Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

Rosamund Hodge, this week's New York Times #3 Bestselling Author for YA E-Books who is also Darwin's sister, has her new novel Bright Smoke, Cold Fire hitting the shelves today.

Sabriel meets Romeo and Juliet in this stunning and atmospheric novel from the author of Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound.

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou, share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on the Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding the Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo only wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .

You can find Bright Smoke, Cold Fire wherever fine books are sold.

Want a preview? Read the opening chapters, starting with...

Such Sweet Sorrow

If he does not come soon, she may not have the heart to kill him.
For an hour now, she has sat at the foot of her bed, gripping her sword in its crimson scabbard. Over and over she whispers, I am the sword of the Catresou. I was born to avenge the blood of my people.
But her traitor throat aches and her coward eyes sting. Once upon a time, she believed she was only a sword. Now she fears she is only a girl.
She hopes he will come soon. She hopes he will never come.
The casement swings open.
She stands. Her numb hands draw the sword and let the scabbard drop.
His dark eyes are wide as he climbs through the window, but there is no surprise in them when she greets him with the point of her blade, held to his throat.
He looks strangely small. Just a boy, with messy black hair and a sweet laugh she will never hear again.
Her only love, and now her only hate.
“I see you,” she says, speaking the ancient words for the first time, “and I judge you guilty.”
He sighs, and the corner of his mouth tips up just a little. “I know,” he says, and he kneels and bares his neck.
She can smell the blood on him. He is clean: he took the trouble to bathe before coming here to die. But he spilled the lifeblood of her kin, and she can smell that guilt upon him—she can almosttaste it. Her body shakes with the desire to kill him for it.
She wants him to fight. She wants him to beg. To flee, to threaten, or persuade.
Ever since she met him, she has most terribly wanted.
“Look up at me,” she demands, and he does, his gaze as simple and sure as the night she fell in love with him.
“Why did you come?” she whispers. “You knew what I would do. You know what I must do.”
He swallows; she sees the muscles move in his throat, and she thinks of the blood pulsing just below the skin. He is a fragile, perfect balance of breath and heartbeat, skin and bones and blood. A little world entire, most beautifully made—he was her world, and now she is going to destroy him.
“‘Journeys end in lovers meeting.’” She says the words flatly, without tune, but they both remember the sun-drenched afternoon when he sang them to her. “‘Every wise man’s son doth know.’ Why did you come back?
“Because I’m sorry,” he says hoarsely. “Because I know you loved him. You deserve to avenge him.”
Not because it is her duty. Not because vengeance is written on her skin and the spells that wrote it compel her to obey.
Because she loved her cousin. Because he ruffled her hair and comforted her when she was a little child. Because he is dead and cold now, in a vault beneath their house, his arms sliced open as the embalmers do their work.
And yet even he, her most beloved cousin, never wondered if she wanted to avenge or not.
Nobody ever wondered. Nobody until this boy who kneels before her now.
Slowly she kneels so they are eye to eye, and she lays the sword upon the floor.
“I see you.” Her fingertips trace his cheek; her voice is tiny and soft. “I judge you guilty. But you belong to me now. So all your sins are mine.”
She slides her fingers into his dark hair and kisses him, kisses her dearest sin, again and again. Her heart pounds with the desire to kill him, to wreck and ruin and revenge, but she only clutches him closer, kisses more fiercely, and his arms wrap around her as he kisses her back.
She will not be the one who kills him.
She will give everything else to her family, to her duty, to the adjuration written on her skin.
But she will not give them this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of books, are you ever going to write Volumes 2 and 3 of The Great War? I finally got around to reading Volume 1 this weekend.