This novel was a bit of a surprise, for me. It began as an idea for a YA novel, about a teenager in high school who has a secret to keep. The idea was originally to follow the MC through high school, navigating his social life, a secret crush on a fellow student, and a secret home life of being a warlock with powers he can’t reveal to his crush. I thought I might make it really interesting, with a teacher-student relationship, between the MC and his magic-mentor.
However, I was in the middle of a reading and writing stint, when I had this sudden inspiration for a new twist on the plot. Over two days, I rewrote the entire plot. When I came to start writing it, I was in a much darker mood than I’d originally intended. In fact, on page one, I killed every character but one. Then I let the story lead me. I had barely 7 pages of notes, when I started writing, but after two weeks, those 7 pages turned into 150k of words, in my longest novel to date.
The Chosen One. Necromancer. Dangerous.
Titles storm was given at birth. The prophesy child. The weapon that would save the world.
At barely eighteen, he failed. Losing everyone he’d ever loved. Massacring the last powerful coven in revenge. Forever haunted by all he saw and did that night.
Sole survivor. Murderer. Rogue.
Titles Storm embraced as he abandoned the world that betrayed him. But no one can hide forever. After fourteen years, he has the chance to go back. To undo it all. To go back to before he lost everything and fulfill the prophesy.
Lies. Secrets. Danger.
What awaits Storm is a life he never lived; a life he never could have imagined. One deviation changes everything, and he’ll discover that not everyone is what they seem. And not everyone can be trusted.
With the help of old friends and new, instincts bred from suspicion, and magic beyond his understanding, Storm is going to play a game of cat and mouse with time itself, and fight to save all those boys who didn’t love him…and discover that the one boy who did love him was never even on his radar.
Prologue: The Day That Innocence Died
December 23rd, 2018
The minute Ithen fell, he knew it was the end.
Not because everyone he’d ever cared about was dead. Not even because they were beaten, and surrender wasn’t an option. It was because Storm had nothing left. Nothing left to fight for, nothing left to lose.
Everything was gone.
Well, if the world had gone to hell already, it wouldn’t matter if Storm burned it to the ground.
Gathering both hands to his middle, he cupped them and twisted his wrists, gathering all the energy he could from the oncoming storm brewing ten miles away. The lightning would add a zap of heat and fire to the spell he twisted between his hands, while the thunder would cause an explosive effect that would spread beyond the main target. The one who had killed Ithen: Cesa Copry.
Storm thought about all that had been, that should have been, and that was, as he created the curse. About how he’d been the ‘chosen one’ of his people; that his coming was prophesied long before his birth. That he was the one who was supposed to save the supernatural world lurking beneath the veneer of the human world.
He thought about how his training had gone to hell almost the minute he turned eighteen and he came into the full force of his powers. How Ithen had tried to train him well, to help him control everything that was lurking beneath the surface, so that he could use it wisely and without incident. How he’d done everything asked of him since he was born, since he became the prophesy that was Storm Tera, saviour of the magical world.
Until Denver fell, within two weeks of his first success.
Storm had been so sure that he was doing everything expected of him, that he was fulfilling the prophesy as he was meant to, saving the world of witches and mages that he’d been born to from ultimate destruction.
But the minute Denver was captured by the Copry coven, Storm lost control. He could almost see the tides turning, see the impending loss ahead. A piece of his heart had belonged to Denver since he was a child, learning to love him as they grew up together, and never having the courage to tell him. Then he’d been killed and Storm would never know if his feelings could ever be returned.
No one was supposed to die at seventeen. It just wasn’t fair. Denver had barely lived his life.
Then weeks passed and Foley proved that his heart could still be broken. When he died – the unobtainable jock who had been his first adult crush, his first unrequited love of his teen years, the first he-doesn’t-even-know-I-exist heartache – Storm’s heart shattered into pieces.
Losing Ithen was the last straw. The step too far. The one crack too many, that caused the inevitable implosion of his heart into a million pieces.
Storm wouldn’t lose anyone else. Everyone was counting on him to manage some miracle, to solve this peacefully. They expected him to let Cesa Copry live; to forget that it was he who started all this, by crafting an amulet that boosted his family’s power nearly tenfold. Sure, the man had lost his son early in this war, but that was his own doing. Rowan had wanted no part in this fight; something he proved in spades when he stepped in front of his father’s curse to save Storm’s life.
Killing Cesa would be for Rowan, too. For Foley, the crush he’d never see again. For Denver, the best friend who died too young. For Ithen, the only man he’d ever cared for who showed an ounce of emotion in return.
Maybe a little part of Storm’s revenge would be for the witches and mages who had pinned their hopes on the prophesy, too. The humans who would face subjugation if he allowed the Copry coven to win this battle. But mostly it was for those innocents who had lost their lives too early, who hadn’t asked to be part of this, who hadn’t been able to defend themselves. The people who were truly innocent.
The covens were not innocent. For too long, the Copry coven had been allowed to exist on the fringes of their world, unchecked, operating outside of the circle’s guidance. They never showed up for the celebrations, choosing to remain in their woods and their isolated mansions where they chose to hide from other witches and mages.
Storm was the only one who had his eyes open about them. No one had believed him, had seen the danger. Now it was too late.
The war was lost. He knew that and had known it for hours. Neither side would win this war, not after the losses to both sides and how it had crippled their most valuable assets. They were fighting a losing battle all along, no matter what the Fates said in their stupid prophesy. Witches against witches; mages against mages. It was a battle of magic versus magic and Storm wasn’t strong enough to be the prophesied saviour.
If he’d been more accomplished, had more time, had become better at wielding the weapon that was his power, maybe things would have been different, maybe he could still win the war. Maybe he could make the sacrifices he’d suffered along the way worth it. Maybe he could make the family he’d never known proud.
But that was gone now. All he could do was settle the score, get his revenge, and get the Hell out of Dodge.
Closing his eyes, he sealed the spell in place, surrounding the fire that he’d gathered in his hands. He whispered his purpose in his thoughts, knowing it would bend to his will as it had his entire life. Once it was ready, he opened his hands and allowed the ball of fire magic to spin free. It knew what to do.
Turning his back, Storm squared his shoulders and ignored the sight of the dead friends, family, coven members, and those his heart had once craved, as he walked away. In the distance behind him, his magic sailed twelve feet to the very heart of the Copry coven, cowering behind a ruin wall that had protected them from the fight. It wouldn’t protect them from his hatred.
One step – the magic sailed through the air, selecting its targets. Another step – it located the head of the coven, Cesa. A twig snapped beneath his trainer – someone screamed, and shouts filled the night as the coven tried to erect a protective barrier against the magic hurtling towards them.
Storm tugged up the collar of his polo neck shirt and thrust his hands into his jacket pockets. He heard the crack of fire and magic colliding into the solid stone of the wall that protected the coven. He smelled the burnt copper that almost drowned out the sound of screaming, as the spell landed exactly where it had been told to. His skin prickled with awareness of the loss, the death, the murder, of what he’d done.
He let none of it affect him, as he continued walking. The Chosen One was done. He had sacrificed everything. Everyone. Anything at all that had mattered in his life was gone, as much ashes burning the back of his throat as the entire Copry coven now were, left to rot in their pathetic trench of cowardice.
With a scoff, he looked down as he felt something against his hand. It was only as he removed the packet of cigarettes that he realised he’d picked up the wrong jacket when he left the house. Ithen had been the smoker, not himself.
The last year had made him accustomed to the smell. One that he’d never smell again.
Digging into the other pocket, he found the lighter, pulled out a cigarette, and lit up his first ever smoke as he walked away from the biggest massacre of his life. With not a single regret over his first murder.
Choking on his first inhale, Storm scrunched his nose and wondered what the Fates were thinking, looking down on him. “The Chosen One,” he sniffed in disdain and experimentally held the cigarette between to fingers to watch the fire burn. “What a joke.”