Rise and Fall (Spirit Animals, Book 6)
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Deep in the desert there sits a beautiful oasis, ruled by a monarch unlike any other in Erdas. His name is Cabaro, the Great Lion, and he reigns over a kingdom of animals, jealously guarding his golden talisman. No human has ever set foot in the Great Beast’s territory. The journey to his oasis is impossible.
As a team, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan have achieved the impossible before. But now that team is broken—the friends scattered by a devastating betrayal.
The young heroes and their spirit animals have already sacrificed much in their quest for the talismans. But with the world crumbling all around them—and a ruthless enemy opposing their every move—their greatest sacrifices are yet to come.
Jhi stayed motionless, but the silver eyes that met Meilin’s were full of accusation. The message was clear: Only one of them could make the other do anything. Meilin took a deep breath, summoned all her will, and compelled Jhi to go dormant. It felt strange and awful, like she was jamming her best friend into a box two sizes too small. There was a burning sensation on Meilin’s arm and Jhi was gone, replaced by a tattoo. Meilin imagined that even the tattoo panda was looking at her
dog clamped onto Briggan’s tail. Another sank its teeth into the wolf’s foot, heedless of being trampled. A third bit into Briggan’s hamstring. Yelping in confusion, Briggan started sinking. The wild dogs went after his flank — six, then seven, then eight of them latched on, in addition to the exhausted lioness at the wolf’s front. Flailing under the combined weight, Briggan began to teeter and pitch. If the dogs pulled him off his feet, he’d be done for. Essix abandoned the lioness and started
was the same scent as the lone lion they’d encountered. Conor opened to his mouth to warn his companions, but there was no need. Briggan was already over the last tree — they’d come to the lagoon at the center of the oasis. The still blue surface reflected the few wispy clouds that were in the sky. The four lionesses were near, two licking the wounds of their companions. They must have been exhausted by the combat. Though their heads snapped to attention when the group arrived, they didn’t get
furious. “Run!” he yelled to Cabaro. “Run and we’ll delay the Conquerors. Save your talisman!” “Run?” Cabaro said. “Do you not realize who I am? Cabaro runs from no enemy.” “Rollan speaks wisely,” Tarik said. “For your own good and that of all of Erdas, please flee.” “Save your breath,” Irtike murmured. “It’s too late.” The greenery at the clearing’s edge parted, and a giant black form barreled through, sidewinding into the clearing. It twisted and reared. Two scaled wings at either side of
of hers, and Rollan’s limp one in the other. Together, they all turned around. And saw the canyon was teeming with Conquerors. The black-armored men and women had swarmed up the narrow trail, and were beginning to surround Cabaro in the sand pit. Zerif was leading them, directing his soldiers to circle the Great Beast. There were shouts and confusion; Zerif probably thought Cabaro still had the Golden Lion. He probably also thought Cabaro was still trapped — but Irtike was no longer pressing