of the Pandoran Novels, a YA fantasy series.
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Book Genre: Young adult fantasy
Publisher: Self – published
Release Date: January 21, 2014
After Prince Alaric’s death, Daria and Alex set off in search of the legendary box of the Pandors’. The box is famed to hold a secret of power—one strong enough to overcome Lord Eris and the shield of power he stole from Valdon. Daria doesn’t know where the box is hidden, but she can’t ignore the silent urging, beckoning her to the land of Pendel—the land her mother, Aurora Pandor, was from.
Time is running out. Lord Eris’s army of shadowguard vastly outnumber Valdon’s forces, and if Daria doesn’t find the box in time, Valdon will need reinforcements from the other territories to survive. But those territories will not hand over their armies willingly, not without Daria’s hand in marriage.
And there is another, older power rising, one that hasn’t been seen in centuries—one thought lost since the days of Galahad: the dragons.
Sal left, and Alex put one hand on my waist, took my hand in his, and led me into the next dance.
“Where have you been?” I hadn’t meant the words to sound accusatory, but they did.
Alex raised a dark brow, looking a little startled by my outburst. “Where I always am: keeping both eyes on you, and that seems to require a lot of energy these days.” His gaze trailed after Sal, who had already found another morsel to snack on in the form of one of Alex’s groupies.
“You said he’s a thane?” I asked.
Alex nodded, his gaze drifting back to mine. “He governs the land on the western shores. He is Mercedes’ nephew. He will be furious with me for cutting in like this, but I couldn’t help it. He looked like he was about to eat you alive.”
“How do you know I wasn’t about to eat him alive?” I teased. I tried pulling Alex closer, but he firmly held me back at an appropriate distance.
“Careful, your grace,” he said, eyes locked on mine.
He was setting the precedence for our conversation tonight. He was holding up barriers and urging me to stand behind them. He was reminding me that I was a princess and he was my guard, and that I had better act that way.
A new piece started, much slower than the others, and the melody had a kind of lilting and heartbreaking quality to it. I tried not to take it as any kind of symbolism. Still, the dancing slowed and couples moved closer. Even Alex pulled me close, sliding one arm around my waist, and I was distinctly aware of the warmth soaking through the fabric of his sleeve and onto my bare lower back.
“How are you feeling?” Alex asked. His expression was carefully stoic, but his eyes were layered in concern.
“Well, if you must know, I feel a little bit like a pinwheel. Much more twirling and I might just twirl myself right off the edge of this balcony.”
Alex grinned. “We don’t have to dance. I could escort you back to—”
“No.” I held him tighter, gazing defiantly into his eyes. “I missed my turn last time, and I’ve regretted it ever since. But I am a little surprised you’re allowing this…?”
“Allowing what, exactly, your grace?” Even behind his walls of formality, he made the words your grace sound like an expression of intimacy only lovers used.
“Us dancing together.”
“Ah.” He was so controlled and elegant. “I didn’t see any harm in it, considering I’m your Aegis and that you’ve already had your fair share of attention this evening.” There was a glint in his eyes that made me certain he’d heard Sal’s proposition.
“And I see that you’ve had yours.” I glanced askance at the group of girls watching us, clearly unhappy that I’d stolen their shiny new toy.
Alex followed my gaze then whispered, “It’s nice seeing you jealous.”
I let out something of a snort. “Well, I could just put an end to it by ordering you to dance with me the rest of the evening. I’m not so sure I want to share you.” I tried to move in a little closer, but Alex’s grip firmly held me back again.
“I’m sorry, your grace,” he said, his eyes glittering like emeralds, “but I would have to politely refuse those orders.”
Winter has fallen upon Valdon.
It’s been five months since Daria Regius arrived at the castle, and her grandfather, the king, has stripped her of all freedoms, building even more barriers around her lonely life.
But darkness moves. Rumors abound about a dark rider, sending ancient and unspeakable horrors to the territories, and the citizens of Gaia are filled with fear. And fear blurs the lines of loyalty and trust, honor and allegiance, and cultivates dissonance throughout the kingdom. The people are anxious for this year’s games, because this year, according to prophecy, selecting a champion means a true king can be chosen, and only once that true king is chosen can the people have any hopes of defeating the evil amassing around them.
Propelled by fear for those she loves, unexpected friendships, and harrowing betrayal, Daria must gain the courage to escape the barriers set around her life and confront the evil that threatens to destroy Gaia—before it finds her and takes her life first.
For centuries, the people of Gaia have kept their magical world a secret to protect Earth from themselves. But magic can’t save them from the evil they face within. The key to their salvation lies with eighteen-year old Daria Jones, a young girl from Earth with no magical ability at all.
Or so she thought.
Her father’s mysterious disappearance from their Fresno, California home sets a whirlwind of events in motion, and Daria soon learns where to find him. The only problem is that she’s learned this information from Alex—the guy she grew up with. The guy that was her very best friend until three years ago when he left without a trace. But now he’s back (and devastatingly handsome. Unfortunately.) And he’s claiming that her father has been taken to a magical world—a magical world Alex has been all this time. The same magical world she must go to in order to save her father.
Now Daria has to decide whether to stay away from the guy that betrayed her, or to trust him with helping her find her father. But if this evil finds her first, she won’t even get the choice.