Spirit’s End

No Comments
Book Cover: Spirit's End
Part of the Riven series:

Carver’s home is going to drowning in the angry souls of the dead, and his only chance to save it lies with the whims of a mysterious woman with her own agenda.

The guides cannot keep up, and Riven is being overwhelmed with breaches and the flood of spirits coming through them. Carver and Selena, desperate to find a way to cleanse the tortured souls, turn to Nara for help. Only the ancient spirit has problems of her own, and before she can assist the guides, Carver must help her.

As he learns more and more about Nara, however, Carver has to decide whether she can be trusted, or if Nara’s solution will be more horrible than the disaster they already face.

In the thrilling conclusion to the Riven trilogy, Spirit’s End pushes Carver, Selena, and the other guides to their limits as they must confront foes they’ve never imagined and deal with the dark origins of the world they’ve come to call home, only to find that saving it may require paying the ultimate price.

Publisher: Black Key Books

A guide stood in the middle of those clutching hands, snarling mouths, and wild eyes. Alec bounced from one spirit to the next, delivering a series of short jabs with the ridged gauntlets that cloaked his fists and forearms. Spikes on those gauntlets burned with blue fire that enveloped every spirit they touched and torched away the anger showing in those dead eyes. Pacified them and sent the spirits on their final walk to the Cycle.

It would’ve been easy to watch that dance, to stay back and admire Alec as he wrangled one spirit after another. Only we could see the toll. Cuts appeared here and there as one hand or another swung a lucky swipe. A sidestep that dodged one sloppy tackle led Alec into another spirit’s bite. Being outnumbered in Riven was a death sentence, no matter how good the guide.


Selena and I waded in on either side. I struck with the lash first, sending its pointed tip out and wrapping around a spirit reaching for Alec’s back. The lash looped around the spirit’s arm and its point bit into his shoulder. The spirit, a posh gentleman in a suit that looked as though he came directly from a wedding, turned and snarled at me. His eyes burned with the pale fire, a lost mind.

I twisted the hilt of my lash and fire erupted along the cord, blue flames that matched the hue of the spirit’s eyes. As the spirit lunged towards me, the fire caught up to his body and wrapped him in its purifying burn. I felt his hand touch my shoulder, but rather than rend, it fell away and I looked up into a vacant stare. The empty eyes of a pacified spirit.

“Your arrival is most fortunate.” Alec dodged another spirit, delivering three swift strikes to its middle and sending it stumbling away, wreathed in a wrangling blue glow. “I have a tablet, and it is very nearly ready.”

I glanced Selena’s way and saw her with her cleaver in one hand and a knife in the other, dashing between spirits and severing their anger with stab after stab. A beautiful storm, a partner that I’d never realized I had next to me. I did not know where Selena found her ability, but watching her carve her way through those grasping arms and spitting mouths filled me with a kind of pride, a love that comes only from seeing the one you care about most exceeding your wildest hopes.

Yes, watching the love of my life carve up a bunch of dead spirits was the highlight of my day. I lived a strange life.

“Back away,” Alec called. I looked as the guide pulled a tablet off of his belt, a stone block with a sapphire set in the middle. A sapphire that glowed a deep blue, ready to fulfill its mission. To close the breach and drive the remaining spirits away. Alec put it down on the ground and pressed in on the sapphire as two more spirits reached for his back.

Blue tendrils lanced out from the tablet, striking through the spirits and wreathing them in fire. Others shot towards the edge of the breach, seeming to dive into the ground and pull the portal closed. And then Selena tugged at my arm, pulling me away.

“We’ve got to run,” Selena said. “If that thing gets us, we’re gone.”

My legs kicked into gear and we sprinted away down the alley. I’d forgotten. I was a spirit now. That tablet would destroy me as surely as it had our enemies. So many rules I had to relearn.

“Thanks,” I said. “I’m not used to it.”

“Pretty sure it was you who told me that Riven doesn’t give second chances,” Selena said. “That I had to keep watching my back.”

“Not as long as you’re around,” I said. Selena rolled her eyes.

I looked back down the alley and saw nothing left of the portal. Only Alec, picking up the tablet. Content spirits staring at nothing. In another minute or two they would shuffle off and start a days-long journey to a mountain west of the city. Into cave and down to its depths, where they would find the Cycle, a great blue lake.

Each and every one of those spirits would drop in and erase themselves from existence.