For ten years, since she fled from the College where the magically gifted are taught, Kisea has been living on the run, concealing her unusual and frightening telepathic gift. Only her sorcerer ex-lover Matt knows, and has been looking for her. When his cousin is kidnapped, matters quickly grow even more complex.
<em>Ten years ago, at the College where sorcerers and telepaths and lifewitches learn about their gifts:</em> boy meets girl, girl discovers her own frightening abilities, boy loses girl when she runs away from the authorities who would condemn her for those abilities.
Ever since, Kisea has been in hiding as a renegade, with a new name, never staying anywhere long, never letting anyone find out too much about her. The uncommon telepathic gift that earns her blessings when she heals minds would, if anyone knew its full nature, evoke only fear and horror: controllers are, after all, monsters from a fireside tale.
The one person Kisea has ever trusted completely, during the interval between a childhood of inherited shame and an adulthood of paranoia, is the one person who knows what she is and the one person who would recognize her immediately – and he’s under an Oath to return any renegade to the College by any means necessary.
Ever since, Matt has been watching for her, and looking for a way to help. She’s still alive, at least; knowing what to watch for, the rumours and traces of an ever-moving half-siren mindhealer of extraordinary strength are unmistakable. Now in a position of considerable authority and responsibility, he believes he knows a way – if he can only find her and persuade her to listen to him.
She’s the last person he expects to trip over when his highborn cousin Kallima is kidnapped, but when the situation turns out to be far more complicated than it appeared, that unlikely chance could make all the difference for everyone involved.
Content warning: siren sexual nature is misunderstood by many in Caalden, and as a result they are frequently the targets of abuse. While there is little explicit description in Renegade and it is definitely not portrayed as positive or excusable, and sirens have their own cultural and biological responses, there are a couple of scenes that might be uncomfortable and multiple passing references, so please keep this in mind if this is an issue for you. Please contact me if you need more detail, I'd be happy to help clarify.
For those interested in that: there are no trans characters in this one, it's too old, and no same-sex romance, just some hetero poly romance. If I ever get to the sequel, that will change. That said, one (compound) word: queer-coding.
This one has a bit of a history behind it. This, and others eventually forthcoming about the same family, are a resurrected version of some of my oldest writing, which I tried an experiment with. I'm too pleased with the result to condemn Kisea, Matt, and company to oblivion, even if it probably isn't objectively the best thing I've ever written.