Dust & Rain is book 2 in the Icefire Trilogy series by Patty Jansen
Fifteen years ago, a brilliant scientist built a barrier against the dangerous power that radiates from the City of Glass in the southern land, allowing the citizens of Chevakia to live without fear of their lives. Since then, the democracy of Chevakia has prospered, with free-thinking scientists developing steam power and the beginnings of electricity.
But the power, which they call sonorics, controls the weather in Chevakia.
Senator Sadorius han Chevonian is the country’s chief meteorologist. While taking measurements for his job, he is the first to notice a rapid rise of sonorics levels out-of-season. The senate is locked in trivial debate, and to make them listen, he has to take a step he never thought to make.
After the huge explosion of the machine they call the Heart of the City, Loriane has fled the southern land with the sorcerer Tandor, who hovers in and out of consciousness. But while Tandor isn’t speaking, she cannot confirm her fears that he caused the explosion, and that the child she carries has something to do with his twisted plans to seize power from the Eagle Knights who rule the City of Glass.
Just before the explosion, southern queen Jevaithi fled into Chevakia with her young lover Isandor. While they think they’re free of the tyranny of the Eagle Knights, it soon becomes clear something very bad has happened in the City of Glass soon after their escape. Something so bad that it sends waves of sonorics into Chevakia, causing even the Chevakians to flee.
Several streams of refugees are heading for the Chevakian capital. Southerners by train, Chevakians by road, into a city that is tragically unprepared, a country in turmoil with a leader whose support hangs by the merest thread.
Here is a sample:
Nolan landed his bird next to Carro’s on the dusty farm road. The eagle shook itself and folded its wings. Nolan slid off and gave Carro the knotted rope he used as reins. Carro took it from Nolan’s hand. His skin briefly touched Carro’s palm. Nolan looked up and met Carro’s eyes.
Neither said anything. They knew the drill.
Nolan pushed open the creaky farm gate and crossed a vegetable yard to the door of the house. Such strange houses they had here, too. Walls made from stone blocks and straw roofs.
Burns well, Farey had said yesterday, and had proceeded to demonstrate with an old cranky farmer who wouldn’t tell Farey if he’d seen the two fugitives. The farmer’s family was hiding behind one of the windows in the house, and when Farey had taken off, he’d flown over the roof and dropped a burning torch.
Woof. The straw burned almost better than the ancient material that formed the roofs of many houses in the Outer City.
The old farmer and his family ran for shelter.
They’d frightened a few more families, and with each further house they came to, Carro was more afraid they’d find Isandor and Jevaithi. They had seen the riderless eagle. The beast had been too far away to recognise for certain, but it could have been Isandor’s. The more he thought about it, the more sure he was that it had been Isandor’s, because there were only a few wild eagles left, and the books said that in the mountains they didn’t grow large enough to carry a man. That only happened under the influence of icefire in the City of Glass.
So yes, they would likely find Isandor soon.
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