Sinister Magic (Death Before Dragons #1) Read Online Lindsay Buroker

Categories Genre: Dragons, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Magic, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Death Before Dragons Series by Lindsay Buroker

Total pages in book: 98
Estimated words: 91679 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 458(@200wpm)___ 367(@250wpm)___ 306(@300wpm)

I’m Val Thorvald, and I’m an assassin.

When magical bad guys hurt people, I take care of them. Permanently.
This doesn’t make me popular with the rest of the magical community—as you can tell from the numerous break-ins and assassination attempts I’ve endured over the years. But thanks to my half-elven blood, a powerful sword named Chopper, and a telepathic tiger with an attitude, I’ve always been able to handle my problems with aplomb. Maybe some cursing and swearing, too, but definitely aplomb.
That changes when my boss is afflicted with a mysterious disease, a government agent starts investigating me, and a godforsaken dragon shows up in the middle of my latest job.
I’ve taken down vampires, zombies, and ogres, but dragons are way, way more powerful. And it doesn’t look like this one is going to like me.
Worse than that, he wants to use his magic to compel me to do his bidding, as if I’m some weak-minded minion.
That’s not going to happen. I’d die before being some dragon’s slave.
But if I can’t figure out a way to avoid him, save my boss, and get rid of the government spook, I’m screwed. Or dead. Or screwed and dead. And that’s never comfortable



As I scooted a few more inches down the cliff, I came to the end of my rope. And swore. Vehemently and virulently, as appropriate for someone hanging from damp, gritty, vertical rock a hundred feet above crashing ocean waves.

Then I made the mistake of looking down and swore a little more. Heights don’t usually faze me. What gets me is the thought of falling from them, landing on sharp pointy rocks, being pulverized like flank steak in a meat grinder, and then being sucked out to sea, never to be seen again.

But the mouth of the cave was less than twenty feet below. I gritted my teeth in determination. I could do this.

“Besides,” I muttered to the rock, “you’re the idiot who chose not to drive an hour back to a town with a hardware store for more rope.”

After finding a suitable handhold, I scooted lower. Climbing back up would be easier, assuming I wasn’t injured then. I had to trust that my magical weapons, my magical charms, and the agility that my half-elven blood granted me would see me through this.

Halfway to the cave entrance, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I ignored it, like any sane person would, and continued carefully downward.

But then I paused. It was Friday and almost closing time for people who worked office jobs. If this was the call I was expecting and I ignored it, I’d have to wait until Monday to get the test results.

Making sure I had three points of contact, and one foot wedged so far into a crevice that falling would be impossible, I eased my phone out of my pocket. Yes, it was the doctor’s office. I had one bar of reception and the roar of the surf behind me.

“This is Val,” I answered, waiting to impress the receptionist with my connection.

“Hello, this is Mandy in Dr. Brightman’s office. Is this… Val… mey… jar?”

“Just Val.” I didn’t correct the pronunciation or explain that my Norwegian mother had thought it would be fun to name me after a Valkyrie.

“We got your test results back, and ev—”

“And what?” The tightness in my chest that had grown familiar these last few months intensified, and I rolled my eyes as I envisioned having to dig into my other pocket for the inhaler Dr. Brightman had given me. What kind of monster-slaying warrior woman developed asthma? “I’m sorry, uh, Mandy. Can you repeat that?”

I glanced at the phone, worried the call had dropped.

“Valmeyjar?” Mandy asked, clearly hearing me as well as I was hearing her. “I’m sorry. I think the connection isn’t very good.”

A seagull squawked as it flew by, either commenting on the stupidity of my position or wondering if I had French fries in my pocket.

“I noticed. The results?”

“I said everything is normal on your bloodwork. Are you at the coast?”

“Normal?” I used my eyes to burn a laser of skepticism into the face of the phone. “What?”

“Everything is normal.”

“Are you sure? I have… issues. New issues.” I barely slept, I had a ridiculous urge to take siestas, and now this new betrayal from my lungs.

“Well, your inflammatory markers are a little high, but it’s nothing to worry about at this point. Your hormone levels were all good, especially for a woman of your age.”

My eyes bored more lasers into the phone. “My age? I’m barely past forty.”

“Hormones can get a little persnickety in your forties.” Persnickety? Who in this century said persnickety? “Oh, here’s Dr. Brightman.” Mandy sounded relieved to pass me off.

“Everything is normal, Val,” he said. “It’s not uncommon to develop asthma and allergies later in life.”