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Snakecharm
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Snakecharm
Kiesha'ra Series, Book 2
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ZANE COBRIANA, COBRA shapeshifter, thanks the gods every day for Danica, his hawk pair bond, and the peace their union has brought to the avian and serpiente. Soon, Danica will have a child to carry on...
ZANE COBRIANA, COBRA shapeshifter, thanks the gods every day for Danica, his hawk pair bond, and the peace their union has brought to the avian and serpiente. Soon, Danica will have a child to carry on...
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Description-

  • ZANE COBRIANA, COBRA shapeshifter, thanks the gods every day for Danica, his hawk pair bond, and the peace their union has brought to the avian and serpiente. Soon, Danica will have a child to carry on their royal line. But what should be a happy time is riddled with doubt.
    Syfka, an ancient falcon, has arrived from Ahnmik claiming that one of her people is hidden in their midst. The falcons are more powerful than the avians and serpiente combined, and Syfka shows nothing but contempt for Zane and Danica's alliance. To Zane's horror, his own people seem just as appalled as Syfka is by the thought of a mixed-blood child becoming heir to the throne. Is Syfka's lost falcon just a ruse to stir up controversy among them? The truth lies somewhere in their tangled pasts—and the search will redefine Zane and Danica's fragile future.
    Praise for Hawksong:
    "Atwater-Rhodes has created a stunning adventure that draws readers in and leaves them begging for more."—School Library Journal, Starred
    "Atwater-Rhodes takes a break from vampires to create two warring clans . . . [with] impressively complex cultures."—Publishers Weekly
    A VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List selection

Excerpts-

  • Chapter 1 CHAPTER 1



    A Flicker of shadow against the sun made everyone in the serpiente market pause in their business and look to the sky. The fluttering of wings and the sight of a diving sparrow chilled me.

    Erica Silvermead, the sparrow who now shifted into her human form in front of me, had been guarding the front door of the palace. Her presence here meant that our dangerous visitor had arrived.

    Politely excusing myself from the merchant I had been speaking with, I followed Erica into the palace.

    Once we were alone, she confirmed my assumption. "Syfka, speaker for Empress Cjarsa, is at the gate. She has requested an audience with you and your pair bond."

    I would have liked nothing more than to order the guard and the Royal Flight to ban Syfka from our lands, but insulting the falcons would be suicide. While the serpiente retained only ancient dances and half-remembered stories from the days of Maeve's coven, the falcons' powers were still strong. Their royal house supposedly consisted of the four falcons who had once practiced among the Dasi, kept alive by a combination of Ahnmik's and Leben's magics.

    If the legend was true, Syfka was one of those four and, as such, a creature whose might was too great to fathom. Even if it was false, Syfka represented an empire we could not risk slighting.

    I nodded reluctantly, taking a detour to find my mate.

    We caught Danica just as she was leaving the synkal, where her lessons were held. She was languid from exhaustion, but she smiled upon seeing me, and my heart warmed just from the sight of her golden hawk eyes lighting up. Then she saw my worried gaze, and her expression suddenly mirrored my own.

    "Syfka is here?" she asked.

    "At the gate."

    Danica shuddered, but joined Erica and me on our hasty walk toward the entryway. "Syfka was never an enemy of my people during the war, but she made it clear that falcons held no respect for avians no matter how similar our second forms may seem. Whatever she is here for now, I suggest we deal with it quickly."

    "We're in agreement, then."

    Ailbhe, the head of the palace guard, was waiting with our visitor by the doorway. The white viper stood at strict attention, tension wavering in the air around his silent form, his gaze fixed not quite on the falcon, but never moving far from her.

    Syfka radiated an aura of heat that rivaled even Danica's constant warmth. Her hair was pale gold, and in the front it faded to silver; her eyes were crystalline blue, set in milk-pale skin. Wings rose from her shoulders and cascaded down her back, with the golden undersides and brown, gray and black markings of an aplomado falcon.

    She was stunning, and like all falcons, she had a magnetic air that could draw mortals to her like moths to fire—ultimately to meet with the same demise, if they dared offend her. Right now she was standing formally with her left hand clasping her right wrist behind her back. It was the respectful pose of a soldier, but Syfka's expression told me clearly that the respect was not for me.

    As her eyes met mine, it was easy to believe this creature was as ancient as myth. She gave a nod that might have served as a bow, if it had been accompanied by anything other than obvious disdain. "Zane Cobriana, Danica Shardae, I appreciate that you are prompt. I am looking for one of our people, who I have reason to believe is in this area."

    "A falcon?" I could not help frowning. "Not among the serpiente. Danica?"

    My mate's expression remained calm, though I knew her well enough to feel her agitation and...

About the Author-

  • Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. She has since published Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator--all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults--and Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

    From the Hardcover...

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2004
    Gr 7-10 -In this sequel to Hawksong (Delacorte, 2003), in which the characters switch between human and animal form, the war between the snake and bird peoples is over. Zane Cobriana, Diente of the serpiente, and Danica Shardae, Tuuli Thea of the avians, have brought peace with their marriage. Now they divide their time between their countries, encouraging their citizens to coexist and learn more about one another. Difficulties arise when a dangerous emissary comes from the falcons seeking a fugitive hidden in one of their courts. To complicate matters, Danica is pregnant and each domain wants the future heir to be raised in its own tradition. While Hawksong was told by Danica, Snakecharm features Zane's voice. The story is compelling, but the narration is oddly detached. Zane describes his feelings, but the text seems flat, almost as if he is speaking about someone else. This disconnect doesn't hamper the action, however. While some plot elements, like the eventual solution of building a third court between the two lands, are easily guessed, others are unexpected, and there is enough suspense to keep readers interested. This book is a must-have for libraries with fans of Hawksong . Others seeking out shapeshifter stories may want to investigate Patrice Kindl's Owl in Love (Houghton, 1993).-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA

    Copyright 2004 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Random House Children's Books
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