When three strangers are brought together by the discovery of a common enemy, they must fight to keep the magic of the Phoenix out of dangerous hands before their world is destroyed forever. The Three must learn to unite in spite of what separates them, and unlock the magic of three stones that seem to harm as much as they help. But uniting will not be easy for Nicolai, the simple peasant with a powerful secret; Marcellus, the warrior prince who’s no longer heir to the throne; and Corren, a gifted wizard whose ambitions threaten to ruin them all. Full of magic, mystery, and a touch of romance, Gift of the Phoenix is an epic fantasy that takes the reader deep into the heart of a wondrous world and the three men destined to defend it.
Praise for Gift of the Phoenix
“An incredibly impressive book that grips you from the very start. There is plenty of action in the story, some wonderful characters and magical, atmospheric settings. Donna has created a fascinating realm in this story which, even if you don’t consider yourself a fantasy fan, you’ll definitely enjoy.” – Excerpt of Stephanie Dagg’s review at Books Are Cool.
“As an avid reader of fantasy, I often encounter boring or overused plotlines—this was neither! With a fresh new take on fantasy adventure, Cook constructs an enchanting world of magic, kingdoms, rebirth, and death.” – Excerpt a review by Artemis at Fantasy Book Lovers Unite
“Gift of the Phoenix reminds me of a mix of Paolin’s Eragon and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but stands on its own as a unique fantasy-adventure. Cook creates a magic system that is intricate and unique, which can be hard to do in a genre littered with magic. The story is very complex, and yet very easy to follow… layers upon layers of intertwined plots that all culminate to a fantastic ending. I would recommend this book to anyone of any age.” – Excerpt of a review by Will Wortner at Zero2Fiction
Gift of the Phoenix has won several awards, including Semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review Book of the Year Awards, and Notable Read in the Shelf Unbound/Half Price Books Indie Book of the Year competition
Donna Cook is an Arizona native transplanted to Boise, Idaho, where she is delighting in the change of scenery. When she’s not writing she spends her time chasing the kids, exploring delicious eateries downtown, and dancing with her talented husband. Her fantasy adventure, Gift of the Phoenix has won several awards, including Semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review Book of the Year Awards, and Notable Read in the Shelf Unbound/Half Price Books Indie Book of the Year competition. It was also nominated for the Whitney Award, which recognizes LDS writers. She’s currently working on the sequel to Gift of the Phoenix.
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Four Gift of the Phoenix Excerpts
The man’s eyes narrowed and he leaned in. “Have you ever seen the waters swallow an island?”
“What?” Nicolai asked.
He pointed to what Nicolai knew to be the Pearl and Crescent Islands, only a few miles out from the coast. They were uninhabitable rock for the most part, notable only because one island was shaped like a crescent moon while the other circular shaped island sat within its gulf. Only Nicolai didn’t see two islands. He saw only the crescent-shaped island.
“What happened?” Nicolai asked.
“I’ll tell you what happened. The Pearl is gone! Sank right into the sea it did!”
Nicolai tried to imagine an island in the cove of Crescent Island’s bay, then tried to imagine that island sinking into the sea.
“My brother says a monster ate it!” the little girl said.
Her mother hushed her. “Don’t listen to his tales.”
“It was an earthquake,” the first man said kindly, bending his reddened face down to her. He put his hands together and slid them back and forth. “The earth shook under the water and made the water come sloshing up over the edge. Just like shaking a cup.” She looked at him skeptically. Nicolai gathered she thought a monster sounded more credible.
“It wasn’t a monster,” said a frail voice. They all looked around to see a withered woman resting on a bench next to the wall. “It wasn’t an earthquake either. What took that island was the same thing that made it.”
Marcellus met Corren’s eyes and raised his sword in warning. “You will go peacefully.”
Corren raised his hands. “I do not wish to fight. I only want you to hear what I have to say.”
“You are in no position to wish for anything,” Marcellus said. “These guards may be afraid of your magic tricks, but not I.”
With that statement Corren understood something: the prince was an unbeliever. “What can it harm you to listen?”
“Nothing you say will persuade me. You are not who you say you are.”
Corren needed some way to reverse Marcellus’ resistance. He needed to prove who they really were. He could think of only one way to do that. “Are you willing to ask the king?”
Marcellus did not answer. He did not move. The tip of his sword held steady and his face gave nothing away. The guards looked at Marcellus, eyes wide at the events happening in front of them. They all waited. Corren held his tongue. Marcellus lowered his sword, but his face remained fierce. He drew near until he was only a hand’s breadth from Corren’s face. Corren could not help but feel the power of Caedmonia’s warrior prince.
“You will follow my commands to the letter,” Marcellus said lowly. “I will let the king decide whether or not he wishes to see you.” Here he lowered his voice even more, so no one but Corren could hear. “If you even attempt to harm my father,” he said, “I will gut you.”
The woman Corren did not know leaned forward slightly and glanced at Aradia.
“Sage Kai’Enna,” Aradia said. “You may address the accused.”
Corren turned his attention to Kai’Enna as respectfully as he could. She was a beak-nosed woman with gray hair and keen eyes. Judging by appearance, she was the eldest member present. She had been studying him carefully all through his testimony. “You are considered to be an unusually skilled wizard, do I understand correctly?”
Corren blinked uncertainly. “Some have said as much to me, yes.”
She cocked her head at him. “Is this false humility on your part? You had no hesitation, apparently, about stripping down ancient barriers to a Bridge you knew to be forbidden to you. Curiosity alone would not drive a person to do this, neither would the lust for praise from those around you,” she said, this with a look toward Nicolai. “Only arrogant pride would drive such an act. That combined with high levels of skill can lead one down dangerous roads indeed.”
Corren looked to Aradia for assistance, but she sat as formally as she had all along.
“It is my suggestion, Sage Aradia,” but though Kai’Enna addressed Aradia, she did not remove her eyes from Corren, “that the Order take this fact into consideration when deciding upon the consequences, in addition to the timing of this incident, which may not be as coincidental as some would hope.”
They were shown to rooms by a page in a uniform. Corren disappeared into one and Nicolai entered the next, his mind in a haze. The page shut the door, and Nicolai stood alone in the center. He was aware of a rug under his feet, a bed with linens, a slender window, and a fireplace with a fire already ignited in its belly. The room was cold, the heat from the fire not yet warming the place where Nicolai stood.
Nicolai took out his stone.
It glinted in the firelight, a stunning yellow, cool in his hands, deep at its core. Nicolai remembered a line from the prophecy: Each stone has secrets only its bearer can unlock. Given what his stone had already done, did he want to know its power? If they were meant to stop this Cunning One, just what was he going to be asked to do? Part of him slid into the stone’s depths, and Nicolai could not resist it.