The Darkling Chronicles #1
At the age of four, Patrick Benjamin Solomon becomes Anka Rehmling’s human charge. By eight, he can SEE her. At thirteen, he breaks her heart, and by eighteen, she finds herself fighting for his life.
As a darkling shadowcaster, Anka casts shadows in the human world, harnessing some of the earth’s UV light to bring back to Montenai—a world full of darklings, nymphs, satyrs, phantoms, and dragon lords. Her job is crucial to preserving the vitality and balance in her town of Shadowland. However, Anka has trouble following the strict rules set by the Shadowland Council, a ruling body comprised of three dragon lords.
The lords’ decree states all shadowcasters will abide by the rules or face the penalty of harsh punishment, banishment, or death. Torn between her world and Ben's, Anka must choose to defy the Council or turn her back on love.
The Darkling Chronicles #1
The Darkling Chronicles #1
My hand shook as I reached out and pushed the hair off Ben’s sweaty forehead. When he sat up suddenly, I took a step back. Could he see me? He looked around the room with cloudy eyes that passed right over me.
When he turned on the lamp, I flicked my fingers, casting a shadow on the wall of a bird flying. He gasped before looking around once more. Now, he knew something was here.
After peeking in the corner, the closet, and under the armchair for where the shapes came from, he shrugged his shoulders. He used his hands to create a barking dog. I used my magic to create a meowing and hissing cat with fur standing on end. I barely stopped myself from snorting out loud from his goofy face as he scanned the room. He looked scared but excited.
Anka Rehmling, you are in big trouble. I’d just broken three shadowcaster rules. I tried not to think about it. Instead, I focused on my superhero, ninja, and dinosaur forms, complete with sound effects. Ben looked so happy, I told myself it would be okay just this once. He had been sick all day.
Each pull of my magic started in the pit of my stomach. The energy swirled out to my arms before releasing from my fingertips like thread. That’s how Dad explained it. Then, it snapped as it broke free and became the shadow on the wall or floor. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but felt normal, right.
When Ben grew tired, I watched him lie back in bed and drift off to sleep, a smile on his face. He had light hair with white skin that burned and freckled in the sun. My skin and hair were darker, like the shadows I cast.
In human years, we were both eight. However, shadowcasters, by nature, acted more mature than humans. Our world expected us to be responsible from a young age. The Shadowland Council had assigned Patrick Benjamin Solomon under my charge at the age of four. I cast shadows in his world and would for my lifetime, as long as my strength held. “That’s a lot of responsibility riding on your shoulders”—direct quote from Dad. I removed my hand from
Ben’s arm as I thought about what I’d done.
Shadowcaster rules flooded my head.
Cast true to form. Don’t talk. Don’t touch the human.
My heart pounded in my ears. I hadn’t cast true. My palms grew sticky. I’d created my own make-believe shadows. Technically, I hadn’t talked, just made sound effects. However, I’d touched him. This realization caused fear to spark in me like fire; then it burned out, and I was so tired. I couldn’t wait to go home.
My family shadowcasted for the Solomons. The Council assigned my dad to shadow Ben’s dad. My mom followed his mom. Bianca and I took shifts with Ben. I covered him by day; she watched him at night. Other shadowcasters rotated in if we needed a break.
As a shadowcaster, I didn’t go to school but trained with my dad. My grandparents, Nana and Pops, ran the household since Mom and Dad worked so much.
Ben’s sigh brought my attention back to him. He looked peaceful. Maybe his fever had broken. When Mrs. Solomon slipped into the room to check on him, my mother followed, casting her shadows. My mother was really tall—five-foot-ten. She wore a flowing dress of purple, the family color. Jeweled combs sparkled in a ring on her head, which was the darkling custom.
As I watched Mrs. Solomon worrying over Ben, I felt jealous. He had a normal life. Not every darkling had the ability to cast shadows, and so it was a privilege and honor to serve the Council. However, the other young darklings went to school and played during the day. Most of them would never journey to the human world, but they benefited from the power shadowcasters brought back to Shadowland.
My mother’s brown eyes found mine. I met them briefly before looking away. Had she heard my sound effects?
The Darkling Chronicles #2
As a darkling shadowcaster, Bianca Rehmling works under the three dragon lords of the Shadowland Council, casting shadows for her human charge on the earth’s plane and harnessing energy to bring back for the balance and wellbeing of her kind. She’s always been a law-abiding darkling, as opposed to her younger sister, Anka. When Anka broke shadowcasting rules over the summer, she suffered the wrath of the council, something Bianca never wants to witness again.
To protect her sister, Bianca harbors some dark secrets, ones that could cause the decline of Shadowland. When a deadly illness called Shadow Fever strikes the village, Bianca fears her own rule-breaking has caused a fatal imbalance in the world of Montenai. She hasn’t been doing her job, her duty, and the dragon lords suspect.
Family or duty? With loved ones suffering, and the dragon lords breathing down her neck, Bianca keeps her nymph friends close and her enemies…closer. When an unlikely ally offers to help, Bianca must decide whether to trust him or brave the heat alone.
The Darkling Chronicles #2
Pops wore an orange shirt with white musical notes on it, which caused me to smile. I sat on a tall stool at the coffee bar and ordered a tea, while my short legs dangled in the air.
He gave me a puzzled look as he placed orange blossom tea in front of me.
“Just need something a bit lighter today,” I said. Darklings rarely drank tea unless they required some energy from the herbs.
Pops began to buff the nymph glass counter in the same spot. A muscle twitched in his cheek. We were all under some major strain.
“I’m reporting to the temp pool today.”
He stopped his work. “Are you sure you’re ready for that?” Bushy eyebrows raised, he didn’t blink.
“You know I should have reported days ago.”
“I don’t want you going anywhere near that Wishing Tree.” Pops leaned in and whispered, “Do you understand?”
“If I don’t report, Lord Akton will hang me from the ceiling.”
Pops flinched like I had hit him. His face blanched from a light brown to yellow.
“See? No choice.”
His lower jaw jutted forward, and I thought he might explode. He placed the rag down on the bar top and leaned on the glass, undoing the results of his previous hard work. After a long breath, his expression shifted to one less murderous. “Make sure to call first and set up an appointment with Lord Bulosk. He seems the sanest of the lot, which isn’t saying much.”
I nodded and covered his hand, hoping to be reassuring. I don’t think my hand shook, but my insides quivered like human Jell-O. I never understood the allure of that food.
The Darkling Chronicles #3
Natcha is a creature of fire, drawing in shadow to cloak herself from the dangers of the world. She has never known what she is or where she came from, but she knows her wings and claws make her different. The sea cliffs of Montenai are her home, the Aglatian Sea her playground, and the phantoms her family.
All her life, she has hidden in the Faunlier Mountains with her sister Nalene. Only the oath she swore as a child to a darkling father to watch over his son draws her toward the turmoil in Shadowland.
When unrest among the darklings, satyrs, nymphs, and dragon lords begins to bleed into her own life, Natcha wagers the welfare of one against the welfare of many. To protect all she holds dear, she must incur the wrath of Shadowland’s leaders and become… the Thief.
My breath caught when we reached the river. Alexander Salva was not where I’d left him.
The frogs croaked so loudly, I couldn’t hear myself think. Where did he go? His satchel lay crumpled on the bank.
Panic twisted the features of Zack’s face as he scanned the water. “Dad?” He paced the small opening between the trees. “Dad!” His voice cracked, and tears streamed down his cheeks. “What have you done?” he asked the river.
My vision is better than my hearing. I spotted movement twenty yards out and spread my wings. Mr. Salva’s eyes widened at my approach, the whites showing under the starlight. He could see me. Soaking wet, he trembled on a wide boulder. Sand and grit clung to his black beard.
“Demon,” he hissed.
"You look like a fledgling. I guess that’s the sick way of the dark. It tries to confuse me with a young face.” He had been holding something down at his side but drew the object up in front of him. The heavy, steel longsword shook in Mr. Salva’s hand.
My cloaking was still on. I knew by the soft whisper it made in my ears. Why could Mr. Salva suddenly see me? I stood still. Nalene had told me my shimmering wings were pretty, not symbols of evil. Why did he think I was a demon? My heart raced in my chest. I didn’t know what to do with an armed, drunk darkling who was apparently scared of me.
“I’m just a hatchling. You look like you need help.” My eyes darted back and forth from him to the immense sword with beautiful etchings of stars running up and down its blade. Where did he get it? I didn’t remember him carrying anything when he spoke to Lord Akton. He had the satchel when he left the pub.
“I don’t need your kind of help! The tree told me what I needed to do. I’ve lost everything because of this sword, and I will not let you or the demons within this vessel destroy my family or Shadowland.”
The Wishing Tree talked to him? Why hadn’t he confided in the lords? “What did the tree say?” My voice trembled.
Maneuvering the sword’s tip much closer to my face, he tilted his head.
I put my hands up. “Mr. Salva, could you please lower that away from me. I like my face the way it is.”
His jaw dropped. “A demon who knows my name? I’m more cursed than I ever imagined.”
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Cover Reveal for the Part 2 of the series
Ebooks: Shadow Ice and Shadow King
Paperback collection: The Darkling Chronicles, Shadows 2
The Darkling Chronicles #4
So much pain to bear for something new to come.
Despite a rocky start in life, Nalene has survived twenty years in the sea cliffs of the Aglatian Sea. She struggles daily to master her water energy rather than succumb to it. An icy constitution has forced her to rely on her sister for care, protection, and guidance.
But the tides are turning and powers shifting in Montenai. Once a sickly creature with no purpose, Nalene emerges a strong, willful guardian. This reclusive orphan has everyone’s attention, including a new seer who predicts “only one can survive” the battle to come.
Challenged by dragon lords, championed by outcasts, Nalene meets strife at every turn. As a crisis of faith wages within her, she forges ahead because she won’t give up on hope. What is she willing to sacrifice to fulfill her destiny?
The Darkling Chronicles #5
A family tragedy at the age of twelve thrusts Serena into the world of shadowcasting. She relishes the dragon lords’ protection and training but loves her new job and human charge even more.
Because of her great-great-grandfather’s alliance with a vicious nymph queen, Serena finds other Montenaians refuse to trust or accept her. It doesn’t help that she has the same birthmark and orange spark in her eyes as the relative who brought shame to the Brisson name.
Stepping through the portal to Paris allows Serena to escape her family’s reputation as well as her mother’s harsh traditions. Every day Serena pushes to be “worthy of the dragon,” regardless of her brother warning her the path leads to horrible loss.
For years, the lore of dragon and astrei has molded the practices and beliefs of Montenaians. No one has felt this more than the phantom, Serena. This Drifter’s history is the key to Shadowland’s fate. Can she protect them from a dangerous future and still find her way home?
Tricia Zoeller writes fantasy stories filled with mystery, magic, and mayhem. After a decade of working as a speech-language pathologist, she succumbed to the voices in her head and wrote her first book, urban fantasy FIRST BORN, published in May 2013. FIRST BORN is a paranormal mystery about a shapeshifter in Atlanta. It is the first book in the Lily Moore Series.
THE DARKLING CHRONICLES is her young adult series that delves into alternate planes, portals, and mystical creatures.
She lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Lou, her little yappy dog, Lola Belle, and her big orange mutant cat, George. Her two stepsons, Joseph and Robert, make stopovers as well, making sure to keep life an adventure.
Writing has always been a part of her life—like breathing and chocolate. For more information about Tricia and her books, visit: