EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Magic Corrupts, Magic Conquers by A.J. Locke

Are you looking for a new fantasy series? Did you love Magic Dark, Magic Divine by A.J. Locke? Then you’ll want to sneak a peak at this exclusive excerpt from the second book in the Warrior of The Divine Sword series, Magic Corrupts, Magic Conquers, available April 17, 2023. Find out where to pre-order it!

Magic Corrupts, Magic Conquers Exclusive Excerpt

Magic and wind knocked me down. I lost hold of the sword and scrambled to reach it.

Ashe raced past me, but Xythen blasted her with a spiral of magic that looked like a whirlwind of leaves. Ashe slid back and remained trapped within a cage of leaves and crackling, golden magic. I saw her straining to run and jump but she couldn’t move from within it. She was livid, her emotions tangled with mine as I felt her fear, anger, and helplessness. She threw her head back and bellowed.


I heard metal scraping against the ground and my attention snapped to the Divine sword. Xythen’s vines were dragging it to him.

“No!” I leaped up, trying to get the sword, but Xythen’s extensions retracted with lightning speed as they wrapped around the blade until it was cocooned in flora.  

“What the hell are you doing!” He said the compulsion was broken, so what the fuck was going on?

Vines extended toward me. I tried to dodge them, but there were too many and I didn’t have the sword to hack away at them. They circled my wrist and waist and slithered around my chest.


“Penn!” Gideon screamed.

I lurched as Xythen dragged me in like the sword. I slammed into his massive body, and the restraints kept coming. I was facing his chest and had to turn my head so my face wouldn’t get bound to it and cut off my breathing. 

I struggled, I screamed, I tried to shake myself loose, but I couldn’t move.

“Let me go!” 

Xythen’s magic felt like the ancient whisperings of a long-gone deity were sliding through my skull, speaking an eldritch language I didn’t understand. 

The magic smelled of petrichor, of smoke and ash, of freshwater flowing through a forest bed, of animal musk, of everything that had ever grown roots and pushed itself out of the earth. It was the hollow emptiness of hidden caves and the gentle promise of life held in fragile bird nests. A promise edged in sorrow because all things that live must die and every song that celebrated new life would one day become a requiem for ears that would never hear it.

I was terrified. More terrified than I could comprehend. 

Before long I was completely shielded in vines, constricted against Xythen’s chest.

I swallowed my scream, which turned into a sob as an explosion reverberated, sounding like a crack of lightning. Then came the feeling of spinning and falling, like a cyclone had been tossed off the earth to drop into the depths of space. I felt nothing but Xythen’s magic.

Then everything stopped and I felt nothing at all.

What if the world changed overnight…and it was all because of you?

All Pennrae wanted to do was to help. Now she’s found herself in a world that’s been instantaneously transformed by magic…that she brought back. She’s gone from a simple karate instructor to an instant celebrity—and she hates it. Fortunately, she has her friends, her beloved magic companion, and one ridiculously hot boyfriend.

But a sudden, unprompted attack in broad daylight is about to make Penn’s life even more complicated. An ancient forest guardian known as a Kiabi—a warrior of magic and almost impossible to defeat—has marked Penn to die. The attack at first seems incidental and unprovoked…until she discovers the true cause. Her. Penn may have saved the world, but her actions have set a chain of events in motion. In one brief moment, something dark, terrible, and older than time itself found an opportunity to escape, to free itself from the guardians and mark Pennrae as its enemy. Now the world and everyone she loves face a gruesome fate unless Penn can unleash the full force of her Divine magic…

The Warrior of the Divine Sword series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Magic Dark, Magic Divine
Book #2 Magic Corrupts, Magic Conquers

A.J. Locke is an author and artist, originally from Trinidad & Tobago, now residing in NYC with her daughter. She’s your typical over-caffeinated artist with too many ideas and not enough time to write them. She slays at urban fantasy but loves exploring other fantasy genres as well as poetry and children’s picture books. She’s a bookkeeper/child wrangler by day and moody writer by night.

You can follow A.J. on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and check out her website to stay up to date on the latest news.

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