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Table of Contents



Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen


More from Rowan McAllister

Readers love the Chronicles of the Riftlands by Rowan McAllister

About the Author

By Rowan McAllister

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The Seer

By Rowan McAllister

Chronicles of the Riftlands: Book Three

For the past ten years, smuggling magic users safely out of Brotherhood-controlled Rassa has been the only thing keeping Dakso Kavalyan going. But with his funding cut and rumors of impending civil war, his orders from the Mage’s High Council are clear: his final mission is information gathering only. No rescuing even one more hunted soul.

Daks has never been great at following orders. When he stumbles upon a Seer spouting prophecy in front of one of the hated brothers, he can’t just walk away.

Ravi never asked to be rescued, nor did he ask for the Visions plaguing his life and endangering everyone he’s ever cared about. The last thing he needs is a reckless brute crashing into his carefully laid plans. Seems the gods have other ideas.

As Daks and Ravi flee the city together, their reluctant alliance blooms into something more, but trials, bad luck, and Daks’s infuriating penchant for finding trouble dog their every move. Will trusting this reckless rogue with his heart and his life be the worst decision Ravi’s ever made… or the best?

To all those who feel like being different is a curse.

Remember, no discovery, invention, or innovation was ever made by someone who wanted to be like everyone else.

Cherish and nurture what makes you different, because a rainbow needs every color to make it whole.

Chapter One

DAKSO KAVALYAN swaggered down the gangplank and onto the dock, swallowing against the thickness in his throat. As he gave anyone who eyed him too closely a hard stare, he surreptitiously wiped his sweaty palms on the supple worn brown leather of his breeches and licked the beads of salt and sweat from his upper lip.

“I swear that gets worse every time,” he grumbled only loud enough for his partner to hear.

Shura gave him a friendly shove from behind to get him moving out of the way of the other disembarking passengers, and when Daks threw her a disgruntled scowl, she smirked up at him. Her dusky cheeks had flushed darker in the wind off the water, and even though she’d braided her thick black hair, stray strands whipped wildly around her face.

“Guess it’s a good thing this will probably be our last trip, then, isn’t it?”

Her words were quickly snatched away on the wind, while gulls screeched overhead and the general chaos of the docks tried to drown her out.

“Yeah, maybe,” he grunted.

As they made their slow progress with the rest of the crowd toward the gates to the city, he warily scanned their surroundings, taking note of any red cloaks of the Brotherhood or blue tabards of the King’s Guard in the bustling mass of humanity.

A blast of warm, salty air caught his own heavy brown cloak, and he reluctantly pulled the damp wool tighter around him as he cast a sour look at the threatening clouds blanketing the sky. Spring had been unusually warm this year, and that wasn’t exactly a boon. This far south, a good long winter kept many things at bay contagious fevers, pirate raids from the Southern Isles, and war, to name just a few. It was the latter that worried him most. From all the reports and portents he’d overheard that winter, too much of the three kingdoms of Kita was unsettled these days, and the weather seemed to be mirroring that unrest.

Another shove from behind had him reaching for the dagger sheath hidden at the small of his back, but Shura only rolled her eyes at him and made shooing motions with her hands when he glared over his shoulder.

“Move, you great lump. I would be somewhere with a roof over my head before Tomok Skygod decides to relieve himself all over us,” she hissed.

He shot an anxious glance at the men and women in their immediate vicinity before frowning at her. “I’d watch that kind of talk, if I were you.”

She only rolled her eyes again and pushed past him. “How many trips does this one make? I am not an idiot. And, in case you’ve forgotten, you’re the one who usually gets us into the most trouble, not me.”

He allowed his lips to curve in a slight smirk before pulling them into a forbidding scowl again.

She had a point.

Even with his much longer legs, he hurried to keep up with her as the crowd shuffling toward the gates seemed to part effortlessly before her determined stride. He had to hide another smile as he swelled a little with affection and pride. Sometimes being exotic—and a little scary—had its advantages. Shura might be a foot shorter than him, but she could be just as intimidating.

The blue-tabarded soldiers of the King’s Guard posted on either side of the great iron gate above the docks eyed them suspiciously as they approached, but obviously decided they weren’t enough of a threat to interrupt the flow of traffic to question. When the gate and guards were successfully behind them at last, Daks cracked his neck and rolled his shoulders, trying to ease the tension that had built there. He needed to relax or he’d start to draw attention they didn’t want.

They wove their way in hurried silence through the familiar warren of streets from Rassat’s seedier harbor and warehouse districts toward their usual lodgings in the slightly safer merchant area that bordered them. Shura’s Cigani skygod, Tomok, had apparently decided he’d held it long enough, because he released his burden on them in a heavy downpour several blocks from the Dog and Duck, and they had to run the last bit or be drenched to the skin.

Breathless and dripping all over the rough plank floor, they crowded into the dimly lit common room as more people ducked in out of the rain behind them, forcing

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