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Tower of Horn and Blood

Tower of Horn and Blood

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Book Three of the Order of Merlin Trilogy

The battle for the Hundred Halls begins now.

Trapped in the city as a horde of demons invade, our team of mages have one last chance to save the world. With the city in chaos, and friends and family in peril, difficult choices multiply at every turn. The mages of the Order of Merlin and their allies must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to defeat the demonic invasion before their overwhelming advance puts an end to their world.

Synopsis

As a horde of demons invades the city, the mages of the Order of Merlin face their final chance to save the world. Amid chaos and peril, they must make difficult sacrifices to stop the demonic advance and protect their loved ones.

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter One

A door opened in the darkness.
Moriganne stumbled to a stop in the middle of the square, surrounded by tourists who were trying to process the rumble that had rattled glass and caused a few accidents on the street. The regular quivers that hit the Undercity never made it to the light. Whatever had happened below had been big, and everyone seemed to sense that something significant had happened even if they didn't know the cause.
She'd lost the others in the sprint from the taxi towards the Korean grocery store. The urgency that had driven her forward had evaporated, so she'd stopped. A feeling of awakeness radiated from the bridge tattoo on her elbow. The anticipation of what came next made her leery.
"What's wrong?" asked Aurie, coming up through the crowd.
The statue of Invictus loomed over the square, looking disapprovingly at everyone beneath his feet. Moriganne felt cold and distant as if a ghost had passed through her.
"I don't know," she answered eventually. "Something happened."
Aurie looked around. The earthquake had frightened the tourists, but now everyone was moving again. They kept looking around as if they could see what was happening.
"The tattoo?"
Moriganne touched the sleeve of her shirt reflexively and was surprised she didn't come away with burnt fingers. She'd felt the door open in the darkness, a yawning pit that left her shaken.
"I think so. That wasn't an earthquake, that much I know. It's like there's a great crack in the earth. When I summoned the mija, it felt like that, but bigger." She looked around. "Where's Pi? And Alex?"
"I don't know."
"We need to get everyone together," said Moriganne. "I fear we're too late and what happens next...I fear that more."
The trickle of ache in her elbow turned to a full conflagration of pain. Moriganne didn't remember falling to the ground, but she caught occasional glimpses of faces staring down at her through the unrelenting agony.
After a time, she heard Aurie's voice through the haze. "She's fine. She has epilepsy. It was just another event."
"That didn't look like epilepsy," said someone in the small circle surrounding her.
Moriganne pushed herself into a sitting position. Her whole body hurt as if she'd done a dozen intense workouts in a matter of a few minutes.
"I'm okay. It's a thing that happens."
She tried to smile at the people, but the earthquake had already worried them. Random fainting and convulsing had only made their fears worse. No one returned her smile.
Once she was standing, she gripped Aurie's elbow to remain that way, grimacing as waves of throbbing pain continued to assault her.
"It's open," she told Aurie once the tourists had moved away.
"The portal?"
Moriganne nodded. "Every cell in my body is on high alert. I feel like I'm about to spontaneously combust. We need to go somewhere. Fast."
"To the grocery store. The others are there," said Aurie, checking around them. "Hopefully."
Even the balls of her feet in her shoes were tender. Her flesh was raw. Her mind was in a state of panic. Moriganne struggled to walk and only made it across the square with Aurie's help. The old Korean woman behind the counter pointed to the back when they arrived.
"What's wrong with her?" asked Pi when they reached the stainless steel elevator. Alex was examining the edges of the doors and barely gave a glance back.
"It's open," said Moriganne weakly.
"Open? As in the gate?"
She nodded. "We're too late."
"It's never too late," said Alex without turning around. "They were headed down when the explosion happened. I don't know how far they got—the electronics are fried, none of the lights work. They could be stuck."
"The elevator goes all the way to the Undercity. They had a good head start. They could have reached the bottom before it went off." Moriganne leaned against the seeping concrete, not caring about the grimy feel against her palm. "Or they could be dead."
No one spoke for thirty seconds.
"We don't know that," said Aurie.
"Can anyone find a crowbar? I want to open this door," said Alex, tapping on the stainless steel.
Aurie stepped in front of it. "I can bust it open. Make room."
"No," said Alex, holding her hands out. "We need a functioning door. If the elevator starts working again, we need the shaft to be open."
The flinch from Aurie was painfully visible, but she nodded. "You're right. Stupid of me. Magic isn't an answer for everything."
"Let me ask the lady at the counter," said Alex, jogging back the way they came.
"We need to figure out what's going on," said Aurie, bunching up her lips. "If it's happening, if the invasion is really happening, then we need to get people out of the city."
"Three million people, sis? An evacuation like that would be a nightmare," said Pi.
"Better than the nightmare of them staying."
Pi lifted her shoulders. "For all we know it could be a small group like in Montanhas. We might not have anything to worry about."
"It's not like Montanhas," said Moriganne heavily.
"How do you know?"
Moriganne held up her arm. "I know. It's like standing on the edge of an abyss. If I had the means to cut it off, I might. I feel like someone doused me in blood and dropped me into shark-infested waters."
Alex came running into the hallway, but stopped at the far side and waved them toward her. "You gotta come see this."
They glanced amongst themselves but followed Alex into the grocery store, and then when they didn’t see her, moved outside. Moriganne saw a sea of faces pointed upward and an eerie bluish glow permeating everything.
"The Spire," said Aurie.
The top of the building at the center of the city had a strong bluish light emanating out like a beacon. Moriganne expected to feel something through the tattoo, but it hadn't changed, nor did she sense anything different when she pulled back the sleeve of her shirt and the light cascaded over it.
"What's going on?" asked Moriganne.
"I don't know." Pi frowned and shook her head. "Invictus never told us."
"This is him?"
"Yes. I think so." Then after a pause, she said, "I'm not a fan of this timing."
"Me neither," said Aurie.
Something passed between the sisters, a previous conversation, or shared concerns. Moriganne didn't like it, but she was too exhausted from the tattoo to bother asking.
The intensity of the bluish light grew until it was hard to look at it. Moriganne held her hand above her head to block her eyes even though it took all her effort. The second odd event in a short matter of time had caused more unease. Tourist families were glancing back at the Spire while they headed away as fast as they could on foot, because the streets were clogged with vehicles stopped and looking at the light.
Gasps erupted from the crowd before Moriganne noticed the difference. At first it looked like a stronger version of the light, slowly growing from the tip of the Spire like the spreading of spilled frozen water. Then she realized it was a tangible, shimmering object, much like a force shield. The disc expanded out, rapidly gaining speed. Within ten seconds, the field had passed over the square.
Curiosity turned to panic when someone shouted, "It's going to trap us in the city."
Half the people continued to stare upward, while the others started moving en masse towards the streets that led outward.
"They're not going to be fast enough," said Alex calmly.
Pi nudged her with her elbow. "Getting anything with the tattoo?"
"No."
She turned. Pi's forehead was knitted. "You were in a lot of pain a short time ago."
Moriganne nodded.
"I could feel it." She touched her elbow as the blue light grew stronger and the disc expanded outward. It was past the inner wards and curving downward. "It was faint, but it was as if I had the tattoo as well."
Moriganne didn't know how to answer Pi. She didn't seem to know what she was trying to say either, ending with a shrug.
"I guess we're connected somehow."
"We should find a crowbar and get back to the elevator," said Alex, heading towards the grocery store. The owner was standing at the door, staring upward with everyone else.
After they entered, the woman shut the door and locked it, sliding an accordion fence over the front. The act made Moriganne realize what she was seeing in everyone's faces: barely restrained panic. A hair-trigger fear was lurking beneath the surface. If something more happened—a car backfire, a few too many people running, anything—it would turn into a stampede. The city was a lake of gasoline waiting for the first spark.

Main Tropes

  • Urban Fantasy
  • Magical Academy
  • Found Family
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Customer Reviews

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lana turner
An excellent series

I loved this series best of all those set in the Hundred Halls and the City of Sorcery, probably because it was such a dark series and one which brought so many of our previous characters together. This the final book is truly amazing and the cherry on the cake so to speak as Thomas Carpenter manages to tie off all loose ends giving most of our characters a happy ending, and those who did not survive a heroic exit. The portal between the realms has been opened and the city of sorcery is inundated with demons and creatures of all kinds out to cause as much havoc and mayhem as possible. The tourists and citizens are terrified and ready to stampede, but a magical dome covers the city so there is no way out and all are trapped inside. Our group of heroic mages split up and try to stop the demon hordes as best they can, giving it their all however they are overwhelmed. We finally get to know who the Lost Prince is and why he has been so powerful. I love that all our mages work together and that our outsiders like Alex, Pax and Zayn also take such important roles in the end. They all put their different abilities and expertise to good use during the final battle of good against the evil which is Elosian. Well done Thomas Carpenter for such an excellent and thrilling series.

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Erica Williams
Spectacular

This is hands down my favorite series. Each installment is better than the last. I love how the author manages to bring characters and details together from previous books to keep it all connected and keep the reader’s continued investment in the series.

D
D.
Choas!

Set some time aside to enjoy reading this trilogy with great world building. Your favorite wonderful characters from The Halls come together to face a crazy demonic invasion to save their world. Sacrifices will be made. There are multiple storylines to keep track of. There is a bonus short story and an interesting History of the Halls.