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Midnight Crow

by C. R. Collins

"Once upon a time, there was a girl who spoke with birds"

She’d used her mage powers to build a successful detective agency, but Dhana’s impressive skills might not be enough to save her family.

MIDNIGHT CROW is a standalone sequel to the WOODSPELL SERIES and one of the TALES OF ARDONNA.

Content Advisory: Contains adult themes and situations, including violence and assault, plus spoilers for previous Modern Era books



The gray owl, Ashton, soared to my right, grumbling. His wings stretched wide as he banked, then leveled, blocking the light underneath. I yawned. It was midnight. Sky and water had merged into a seamless curve. Three quarter moons hovered over the ocean, pouring beams like milk. We’d searched for hours with no luck. I circled in crow form—gliding through the air like a fleeting apparition, scanning with my magery-enhanced eyes—but nothing stood out. The seascape shifted like a kaleidoscope, making me woozy.

Are you sure they’re due here this evening?

I shook off stupor. They were sighted three days ago, less than two hundred leagues off.

Somewhere below, an illegal shipment of potions approached land. I had to find the boat, a dark spot amid the glitter.

Ashton tutted. The Dayonian coast is long.


That marina’s a smuggler’s favorite. It’s isolated and discreet—offers everything but a health plan. Locals have been known to actively divert law enforcement.

I dove, catching sight of a long shadow. It was only driftwood.

My scouts could have handled this search, but I like to work in-field. I love to fly. Bird mastery is a humanborn skill. No other beasts would associate with our shady refugee ancestors. Birds sensed an opportunity: mages mistrusted them, but humans were desperate. Fliers filled a niche, exploiting their natural talent for spying and gossip, and lived well. As I do.

I’m no true crow—I’m a wayward beast mage who broke all rules and decorum. Beast mergery is frowned upon, but I’d made a business of it: Morlani Surveillance and Security, contract bird speaker and shifter.


About the Author

Tree-hugging indie fantasy author.