Sixteen-year-old Katherine Thompson wasn’t trained to rule a coven. That was her sister – perfect, beautiful Rose. But when a mysterious plane crash kills off the heir presumptive of the Sandersville coven she has no choice. After stepping in to fill her sister’s shoes, Katherine realizes she didn’t have a clue – faery wars, depressed trolls and angry unicorns are just the beginning.
For centuries, her family has served the high Queens on both sides of the Atlantic but it is a well-known rule that mid-level witches stay away from high-level Queens. But when Katherine’s youngest cousin vanishes without a trace in the Atlanta court and no one wants to investigate, Katherine decides to step into the darkness on her own. She soon discovers that nothing, especially in the Atlanta High Queen’s court, is as it seems.
When she accidentally opens a rift in the search for her cousin, Richard LeCross, the Queen’s warlock, decides that Katherine is more trouble than she’s worth. He determines that this mortal, dangerously close to becoming a High Queen, needs to die. But killing Katherine is easier said than done. For a young woman who’s always believed in right versus wrong, she’s about to go head over heels into the dark side.
You know the old saying ‘If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you?’ Katherine thought wryly while she waited for her sister and Derrick to do their worst. Well, I have the opposite problem. If I show you my gifts, you’ll be dead. There’s no explaining, no second guessing. Which was why even though she was furious with her older sister, she couldn’t defend herself. Not as a witch. Katherine might not like her sister, but she loved her. Loved her in the way that siblings that fought like cats and dogs, but still hung together against a common enemy did. Since they were rarely on the same side of anything recently, Rose and Katherine had yet to face anything worse than the schoolyard bully they had taken down together when Katherine was in kindergarten and Rose was in second grade. That incident had proved that blood trumped friends, at least in the all-out war over the marbles container, that is.
But now? Now, Rose and I never really see eye-to-eye at all, Katherine thought with a shiver. She must have been desperate to invite me on this stupid escapade. I know I was pretty stupid to accept the invitation. And now I’m going to pay for that. That hope that for once Rose wanted me along for me, as her sister…as a friend.
As Mrs. Peabody narrowed her eyes, sniffed, and then turned to pick on another student, Katherine drifted off. In a daydream, a memory, a premonition, or something that was all of those things in one. She watched through the frosty window as a maelstrom of black clouds, heavy lightning, and rain appeared in the morning sky.
For a moment she felt a sharp pain, the same kind she felt when her mother had fractured her knee surveying corn last week. She’d known the moment the Queen of Sandersville had fallen and had felt her mother’s pain from miles away. She had asked Rose about it later. After chiding her about releasing a powerful flare of magic in response and setting an acre of forest on fire in the process, as if Katherine had had a choice, Rose had explained that she’d also started to sense the pain of others late in her fifteenth year.
But this ache was different. It was worse, and she had no idea what was causing it. Then she felt her gifts rise. The dark gifts. The dangerous part of her that was her witch’s gift. The part of every witch and warlock’s magic that was innate to them, unique to them. That one special gift that made every coven member different from the rest. That couldn’t be duplicated with spells or trapped with magic. Rose’s was her affinity to plants. Their mother’s was her command over earth. But Katherine’s was unlike either of those. It wasn’t weird and unique, like Thu Kim’s ability to awaken awareness in inanimate objects, or cool, like Connor’s telepathy. No, hers was a call. A call that brought destruction in its wake.
With a shock, Katherine snapped out of her vision. She could feel her power building in a swirl of darkness in the pit of her stomach. Like a twister, it was ready to emerge. Standing up in a hurry, she ran between the desks in an effort to get out the door. To get somewhere quiet. Somewhere safe where she wouldn’t hurt anybody.
She was holding on by a thread.
A thread that broke when Mrs. Peabody snapped, “Katherine Thompson, sit down!”
Terah Edun's next YA Fantasy novel, BLADES OF MAGIC - Crown Service Book #1 (set in the Algardis Universe), will release on March 31, 2014. Book Five of Courtlight, SWORN TO DEFIANCE, will release in April 2014.
Her favorite writers include Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, Robin Hobb and Maria Snyder.
Courtlight Series: http://smarturl.it/
Book 1 - Sworn To Raise
Book 2 - Sworn To Transfer
Book 3 - Sworn To Conflict
Book 4 - Sworn To Secrecy (smarturl.it/tenewrelease)
Book 5 - Sworn To Defiance (Coming April 25, 2014)
Crown Service Series:
Book 1 - Blades of Magic (March 31, 2014)
Open INT: $25 Amazon or BN Gift Carda Rafflecopter giveaway