They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?
Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he's adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media's glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it's possible to make a difference. Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave's presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she's not sure she can stomach the lies. The Chasm is S. Usher Evans' breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is "not to be missed." Buy the first book in the Madion War Trilogy today for Kindle, paperback, and hardcover, and see below for a special preorder promotion for The Chasm, coming July 12th.
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"Fellow Ravens, my countrymen, my 'neechais and 'nichais. The fifty years since we reclaimed our independence from the Kylaens has been a struggle to keep our great nation alive. Great sacrifices have been asked of every Raven man, woman, and child, and we, as a nation, continue to rise to the occasion."
"Sacrifices, of course, being the conscription of twelve-year-old children," the Kylaen announcer said, cutting off the rest of the speech. "It's just sickening how Tedwin Bayard continues to be heralded as a savior when he's responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year—"
I tuned out the rest of the conversation, too tired to get my blood pressure up at either Bayard or the announcer. As far as I was concerned, both were liars. Like most of Kylae, I couldn't give a rat's ass about the so-called president of our disputed colony and would've completely ignored the minute-long segment…
…if not for the beautiful Raven woman sitting just behind Bayard.
Her eyes were locked on some unseen point beyond the cameras. When I was marooned with her on an island in the northern Madion Sea, she'd been fiery, full of life and passion. But there wasn't even a spark in her now. Compared to Bayard, who swayed and gestured on the podium in front of her, she looked like a wax doll.
I ran a hand over my face. The Kylaen news had moved on to another story—the trade agreement with Jervan—and I was left with my guilt and a half-eaten sandwich. It was midday, and I'd finally been able to spare a few minutes out of my busy shift at the hospital to eat lunch. Seeing Theo had stolen my appetite.
I couldn't blame it all on the news report as I'd already been in a foul mood. After working the late shift two nights ago, I was now on an early shift. The back-and-forth shift-switching had been going on since since I'd returned to my residency, and I could barely tell if it was morning or afternoon anymore.
To make matters worse, my mother had been hounding me to attend some stupid function at the castle for some person who'd done some thing for Kylae—I couldn't care less. Aside from the fact that state functions were my least favorite part of being the third prince of Kylae, I hadn't set foot in the castle in over four months. I'd stormed out of a family dinner and told the king of Kylae to kiss my ass. It was a miracle I wasn't in Mael, our prison to the north.
I glanced at the television again and wished they'd replay the Bayard segment. Days like today, when I was tired and miserable, all I wanted was to talk to her. In the short months we'd spent together, I'd become addicted to her counsel. Hers was the only opinion I cared for anymore, though I was pretty sure I knew how she'd feel about my progress so far.
Theo was home and she was safe, but the larger issues—the war and the Kylaen death camp at Mael—remained nagging issues in the back of my mind. I was no closer to finding a solution to either of them than when I'd started. To make matters worse, the days were passing too quickly for me, and the more time that slipped through my fingers…
"Helmuth, break's over," came a disgruntled voice from behind me.
Dr. Hebendon was my new attending physician. Dr. Maitland had either been asked or forced to take a six-month sabbatical to a hospital in the country of Herin. In his place, they'd sent Hebendon. Like most Herinese, he was tall and pale with jet-black hair that hung in a curtain around his face. I was pretty sure that despite not being Kylaen, he'd been given a royal decree to make my life miserable whenever I set foot in the hospital. Thus my skewed schedule and, of course, the special privilege of having the best cases.
"Janna needs you in room fifteen for another impaction," he said, a twisted grin curling around his thin face.
I forced a tight smile onto my face so he wouldn't know how completely sick I was of pulling shit out of asses.
Hebendon left, and I pushed myself to stand, tossing my sad sandwich in the trash. When I'd been on the island, I would've done anything to eat so much food.
Now I would've done anything to get those half-starved, beautiful days back.
About the Author
S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit. Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.
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