GRAND MASTER’S PAWN
A thousand years in the future, wars and portal failures disturb the fringes of the galaxy. On Terra, twenty-two year old Violet Hunter seems an ordinary student of the Space Academy, who dreams of exploring unknown planets. She applies to serve as the pawn of one of the twelve Grand Masters, although her hidden talent of empathy makes her ineligible. Violet has defied the prohibition against psychics for half her life. Why should she stop now?
Isolation is the penalty for a Grand Master’s great power because their touch is deadly to a normal person. The Grand Master with the griffin avatar selected the girl with the star-shaped birthmark in spite of her father’s dire prophesy. He is suspicious about his disobedient pawn, yet he cannot deny the success of her missions to strange planets where she finds more than he expected.
Violet seeks the truth about the mysterious Grand Masters. Who or what are they? Do they threaten or benefit civilization? While searching for answers, Violet does the unthinkable. She makes a bargain with her obnoxious Grand Master and challenges him to meet her face to face, risking her secret to discover his purpose. She plunges into an impossible love and a world of intrigues. The vicious conflicts propel her into flight from a terrible enemy and a desperate search for allies to save her new found love.
Liza loves the new cover.
The raft shot towards the top of the waterfall. Taranis stood, balanced on his toes, and stared ahead from the vantage of his full height. He glanced back at Violet, and shouted above the crash of the water, “The drop is too steep. We must abandon the raft!”
Violet staggered to her feet and stared at the rocky shore. Dubious, she shook her head, “How? The current is too fierce to swim to the river bank, and I can’t jump that distance.”
Taranis stepped carefully across the raft, took the pack from her grasp, and tossed it onto the rocks at the edge of the water. “Get ready! I will throw you onto the land.”
She gulped, wide eyed in alarm. How was she supposed to prepare?
Without further warning, he caught her round the waist and flung her from the raft. Violet shrieked. She flew over the water, twisting with cat-like agility to land on her hands and feet. Her hands stung from the impact, but she was safe on the shore. She turned to watch Taranis.
He ran with the pole in his hands to the edge of the raft, stuck the pole into the water and vaulted to the rocks. He staggered on a slippery stone, and Violet grabbed his wrist and tugged to prevent him from falling. Instead, she slammed against his body with her face pressed against his bare chest, tingling with psychic power. Immediately, she felt foolish.
She lifted her head to break the sizzling contact. They stepped apart, and he stared down at her from those unreadable black eyes in his solemn face.
“Sorry!” she muttered. She lowered her eyes and reddened with embarrassment. Was this athletic man really her Grand Master? The one she had taunted as too decrepit to participate in a mission.
He patted her on the back. “It was a wild ride. You are fearless!”
What a delightful read.
As a master’s pawn Violet Hunter travels over the universe meeting all sorts of sentient alien life forms including Bears, Dragons, tiny cannibals etc, and picking up items that will be useful to her in the future. She thinks her master arrogant and obnoxious at first, but over time their relationship changes and when he accompanies her, pretending to be a guide, her skills allows her to know he’s her master. He falls in love with her.
I love the detailed world building, just enough, but never too much which can pull you from the story, and the slow but inevitable love between the Violet and her master as they become partners in all ways. I especially love the way Violet wins friends and influences people by being kind and thoughtful to others. That is a strength that the evil members of the Master’s Council cannot tap into. And when Violet needs help. Her new friends step up.
This is a superb story. It has a clear pay it forward message that rings true even in a world of fantasy.
Love it! I give this 5 stars.
My career in science involves plenty of writing facts for research articles. But, I’ve imagined exciting adventures in weird worlds for as long as I can remember. For many years, life intervened. Now, I have achieved my life-long ambition to publish novels. My published works include science fiction and fantasy with romance and a sprinkle of humor. I was born in the UK and live in Atlanta with my husband, a dog and two cats to sit on my laptop. My hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.
Liza strongly recommends this book.