Ruan truly didn’t care for the look in Peyter’s eye. It was a little too…gleeful. “What do you mean we have no future?”

Peyter shuffled the cards, fanned them out. “Take one.”

Ruan rolled his eyes and drew a card. The knight of water. He handed it back to Peyter.

Peyter said nothing, only stared at the card, his one eye slowly losing focus. Magic, Ruan was almost certain, and it was tempting to make him stop. Which would be aggressive, and probably petulant. Still, it was tempting. Instead, he asked, “Does that tell you something?”

“I asked the cards to tell me who you were, and now I see… Brother Ruan, how many wizards you’ve killed. How many knights. Donatien’s best assassin. Pride, you feel, but also guilt. So much guilt for the one man you didn’t kill.”

That was too much. Ruan jerked to his feet, his mind locking into the open, floating place that made it possible to deal with wizards. “Who are you?”

Peyter frowned, an irritated expression. “I’m not interested in dealing with rebellion. You’ll be useful to me, but not yet. You can return to the castle and soften up some more. Once it’s had your mind for a while, you’ll be more pliable.”

That was definitely a threat. Ruan drew his swords, focused his will. If Peyter thought he was going to use magic…

Except nothing about this place was right. The world was more slippery than it should have been. Ruan couldn’t hold it in place as Peyter waved a hand and the ground around Ruan shifted and he was falling—


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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