Defy (Firstborn Trilogy Book One) - By Raine Thomas

Acknowledgements

Most books don’t come together without a lot of help, and Defy was no exception. As a result, I want to acknowledge those people who made significant contributions to Defy so that the world knows how grateful I am for their efforts.

First and always, thank you to my husband, Kevin, for being my alpha reader, marketing/sales manager, book formatter, career advisor, website designer, therapist, tear blotter, punching bag (in the figurative sense–really) and biggest fan. Thank you for not ever letting me give up.

Next, many thanks to amazing writers Krystal Wade, Erica Lucke Dean and Roy “TC” Bronson for putting aside their own work to beta read Defy and offering me their frank feedback. I know how challenging it can be to critique a peer’s work, so I bow to each of you.

Beta reading done by friends and family who know my characters as well as I do is just as important during the editing process. Special thanks to my mom, Diane, and my friends, Sundée Himburg and Robin Casto, for their valuable time and comments. As for those readers who asked to remain anonymous…a quiet thank you!

Another big thank you goes out to Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design, who created a cover so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. You captured Tate like no one else could. Much love to you!

Last and certainly not least, thank you to all of my fans. You’ve all given me the encouragement I needed to begin the story of the next generation of Estilorians and finish Defy.

You make me love every moment of being an author!

Author’s Note

A warm welcome to those readers who are new to the Estilorians! Please note that the Firstborn trilogy serves as a follow-up to the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy. For an overview intended to bring new readers up to speed or refresh the memories of those who have already enjoyed the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy, please read the following Glossary. Happy reading!

Glossary

Click here to skip the glossary

Estilorians (Things You Need to Know)

Daughters of Saraqael – Amber, Olivia, and Skye, triplets born to the Corgloresti, Saraqael, and their human mother, Kate, as a result of a ritual outlined in a powerful scroll. They’re the first and only half-human Estilorians, which allows them to carry children…something full Estilorian females can’t do. Amber is avowed to the Gloresti elder, Gabriel; Olivia is avowed to the Gloresti, James, and Skye is avowed to the Gloresti, Caleb.

Estilorian – A being that physically resembles a human, appearing no older than 40 human years old (most look like humans in their late teens or early twenties). Estilorians can fly, and have specific powers based on their class. They can live forever without aging if they’re not mortally wounded. Their eyes, wings and markings—if they have any—are always the same color, and identify their class.

Estilorian Plane – About two millennia ago, the nine Estilorian elders created a separate plane of existence to remove themselves from humanity, making their kind the objects of human myths and legends. All Estilorians live on this plane, and humans cannot travel to it. Estilorian society hasn’t evolved like human society, and doesn’t have such modern inventions as electricity, vehicles or modern weaponry.

Estilorian Classes (Alphabetically)

Corgloresti – Soul Harvesters – Identified by their silver eyes, wings and markings, these Estilorians travel between the planes of existence to facilitate the transfer of dying human souls to the Estilorian plane via The Embrace…the only method full Estilorians have to reproduce.

Elphresti – Lords of Wisdom – These Estilorians, identified by their black eyes, wings and markings, maintain the highest levels of authority among their kind. In human terms, they would be considered judges or beings in similar positions of authority.

Gloresti – Defenders – Gloresti bond with Corgloresti who are on the human plane to protect the Corgloresti. Gloresti are highly trained to defend and are identified by midnight blue eyes, wings and markings. Aside from the Corgloresti, the Gloresti is the only class that can travel to the human plane, but only in emergencies.

Kynzesti – Elementals – Having half-human mothers, the Kynzesti are identified by deep blue-green eyes, wings and markings. Unlike other classes, they are only created through biological childbirth. The youngest of all Estilorian classes, the extent of their powers and abilities is largely unknown.

Lekwuesti – Hospitality Ambassadors – The Lekwuesti are identified by lavender eyes, wings and markings. Their primary focus is assisting their fellow Estilorians. They form exclusive pairings with other Estilorians to provide them items of “creature comfort,” such as food,