Abandoned at the doors of an abbey, Lieta began life with knowledge of how to use any talent she was in contact with. As she grew, so did her collection of accessible power.
When the Citadel came to the abbey to ask for her assistance, she was astonished to learn she was not only not the only one of her kind, but she was one of the only sane ones. Her species enjoys being worshipped and that is rarely a good result for their people.
Lieta has to stop them, nullify them and make sure that they won’t hurt others. Running into one of her previous arrests and finding out that she is expected to let him be her shadow is a shock.
Muraz once fancied himself a god, but after being shown that he was not alone, he has decided that working with the only being more powerful than himself might be educational.
The storm was wild. She clutched the baby to her chest and ran through the rain.
She had been given five minutes to get her child to safety and her lack of control had caused her to overshoot the landing site. Now, she had to run.
The woman set the child against the gate in the shelter of an overhang, and she rang the bells with all her might. Her keeper was coming for her to resume her training. This was the only moment in the entire span of time that she wanted.
Her daughter needed to be safe.
A figure appeared next to her and she was hauled away before she knew that her daughter was safe. She screamed as she was taken away and then fell silent. Her daughter had heard that scream twice today. The first time had been when she died.
* * * *
The monk opened the door as the blood-curdling scream faded in the air. The smaller, more insistent shout came from the bundle at his feet. He leaned down and lifted her in his arms. “Hello, little one. Did you make all that noise?”
The baby looked at him with eyes in a purple so dark they looked to be deep brown. She blinked and slurped her fist.
The monk lifted his hand and light covered it, illuminating their new arrival. The baby waved her fist in the air and it glowed in reaction.
“Oh dear, little one. You have a lot of power in that tiny body.”
She waved both fists and both glowed. She giggled and then burped. He brought her inside to the warmth and shelter of the temple. Sister Esrai would know what to do with her.
* * * *
Twenty-three years later, Lieta was hauling in the harvest with the monks and acolytes when a blast struck the ground near her feet.
She turned to face the young man with the dark soul and blacker temper. “Redol, right?”
“She talked about me, did she? The stupid bitch.”
Well, she had guessed right. “Ah, so you are Venila’s ex-boyfriend. You are everything she said.”
Lieta moved away from the wagon and toward the intruder, into the monastery’s property. “What did you want?”
“I want Venila back. Give her to me.”
“She is not a slave, nor is she owned by the monastery. She can come and go as she pleases, but she is choosing to live there and take vows to serve others.”
Lieta kept easing to one side until there was nothing to strike behind her.
“She is mine. She will come back to me.”
“Oh, I do not think so. She will remain where she is safe. Where a jackass with a bad temper will not cow her and make her feel like nothing has happened because her healing talent takes over the wounds.”
“Then she will be working on you tonight, bitch.” He extended his hand and a ball of whirling wind emerged. With a clumsy shove, he directed it at her.
She shook her head, caught it and sent it back with a tight, hard ball of whirling air that struck him straight in the chest.
Lieta was left at the doors of the Abbey when she was days old. In spite of her beginnings, she has grown into a woman at peace with who she is. But her peace is frayed when her talents are needed by the Citadel. While she thought she was alone in her talent, she learns there are more who are not as well balanced. Muraz is her first assignment. She quickly subdues him and sends him to the prison planet, but upon return from yet another mission, Lieta is surprised to find Muraz working in the Abbey. Can Lieta accept Muraz will play a large part in her future? Will she be able to handle the toll, repeated use of her talent takes upon her psyche?
Breaking Gods by Viola Grace is twenty-eighth in the Tales of the Citadel series. Lieta’s talent leaves the possibility of her becoming power hungry. But unlike others she has maintained not only her sanity but her control. Life at the Abbey has helped her maintain peace of mind even as it has pushed her need to protect. When the Citadel comes calling with requests for help corralling others like her, she is unable to say no but the decisions she must make are beginning to take a toll on her soul. Muraz was hunting to find something for himself. He used his powers and made a primitive people believe he was a god. When he came up against Lieta, he found what he was searching for but is it too late?
I think Ms. Grace gave us a well-written story and enjoyable addition to this series. Lieta was a strong woman comfortable with who she was until she was forced to stretch. She learns more about herself as she works to corral those who abuse their talents and powers. She feels a connection to Muraz but is unsure why and with his incarceration believes it is of no consequence. So finding him on her home turf further unsettles her. Muraz was searching for something to help complete him. He felt alone in his talents and tried to make a family. His methods were questionable, but his heart was in the right place. Meeting Lieta completed him and his determination to do what is right came through in this story. I enjoyed both Lieta and Muraz and thought they fit well together.
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