Fallenwood #4

by Leslie D. Soule

Ash Kensington has one final quest in the fantasy realm across the portals, known as Fallenwood. There’s no one to help her, now, and she has to figure out how to get to the dark lord Malegaunt and demand her retribution for the events that have transpired. But with her resources running out and her patience running thin, will she be able to find and confront him? And if she does, what answers await her?



Give me someone to believe in, Ash begged the uncaring universe. She didn’t want to finish this dire quest alone. She sat at the edge of the bed in the back room, in the little house deep in the woods, in the fantasy realm of Fallenwood that she’d escaped to, all those years ago. She knew what had to be done, but she didn’t want to have to be the one to do it. If only things could be different. If only her mentor would come back. She wanted Will Everett to burst through the door with a smile on his face and spellbooks in his arms, telling her that he had everything under control, that his strengths had defeated Malegaunt and won the day. And yet, every cold hour of silence, waiting for him to return, tore at her heartstrings and gave her a chilling reminder that the world didn’t care one whit about what she wanted.

This would, ultimately, be her battle to fight. Not to fight, to stay here instead and wait out the cold hours in silence and turmoil, letting the anxiety build within her, was also a choice. And that, was a choice that she would not make, and could not accept.

She’d have to take action, now, and see how far she could get, utterly alone with no other humans for comfort. There was the wyvern, Slick, but he was an animal who could not speak English. The comfort he could give were not human comforts. Kill Malegaunt—that was her charge, her quest, and she had absolutely no clue how to go about getting that done.

“I don’t know what I must do,” she said in a whispered voice, a voice that trembled as she held her hands together in prayer, “but I swear that whatever must be done, I will do it.”

For now, after her prayers, she’d tuck herself beneath a nest of blankets and sleep as much as she could. Tomorrow was bound to be a lively day. Tomorrow, she’d stop living like a prisoner on house arrest, and venture out to see the world—no matter how much it had changed, and no matter how frightening it had become.

I’m coming for you, Malegaunt, she thought, and drifted off to sleep.



"Betrayer" by Leslie D. Soule


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