Book Four of the Celestial Serenade

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Two secrets harbor the seeds of ruin.
Only one can be averted.

The human-Caltaran alliance has achieved their first victory – but at the cost of their military leader.

As the two civilizations struggle to work as one, they must choose a leader both can agree to follow. But their primary candidate rejects the position, thrusting Gaia back into the center of the alliance’s attention. They hope her growing relationship with Anten will serve as a symbol of the union between the two civilizations – an unshakeable and unbreakable bond.

Until Gaia falls ill and her condition reveals an insidious secret the human delegation hoped to hide – a secret that threatens to kill Earths’ most powerful delegate and rob humans of their place among the stars.

While doctors race to save the symbol of their alliance, the new Kantis struggles to reconcile his position with the legend that surrounds his name.

He cannot ignore the destructive nature of his past, nor the bloodshed on which his new career will be built. Yet his name can turn the tide of battle, and a single failure could destroy the morale of the alliance’s remaining forces.

Before he can prove himself, the fleet uncovers evidence of a new weapon with the same destructive force of the dragon – which means either the dragon’s pilot has betrayed them, or the Ruvalli have constructed a second world killer.

The return of a familiar enemy… or a glimpse of a new one?
As their fighters swarmed the nearest Ruvalli heavy attack vessel, picking apart its defenses to make it vulnerable to the larger canons, something tore through a cruiser near the left edge of the front line. The shockwave of the ship’s destruction caused Nalic Endroth’s bridge to shudder again.

“What in blazes…?” the high general demanded through clenched teeth, instantly barking orders to close the hole in their defenses.

Liam scanned the small displays his host summoned above the holoconsole, but he could see no reason why they had suffered such a quick and tremendous loss during the battle’s opening salvo. Maybe the Ruvalli weren’t interested in their defense at all. Maybe they were testing a new weapon?

Though Liam had been told Eldats were actually the most skilled tacticians in the Caltaran military, Nalic Endroth directed his fleet with a deftness Liam could only hope to one day match. He didn’t even have time to be jealous he wasn’t among the pilots in the field. Nalic Endroth quickly reorganized his defensive lines to tear through their attackers, causing most of the enemy craft to withdraw like a hand placed too close to flames. Though not before another of Nalic Endroth’s heavy carriers reported critical damage carved into its hull.

Abandoning the tactical display, Liam scanned the three-sixty, marking the models of ships he recognized, trying to pinpoint the rogue firepower. The Ruvalli couldn’t have retrofitted their smaller ships with the big guns from the remaining juggernauts… could they?

Something flashed on the edge of his vision, a familiar sense of sinuous movement, the serpentine sway of a tail gliding through vacuum. Heart in his throat, Liam grabbed Nalic Endroth’s wrist without thinking, jerking the Caltaran general until the man stared at him with unveiled shock.


“Do you see that?” Liam jerked a finger toward the retreating troops where he had spotted the familiar sway. It looked just like the dragon when it accompanied their ships into battle. Just like the dragon when it attacked the cities where his people once lived.

With a flick of his wrist, Nalic Endroth latched onto the indicated portion of the three-sixty image and enhanced it. Then his breath caught in his throat. “It looks like… the dragon?” Nalic Endroth breathed. “But it couldn’t be!”

“Are we absolutely sure it’s still on Yaggelirreris?” Liam barked. And if it wasn’t, why was it firing on their ships?