The Undine's Tear by Talena Winters - Young Adult epic historical fantasy - She's destined to save the world . . . if she doesn't destroy it first. - Character Interview
The Undine's Tear
by Talena Winters
Calandra’s destiny is also her doom. As the most powerful healer since the woman who sank Atlantis, she’s been raised to restore the Heartstone that protects her island from humans . . . before she goes Mad like her mother and all the powerful undine healers before her. When she learns she needs both male and female magic to succeed, she becomes desperate—there hasn't been an undine male born for over three thousand years. Instead, she's being pressured to use the siren mind-bond to enslave her childhood friend, the one man she's sworn to risk a death sentence to free.
When Calandra discovers a cryptic message that shows her exiled mother was not only sane but pregnant with a boy, she questions everything she’s been taught to believe. But revealing the horrifying truth of the bonds could tear her island apart—and concealing it could unleash the Earth’s oldest, most destructive enemy. With insanity looming, can Calandra find her brother and save the Heartstone, the man she loves, her people, and the world . . . before she loses control and destroys them all?
The Undine's Tear is the first book in the mind-blowing young adult epic historical fantasy series Rise of the Grigori. Packed with complex characters, lush world-building, gritty action, and impossible odds, this intricately woven tale presents mermaids like you’ve never seen them before. Join Calandra in a search for redemption that will threaten the very fabric of the universe. Dive into the adventure today!
Interview with Narcissa kor’Adonia, Opal Princess of Sirenia:
I never wanted to be a princess, but you don’t get to choose who you’re born as. It’s a lot of pressure, I’m not going to lie. But there are a few perks. For instance, no one really expects me to step out of line—which makes it easier to hide the times I do. After all, I’m the good one, not like my cousin Calandra. She has everyone fooled into thinking she’s so perfect, but not me. I can see right through her. All she wants is to take what’s mine, and I won’t stand for it.
Just because she’s a panacea, capable of healing in all three disciplines—stone, plant, and physic—everyone thinks she’s the best thing since we discovered avocadoes. They think she’s going to save the undines. As if. She’s so powerful, she’s bound to go crazy any day now, and then where will we be?
I keep watching for signs that she’s cracking, like our great-ancestor Nadia, the panacea who sank Atlantis. Sometimes, I think it’s started—like she’s hearing voices in her head. But no one believes me when I tell them how dangerous she is. My mother, Queen Adonia, keeps telling everyone how Calandra is the Saviour of the Heartstone. If I’m not careful, Mother is going to name Calandra heir to the throne instead of me. Then we’d be doomed, for sure. Especially since Calandra hates me.
Which is why I have to be good. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make Calandra’s life a misery. After all, she deserves it for taking all of Mother’s attention and making sure she always gets the best of everything.
I’ve had my victories, though—like stealing her favourite doulos for my bodyguard, the one she liked to hang around with so much when we were kids, back before he was tamed by Redemption. Sometimes I think she actually had feelings for him… but that would be crazy. You don’t have feelings for men. When they’re Redeemed, it would be like loving a post, and when they’re not… well, they’re much too dangerous to be around. That’s why undine sirens Redeem all the men they capture before the siren pods even get on their human ships. It’s been that way for thousands of years, and, if I have any say, that will never change.
Besides, freeing a Redeemed man is worth the death penalty, and even Calandra isn’t that stupid.
If only I could figure out a way to show everyone how underhanded she really is.
Wait. I think I’ve got something…
Osaze looked between them with fear in his eyes, then turned back to Calandra.
“Redeemed. That’s what the queen did to me before, right? Is that what you mean by ‘help’?” He clutched Calandra’s arm. “Please don’t do it again, Calandra. I—I think I would rather die than have that happen again.”
As soon as Osaze touched her, a wave of desperation and fear crashed through her. She put her hands to her ears as though she could physically block out the sudden onslaught of emotion. Is it happening already? Is this the Madness?
When Osaze’s hand fell from her arm, the emotions subsided. She slowly lowered her hands, staring at the boy. Those feelings . . . they had all come from him? Why had she felt them so strongly? Did it have something to do with the Heartstone?
“It’s okay, Osaze. It doesn’t hurt, does it?”
He shook his head and buried it in his hands. “That would be better. It’s worse than anything you can imagine.”
Calandra stared at him, stricken. As a rule, undines treated every living thing with respect. She had always been told that Redemption meant saving the men from themselves, cleansing them of impurities they could not purge on their own. But how could it be right to do something to these men that they hated so much?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Talena Winters is addicted to stories, tea, chocolate, yarn, and silver linings. She writes page-turning fiction for teens and adults in multiple genres, coaches other writers, has written several award-winning songs, and designs knitting patterns under her label My Secret Wish. Master of the ironic GIF response. She currently resides on an acreage in the Peace Country of northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, three surviving boys, two dogs, and an assortment of farm cats. She would love to be a mermaid when she grows up.
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