Ddaera, the planet the Founders from Earth call New Eden, changes all she touches, including Mei Lin, the studious daughter of a Founding Family, Silence, a sentient snow cat, and Jaxon, a man displaced by space and time. Can these three find common ground in order to save Ddaera and the people they have sworn to protect?
Through Ddaera’s Touch, the third book in USA Today bestselling author Locke’s Caelestis Series, is an exciting action-adventure novel that tells the story of the emergence of a Resistance Movement that begins to unite disaffected New Eden citizens, the native Ddaerans, and the Reachers, new arrivals from Earth, against the Founding Families of New Eden.
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Gynfrinach Valley, Mynyddeira Mountains Caelestis, New Eden April 21, 167 AA
Silence stretched and took a long sniff of the wind that was coming up from the valley, clearing out the smell of men and metal accumulated over hours spent in a flying machine. Despite being forced to sit still over the long trip, she was glad to discover that she could no longer feel any discomfort where the arrow had pierced her neck.
The flying machine set down at the same place that the Evil One, with the beaked-nosed man and the local man who smelled wrong, had landed. Silence walked slowly around the clearing, checking the scents and examining the faint footprints of those men and their machine, seeing no evidence they had been back.
As Silence stopped to look again across the valley, the sun finally appeared above the mountains behind her, warming her back and lighting up a distant craggy peak to the west. She wanted to get going. She was to lead Red and the girl Mei Lin Yu along the canyon path to where she last saw the Evil One and his companions.
Silence was gratified that the girl felt the same way about the Evil One, that he was out to hurt New Eden, or Ddaera, as the people who-were-here-before called their home. A hard and brave thing, Silence thought, to accept that about one’s brother. She was also pleased that Red finally agreed to work with the old grandfather and the girl to protect Ddaera from the Evil One.
Using her tracking skills to find traces of this man and those he commanded was something she could do easily, and she didn’t understand why Red had been so hesitant to help. Silly Boy! The Evil One threatened their own peace just as he threatened the peace of the girl and her people. Combining their prides for the sake of the hunt made sense. In return, in seven sunrises, she and Red would be able to head for home.
* * *
I watched as the snowcat Silence turned to look out over Gynfrinach Valley towards Dayang Peak, and I didn’t need my telepathic abilities to tell how pleased the hybrid cat was to be here. The word home filled the big cat’s mind, reinforcing my belief that Jaxon and his team’s base camp was more than a temporary shelter and that it was located somewhere in this valley or on that peak.
I needed to get Jaxon to admit this to me, so we could move forward in building trust between us. Whether he liked it or not, if he and his people lived in this region, they were under the authority of my great-grandmother because Hen Nain, as the native Ddaerans called her, ruled the entire western province of Caelestis.
In addition, as Hen Nain’s heir, I was responsible for making sure that Jaxon and his people did not pose a threat to the native Ddaerans in the province. In time, I hoped he would come to believe I was looking out for him and those who followed him as well.
I wasn’t familiar with this far-eastern section of the province or this specific valley, hidden away as it was on the opposite of the Mynyddeira Mountains from Mynyddamore, my ancestral home above the Sapphire Sea. Nevertheless, only a week ago, I’d been only eighty kilometers to the southwest of this spot—as the result of being kidnapped as I flew back from New Hong Kong to Mynyddamore.