The Last Princess of Latura
by Darren Simon
Genre: Middle-Grade/New Adult Fantasy
Hello! Today Sweet Southern Savings is hosting the blog tour stop for Darren Simon’s The Last Princess of Latura Book Tour. Read on for more about this Fantasy, Darren, and a tour-wide giveaway!
The Last Princess of Latura Book 1
From Guardian’s Nightmare
Theodora nodded. “As you wish.” The sorceress drew back her hand and slung Charlee and the bike clear across the city.
They hurtled uncontrollably through the night. But this time, Theodora was not going to stop their fall. The bike spun out of control, its wings flailing uselessly. It seemed…unconscious. Have to…wake it…up…or we…die!
Charlee reached out for the bike. She had to snag a handlebar, a pedal, a wing—anything to make contact. Come on! Reach. Reach! Reach!
The city rushed by beneath her. She flew by one rooftop, then another. She craned her neck to glance ahead. Oh my God! A skyscraper stood directly in their path. They would smash into the glass exterior in seconds.
Try…again! Reach for the bike! Reach! The fingers of her right hand touched the handlebars. Then she got a full grip and pulled herself onto the banana seat, but the bike did not respond to her presence.
“Bike, wake up!” No response. “Bike, we’re going to die!” Nothing. She steadied herself. This time, instead of shouting, she used thought to communicate.
She willed it to regain consciousness. Bike, please! Wake up!
More From Guardian’s Nightmare
Backing away, Charlee rubbed her throbbing hands together. “Theodora, what have you done?”
“Nothing worse than I shall do to you, guardian.”
“Do it! I’m ready for you this time.”
Theodora raised her hands over her head and uttered an incantation. A smoldering ball grew from her fingertips, its red glow consuming her face, twisting her appearance.
This was it.
The battle for Sandra, for her family, the city, even the world, was upon her. If what Tribon had said was true, she was a guardian, which meant that perhaps her whole life had been leading to this moment and ready or not she had to face it. It was just her and Theodora, her great-aunt.
One would not survive the night.
Charlee willed strength into her muscles. She pushed fear aside. If she was to make a stand, it had to be now.
Theodora’s arm shot forward, hurtling the deadly energy.
“Now,” Charlee shouted.
The Last Princess of Latura Book 2
From Guardian’s Return
Calling on her magically heightened strength, she kicked the door. It didn’t budge, but the timber around the hinges cracked. She struck a second time. The door broke from the frame and fell forward. A wall of fire rushed through the opening, engulfing Charlee. She dropped to one knee and shielded her eyes.
The blinding flash muzzled her cries. Somehow, though, the layer of energy kept her alive—a glowing barrier between her flesh and the inferno. She could breathe, too, but the air had become thick. She could only manage short breaths.
“I have to move. Can’t fail.” Peering through her fingers, a swirling vortex of oranges, yellows and reds prevented her from seeing beyond a few feet in any direction.
Her mom’s thoughts returned. Get up! Run through it! Straight ahead! Her body trembled, and her heart pounded so fast it might burst from her chest. Her skin baked despite the protective shell. Blinking sweat from her eyes, she charged through the firestorm.
Don’t stop…don’t stop until you’re through, her mom urged.
Overhead, the house creaked in protest. Oh no! Burning timber plunged toward her. Diving out of the way, she broke through the flames. Behind her the fire roared. Ahead, the second-floor hallway lay darkened by charred mist.
Coughing, Charlee clutched her chest to quiet her wild heart and slow her breathing. Her legs wobbled and her head drooped. Hot tears formed. She couldn’t help it. I’m alive. Still have a chance. Must press on.
Standing tall, she lifted her head. You’re not going to beat me, fire. “Sir, where are you?” she called to the little girl’s dad. “Can you hear me? Sir…”
More From Guardian’s Return
Like a slingshot, the portal shot them into the white light. They emerged from the gateway into wilderness.
The screams were real.
A mass of trees with spiraling trunks surrounded Charlee and her companions, masking what lay beyond. Charlee whirled around, ears twitching.
Men and women shouted, their cries matched by the growls and barks of wild beasts and the crackle of fire.
Charlee let go of Cryton’s hand and removed her hood. She gazed up to a canopy of interlaced branches covered by star-shaped leaves pulsating—like hearts— with yellow, orange, and purple colors. Rays of sunlight zigzagged through cracks, leaving a polka dot pattern along the undergrowth.
Shadows crept at her through the streaming light. Covering her ears, she shrunk away. Where had she delivered them?
If this was Janasara, they should jump back into a portal and escape to a safer entry point. She wasn’t ready for whatever unseen battle unfolded beyond this pocket of alien trees.
Cryton lifted his staff. “Let’s go.”
Charlee retreated farther. “What? No!”
“We have to Charlee. There are beings out there in trouble. I don’t know what’s going on, but this is the path you chose, Guardian.” He extended a hand to her.
“I don’t know if I can do this.” She pressed harder against her ears.
He grinned. “Trust me. I’ve seen the hero inside of you. I know what you can do. Believe in yourself.”
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