The Talon Saga
Excerpt from book:
I stood before a silent, watchful table, six pairs of eyes on me, keen gazes ranging from suspicious to appraising as we waited for the charges to be declared. Men in uniforms of black and gray, with the emblem of the Ordera red cross on a white shielddisplayed proudly on their jackets. Their harsh, lined faces reflected a lifetime of war and struggle. Some I knew only by reputation. Others I had trained under, fought for, followed commands from without a second thought. Lieutenant Gabriel Martin sat at one end of the table, his black eyes and blank expression giving nothing away. I'd known him nearly my whole life; he had molded me into what I was today. The Perfect Soldier, as my squad mates had taken to calling me. A nickname I'd picked up during the relatively short time I'd been fighting. Prodigy was another word that had been tossed around over the years, and lucky son of a bitch, if they were feeling less generous. I owed most of my success to Lieutenant Martin, for recognizing something in a quiet, somber orphan and pushing him to try harder, to do more. To rise above everyone else. So I had. I'd killed more enemies of the Order than anyone else my age, and the number would've been much higher had the unexpected not occurred this summer. Regardless of my situation, I had been one of the best, and I had Martin to thank for that.
But the man sitting across the table was a stranger, an impassive judge. He, along with the rest of the men seated there in a row, would decide my fate tonight.
The room in which I stood was small but Spartan, with tile floors, harsh overhead lights, low ceilings and walls with no windows. Normally it was used for debriefings or the occasional meeting, and the long table usually sat in the center surrounded by chairs. Except for the main headquarters in London, Order chapterhouses did not have designated courtrooms. While disorderly conduct among soldiers was expected from time to time, and desertion sometimes reared its ugly head, full-blown treason was unheard of. Loyalty to the cause was something every soldier of St. George understood. To betray the Order was to betray everything.
The man in the very center of the row straightened, eyeing me over the polished wood. His name was John Fischer, and he was a respected captain of the Order and a hero in the field. The left side of his face was a mass of burn scars and puckered flesh, and he wore them like a medal of honor. His steely expression didn't change as he folded his equally scarred hands in front of him and raised his voice.
"Garret Xavier Sebastian." He barked my full name, and the room instantly fell silent. The trial was officially under way. "For disobeying a direct order," Fischer continued, "attacking a squad mate, fraternizing with the enemy and allowing three known hostiles to escape, you are accused of high treason against the Order of St. George." His sharp blue eyes fixed on me, hard and unyielding. "Do you understand the charges brought against you?"
"Very well." He looked at the men sitting in chairs along the far wall behind me, and nodded. "Then we will commence. Tristan St. Anthony, step forward."
There was a squeak as a body rose from a chair, then quiet footsteps clicked across the floor as my former partner came to stand a few feet from my side.
I didn't look at him. I stared straight ahead, hands behind my back, as he did the same. But I could see him in my peripheral vision, a tall, lean soldier several years older than me, his dark hair cropped close. His perpetual smirk had been replaced with a grim line, and his blue eyes were solemn as he faced the table.
"Please inform the court, to the best of your aEmber Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed herGarret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.
Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.
A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day
or start an all-out war?