It’s approximately 24 days until the third book in the Guardians of Illyria series is released! I know, I know–you’re super excited and you can’t wait to read it! Soooo in honor of its upcoming release, I will be posting small excerpts from throughout the novel everyday here on my blog! BUT WAIT! DON’T PEE YOUR BRITCHES YET, CHILDENZ! I will also be holding a giveaway on Goodreads for the first book to the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States starting within the next week!
So, to kick-start this little countdown of mine, here’s a snippet from the first chapter of Ion’s (aka the new Thunder Lord of the Endari):
The winds continued to howl around my waist and legs, the rain continuing to fall. I’d been watching Esereez’s troops march across the deserts of the Southernlands for a little less than a year now, ever since I’d left the ranks of my fellow Guardians on Illyria. The soldiers’ mission was to intercept envoys and traders travelling between the Last Citadels—the ten remaining cities that belonged to the humans.
But today, their mission will not see its completion.
It was an order.
They wouldn’t be expecting me, not at this hour, on this day. Nor would they be expecting what I was about to do next…
As they continued to trudge across the swampy earth beneath them, I descended from the clouds until I could see past their polished silver helmets, into the shimmering ball bearings that served as their eyes.
One saw me, and screamed, “Halt!” its mechanical voice cutting through the air.
And instantly the soldiers stopped. They stood silently for a moment, calculating the turn of events.
“It’s the Traitor!” one of them shouted.
“Strike him down!” called another. “Kill him by order of Skylord Othum!”
Even Othum wants me struck down now?
I detected a sudden shift in the atmosphere—particles of electricity building in the insides of their spears. The buzzing of the electricity filled my sensitive ears, clouding my thoughts.
As their spears fast approached their full charge, I threw my head back. I shifted my jaw and felt it pop out of its socket like a snake’s would before devouring its prey. A Dark move of the Balance taught to me by a Dark god, drawn from anger and sorrow and hate. I snapped my head forward, and when I opened my mouth, it stretched down past my chest. A torrent of hissing ice, snow, and hail flooded out of my mouth, materializing from the very breath I exhaled. It flooded over the Inventor’s soldiers, a blizzard in the middle of the High Heat that froze the soldiers in their place. A web of frost crept over my lips, snaking across my cheeks and up to my eyes, caking my eyebrows in ice.
The river of snow, wind, and sleet stopped as I retracted my unhinged jaw, and I popped it back into place with my hand. It hurt the first time I’d done it, but now it was as natural as any other Dark move I’d learned.
The winds lowered me to the soldiers, and at once my feet reached the frozen earth, I marched through the ranks. Their spears and shields were held so high. As though it would’ve done them any good. I stopped in the middle of them, and waited…
My sensitivities to the atmosphere weren’t limited to the building of electrical charges or the sight of rain through the darkness behind my eyelids. I could feel my frost creeping through every inch of these soldiers’ gears and limbs too, hear it infecting them like a virus.
Regret washed over me in place of the hate I’d summoned to rain destruction upon the High Heat.
“What have you started, Ion?” Father would have said, his steely eyes barreling into me.
I clenched my iron jaw, listening to the angry rumbles of thunder in the clouds above—the sounds replying to my emotion. But as regretful as I was, I was less so than I thought I’d be. You’ve been numbed, Ion, I told myself. I could sense it even in my own thoughts. But I had to be at this point. For this was what must be done. And what must be done required sacrifices.
I silenced my regret with a deep breath, one that ceased the thunder and negated the falling rain in only a second.
She must not know of the regret I have. It would’ve ruined everything I’d worked for. Unravel every stitch in the fabric of my plan.
A hand fell upon my shoulder, heavy but gentle all the same. Motherly. But deceiving.
“It is done,” she said, her voice sweet and caring. “You’re finally ready.”