Title: Maia and the Xifarian Conspiracy
Series: The Lightbound Saga #1
Author: S. G. Basu
Published: January 18th, 2014
Genre: YA Science Fiction Fantasy
Content Warning: Mild Violence
Recommended Age: 13+
Thirteen-year-old Maia sets out denying the existence of her turncoat mother and ends up finding out a truth that makes her wish her mother was just that–a treacherous double-crosser she could hate. Because sometimes, knowing a hero can be more terrifying than knowing a villain. And being part of a lofty cause can come at a terrible price.
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Three Cylopedes burst into the cave, blinding her with their blazing white lights. A trio of figures alighted from the crafts.
“We finally caught up with you,” Karhann roared.
“And look . . .” There was no mistaking Loriine’s lazy, pampered voice. “The gate is still open for taking.”
The third person did not speak, but Maia knew it was Yoome. The quiet girl had helped them once, but if anyone could help Maia now, it would have to be herself.
“I hope you’re not going to try to stop us,” Karhann said. “You see, there isn’t much point in you fighting all three of us.”
Maia gripped Bellator tightly by the hilt and pulled it out. She had to keep fighting to protect the entrance until the communicators worked again so she could call for help.
“The midget dares to challenge us,” Loriine sneered.
There was a raspy sound of weapons being drawn and cautious footfalls as her opponents stepped closer.
“Are we allowed to fight three to one?” Yoome spoke, forever the voice of hope.
No one replied. Maia tried hard to recall that code of honorable combat, and then figured that it did not matter anyway. For even if she did remember, this bunch was not going to listen to her when they chose to ignore Yoome’s question. She backed up against the half-closed gate, Bellator firmly clutched in her hands. As she stepped away from the glare of the headlights, she could see them more clearly. Loriine stood to the left holding a whip sword, its tip skimming the stone floor. Karhann stood next to Loriine holding a basket-hilt broadsword. On the right stood Yoome, both hands clasping a long, tapered pole that was studded all over with small spikes.
The first blow came from Loriine, surprising Maia a little. The whip sword lashed out like a dragon’s tongue and danced dangerously close to her left arm.
S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Books have been an important part of Ms. Basu’s life. Even before she had learned to read on her own, she spent hours wandering in the stories her mother read to her. Soon enough, she was weaving a tapestry of magical tales of her own. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books. She shares her home with a large collection of Legos, a patient husband, and resident inspiration and entertainer, her daughter.
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