Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teaser Thursday: Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M. Boyce

Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga #1)
Author: S. M. Boyce
Purchase at Barnes and Noble and Amazon
Synopsis: Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.

Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing
attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

Sneak Peek

Rocks broke against his spine and tore through his tunic. The cuffs ripped open the skin they touched, sending bolts of crippling pain through his arms and back. He screamed a curse when the air returned to his lungs, but choked on the pebbles and dust that rained over them. The shape-shifter threw her free arm to the side, as if pointing off into the forest, and a thin white blade slid into her palm from the depths of the air around her. She held it to his neck.
 “Stop!” Kara yelled.
Braeden squinted back to where he’d sat only seconds before. The green dragon flickered, too, and shifted into a man that unbound Kara’s hands and grabbed her shoulder to stop her from running over. She fought with him, murmuring inaudibly, but he shook his head and whispered something that Braeden could not hear.
 “Braeden Drakonin, listen closely to me,” the woman said. “I am not fond of your father. Had you not defied him in his own court, we would have left you. But mark me, yakona. If you betray our trust, death will become a mercy before I am done with you.”
“I get that a lot. But yes, I understand.”
She released him. Her blade disappeared in a puff of purple smoke and was gone. She looked him over and grimaced as if she smelled something foul, but snapped her fingers. His shackles fell to the ground.
He grabbed his wrists and sank to the mossy grass in relief, too exhausted to thank her or to wonder how she’d done it. The black pools of his wounds knit themselves together, but the process was slow. They congealed and bubbled, the poison resisting his body as it mended itself. His half-healed jaw grafted, but the internal sting of broken veins persisted. Muscles wove themselves back together. Bones popped as they finally slid back into place. The poison continued to circulate as his body tried to heal around it, and it would be hours before no scars remained. Even then, the internal tremors would continue.
He examined the shifter-woman. Her pale blonde hair fell to her waist, where it rolled out in small curls. Her skin was tan and patches of it glistened with copper reflections in the sun. Her piercing blue eyes were crinkled in an expression of annoyance.
“You two are drenowith,” he observed. “Muses.”
“I thought you were just myths.”
“We prefer it that way. I am Adele and this is Garrett.” She gestured towards the other muse. He had rusty hair, the color of embers in a fire, but his skin was the same coppery shade as Adele’s.
Garrett released his grip on Kara’s shoulder. She ran to Braeden and knelt beside him.
 “Are you okay?” she asked.
“Fine,” he said. “Thank you.”
Kara turned to Adele. “How did you undo his shackles? I thought only the person who put them on could take them off.”
“We are above yakona laws, young Vagabond.”
“Well, thank you for saving us, then.”
 “You owe us nothing. The first Vagabond was our friend, to whom we owed a debt. It’s now paid. What is your name?”
“Kara. So you’re muses, huh? All the letter said about you is that you’re shape-shifters. Can you become anything?”
 “Yes. Anything we imagine,” Garret said. Braeden tried to avoid looking at the muse he had been ordered to kill.
“This is insane,” Kara said. “So, you knew the Vagabond and you obviously don’t age. Are you immortal?”
“Not immortal,” Adele corrected. “While we do not grow old, we can die. Everything is mortal, even Earth.”
“It’s hard to believe that a human found the Grimoire,” Garrett interrupted.
 “I agree,” Adele said. “The first Vagabond lost faith in his kind not long before he disappeared, so I suspected his successor wouldn’t be a yakona. Still, I never thought it possible that his protégé could be a human.”
 “I’m starting to redefine my idea of possible,” Kara said with a laugh.
“I am curious, Kara,” Garrett said as he leaned against a tree.
 “What language do you believe you’re speaking?”
 “What kind of a question is that?”
 “Please, humor me.”
“English.” Braeden’s heart skipped a beat. She’d said it with such conviction that he wanted to believe her.
“We aren’t speaking English,” Braeden said. “You’re speaking our common language.”
“What—?” She laughed. “I don’t even know what that is!”
Garrett chimed in before Kara could continue. “I know this is confusing, my girl, but listen closely. The first Vagabond often created new vagabonds, and when he did, he would inherently pass on some of his gifts to them. However, it seems that he passed on everything he ever achieved to you because you have his Grimoire. Among other things, you now possess an intuitive understanding of the languages he knew.”
“That doesn’t even make sense.” She paused, seeming to grapple with the concept.
 “I mean, wouldn’t language evolve over a thousand years?”
 “You do have a strange accent.” Braeden chuckled. Kara glared at him, so he cleared his throat and tried to forget his poorly-timed joke. “But no, nothing much changes here.” ~(Pgs. 43-46)


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