by Joni Parker
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Lady Alexin, Eledon’s Keeper of the Keys must continue to prove her powers when her grandmother, Lady Lestin and her friend, Lady Opaline of the Gossamer Elves are kidnapped by rebels and held for ransom. Alex attempts a daring rescue, only to discover that there is far more to this plot that she immediately suspected and the betrayal extends to the highest levels of the High Council of Elders. Threatened by rebel factions, suspected by Council members and under attack by deadly spiders, the young warrior has only her wits, her fighting skills and the powers of the Keys to help her. But will they be enough to save them all?
Alex crept to the edge and peeked over the rocks. Lady Opaline’s carriage sat beside a small wooden house, not more than a thousand feet away, not far from the opening of a mine. It seemed like a painting Alex had once seen, so quaint and peaceful, except there were six male Elves sitting outside at a table, eating.
“Thicket, did you see anyone get out of the carriage?”
“Yesterday, I saw two women being taken into the mine. They were blindfolded.”
“Did they look injured?”
“No. If it weren’t for the blindfolds, I’d say they were going to a party.”
The women had to be Lady Opaline and her grandmother, but she wanted to be sure. “Riv, are you sure that’s the same carriage?”
“Yes, I’m absolutely certain. She had that spider painted on the side since my drawing. I thought it looked better without it.”
Alex’s mind raced as she backed down the hill. She had to go in, but not this way—there were too many Red Elves. She could call for reinforcements, but that would take too long. Not much time was left. She turned to Thicket. “Are there any other ways into the mine?”
“My goats found one, not far away.”
“You can see it from here.” He pointed to another hill about a hundred feet away in the opposite direction. “Do you see where those bushes are? There’s a small opening you can squeeze through.”
“Good. Thanks to both of you. It’s time for me to leave. Riv, take my horse back to your father for me.”
“I can’t just leave you here.”
“Yes, you can. I only asked you to bring me here, and you’ve done that. I’ll make sure you get a reward for helping me.”
“What about me?” Thicket raised his eyebrows and pointed to his chest.
“Yes, you, too.”
“Lord Ashur will determine the amount.”
“He’s too stingy.”
“How do you know? Have you ever gotten a reward from him before?”
“No, but that’s the way Fire Elves are. We have a saying about them. They have big pockets, but nothing ever comes out of them.”