The Wise One
by K.T. Anglehart
(The Scottish Scrolls, #1)
Publication date: October 28th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Mckenna’s never thought much of her nightmares, but on her seventeenth birthday, a vivid dream of burning at the stake awakens her dormant abilities, thrusting her into a world where faeries are real, spirits hold a grudge, and a High Priestess obsessed with a 16th-century prophecy is tracking her every move.
Now, her overprotective dads, Seán and Andre, are forced to tell her the truth—they know who her birth mother is, and her life is not the surrogate story she’s always been told. Abigail, Mckenna’s mom, is some sort of mystic, and Mckenna a Wise One.
Whatever the hell that means.
With the help of a persistent little wren and company of a newfound friend, Mckenna journeys to Ireland in search of her mother and real answers. Along the way, she learns to harness her innate magic and trust her intuition, as best she can anyway—Cillian, a kind and passionate delegate who crosses her path, is proving much harder to read.
Only her mother could truly help her halt her ill fate and prepare her for what’s to come . . . before she gives in to the darkness she knows is buried deep within.
Bruised and battered, the young woman was dragged through the screaming, unruly mob. Her wrists were bound behind her by a rope as thick as the noose she now faced.
“Buidseach! Buidseach!” Witch. Witch.
She halted in front of the noose, unperturbed, for she knew her death would end swiftly. The man who held the end of her rope looked from her calm expression to the noose, and let out a shrill laugh.
“A quick snap of the neck, aye, Bessie girl? You don’t think you’re getting off that easy, do you? Nah, that there isn’t for your kind.”
The ugly man, towering and troll-like, hauled her further on like a rag doll, finally leading her to a pit loaded with broken wood fragments, branches, and logs.
She was going to be burned alive.
In that instant, her body trembled with the fear she had been trying so desperately to conceal. Of dying, no—she knew this life would not be her last, and she was ready to part ways with this physical body. But she would be lying to herself if she said she hadn’t been hoping for a less painful demise.
He tightened the rope from her wrists around the wood banister that stood erect in the centre of the pit, then secured more rope round her ankles. “Spill your guts, now or never, buidseach,” he spat.
The woman scanned the crowd. Foolish, blind, she thought. They had no idea what would become of their Earth. No, she did not regret her actions. And if she had to burn for them, then so be it.
She held her chin up and addressed the spectators. Her voice was steady, knowing. “There will come a day when your fate shall depend upon a witch such as me—and you will beg for mercy.” The crowd cackled and spat back, simultaneously enraged and amused. But no one laughed louder than the troll-man. “Devil-worshipping hag.”
He lowered his torch to the base of the pit, and the flames caught quickly. She watched them crawl towards her boots, but her eyes were forced shut by the rising smoke. In an instant, beads of sweat leaked like rain on her forehead, and her lungs swelled to twice their size.
Just when she hoped she might pass out from the heat, the flames grew larger, now licking the base of her legs. What followed was an acute, unfathomable pain. The flames travelled higher, higher, until they enveloped the lower half of her body—and she could no longer bear the sheer agony of her skin melting away.
Katrina Tortorici Anglehart is a born and bred Italian-Canadian from Montreal. A devoted academic, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism; a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting; and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. After dabbling in TV writing and working as a digital marketing content manager, she left the nine to five to launch her freelance editing and coaching career. Today, she relishes in helping aspiring authors to develop and refine their stories.
Besides English, Katrina speaks French, Italian, and Spanglish. When she’s not writing, diving into magical reads, or Netflixing, she’s travelling with her favourite human–her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, Andy–and obsessing over her pet bunny, Magic, and newly rescued pup, Nessie. Katrina currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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