Seventeen-year-old Ailia has vowed to find out if her recurring mare dreams, of what she thinks are glimpses into her previous life, are real. In her dreams, she is married to her soul mate, and an evil Empress named Eiess pursues and kills her.
Lucia, the heir of the Northlandic Kingdom, will be crowned Sun Queen – the Queen responsible for shifting the seasons each solstice. The eve before Lucia’s eighteenth birthday and coronation, Eiess storms the castle, taking Lucia and her Father prisoner. Eiess immediately instigates the prophesied three-year winter before the end of Midgard when she usurps the throne.
One day, and unbeknownst to her – nearly two years later – Ailia wakes up in a glacier cave cold, beaten, and far away from home. She doesn’t remember how she ended up there or even that she was abducted by the ruthless Vikings. When a healer named Soren rescues her, Ailia can’t help but think that she knows him from somewhere, and that they were fated to meet – and destined to fall in love.
And when Ailia, Lucia and Soren discover a shocking secret that intertwines their destinies, one of them betrays the other two – a betrayal that ultimately puts their lives, and the lives of humanity, in which they had sworn to protect, in grave danger.
“Are you the girl who is cursing Bergendal with all these Mare Demons?” A young redheaded boy, wearing a dog mask came up and asked.
“What?” Ailia said. She was stunned.
“My big sister says you are a bad omen, and she says that you are cursing Bergendal by bringing all these Mare Demons here,” the young boy continued.
Now Ailia recognized the boy. He was one of Ailia’s friend’s younger brothers – Siri’s brother. “I am not cursing Bergendal with anything,” Ailia said. She folded her arms across her chest and frowned. “It was just a scary dream.”
“My dad says mare dreams are messages from the dark realms, and that you are attracting beings from the dark realms here to Bergendal. He says you’re cursed.” He pointed his finger at her.
“Stop that!” Ailia said. “You’re embarrassing yourself, and you’re embarrassing me!”
“You are cursed!” he yelled, still pointing his finger at her. A few more people had arrived, stopping to stare. Ailia thought it strange that no one came over and reprimanded the misbehaving boy or came to stand up for her. Finally, Siri came over. Her light ash brown hair was pulled up in a braided up-do.
“Is it true? Did you really tell your brother that I’m a bad omen just because of my dreams?” Ailia asked her.
“I thought you knew by now, Ailia. We all believe that,” she said, stepping next to her brother. Her light brown eyes squinted. “You are a bad omen – and cursed.”
“What are you talking about? I’m still the same person. I can’t believe how shallow you are, if you are going to hold my dreams against me,” Ailia said.
“My Father has told me to stay away from you. I should have realized that you are cursed sooner. I mean, even your name is so strange,” Siri said.
“My name?” Ailia looked around the hall, and everyone who had arrived was staring at her. Even the musicians had stopped warming up their instruments and glared at Ailia across the murky room. Ailia smiled nervously. “I’m not cursed,” she said. “I’ve just been having some frightening dreams. That’s all.”
“And you said you believed that you have lived before, too. Our Chieftain probably wouldn’t be too happy to hear about that. He’ll be here later tonight, and if you stay here for the dance, I’m afraid I’ll have to tell him everything you told me,” Siri said.
Ailia couldn’t believe that Siri had ever claimed to be her friend. How could she do this? They had known each other for five years, and Ailia had worked so hard to help her feel welcome in Bergendal when Siri’s family moved here from another town. She didn’t want to continue to make a scene, so she decided to go home. Heading for the exit, she heard Siri yelling after her.
“Don’t think this is over, Ailia. You must turn from your ways, or I’ll make sure you’ll be banned from Bergendal for good.”
Evelyn Squires was born in Norway, the land of the Midnight Sun. In 1992, she moved with her parents and seven siblings (!) to the USA. She completed High School and continued College, majoring in Ballet and Comparative Literature. After marrying Aaron, she moved with him to Florida, where they currently reside and are raising their three children.