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Rak Shoma Book Two: Steam Mountain -- EPUB

  • Maeven Ash and Orm continue the search for Ash's parents. In Stavmo, a steam based society, Proctor Jorvan destroys any opposition. Can magic help?
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Carol Fiorillo

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Maevens Ash and Orm's continued search for Ash's parents bring them to the country of Stavmo, a civilization whose power is based on steam.

Steam cars, whirlybirds, and small appliances, even guns, are all powered by steam... but at a cost. A huge factory has toxic smoke billowing into the air, and only the rich are able to escape the smell by living on the opposite side of town. Class is based on your hair color, and if your hair isn't red like the dictator who runs the country, you vanish into the mines or are thrown into the volcano.

But the volcano holds even greater secrets. And possibly a link to Ash's family.

The magical pair make friends with the rebels and try to help them fight for their rights, but in doing so they get separated and place themselves in danger.


Ash and Orm carried on walking toward the distant steam. The field workers looked at them curiously, but none came to confront them.

"Orm, have you noticed they all have red hair?" Ash asked quietly. "We are going to stand out from the crowd if everyone has this color."

"We can't do anything about it in front of these people," Orm cautioned. "Wait until we reach the next lot of forest, then we'll think about how to solve the problem."

They plodded on and Ash's worry grew as more and more of the workers glanced their way. Many of them turned to their fellow workers and held whispered conversations with many more glances in their direction. At last they reached the trees and the workers disappeared from view.

"Let's stop here," Orm suggested as they entered a clearing. "We can sort out how to get round the hair problem."

"I don't see how we can do anything about it." Ash sighed. "Not unless we can find some plants to dye our hair red. I'm not too keen on doing such a permanent change though, I might not be able to get my silvery purple back again."

"I don't think we'll have to do anything so drastic. We're maeven. Do you think we can change our hair to red by using magic?" Orm looked at her with a twinkle in his eyes.

Ash's eyes opened wide. "Orm, you're brilliant. Why didn't I think of using magic?"

"Don't get too excited. I think you're going to have to lead the way as I don't have the faintest idea how to go about changing hair color."

"Let me think about it for a moment." Ash leaned back against a tree and closed her eyes.

Her thoughts tumbled chaotically for a moment then she calmed herself and sent her mind inwards. Using her mind tendrils in the same way she had to help with medical aid in the past, she found her way to the roots of her hair. The roots all fitted into a pad beneath the thin layer of skin covering her scalp. The pad encompassed the hairline back, front and sides. She saw the silvery purple of her normal color and tried to insert red into the scalp pad. At first the pad rejected the new color, but when she thinned out the texture of the tendril it flowed effortlessly into her hair. Ash concentrated on keeping a small portion at the base of the hair her normal silvery purple color. A gasp from Orm surprised her.

"It's red. You did it, Ash. Now show me how to change mine."

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