The Way Into Magic: Book Two of The Great Way

Praise for the books of

Harry Connolly

The three novels of The Great Way

The Way Into Chaos

The Way Into Magic

The Way Into Darkness

"Connolly pens one hell of a gripping tale and kicks Epic Fantasy in the head! Heroic in scope, but intimately human, and richly detailed. The Way Into Chaos intrigues and teases, then grabs readers by the throat and plunges them into desperate adventure related through the experience of two extraordinary narrators. The story never lets up as it twists and turns to a breathless finish that leaves you crying for the next book of The Great Way. Fantastic!"

-- Kat Richarson

"One hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners, breathtaking holy moly of a book."

-- C.E. Murphy

"Complex world, tight action, awesome women as well as men; Connolly was good right out the gate, and just keeps getting better."

-- Sherwood Smith

Twenty Palaces

"Connolly’s portrayal of magic — and the hints he drops about the larger supernatural world—are as exciting as ever."

Black Gate

Child of Fire

“[Child of Fire] is excellent reading and has a lot of things I love in a book: a truly dark and sinister world, delicious tension and suspense, violence so gritty you’ll get something in your eye just reading it, and a gorgeously flawed protagonist. Take this one to the checkout counter. Seriously.”

-- Jim Butcher

"Unique magical concepts, a tough and pragmatic protagonist and a high casualty rate for innocent bystanders will enthrall readers who like explosive action and magic that comes at a serious cost."

-- Starred review from
Publishers Weekly
, and one of PW's Best 100 Books of 2009

"One of the few urban magic books — for lack of a better term — novels I enjoyed last year was Harry Connolly’s Child of Fire. And I loved it.”

-- John Rogers, writer/producer THE LIBRARIANS

“Every page better than the last. Cinematic and vivid, with a provocative glimpse into a larger world.”

-- Terry Rossio, screenwriter (SHREK, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN)

Game of Cages

"Game of Cages is a tough, smart, unflinching urban fantasy novel."

Andrew Wheeler

"This has become one of my must read series."

Carolyn Cushman
, Locus Magazine

Circle of Enemies

“An edge-of-the-seat read! Ray Lilly is the new high-water mark of paranormal noir.”

Charles Stross

“Ray Lilly is one of the most interesting characters I’ve read lately, and Harry Connolly’s vision is amazing."

Charlaine Harris

Spirit of the Century Presents: King Khan

An exuberant romp that distills all the best of pulp fiction adventure into one single ludicrously entertaining masterpiece.

Ryk E. Spoor

Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths and Other Tales of Dark Fantasy

Connolly writes tales of magic and mystery in more modern times incredibly well. His work reminds me a lot of Tim Powers or Neil Gaiman. I highly recommend this collection.

-- Jason Weisberger at
Boing Boing


The Way Into Chaos, Book One of The Great Way

The Way Into Darkness, Book Three of The Great Way

Twenty Palaces

Child of Fire

Game of Cages

Circle of Enemies

Spirit of the Century Presents: King Khan

Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths and Other Tales of Dark Fantasy

A Key, An Egg, An Unfortunate Remark



Book Two of The Great Way

Harry Connolly

Interior art by Claudia Cangini

Map illustration by Priscilla Spencer

Cover art by Chris McGrath

Cover design by Bradford Foltz

Book design by The Barbarienne’s Den

Copy edited by Richard Shealy

Copyright © 2014 Harry Connolly

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 098982845X

ISBN-13: 978-0-9898284-5-1

For Roger Zelazny, my favorite author during my teenage years.


Book Two of The Great Way

Chapter 1

Cazia Freewell needed several days to adjust to the presence of a second mind inside her own. She still hadn’t seen the Tilkilit queen—even though she’d been close enough to spit on it…her…
—but her thoughts were constantly under watch. Whenever Cazia thought about freedom, home, escape, her Gifts, the weapons the Tilkilit warriors carried, or even how ugly the creatures were, the queen sent a wave of disapproval so powerful that it was indistinguishable from self-loathing.

At first Cazia stubbornly fought, just as she’d always fought. The queen was an Enemy, and while she had
from many of the Enemies she’d grown up with, she had never stopped

Except that retreat from the queen was impossible. It had invaded her thoughts just as the Tilkilit had invaded her homeland of Kal-Maddum. The creature was listening to her thoughts, and whether Cazia was down in the lightless tunnels or out in the thick, mist-shrouded forests of the valley floor, she could not escape.

And she hated it. Cazia may have been young, but she’d had a lifetime of practice nursing her resentments; unfortunately, this time she could not hide her feelings behind a stoic expression. She could not retreat to the solitude of her room. She could not do anything but endure the presence of an Enemy’s thoughts inside her own. Worse, the queen’s thoughts and hers were so mingled that Cazia sometimes struggled to separate the queen’s opinion of her from her opinion of herself. It was almost like going hollow again, expect without the increase in magical power and insight.

She hated that creature more than she had ever hated anyone in her life.

“I am a free human being,” Vilavivianna had whispered to her one morning, perhaps twenty days after they’d been captured. They were sitting together in the mist-shrouded meadow the Tilkilit had claimed as their own. There were steep mountains to the west and south, and ocean far to the east, but she had not seen them in many days. The Tilkilit swarmed in the lowest dry spot in the Qorr Valley, hiding in the trees and the never-ending fog.

“I am a free human being,” Ivy said again. “I am no one’s property.” The little Indregai princess looked pale and exhausted; she had been fighting against the queen’s mental control as hard as Cazia had. They clasped hands and repeated the words together. “I am a free human being.”

The creature’s counterattack was so furious, it overwhelmed them. Their minds went blank and they fainted into the grass.

They woke together, almost as though the queen allowed it. Before Cazia could even remember where she was, a Tilkilit warrior pressed one of their strange smooth stones against her hand. She felt her magic being drawn out of her. Again. Every day, they did this to her.

But she didn’t dare resist. Each of the Tilkilit were about the size of the princess, who was only twelve years old, but they were tremendously strong and well armed. They could throw stones with the power of a man with a sling, and had already taken down Kinz, the third member of their expedition. She had been taken away; hopefully, the Tilkilit were repairing her injuries, but a small part of Cazia’s mind was convinced that she’d already been eaten.

Poor little Ivy looked miserable. Cazia shouldn’t have let her come with her over the mountains.

The earth rumbled. One of the Tilkilit’s worms was passing nearby, but thankfully, it was deep below ground. Cazia most definitely did not want to look at one of them ever again. The creatures were colossal, large enough to shatter the gates of the Palace of Song and Morning simply by laying the weight of a front end against them, and Cazia had seen the Tilkilit riding them into battle.

Cazia had helped Vilavivianna destroy one, and the memory—just a fleeting image of the beast writhing and burning—brought on a flood of recrimination that she was certain was not her own. Fairly certain.

The rumbling shook the branches of a nearby tree. Cazia realized she’d never seen one like it before: the bark was like tin, and the blossoms it bore were as white as fair-weather clouds, with shiny metallic tips.

She scowled at it. This plant was not native to Kal-Maddum. It was another invader in the Qorr Valley, just like the Tilkilit.

Only a few days’ journey from this spot, a portal to other lands sat open, allowing anyone or anything to pass through in either direction. The connection at this end was constant and unwavering, but the other side changed to a new location every ten days. Anyone and anything might pass through, and did. Some invaders were Enemies, like the insect queen that had declared that Cazia was her property, or the gigantic eagles that soared above the mists overhead. Some were the seeds of harmless plants like...

Then she noticed a ring of bare earth around the base of the tree, and brown grass at the edge of that. Apparently, this tree was poisonous to native life.

A powerful wave of revulsion ran through Cazia. That portal needed to be closed or destroyed in some way, so that no more horrors like the poison tree or the Tilkilit queen could invade her Kal-Maddum. Her home.

The queen knew her thoughts instantly and overwhelmed her again, driving her unconscious.

It continued that way, day after day. The warriors used their anti-magic stones to deny Cazia the use of the Gifts. The queen monitored their every thought and made them regret even the most casual thoughts of discontent. After fifteen more days, Kinz was permitted to rejoin them. Vilavivianna leaped at the older girl to hug her, but Kinz did not seem to mind. After the princess released her, she rotated her shoulders and declared herself completely healed. Her time inside a Tilkilit cocoon had repaired her broken bones as if she had never been injured.

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