|Publication date||September, 2006|
|Published by||Delacorte Press|
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Wolfcry is a novel written by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes and the fourth book in The Kiesha'ra Series. The book is narrated by Oliza Shardae Cobriana, a fictional character who is the daughter of Zane Cobriana, a cobra shapeshifter, and Danica Shardae, a hawk shapeshifter. She lives in a world of cobra, avian, and falcon shapeshifters, and is currently heir to the throne of both cobras and avians in an attempt by her parents to unite both cultures, who have been at war with each other for countless years.
The book starts off with Oliza relating her troubles in being heir to the throne of a divided nation. Though the avians and serpiente have put down their weapons, prejudice and hatred still run strong between the two kinds. Oliza's choice of mate will define which of the two is "preferred" in Wyvern's Court. The three obvious choices for Oliza's mate are a serpent dancer, Urban, a raven named Marus, and the preregrine falcon Nicias. After a fight breaks out in the serpent dancer's nest, Urban is found beaten in the avian part of the city. Oliza is abducted by lion mercenaries.
Oliza manages to escape. Half-starved and exhausted, she roams the forest where she is eventually rescued by a female wolf shapeshifter who takes her to the local pack. One of the men in the pack speaks Oliza's language. He refuses to disclose what caused Betia's fleeing from the pack.
Oliza meets with the leader and instantly notices the tension between him and his ambitious son and heir, Velyo. It is made clear that Velyo truly runs the pack. When Oliza gets tired he offers to escort her to her room, where he tries to rape her. She manages to run and meets up with Betia. The two of them flee from both the pack and the lion mercenaries.
Betia manages to return to human form out of concern for Oliza. The two travel on towards Wyvern's Court when they are stopped by a band of mainly white-haired serpents, a fight erupts but abrubtly ends when the leader of the group noticed Oliza's Ahnleh necklace. The group identifies themselves as the Obsidian Guild, a band of mainly white vipers and serpiente outlaws. They have lived apart from the rest of serpent society and they still honor ancient laws such as Ahneh. In accordance with that law they agree to take in Betia and Oliza.
At Oliza's request, the leader of the Obsidian Guild relates the story of the fallout between the two leaders of the Dasi. He tells her that Kiesha was Maeve's lover before Leben, who Maeve seduced in an attempt to keep him from destroying her people. Kiesha was distraught by what she saw as Maeve's betrayal, even though the white viper was forced to do it. She refused to forgive Maeve even after Leben left and Maeve was devastated. In an attempt to lessen some of the pain, she turned to Ahnmik, the dark opposite of Anhamirak, but also the god of sleep and numbness. Kiesha and the other serpents then exiled her for practicing black magic. Maeve was taken in by the Rsh, the lower priests and priestesses of the Dasi cult, she slowly regained the will to live and took a mate. Her descendants survive as the Obsidian Guild, and they are in no hurry to reconcile with the other serpiente.
Oliza is stunned to learn of this and intrigued by the idea of Maeve and Kiesha as lovers. Later in the evening, the Guild tries to convince her to perform a melos dance, one of the more sensual ones usually not performed among serpiente dancers unless they have already chosen a mate. Oliza at first tries to decline but Betia convinces her by giving her a melos scarf, a symbol of praise and a request to dance. Incidentally, the threads on the melos are gold, which in serpiente culture indicates the bond between mates, though Oliza brushes that off as Betia's ignorance of her culture.
The two are soon strong enough to travel and go to a pack of wolves led by Kalisa, who Oliza is familiar and friendly with. However, before they can join Kalisa's pack, they run into Velyo and Betia runs off in terror when she sees him. Oliza recalls his attempt to rape her and doesn't take long in becoming furious with him, especially because she now has a very good idea of why Betia became feral and wouldn't go near her old pack. In spite of who he is, Velyo takes Oliza to her parents, who explain that while they were worried they believed she had left of her own free will. A note was found in the palace, in Oliza's handwriting, saying that her responsibilities are too much and she doesn't want anyone to come looking for her if she leaves. Oliza now begins to really worry about the loss of her hawk form, and how avians will react once they find out their queen is no longer one of them.
Oliza returns to Wyvern's Court to find that the three men who beat Urban have been given an insanely light punishment because her mother feared they would otherwise be turned into martyrs. Before she can deal with that, however, the leader of the Obsidian Guild escorts Betia into Wyvern's Court. Betia looks tired but is happy to see Oliza, speaking her name as the first word she has said since becoming feral. Oliza then postpones everything she has to do and takes Betia into the dancer's nest. There she notices Marus who, to her shock, appears to have moved in. Betia convinces her to dance a melos with the entire nest watching, after which they fall asleep curled up together.
The next morning Urban apologizes to Oliza for being forward in courting her, saying he had no idea and then pointing at Betia with his eyes. Oliza is embarrassed and points out that she is in line for the throne, and a royal pair bond has to produce heirs. She then takes Betia to the market, where they have a shocking meeting with several avian merchants who are convinced that the three men convicted of harming Urban are not guilty. Oliza begins to understand why her mother was hesitant to punish them. Next in line for a meeting is Velyo, who takes one look at Oliza holding Betia's hand and hisses at her "I don't care what your preferences are, you're a royal heir to the throne. You need a king, Wyvern. Send her away." Oliza gets furious at him, but begins to question the exact nature of her relationship with Betia. She then goes to a meeting with the three convicts and leaves Betia in the library with Nicias and her cousin, Hai.
The three men are a blatant example of the differences between serpiente and avians. Poiting out to Oliza that what serpiente see as careless flirting and a meaningless kiss is experienced as sexual assault by their avian alistairs and sisters. Oliza is deeply troubled by this because she finds herself able to understand their motivations for attacking Urban. She tells them she will not change their punishment and will talk with them later. After this she goes to the library to see Hai, who has offered to combine her falcon magic with Oliza's dormant powers of Anhamirak to bring back Oliza's wings.
The spell succeeds and Oliza regains her hawk form, but as she reaches out to Hai to try to do the same for her cousin, the combination of their magics accidentally creates a sakkri'a'she. A vision of the future. Oliza can feel Nicias step in with his magic to keep the spell under control before she is lost in visions. In the first she speaks with her future self, who explains that after choosing Urban as a mate, he was killed within a day and Wyvern's Court ravaged by war. The next vision presents her with a furious Obsidian, who curses her and she flees into a new vision. Here she walks the market, and is told by a local that after she chose Marus as mate, the avians decided she preferred them and murdered out the entire dancers' nest. The woman also tells her that in this future Oliza was murdered, presumably by her avian aunt's mate, though officially it was suicide. She then sees her aunt, Sive, sitting on the throne and learning of Danica's death. In blind panic, Oliza asks the visions to find her a future where she finds love and takes a mate without it leading to war between her people. She then finds herself in what looks like Wyvern's Court, but it is riddled through with falcon magic. A young child by the name of Keyi runs around, continually saying that she wants "to chase the butterflies." A man approaches her, asking if she's been sent by Hai. Oliza says no and asks him what happened. She recognises him as a Burmese python of the Obsidian Guild, who she danced with one time while she was there. He explains that he became Oliza's mate, and they had a child together. Keyi's magic was too powerful to be controlled. She killed Oliza and the falcons came to put a stop to her. They murdered all the serpiente and avian adults, took their children back to the separate lands to educate them there and get them to start hating each other again, and left Keyi and her father in an illusion which is kept in place by Nicias and Hai as well as anyone else the falcons allowed to live. Keyi sees shadows of the people who once were, and chases imaginary butterflies and rainbows. Oliza is horrified and exits the vision.
She finds herself on her knees in the library, the details of her visions already starting to fade. She starts crying and asks Nicias and Hai to leave her alone with Betia. She then tells Betia that she had a child, Betia responds by asking if she was in love. Oliza realizes that the problem in the last vision was that while she found love and took a mate, they weren't the same person. Betia kneels in front of her and tells her that she will never leave unless Oliza asks her to. They kiss, Oliza is hesitant at first, but then becomes sure of her feelings.
Oliza goes to the courtyard and confronts the mercenaries, telling them she was the one who hired them to kidnap her, she just didn't remember it. Their leader confirms it. Oliza also remembers several hours that seemed to have been lost between her talking to Hai in the library the night before her kidnap, and her coming to her senses again elsewhere. She realizes that the dance she spun to calm herself down must have triggered the same visions she just experienced, with Hai's magic acting as a catalyst. Then she didn't remember because both her and Hai's powers have precious little control, but this time Nicias was there to keep the vision in check. The actual visions are already gone from her memory now, but the essence is still there, and she remembers what she has to do.
She flies to the dancers' nest and pulls Betia aside. She then kneels in front of her and asks Betia to be her mate, Betia tells her wolves mate for life and Oliza answers that wyverns do so too. Betia accepts and Oliza asks Nicias and Urban to gather her people in the marketplace. There, she makes a speech explaining to them that they are not ready to become one again. She would be honored to lead them, but now is not the time for a wyvern to take the throne. She renounces her claim as Arami and heir to the Tuuli Thea and appoints her cousin, Salem, as the new Arami of the serpiente and her aunt Sive as the new heir to the Tuuli Thea of the avians. Her people are shocked, but willing to accept. Oliza's parents are accepting, though her mother tries to tell her that hope can do more than she gives it credit for. Oliza responds by saying that she knows she did the right thing, and that she will go to stay with friends and she'll be with her mate. Her parents are slightly shocked when Betia steps forward, but Zane gives them his blessing and tells Betia to look after his daughter.
Oliza and Betia walk into the woods, on their way to the Obsidian Guild. They have a confrontation with Velyo who says Oliza only did everything so she could be with her "fling." Betia steps in and tells Oliza that Velyo has no idea what it means to sacrifice for his people. Velyo becomes furious and threatens her, but Oliza punches him and reminds him that as a half-cobra, she has full use of a cobra's deadly poison and could kill him in a few seconds. Velyo turns into wolf form and moves away with his tail between his legs. The book ends with Oliza and Betia falling asleep together in one of the tents of the Obsidian Guild, happy together.
The final book in the series is called Wyvernhail, which features Hai the Cobriana daughter of Anjay (Zane Cobriana's older brother).