For centuries, ribbons of magic have provided the kingdom of Cirena with light, healing, and protection. Then, in a span of minutes, those ribbons fly from their masters, stolen, save for the magic of a few chosen mages. One of these mages is Toranih, a young noblewoman who would rather have a sword in her hand than use her powers to heal or throw fireballs. As a result, her magic skills are lacking. But with former mages dying from magic withdrawal, and the looming threat of an army of shadows who are impervious to mortal weapons, she must either embrace the responsibilities of a mage or watch her home perish.
Magic’s Stealing is a 34,000-word, young adult fantasy novella. This is the first book in The Wishing Blade series.
In the time since the stealing, a crowd had amassed at the steps of the domed building. Toranih pushed through them, not wanting to call attention to herself, then gave up when the mass grew so thick she couldn’t elbow her way through.
She turned and raised her arms. “Hey—hey… quiet!”
The clamor quieted and all eyes turned to her.
She swallowed hard. She liked attention, but only when she had a wooden waster in hand and an opponent on the other side of the field.
She cleared her throat. “Please, we know our magic has vanished. But unless you have the ability to help those who are sick, you need to go home. Wait until we know the nature of this theft, so we can ensure everyone is safe.”
A few people exchanged glances and agreed to leave, but more strayed to the doorstep.
Toranih sighed. At least she’d tried. She turned to go inside and stopped short. A young child in simple yellow robes looked up at her. Tears streaked her cheeks, and she held a bundle of flowers. “Why did Aifa leave us?”
Toranih blinked. “What are you talking about?”
A slightly older boy came up behind her. He peered hesitantly around the door. “No one is supposed to come inside.”
“I can help.”
The boy shook his head. “Without magic, no one can help.”
Toranih grimaced, then lowered her voice. “I still have magic.”
His green eyes widened, and he closed the door to a mere sliver. “You have magic?”
“Yes. Now please, let me in.”
He exchanged glances with the little girl, then shook his head. His golden curls bounced against his ears. “I don’t think we should.”
Toranih gritted her teeth. People were dying, and she couldn’t even get inside. She slammed her body against the door, catching him off guard, and shouldered past him.
He nearly fell on his bum before he righted himself. “Wait!”
She strode through the hall, trying to guess which room was the infirmary.
“The priests are dead,” he blurted.
She stopped. “All of them?”
He gave a tiny nod. The giant hall engulfed him with its larger-than-life painting of the Cirenan pantheon. “Has Madiya gone mad?”
Toranih shivered. That’d be a terrible day. Madiya was the goddess of the dead, responsible for guiding their spirits into the Immortal Realm… or wherever they went after they died. She was among the first of the gods, and thus, more powerful than most.
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Stephanie Flint (formerly Stephanie Bibb) graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in photography and a minor in creative writing. She merged the two interests into book cover design and photographic illustration, but she particularly enjoys writing speculative fiction. She lives with her husband, Isaac. Together they plot stories in the form of table-top role-play games, and enjoy the occasional cosplay.
Online, Stephanie often goes by the nickname of SBibb.