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|The Crow Maiden
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The Crow Maiden
Book 3: The Arcadia Series
(The Crow Maiden is a standalone story in the Arcadia Series)
She betrayed her goddess for him…
He betrayed her.
Plotting her revenge is her only solace. Until now.
Nahla is the Crow Maiden, an Arcadian, and once a priestess of
Artemis. Now she is a captive, a being who lives in the shadows
until her vile master the sorcerer-king Aramon summons her.
Another releases her from the Shadowlands, and while he
might be the champion she has waited for, the gods must be
playing a cruel joke. Her champion is crippled.
An Achaean lord who once ruled a great city, Balin is a broken
man. He has lost everything—his kingdom and his family.
Revenge consumes him. Although wary of the mysterious, cold-
eyed female who appears and claims he summoned her, she
may be his only hope to exact vengeance on the king who
ruined him, the same man Nahla seeks to destroy.
They are bound by revenge, and soon, both learn they are
bound by much more, but the secrets she hides might tear
them apart and ruin their only opportunity for vengeance—and
their chance to love again.
“Ms. Heckart draws the reader into the pages and enchants them with her
Karen McGill, Coffee Time Romance
Summoned from the Shadowlands, Nahla landed in a place of
encircling darkness. Rays of light too weak to pierce the black
shield glowed in the distance. Cold, damp air embraced her,
penetrating her clothing and draping her body like a heavy
Footsteps echoed all around. She struggled to come to her
senses, fighting disorientation. Seized by a wave of dizziness,
she steadied herself on the hard, rough ground beneath her
feet. The footsteps grew louder. They approached from the
direction of the faint light.
He was coming.
She staggered backward and banged into a hard wall. Her arms
extended, she moved to her right. Cold rock scraped her
knuckles. She lunged left and grimaced as another firm,
unforgiving surface stopped her other hand. Bound there by
more than the walls, she waited in the stygian blackness.
Brandishing a torch, her summoner appeared and came toward
her at a forceful pace. The fire blinded her, and she barely saw
the glint of metal flashing in front of her.
Before she could evade the thrusting weapon, a cold, heavy
blade touched her neck. The unfamiliar feel of a sharp blade
against her skin made her freeze out of instinct, not because
she was afraid of death. Nahla had already died once.
She waited for the weapon to slice through her flesh. A
foreboding prickle raised the fine hairs of her nape. Something
was different about this summoning. Her master would never
kill her. He would never be that kind to her and set her free.
The one who wielded the blade dropped the torch in order to
hold the weapon with both hands. The flaming light burned low
and sputtered behind him or her, though she sensed whoever
had brought her here was male by his leather, un-flowery scent
and by the strength he possessed holding the heavy, brutal
blade. Shadows concealing her summoner remained, and his
deep, ragged breaths spoke of anger and despair.
“Who are you? How did you get in here?” he asked, his voice
“You summoned me.” She remained guarded, the cold metal
still caressing her neck, but excitement fluttered in her
stomach at the significance of this unusual summoning.
The silence was palpable, broken only by his now heavy and
uneasy breathing. After a few moments, he growled, “If that is
so, then you are not what I asked for.”
Desperation, frustration, and anguish filled his voice. She was
in the true place. All she knew was death and misery and
“I came because I was summoned.”
“Just go away.” He removed the blade from her neck, picked
up the fallen, smoking torch, and retreated through the low,
narrow opening toward the beckoning glimmers of light from a
far away chamber.
She followed him and stepped forward toward the opening.
Another dim chamber filled with dust and cobwebs greeted her.
Glancing back at the black, unpleasantly cold space she’d
landed in, she suppressed a shudder and then ducked into the
other brighter, small chamber. Piles of dusty blankets, a war
shield, and dull-looking bronze plate armor filled one corner.
Nothing about the solemn room looked familiar to her. She
walked past uneven rock walls like the ones found in caves. An
earthy scent like that of dark, damp places permeated the air.
Caves were for creatures like her that roamed in the shadows,
the unseen realm between life and death, the place she called
the Land of Sorrows, not for humans that had no need of
This summoning wasn’t true. Only one man could call her forth
from the Shadowlands. Was she finally free of her tormentor?
No, the bond to her master remained, lingering like a loose
tether, but she also sensed she couldn’t travel too far from this
stranger. Did this unusual event have anything to do with her
constant yearning for the life that had been stolen from her?
She could reclaim all she’d lost if she found a champion to kill
her creator and master. It had seemed impossible.
Copyright Kelley Heckart 2016
Five stars! Fantastically enthralling
What an awesome book! Love, revenge and a
partnership between Nahla and Blain that will
suck you in & keep you flipping those pages. It
is complex & captivating and a definite must
Amazon review by Anita Hanekom
Five stars! Gods and their wars
An intense story of the gods and goddesses
using men and women to fight their wars. Nahla
and Balin have one thing in common, their
need for revenge against Aramon. Arc n has
enslaved Nahla and killed and destroyed all
that Balin cared about. But Artemis has put the
two together. He to a champion and her to heal
and train him.
Amazon review by Raina