I'm proud to be able to host a blog tour stop for Karina Kantas and her new release, Illusional Reality.
Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie.
Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.
Becky will soon learn none of this was an accident, and the council of Tsinia are certain her union with Darthorn's son, Kovon, will create peace. And although her future has been planned out, she gives her heart to another.
Preparations were under way for Thya's arrival. They had been expecting her since the writing of the first Oracle long ago. Omad, the head of the council, made sure everyone knew of her coming, for it was his task to prepare his people for the arrival of their princess. He'd left strict instructions that no one witness the arrival, or approach until he had conversed with her himself. It was his duty to inform Thya who she was, and of her destiny.
He felt anxious and nervous, yet not for himself. Tsinia was his home; but to an outsider, a human, it might seem like a mystical, dreamlike place. How was he to make her understand? Would she listen, and most importantly would she believe him? Too much was at stake. He could not fail. The fate of Tsinia lay in his hands.
Omad stretched and rubbed the back of his neck as he pondered over his revised speech. Would it be too much for her to take in? He nodded his head, feeling happy with his decision to inform her of her true identity. Telling her about the prophecy could wait. He didn't relish that task.
Omad looked around the gold leaf covered throne room. Soon she would take her rightful place among her people and they would once again have a ruler, removing the burden from the Tsinian council. He clenched his trembling, clammy hands. He had been preparing for this moment since being appointed head, long ago.
His election had been a cause for celebration, the start of planned preparations to bring their queen home.
The council comprised of twelve elected Tsinians, those held in the highest regard. The head of the council was seated centrally in a semicircle of chairs, his seat raised so there could be no doubt of who was in charge. Council business was held in the Escos on the border of their land. Meetings were not open, and only by appointment could citizens address the council.
Omad sighed, remembering the feast held in his honour, the one time he had felt truly scared. The nomination was in recognition, yet to be chosen for a task with repercussions that could destroy Tsinia's peaceful existence was something he wished hadn't been entrusted to him.
There was much excitement and discussion about how Thya would become the saviour of them all, how her return would cause the warlord's demise.
The Tsinians lived by the words of the Oracle, and although there was no indication of how Thya would save Tsinia from Darthorn's domination, the people felt as though their troubles were over. They were so confident that for the first time in the history of their great land an Oracle was ignored.
Omad shivered as he recalled Athron confronting the council with the latest reading. Were they wrong to ignore the warning?
The Oracles were written upon ancient scrolls. It was a riddle that only a Zenith could read, for it was they who wrote them. The generations of Zeniths were male; born with the gift of Sight.
Omad remembered being awoken from his sleep by a very anxious Athron. He demanded the council assemble at once, and as a valued Tsinian, Omad took the urgency seriously.
“I would not have removed you from your slumber if I did not consider this to be of consequence,” Athron announced when the council had convened.
“Continue,” Omad said.
“The Oracle proclaims a warning.”
Omad, suddenly wide-awake, frowned. “Good Athron, decipher.”
Athron nodded and unrolled the scroll. “Not all will come to pass and though the saviour will return, she will not be delivered.”
The council whispered among themselves.
“Rephrase,” Omad said.
“Our lady will return. Regardless, she will not be whom you expect. The matrimony will not be entered upon. There is no alliance. For tis written so it will be.”
“Nonsense,” Tasarc retorted. “Tis ludicrous. The alliance is not established. All that is required is our lady's sign.”
“And what if she does not sign?” Athron said.
Omad rose from his seat. There was silence. “I sympathise with your anxiety, Athron. We all are concerned with our future. However, as our good friend Tasarc remarked, the alliance will precede. As for our lady not receiving us, tis her duty as princess of Tsinia to aid her kinsmen. I am confident that once she returns, all will be well. Do not distress.” Omad then reseated.
Athron continued, “I pray you are accurate. The fact is the Oracles have never been unjust. Do not shut your eyes to the truth.”
Athron had spoken out of turn and Omad had to show strength in front of his peers. He stood abruptly from his seat. “Tis proper you have brought this to our attention. You will retire,” he ordered.
Only Athron did not turn to leave. “You sight only what you want. Free your eyes!”
“Silence,” Omad growled.
The council gasped with dismay, for they had never before heard Omad raise his voice.
“Dare you judge me? I will not justify myself to you.” He then lowered his voice. “Athron, I hold you in the highest esteem. Be assured we will review the Oracle and rule on the correct outcome. Depart—now.”
Athron left, yet he was not satisfied. He spoke his thoughts aloud, “By the name of Zenith, I am compelled for them to listen. It will be taken earnestly.”
Deciding on his next action, he called upon Nimas, the wise one. If anyone had a hold over the council, it was Nimas.
Nimas listened intently as Athron read him the Oracle.
“And Omad expressed?” Nimas quizzed.
“Omad declared the council would review the issue, only I judge they do not take the Oracle earnestly.”
“Are you confident of this, Athron?”
“I am, Nimas. I am hoping you could converse with Omad, press him on the urgency. It will be a grave error if the Oracle is ignored.”
“Athron, I have taken heed. Nonetheless, I concur with Omad. The contract between our two nations is almost complete. I am certain you misread the interpretation.”
“Will not one heed me?” Athron shouted in dismay. “There will not be an alliance. Tis not the means. Since when has an Oracle been false?”
Nimas sighed. “Omad is the appointed one. He alone has planned for adjustments. If, as you state, it does not come to pass, I am certain Omad can resolve the issue. Athron, I am weary. I will rest, go you to the door.”
Nimas left the agitated Athron alone.
It was the first time the Oracles had been ignored and Athron felt as though he had shamed the name of Zenith. Perhaps he had not explained the meaning correctly.
Athron tried to reason with Omad repeatedly, only to no avail. The council had made up their mind to disregard the Oracle. They concurred that Athron, for the first time, had made an error in his interpretation.
***Now, as Omad waited for his princess' arrival, he regretted treating Athron disrespectfully. Should he have taken heed? Only it did not make sense. If the Tsinians' alliance with the Senxs did not result in peace, what was Thya's calling?
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