by S. Usher Evans
Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.
Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country's independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.
When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian's medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo's survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.
Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?
"It matters if one rabbit happened to appear on this island, or a whole population. Do you want to eat tomorrow?" She nodded to the open box of supplies, and I tried not to think about how low it was. "That'll be a lot easier if there's ample meat roaming around here."
Tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day—Theo's concern was for a much longer term than I'd considered. She seemed to think that we would be there for a while, and for whatever reason, the implications of that finally sank in.
The remains of my ship were visible on the beach, and anyone truly looking for me would have seen it. If they'd noticed it, they would have already sent soldiers to come get me. They had no idea Theo was there, with her knowledge of how to construct a double boiler to capture drinking water or else we'd be dead from dehydration before we could starve. God forbid she suffer from infection from her wound and die. Then I'd really be in trouble. I had no idea how to hunt or to catch food. I didn't know which plants were poisonous and which were safe. I'd gotten lucky with that wolf earlier, what would happen when the entire pack showed up?
All of which served to point out, very clearly, what my father had been trying to tell me for years: I was completely and totally useless.
What use were all the skills learned at the Royal Kylaen Academy on this island? I couldn't even take care of myself. Sure I could wrap a tourniquet and administer antibiotics. I could even assist in surgery should the situation call for it. I could get a plane in the air and get it back on the ground.
But, as His Highness said, that was worthless when it came to battle. I was there to kill people, not save them.
I would never forget him after Digory's death. My mother had been inconsolable for days. Although she hadn't had as close a bond with him as with me, he was still her son. But my father was nearly over the moon with pride that his son had died in his war. Digory wasn't even cold in the ground before he began suggesting I do the same.
Now there I was, marooned on an island in the northern Madion Sea, and he probably figured if I wasn't dead already, I would be soon. That meant he could plaster my face on the screens in every home in Kylae. He could re-galvanize our troops to take revenge against Rave. He'd use my death as reason to continue the bloodshed.
Which meant no one was coming for me.
And I suddenly became scared.
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 and Empath, both published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.
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