Heroes of Havensong: The Last Ice Phoenix is a part of the Heroes of Havensong collection.
Follow the threads of the Fates into the captivating sequel in the timeless fantasy series about four unlikely heroes bound together to save their world—and magic itself.
Blue, River, Shenli, and Wren are still reeling from the discovery that they are the four heroes foretold to save their world. The weight of their destiny and the expectations that come with it is a heavy burden, but when danger once again finds them and the people they love, there's no choice but to act.
Shenli and Wren both remain outsiders—one as a prisoner tired of being a pawn and the other banished from the home she fought to save. Meanwhile, Blue and River face a quest for a mythical creature that will take them beyond the world they know—with the fate of the Meraki people hanging in the balance. Although they just found one another, the four heroes are once again scattered across Haven—all facing new journeys, impossible choices and shocking truths. As their world prepares for war, will they be able to unravel what the Fates have in store for them and find their own path?
“A powerful cast of characters in an epic tale of dragons and magic.” —Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds
An Excerpt fromHeroes of Havensong: The Last Ice Phoenix
In Which a Dragonboy Stirs
Several weeks after the Fourth War, as the world carried on around him, Blue the dragon continued to slumber in a fretful sleep.
He dreamed his memories in a loop: Mainlander soldiers pouring out of their ships like a swarm of locusts as the Meraki children and dragons fell into a deep coma brought about by Chancellor Cudek’s terrible dreamshade gas. The chancellor attacking Wren with his Magic—just as Shenli threw himself in the way. Cudek burning up the sacred Offering Tree before disappearing—and taking Wren’s Magic with him.
Most of all, Blue remembered trying to wake the other dragons through their dreams. He’d done his best—calling on the strange golden thread for help—but instead he’d been swallowed up in his own darkness.
And there he still lingered, in the space between dreams and awake.
Sometimes he could hear voices. He was sure it was River and Wren, but he could never speak to them. He couldn’t even move. Other times, he dreamed of older memories. Of his favorite horse, Cedar, and his human life as a stable boy. The sound of sparrows chirping from their nests in the rafters. The smell of hay as he settled down into his straw bed next to Cedar’s stall. Even in his dreams, he could feel the calluses on his hands from a lifetime of brushing horses and shoveling hay.
He missed that life desperately.
And then there was his oldest memory, a kind face with two eyes, blue as the sea, gazing down on him.
His mother’s eyes.
The mother he’d never known.
As the days drifted on, something peculiar happened. The dreams continued on a loop, only this time flowers appeared everywhere. No matter what the dream, the ground became littered with small white five-petaled blooms until they covered the earth. And slowly, their white petals were turning red. Every so often, a wisp of periwinkle cloud would float by. Then the sky would open up and pour down pink rain, smelling of pine and lavender, and the flowers would die.
But then they always grew back a hundredfold.
And something nagged at dream-Blue. Something about the strange flowers that seemed . . . wrong. Dreadful. Dangerous. This wrongness pressed up against him with great urgency. He knew he should tell someone, only he couldn’t seem to wake.
Then, on the twenty-first day after the Fourth War, Blue the dragon stirred. Just a slight twitching of his left ear. Only no one was around to notice. So the small dragon slept fitfully, on the hill where the charred remains of the Offering Tree stood.
A hill that was now covered with white five-petaled flowers.
In Which There Is a Man Called Wolf
On the other side of the Northern Realm, at the heart of the Mainland, Chancellor Cudek’s castle stood soundlessly against the soft moonlight. Two dragons, Orsis the Silver and Avaros the Orange, sat on either side of the castle’s perimeter, their ears perked with great diligence. Ever since the Mainland chancellor had used dreamshade to make all the dragons fall asleep, the firebreathers had been furious. After Cudek’s swift victory against the magic folk of Meraki Island a month prior, the seven dragons stationed on the Mainland now kept extra-attentive eyes on the chancellor and his goings-on. The only thing compelling them to give Cudek a respectable distance—as opposed to setting him and his military fleet ships aflame as retribution—was that he still held all fourteen Mainland Dragon Riders, and their Magic companions, deep within his royal dungeons. Indeed, it was an effective motivator to keep the dragons in line.
As it happened, not so far from the Rider-occupied dungeons, there lay . . . a secret. Buried deep underground was a large chamber, containing the chancellor’s secret workshop. The spacious room was shaped like a tall cylinder, outfitted completely in stone, topped by a wide skylight. On one side of the workshop sat two large tables covered with scrolls, gemstones, and an assortment of potted plants. At the room’s center was a large atrium. Lush, exotic vegetation filled the space, and at the very heart of it all was a tree.
Well, half a tree, more like.
With its charred, scraggly branches, it looked as if it had been cut clean down the middle with a giant’s ax. And it was under this sad half tree that a man called Wolf sat with crisscrossed legs, one tawny hand pressed against the cold blackened trunk.
It was said the man had gotten his name because, in the same way a wolf could hunt down any prey, this Wolf could track down any magical plant or creature ever to have existed. Some considered Wolf to be a Healer. Others believed him to be a scientist. And a fair few, like the chancellor, believed Wolf to be a dangerous criminal.
“Goddess Akkala, what did he do to you?” Wolf whispered, patting the trunk as the ache in his chest swelled. Indeed the Goddess surely wept at the sight of what had become of the sacred tree. He’d heard how Cudek had managed to steal part of the Offering Tree—the prison guards liked their gossip, after all. Apparently, in Cudek’s attempt to transport the tree from Meraki Island, he’d been thwarted by a group of children and was thus forced to flee with only half of the magical tree in tow. Cudek had replanted the roots in his workshop garden, but his efforts had proved fruitless. The tree was clearly dead. Not an ounce of magic pulsed from inside it, Wolf was certain.
Just then, a low creaking sound broke the silence, and the enormous door swung open. The silhouette of the chancellor took shape in the doorway, the torchlight from the hallway behind him throwing strange shadows off the man’s pale, angular face. He looked as regal as ever with his impeccably tidy goatee and golden hair parted neatly to the side. His slim-fit navy frock boasted a row of silver buttons, and the breast pocket held a pearly pocket square to match.
Wolf nearly rolled his eyes. The number of hours Cudek spent on his physical appearance had always disgusted Wolf to no end.
Following Cudek was an older man with bright amber eyes and silver hair pulled back in a ponytail. His plum-colored vest looked faded underneath his gray hooded robe. An unknowing onlooker might conclude the old man was as feeble as his worn-out clothing, but Wolf knew better. This man was dangerous. He was a Meraki Mage. At the sight of him, Wolf stood to attention. He hadn’t seen the old Mage in centuries, and none of those ancient memories were good ones.
“Pleasure to see you again,” said the Mage, a smug grin pulling on his tan, weathered face.
“Can’t say the same, Symerus,” Wolf grunted.
The Mage laughed, shaking his head. “You haven’t changed.”
“Thank you for meeting me here,” said Cudek, addressing Wolf. The corner of the chancellor’s mouth twitched upward like he was holding in a joke. Because of course, he was. There had been no choice for Wolf in this late-night gathering. Wolf had been deep in a pleasant dream about a honey-glazed-salmon dinner when six guards had barged into his cell and dragged him here. But Wolf wasn’t going to give Cudek the satisfaction of seeing his frustration.
“I was starting to think you’d forgotten about me, Chancellor.” Wolf smiled at his own words. Cudek Zorean never forgot. Not anything. Not for a moment.
“Oh, don’t be dramatic,” Cudek scoffed, gesturing to the Mage. “Symerus and I have merely been busy.”
Wolf’s gaze flicked to the small cloud of crimson smoke hovering at the chancellor’s shoulder, and a pang of fury surged through him.
“Is he treating you okay?” asked Wolf.
The Magic flattened, letting out a low whimper.
Wolf clenched his fists. “Cudek, if I find out you’ve broken our agreement—”
Cudek started to respond, but Symerus waved a dismissive hand between the two younger men. “Your concerns would really be better spent elsewhere, Healer,” said the old Mage to Wolf. “Or are you fancied as a scientist nowadays? Or perhaps a scholar? One can hardly keep up. To me you will always only be”—he narrowed his shining yellow eyes—“a devious wolf.”
Wolf shivered at the nickname. He hated it. But with everything he’d done these past few years, it was almost easier to pretend he was someone else. A new name to disconnect from the man he used to be. Still, he stuffed his long-simmering fury down in his gut. Losing his temper now would only make things worse. Instead, he tried a different tactic: getting under the chancellor’s skin.
“I heard you were ill,” Wolf told Cudek. If there was one thing Cudek Zorean loathed, it was appearing weak.
Cudek shrugged, giving an air of nonchalance. “After magically cloaking a fleet of ships across the Forbidden Pass and obtaining the Meraki tree, I admit, my energy was . . . somewhat depleted for a while.”
“I heard you nearly died,” said Wolf.
The chancellor furrowed his brow. “Surely you’re not fool enough to believe the petty gossip of prison guards.”
Wolf smiled at the swell of redness on the chancellor’s cheeks. There were new wrinkle lines drawn across Cudek’s forehead and under his eyes. His age was starting to finally show, then. In fact, age was a secret the men had long held between them. While both Cudek and Wolf looked to be in their early forties, they were both much, much older.
“All of your efforts were wasted.” Wolf laid a hand on the Offering Tree. “All that villainous work for a dead tree.”