Sylvianna by Keryl Raist

Sarah Metz just got to Sylvianna College. She went in search of a biology degree. She found a group of wizards on the run from their past. They remember her. She doesn’t remember them. Over the next year, she’ll help them fight off the creatures trying to kill them, fall back into love with the man who used to be her husband, break the heart of her best friend while doing it, and maybe, if they’re very, very lucky, not remember who she used to be.

Sylvianna is a modern day fantasy with a scorching hot romance and a deeply layered plot. Angels, demons, magic, sword fights, free will, destiny, and true love all weave into a complex tale of the search for redemption.

“Any idea of the local layout here?”

“Nope.  We’ve got to get in, scout it out, and take it down.  This ghost has a reputation for being mean, but I wasn’t able to find anyone who knew of it doing anything other than scaring people.  No physical attacks.”

“Good.  I don’t think there’s a ghost that can scare me anymore.”

“Let’s hope.”  They drove for a few more minutes.  When Chuck slowed down the car, Chris asked, “This the spot?”

“I think so.”  He pulled down a long, overgrown driveway toward a rotting hulk of a building.  The first floor doors and windows had tape over them reading ‘Condemned.’

“I think we’re doing this in the open,” Chris said.

“I’m fine with not going in there.”

“Go find it.  I’ll set up the trap.”  It wasn’t the best location for his sort of magic.  He could feel two tiny, far away ley lines.  The ground, a soft, deep loam, while great for farming, wasn’t great for a mage with an affinity for fire or stone.  He spent a few minutes continuing to look around.  No neighbors.  The closest building was a good four miles away.  The forest was three hundred yards from the house.  The house was mostly old, dry wood.  The first time he did this he had wanted fire.

“Can you do double duty for me?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“There’s not enough local energy here to do this, and we didn’t eat properly ahead of time.  If you think you can keep it in check, I’ll set the house on fire and pull off of that.”

“Give me a few minutes.  I want to get a good feeling for how much energy it’ll take to keep this thing reined in before we add a raging fire to the mix.”

“Okay.  Let me know when you know.  Give me your keys.”

Chuck tossed Chris the keys to the car.  Chris pulled the car away from the house, almost to the street.  When he walked back, Chuck was waiting for him.  “I can do both.  It’s not too much of a big deal.  Mostly just an obnoxious teenager with more power than any teenager should have.”


“Want me to light it for you?”

“Nah.  I got this.  Get far enough back not to get burned.  Once I’ve got the circle set, chase it to me.”


Setting the trap was easier this time.  He nodded at Chuck.  Soon a sulky looking ghost stared at him.  He set the trap spinning and called down the fire.  He hadn’t done it in a long time, but it was one of his favorite tricks.  He let the power gather in his hands, felt the lovely, warm glow of flames fill his mind, and shot it at the house.  In a minute there was smoke.  A minute after that they could see the flames spreading.  He grinned and got to work, pulling energy off the fire and feeding it into the ghost.

In a matter of minutes he was sweating, and the ghost cast a shadow while the condemned building behind them roared with flames.  He loved this kind of magic.  It was clean and beautiful.  In the end there would be nothing but light, cool ashes.

The ghost seemed intent on watching the house burn.  It wasn’t even paying attention to what Chris was doing to it.  The flames roared, and the ghost became opaque.  Chris felt it get past the point he had gotten the last one to.

He kept feeding it energy from the fire.  His focus wavered for a few seconds when the house collapsed in on itself, but Chuck kept the fire away from them.

One last burst of magic flowed into the ghost while the newly fallen timbers cracked and popped as the fire found new fuel.  It looked solid to him.  He found a stick and poked it.

“Hey,” the ghost said as it noticed him for the first time.  Chris grinned at it.  Its eyes went wide.  It knew that grin didn’t bode well for it.

It was solid.  Now what to do with it? He let his mind go blank and slid into the trancelike state he needed to really know what was in front of him.  It had human anatomy again.  Beautiful.  He gracefully drew a little more energy off of the burning house and carefully pulsed it into the brain of the ghost.  One little burst here.  One there.  Another just to make sure the job was really done.  It shrieked and collapsed.

You can find Sylvianna at:

Keryl Raist is a part-time writer, part-time blogger, part-time book reviewer, and full-time mom. When not balancing babies with books, she likes to sleep. She lives in Charleston, SC, with two little boys; the “Number One, All-Star, Son-In-Law Of The Year Champion” (according to a discerning panel of her mom and mom’s best friends); and a remarkably unflusterable cat.

Check out Keryl’s blog at

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  1. Sounds like a fantastic story.

  1. Author Excerpts « Amaranthine Night

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