Nonmagical people are being demonized and falsely blamed for Magnifico’s economic problems after Queen Vivian’s bloody rise to power. But politics very quickly becomes more than abstract views to argue when secret police wolves are deployed throughout the country to kill those born without magical abilities.
Seventeen-year-old Maximillian’s best friend Katherine is one such nonmagical person. In a bid to keep her safe, Maximillian turns to the queen’s estranged younger brother, a man thought to be dead until recently.
Prince Stefan is nineteen years old and has been in hiding from his family for years. He has no desire to resurface in the political world, but Maximillian must convince him that the country needs him before it is too late.
Title: In the Name of Magic
Series: In the Name of Magic, Book One
Author: Chris Bedell
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 22, 2018
Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex
Genre: Fantasy, new adult, Fantasy, Dystopian
In the Name of Magic
Chris Bedell © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Taylor laughed. “What are you talking about, buddy?”
I put my hands on my hips. “There was a man here. I think he was the prince. He dropped this when he left.”
I handed the locket to Taylor, and he examined it before passing it to Katherine and Raquel. Each looked to be trying to decide if this was a clue from the prince or some obsessed subject. They passed the locket back to me.
“Maximillian has a point. There’s an initial on the front and a photo of Queen Penny and King Dorian,” Raquel said.
Taylor tossed an arm over my shoulder. “Sorry we made you come with us. We should’ve been more sensitive, given what happened to your grandma.”
My lips quivered. “It’s a moot point.”
“I’m not so sure. Because I’m beginning to wonder why I came to the execution,” Katherine said.
Taylor narrowed his gaze at her. “I thought we weren’t going to argue.”
“I can’t help it if I have a different opinion than you,” Katherine said.
Taylor grimaced. “Do you think coming here was a mistake?”
Katherine nodded. “Yes, I do. In my opinion, Penny and Dorian didn’t deserve to die.”
“It had to be done,” Taylor said without taking a moment to think.
Raquel frowned at Taylor. “Don’t be so cavalier about death.”
Yup. Penny and Dorian’s beheadings were still cringeworthy even though the actual moment had passed. I couldn’t wrap my head around people committing violence against their parents. Though I couldn’t help wondering if Dorian and Penny had secretly done something horrible to Queen Vivian when she was a girl. Economic treason or greed didn’t provide enough motivation for the level of violence that matricide and patricide required.
“What’s done is done.” Taylor scuffed the toe of his shoe on the ground.
“Anyway, what did the man want, Maximillian?” Katherine asked.
I sighed. “He wanted to check on me. I was…a little upset when he saw me.”
Katherine pushed a lock of hair out of the way. “Do you think the man was Prince Stefan?”
“Yes. He didn’t look much older than me.”
“What are you going to do with the locket?” Taylor asked.
It was kind of funny how Taylor was taking such an interest in the locket/Prince Stefan-sighting situation. He was skeptical when I first mentioned it.
“I don’t know,” I said.
Katherine raised an eyebrow. “Do you want to go to Fang Manor and see if that’s the man that you met? It’s not like it’s on the other side of Magnifico.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
The wind whistled even louder, making us all shiver. Then, we continued staring at each other. Apparently, coming up with a plan was easier said than done.
“This could be a trap,” Taylor said.
Katherine shook her head. “Oh, please! Clumsiness isn’t the beginning of an international incident.”
“I’m not so sure,” said Taylor.
“You’re hesitant about everyone,” Katherine said.
Raquel shot me a gaze. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’m fine. But if it’s okay with you guys, I want to be alone for a while,” I said.
“That’s fine. I can catch a ride home with Taylor and Katherine.” Raquel paused for a beat. “That is if you two are okay with that?”
“Of course. Making an extra stop isn’t a big deal,” Taylor said.
After a quick hug from the girls and a shoulder bump from Taylor, they walked away without another word, and I was soon alone.
My gaze returned to the locket while I bit at my lip. If the locket was Prince Stefan’s, then that meant his parents had just died. So, yeah. I had sympathy for the guy. My grandmother’s gruesome death remained etched in my mind despite how the event happened years earlier.
My previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Pidgeonholes Magazine, Abbreviate Journal, Short-Story.me, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Chicago Literati, The Vignette Review, Teleport Magazine, Entropy Magazine, Inklette Magazine, Sprout Magazine, and The Drunken Odyssey. I’m also a contributing blog writer to Moledro Magazine and YAtopia. I graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in May of 2016.