The vision snapped and Samir was suddenly back in the cold, shadowy courtyard. This wasn’t like before, the disorienting, dreamlike transition. It had been sudden and sharp, like someone had just…

Varajas was staring at him and Samir pushed to his feet. “What did you do?” he demanded.

“What did you do?” Varajas’s voice was steady, but his sword was in his hand. That hadn’t been true when Samir had drawn the card. He was looking around in quick, sharp jerks before returning his attention to Samir.

I was doing magic, trying to figure out what happened, how we got here.” He’d been back in the visions, the dreams that this place seemed to evoke, and then…

Something had pulled him from the vision. Someone. “You stopped me.”

Varajas’s feet were planted in a wide stance. His eyes were wide. He was breathing faster than he had been before. “I was there,” he said.


“In the vision with you.” With visible effort, Varajas relaxed, lowering his sword. He turned it tip-down and rested it on the ground. “No, not with you. I was you. I saw you and I saw—” He broke off, frowning. “What magic was that?”

“I don’t know. I’m playing this all by ear.” Varajas still hadn’t answered his question. “How did you pull us out?”

Samir couldn’t help but think of the last dream, the one where he’d been watching Varajas and Lysander eating together. What had Varajas said? There are three of us.

Three of who?

Faced with Varajas’s continuing silence, Samir leaned down to pick up his card. He noted absently that the card he’d drawn after the ace of air had been the knight of water. That card again. While he’d been dreaming of Rune. While Varajas had been in close proximity.

Secrets and lies. A burst of anger followed that thought. Samir wasn’t sure where it came from. So much he couldn’t remember, and he was going to need to.

He stood. “All right. If you’re going to stop me doing magic, what do you suggest we do next?”

A note from Barbara J Webb

I have a discord! Come hang out with me and other fans! In addition, when you join, you’ll get a free copy of the ebook for Twisted Magic, the first book in my Knights of the Twisted Tree series!

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About the author

Barbara J Webb


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