Soriel excerpt

A tingle raced down his spine at the prospects and [Gavin] leaned in close to study the spot [Nare] pointed to on the back of his hand.

“It’s not much, but it’s there.”

“I’ve never seen that before.” The rough-edged circle couldn’t have been more than half a centimeter. He’d seen a needle-thin point back in the room at NeoGen only because of the marks glowing from his access of the resonance but hadn’t paid attention to it in the battle minutes ago. It was as if it had grown.

“Interesting. Never?”

“No. In fact…” He lifted both hands closer to study them and stared at the marks on his palms. “No. I swear the marks are larger on my palms too.”

Nare pulled a pendant out from under her shirt, an aquamarine crystal point about an inch long. “Have you ever been exposed to the full Starfire?”

He leaned in close to study it. That was it, the crystal that could shatter a world? It looked harmless, like any pretty jewelry pendant. When he reached towards it, intending to turn it over to study it, she pulled back.

“Not a good idea,” she said.

“Unless you want to suffer the pain of rejection.”

The corner of Nare’s mouth curved up into a smug satisfaction. “Do tell, Dav.”

“Knocked me flat,” he grumbled.

She chuckled but focused on Gavin, who decided against touching it. A few days ago he wouldn’t have believed something so tiny could be so powerful, but after all he had seen that night, nothing would surprise him.

“I’ll just…let you hold it.”

“Good idea.” She tucked it back inside her shirt. “Still, I have to wonder what they’ve done to you. As far as I know, only exposure to the crystal itself can enhance a Keeper’s abilities, and their marks. And that’s only because you absorb the power of the crystal while you wear it. I’ve only been a Crystal Keeper for a couple of months, and I’ve learned a lot from the entities. But I have no idea about any other way to increase your symbiosis with it. Since I can’t go to the source, I’ll need to contact Saffir and see what she knows.”

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