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Daughter of Aithne
The Silver Web
Book Three
Karin Rita Gastreich
Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Orb Weaver Press
Date of Publication: May 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9972320-2-8
Number of pages: 386
Word Count: 119,000
Cover Artist: Thomas Vandenberg
Book Description:
Betrayed by her own prodigy and accused of treason, Eolyn forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. As enemies old and new rise to arms, the beleaguered queen of magic prepares for a final, desperate battle to secure her son’s throne.
Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of her uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, she fights to assert her will while defending her daughter’s inheritance.
In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.
“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes…with a romantic thread.” -Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn, Book One of the Silver Web
“Lush, evocative descriptions carry readers through an unforgettable journey.” –Kirkus Reviews review of Sword of Shadows, Book Two of the Silver Web.
Interview with the Author:

What initially got you interested in writing?

Story telling has always been a part of who I am. I wrote my first story when I was in grade school, based on a dream I had. I loved creative writing in middle school and high school, and even wanted to be a novelist, but practical considerations and other interests led me to a career in the sciences instead.

How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?

I started writing my first fantasy novel, Eolyn, in autumn of 2006. Like all my other creative writing endeavors, it began as a hobby. But as I worked toward completing the story, I began to wonder if the novel might appeal to more people than just me. So, I started sharing it with friends and family. When their response came back positive, I started taking chapters to writers groups. The critiques I received from other writers really helped me refine the novel. I grew in confidence as an author and eventually submitted the manuscript for publication. I signed my first contract with a small press, Hadley Rille Books, in 2010.

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

I want them to be immersed in an extraordinary adventure. I want them to see how love can carry us through the darkest of times and to witness the extraordinary strength of women in war and peace.

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

It’s the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure! I always have an idea of where my stories are going, but the details often surprise me. I love it when my characters make a choice I wasn’t expecting! There’s never a dull moment when I’m writing. It’s always a lot of fun.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Publishing. It’s kind of a necessary evil; we publish because as writers, we want our stories to be read. But after having been on the market for years, I’m still not convinced I like publishing all that much. There’ve just been too many times when the onerous tasks of publishing and marketing have sapped the joy out of my journey as a writer.

What advice would you give to people want to enter the field?

Think hard about why you are doing this. Perfecting the art and craft of storytelling should be at the heart of your intentions. Everything else is unimportant. If you are doing this to make money or be famous, you will be disappointed. Write for the love of writing, and your stories will always carry their own reward.

What ways can readers connect with you?

I love to have visitors at my web site! You can contact me there and also interact with me via my on-line journal at krgastreich.com.  I am also on Twitter, @EolynChronicles, and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Eolyn-110814625640244/

Excerpt Two:
Anger flared in
Eolyn’s veins. She stood. Akmael rose with her.
“Speak plainly,
my Lord King. I will not be subject to this cat-and-mouse game. If you do not
trust me, if you do not believe me, then say so.”
“I trust your
heart, Eolyn, but your heart has led you to ill-advised decisions in the past.
For this reason, I am not always inclined to trust your judgment.”
“For the love of
the Gods! I am not the confused and frightened girl I was when my brother took
up arms against you.”
“No, but you
must understand the dilemma you have put me in.”
“The dilemma I
have put you in?”
“If you knew of
Ghemena’s plan and did not inform me, you were party to treason. If you did not
know, then your authority over the magas is uncertain. Either way, the magas must
remain bound and imprisoned until this conflict is resolved.”
Eolyn blinked
and stepped away.
Not even Thelyn
had put it so bluntly.
“The magas have
lived in peace in Moisehén for more than a decade.” Her voice shook, and her
hands were clenched at her sides. “You cannot let the action of one woman—”
“Three women.
The blatantly treasonous act of three women, all devoted students of yours.
They have brought war upon us, Eolyn. Who knows how many others among your
followers support them?”
“The magas who remain
in my service have done nothing to merit suspicion.”
“All magas merit
suspicion.” Akmael hesitated at her stricken look. He let go a slow breath and
softened his tone. “There is a history here that we have not yet overcome,
Eolyn. You, of all people, must understand that. Too many of our subjects still
remember the war against my father.”
“And the purges
that followed?” she shot back.
“The violence
that tore this kingdom apart,” he conceded. “Right or wrong, the magas were
left with the blame. There are many who fear your power, Eolyn. They fear the
ambitions of all women of magic. We must manage this situation carefully, to
protect you and your daughters. To see that justice is done.”
“What Thelyn did
to my magas on your orders was not just.”
“A precautionary
measure. Nothing more.”
“You must give
me your word—” Eolyn’s voice broke. She sensed doors closing all around her.
Was there nothing he would allow? No small concession she could demand? “At
least promise me that none of my daughters will be mistreated during their
“That they will
not be…That they will not be subject to the techniques once used by Tzeremond
and his mages.”
washed over Akmael’s features. He smiled and shook his head. “Come, Eolyn. The
situation is not that grim. I assure you the days of Tzeremond will not return.
We are at a momentary impasse to be endured until we determine whether this web
of treachery ends with Ghemena or begins with her. If found innocent, your
magas will be restored to their former positions. If any of them harbor
treasonous hearts, it is better we find out now before further damage is done.”
Eolyn nodded,
though she found little comfort in his reassurance.
“I have had the
rooms of the East Tower prepared for you,” Akmael said.
“I knew you
would not be pleased,” he hastened to add, “but I do this for your own
“My protection?”
“There are no
wards more powerful than those of the East Tower. You will stay there and the
children with you.”
“You would imprison
me? The woman you love, your Queen?”
“Your magic will
not be bound. You will be permitted visitors, and you will be allowed to leave
the confines of the tower during daylight hours, but always in my company or in
the company of guards appointed by me.”
“You cannot ask
this of me.”
“Eolyn.” He took
her gently by the shoulders. “Do not close your eyes to the delicacy of our
position. Half the court speculates it was your command that led Ghemena to
deliver Eliasara to Roenfyn.”
“You know I
would never—”
“And I, seeing
that my daughter has been stolen from me, wonder what is next in the minds of
those who plot to bring down my house and reign. Will they attempt to kill my
son? Will they try to take away my Queen? Because those two things would
destroy me, Eolyn. Me and all the futures I have imagined.”
Eolyn stared at
Akmael in disbelief. A ghostly cry echoed through her heart, the forgotten
lament of a woman betrayed.
“This is how it
began, isn’t it?” she whispered. “The confinement of your mother began just
like this.”
“Your father
wanted only to protect her, but he never allowed her to leave. In the end it
made no difference. Kaie penetrated the wards and slew her. You remember,
Akmael. You were there.”
“My love—”
“You cannot lock
me up in that place!”
“You will not be
left alone as my mother was. Not tonight, not in any night to come.”
Akmael pressed
his lips to her forehead. He took the chain that suspended the Silver Web and
lifted the jewel gently over Eolyn’s head. As he held the amulet in the palm of
his hand, its delicate crystals glittered in the afternoon light.
“This magic can
be used to penetrate the wards,” he said.
“That is for me
to know.” He set the silver chain around his own neck, slipping the amulet
beneath his tunic. “I promise you, Eolyn, I will be with you in every moment I
“You secure your
way into the East Tower while leaving me with no way out. At night you would
use your mother’s magic to come as a thief, a surreptitious lover, not openly
as my king and husband. Why?”
Akmael nodded to
the door that separated them from the courtiers outside. “Because they must
believe that my judgment is free from the influence of desire and love, free
from any spells a High Maga might cast.”


“They are fools
if they believe a maga can control the decisions of men! If we had such power,
I assure you this world would be a very different sort of place.”
About the Author:
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.
Twitter: @EolynChronicles

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