I started reading the Dark series waaaaay back in 2000. My son was a newborn and I needed to find something to do while I stayed at home with him. I headed into a used bookstore (you know, back in the day when they had used bookstores) and saw Dark Prince displayed. It is the first book in the series. I picked it up and ended up reading it in one day. Dark Illusion is the 33rd book in this series. Although at times it can get monotonous, I still love it. I’ve really enjoyed this new story line that CF has going on. If you have been looking for a good paranormal, this is a good place to start.
The world looked very different when one was soaring through the air in the middle of the night. Julija found herself laughing, elated, exhilarated. I love this.
Pay attention to what you are doing, kislány hän ku meke sarnaakmet minan. Stay focused.
Was there panic in his voice? Julija thought there might be and that made her laugh all over again. The stars were brighter this far up. Everything below her seemed very small. The cats were running flat out on the rocks below, Carpathian blood calling to them. They would find Julija and Isai before dawn when Isai found a place for them all. In the meantime, she could do a few crazy tricks, like try to do somersaults in the air.
Julija. You will behave yourself. Pay attention. Do you have any idea of all the things that could go wrong?
I want to kiss you right now. She did. Kissing him sounded wonderful. Completing. That was exactly what she needed to make flying the best thing that ever was. She thought about his face. The lines etched deep. The strong jaw. Aristocratic nose. That long hair, pulled back in his braid with cords tying it every few inches. Always neat. Never ruffled. She laughed all over again. Your feathers seem a little ruffled now. Her laughter grew. That was true—and funny.
The larger owl dropped down to cover the female with one widespread wing. I think you have truly lost your mind, woman. Stop laughing.
There was no stopping, not when she was this happy. Are you crazy? This is—wonderful. Perfection. I can’t believe how flying feels. I could do this all night.
It is your first time, sívamet. There was a hint of a smile coming through the panic along with resignation. You will tire easily. Please keep your mind focused on what you are doing. If you lose the image, even for a moment, you will fall from the sky.
She knew that, and it should have scared her, but it didn’t. She’d always had the ability to give details her full attention. She was aware of everything around her. She’d had to be. Her father was very exacting of all of them, but of her in particular. Her stepmother was very cruel; knowing where she was in the house at all times had saved Julija from many beatings. She wasn’t going to think about her. Nothing was going to mar her enjoyment of flying through the air on silent wings.
Stay with me. Your owl has excellent hearing and vision. We are looking for Iulian’s trail. I was searching for him when I discovered you. I tried reaching out to him, but he didn’t answer. Neither, when the theft was first discovered, did he answer the prince, Gregori or Tariq.
I felt him up until about forty-eight hours ago. He felt . . . sad. Very sad. His sorrow weighed him down.
You said you connected with him when he was with his lifemate.
She was very tired. She must have been in her eighties or nineties and alone in a nursing home. He held her until she passed.
Isai was silent for so long she was becoming alarmed. In the body of the owl she twisted her neck, although the eyes could see his owl very clearly.
What are you thinking, Isai?
The entire time he was close to you, you could connect with him?
Yes. I felt his emotions, even though he could not. She settled into a pattern, flying close to him, allowing the larger bird to keep her nearly beneath his wing.
Was that common for you? Feeling the emotions of others?
Automatically, her owl observed everything going on below her. For the most part, there was little movement of humans or even mages on the vast acreage laid out below them. Twice she’d seen hikers, but when Isai had dropped low to ensure they were truly hikers, both times they’d been legitimate.
To feel other’s emotions, yes. To connect so strongly with a Carpathian male? No. That was the first time and it was extremely strong. I was shocked that he didn’t seem aware of it.
You were behind him by several days and yet you were able to pick up his trail again once you were here in Yosemite?
Yes. The pull was extreme again. There was no getting away from it. He was broadcasting sorrow so deep, at times all I could do was weep for him. That was the truth as well. His brother, Iulian, had moved her beyond all self-centered thoughts. Beyond anything. His sorrow was that deep.
Then suddenly that trail abruptly ended?
Again, she twisted her neck to look at him. His voice had been pitched exactly the same, but she listened for any little inflection. Something was off. He was going somewhere with his inquiry, not just trying to find a detail she missed.
I don’t believe he was selfishly looking to keep the book. It didn’t feel that way to me at all. What are you thinking?
The same thing you are. He took the book to protect it. He had to have had a plan. My blood calls to his, yet it goes unanswered. The book was sealed with the blood of sacrifice. To keep that blood sacrifice from calling to the any member of the high mage’s family— He broke off.
Julija knew what was coming. She’d entertained the idea she knew was moving through Isai’s mind. She wanted desperately to stop him from voicing it. Already she could feel the beginnings of sorrow in his mind. She couldn’t stop herself. She had to delay the inevitable, even if it was just for a few minutes.