Sacred Bloodlines

the lost years

The Lost Years (book 4)

by Wendy Owens

Gabe’s world was forever altered by the people he came to know and love at Rampart Manor. Although, it wasn’t only his life that was changed when he made the choice to leave them all behind.

During his five year absence, they each had a battle with personal demons. Dina is faced with a moral dilemma, the path of good leading to certain heartbreak, or evil, and a possibility of happiness.

Uri meets a mysterious woman who seems to have a lot of the answers that he has been searching for, and she certainly has a place in his heart, if he can only hold onto her.

Sophie is faced with choices she never knew would be so difficult. The question now is: will the personal demons of the remaining Guardians of Rampart be too much for them to overcome?

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excerpt

Running forward into the smoke, a hundred yards in, their weapons were met with a clash of steel and tearing flesh. The demons burst into fluttering piles of ash and flame as their swords sliced through them. Confidently, the men bounded further into the battlefield.

The earth began to shake and tremble beneath their feet. Uri thought perhaps it was an earth quake until he heard his friend’s voice.

“You have got to be kidding me!” Haim groaned.

“What is it?” Uri called back, squinting as the smoke stung his eyes.

“They have a hydra!”

“Huh?” Uri gasped in disbelief. Taking a step closer in Haim’s direction, he peered into the distance, trying to make out the dark figure that loomed above them. As the air began to glow orange, Uri soon realized that what he saw were the flames coming from one of the beast’s five heads.

“Oh, shit!” Uri cried.

“What do we do?” Haim asked, his brutish tactics no match for a hydra.

“This is the stuff Sophie’s good at, damn it!” Uri grumbled. “Just kill as many of them as you can. Love you, brother!”

With those final words, Uri pushed deeper into the mob of demons. It was hard to determine where one monster ended and the next began. Their eyes glowed, their teeth gnashed, hungry for flesh. It only took a moment for Uri to be lost in the sea of unholiness, losing any sight of his friend.

Uri took stock of his situation. Circling above his head was an alp, a trail of smoke streaming behind it. Alp’s were known for haunting one with nightmares. Uri knew he had to keep his guard up and not allow the creature into his thoughts. A bajang was creeping closer to his left. Its feline features did nothing to soften the glare of its exposed fangs. He knew, given the chance, the bajang would suck every last drop of blood from his body. Behind the bajang was a cluster of cambion, their skin blue in color, their skeletal-like frames shaking as they screeched a high-pitched battle cry. A cambion was the offspring of a human and succubus; they had always turned Uri’s stomach.

To Uri’s right were three goblins; their skin was a putrid green, which appeared to always be secreting a slimy fluid of some kind. The goblins clutched their daggers tight, cackling as they prepared to attack. Directly in front of him stood a rokurokubi, which caused Uri to do a double take, at first thinking perhaps Baal had recruited a human.

The male foe was the first to attack, running towards Uri and swinging wildly. As Uri brought his green, glowing blade towards the man’s throat, he was surprised to see its neck flex backwards and to the side, growing at least six feet in length. The being laughed at Uri’s failed attempt to slice its jugular. Uri quickly realized he was not dealing with a human. Instead, he had come face to face with a being he had only ever read about in books. A rokurokubi by all appearances was merely a human, a character trait that allows them to blend into society on Earth. They have an amazing ability to extend their necks to unnatural lengths, a handy trick they use to spy on the humans and report back to their demon masters.

Uri stumbled, careful to avoid the swiping blades of the goblins. After assessing the dangers, Uri was prepared to destroy the ravenous cluster of demons, and they were all prepared to do the same to him. Lunging forward at the rokurokubi, this time Uri was prepared for his evasive maneuvers. He watched as its neck stretched, the shades of its flesh turning an eerie white as it did. Uri was not trying to slash again at the man’s throat; instead he had his aim focused on the creature’s chest. Pushing his blade forward, the heel of his hand thrusting at the butt of it mightily, Uri knew exactly where to penetrate to slide between the ribs. Slicing into his chest with great precision, Uri pulled the blade back out and brought it to rest at his side. His movements had been too quick for the rokurokubi to see.

Thinking the Guardian had foolishly missed again, he started to laugh, but instead of laughter exiting his mouth, there was simply a gurgle. The monster’s blood had already begun to seep into the lung Uri had sliced. Rather than wait for the being to die the slow and agonizing death it deserved, Uri stood and swiped at it’s now exposed, lengthened throat. Cutting clean through, a spurt erupted from the beheaded neck before the body fell to the ground with a thud. At the sight of the fallen demon, the cambion increased the intensity of their shrieking. Uri fought the urge to cover his ears.

Looking in their direction, a glare in Uri’s eyes caused them to hiss as they coward briefly. He was prepared to put an end to them, but the bajang had other plans. The creature moved as though he were floating. He swiped at Uri’s chest, and though he missed his target, his claws managed to grab a piece of Uri’s arm as he pulled away. Uri winced, the wound only angering him.

The goblins were too hungry for Uri’s flesh to resist the fight any longer. Seeing their opportunity after Uri was injured, the three moved in for their attack. Sensing the blade as it sliced through the air, Uri fell to the ground under its reach. In only a moment, he was back on his feet; it was as though his injury did not faze him. The goblins growled with fury at the failed attempt.

“He’s mine!” the bajang shouted furiously at the goblins. They hissed and howled in contempt at the command, but it was clear who ranked higher as the threesome backed away. Their attention was quickly refocused on a group of freshman guardians that were fleeing.

“Run!” Uri bellowed as he saw the beings give chase, unable to shift his attention away from the bajang.

“Are you ready to die, Guardian?” the creature proposed.

“Not today. But you’re about to meet the end,” Uri replied, his arm finally beginning to sting from the scratch.

“The Guardian is going to die, he’s going to die— yesss— he’s going to die,” the cambions taunted from behind the bajang.

“Will you shut up already!” Uri shouted back as he dodged another attempt from the bajang. “If anyone wanted your opinion, they would ask.”

The cambions cry reached a feverish pitch in response to Uri’s words. The bajang didn’t hesitate to move in, piercing Uri’s side with its claws. The shallow wound was not life threatening but painful enough.

“Damn it!” Uri growled, climbing back to his feet.

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We received a copy of this book in exchange for our honest reviews.

mikesreview

We’re four books into a series now, so while as always I’m going to give as spoiler-free of a review of this current book, all bets are off for anything from the previous ones. So if you’re not caught up.. Go away! Turn back! Save yourself before it’s too late! (In all honesty I don’t know if I will spill anything, but this way I’m covered)

Somehow this is the shortest book in the series by almost half, and it took me longer than any of them to read! I think I was just savoring it because it was a treasure trove of information about the entire rest of the series.

From the excerpt I expected for Uri and Sophie to also have a big chunk of the story focused on them but The Lost Years is primarily Dina’s (and Raimie too) story. Never fear though! What we don’t get in quantity, we get in quality as some doozies get tossed out for us in regards to Sophie and Uri(What’s with Seraphina??). Poor Haim reminds me of Ving Rhames, always the muscle in the background but never getting the spotlight. Dina gets the bulk of this book though with a heartbreaking tale of all the wrong decisions for all the right reasons.

“I’m hungry,” he moaned. “I know, baby, I know.”

We also get some more peeks of the sketchy workings of the Council and I can’t help but wonder how much of a hand they had in what happened at Rampart. We’re treated to  a wonderful look at the human side of Michael (If only he and Gabe shared something like this back in book one!).

I think one of the year 1 classes should be ethics though, because there are a lot of liar liars with their pants on fire up in The Guardians! See if you can spot the ginormous whopper! No, not that one. The other one!

The best thing about this book is that it put the final pieces into a lot of puzzles from the previous three books that really help put things into perspective. We get to catch up with everyone and  how they got to where they are from book three, before we take off into book five!

jensreviewI have enjoyed this book, as I had the others. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book is that it filled us in on what happened with Uri, Sophie, Dina, Raimie, and the others during their separation from Gabe. As I was reading I kept thinking, I wish this one had been the third book, because I was concerned how it ended would not really tie into the 5th book.I also enjoyed the lack of Gabe in this one. Don’t get me wrong. I do not dislike Gabe. I have just been very frustrated with him. So I enjoyed seeing the focus of the story on the others characters.I was pleased that the final chapter took us back into the point in time with Gabe and his friends where at at the end of The Prophecy, that would  tie together and not feel an abrupt between this book and the 5th one.This one is my favorite out of all the books in the series.

AboutTheAuthor
wendy owens

Wendy Owens was raised in the small college town of Oxford, Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went on to a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork, she gave her first love, writing, a try.

Since 2011, she has published a young adult paranormal series, The Guardians, which will contain five books total, as well as a novella.

Wendy now happily spends her days writing—her loving dachshund, Piper, curled up at her feet. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she loves to call home: Cincinnati, OH.

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