Taking Vengeance by M.K. Theodoratus
Historical Fantasy Novelette
Furious Half-Elven parents, Mariah and Ashton, seek vengeance for brutal attack on their daughter by vicious Sea Raiders.
In a tale older than time itself, Taking Vengeance tells a story about the strength and conviction of a mother's love against those who would harm her family. After witnessing centuries of fighting and chaos against her people and her own bickering with Linden, the ruler of the Far Isles Half-Elven, Mariah has withdrawn from politics to seek a peaceful life as a healer.
But Mariah's peace is short lived when Sea Raiders attack her daughter's family, leaving her at death's door. The act of bigoted cruelty plunges Mariah into despair. Her grief is sensed by Ashton, her partner who is far away spying on their southern enemies, and he uses his elven magic to rush to her side. The couple's rage boils over at the outrage. Ashton urges Mariah to belt on her sword and seek vengeance against their daughter's attackers.
Mariah discovers the Sea Raiders wield a strange new magic that threatens all they hold dear. But can she convince Linden that their country is in danger before it's too late?
Taking Vengeance is a tale set in the world of the Far Isles Half-Elven, who constantly fight among themselves even though they’re beset by enemies on all sides.
The Half-Elven patients and their families cowered against the walls, increasing Mariah's anger at the stupid clod who dared to growl at her. Their audience rolled their eyes like nervous horses, fearing what the combatants might do. They pulled what energy they could from the air to strengthen their protective shields. Mariah's skin itched from the static raised by their efforts. But she focused her attention on the ruler who had once been one of her closest friends.
In a voice a third as loud as Linden's, Mariah said, “Calm down, you fool. You're disturbing the patients.”
“Blast your patients. I'm warning you.” Linden’s face turned red. “Get your nose out of my business.”
“I was just consoling the girl.”
“My affairs don't concern you.”
“Elysianna deserves better than being dropped cold by a coward.”
Linden's face grew redder. “By the Fates, I wish Ashton was still here to put a leash around your neck.”
“Well, he isn't here.” Mariah controlled her sigh, hiding her sorrow at her ring-mate's absence. “You sent him spying on our southern enemies.”
Mariah took a deep breath, ready to yell back at Linden's next comment.
The hall's head healer appeared in the doorway that lead to the consulting rooms, her hands folded in front of her. A scowl darkened her face. “Quiet, the two of you. Take your disagreement elsewhere.”
Thick silence spread over the room.
“She rules here. Go drill your troops or something.” Mariah whispered. “I came here to help not cause the patients discomfort.”
The force of Mariah's glare pushed Linden towards the door. He stomped away, looking as mulish as he had when his father forced him to clean the byre as a boy. Mariah shooed him on his way as if her hands were a broom.
Her face calm in spite of her thumping heart, Mariah turned. “Who's next?”
No one moved until a small boy touched her hand. He looked up at her sideways, ready to run. “My granny's tooths hurt.”
With a closed-lipped smile hiding her pointed front teeth, Mariah clasped his hand. “Shall we stop them from hurting?”
“That'd be nice, Lady. Then she can chew ham again. She does enjoy a nice slice of ham.”
About the Author
Comics first hooked M. K. Theodoratus on fantasy. When she discovered L. Frank Baum's first Oz books, the strong female characters drew her into the possibilities of alternate worlds. Then, she stared writing in grade school when a teacher assigned a short story lesson. The assignment was incomplete at 25 pages, but she finished the book by the next summer. The Children’s Librarian, the only other person who’s read it, thought it well-done.
Theodoratus has enjoyed at least four writing careers, including non-fiction. Now she writes fantasy ... mostly because it amuses her. Theodoratus writes in the world of her grumpy Far Isles Half-Elven, often featuring Mariah del Oesti or Renna of Ren Creek. She also explores other magical worlds of ghosts, gargoyles, and Fae. Most of her newer stories are set in Andor where demons prey on humans. You can read more about her fantasy at http://www.mktheodoratus.com