The Dark Artifices book #2, Lord of Shadows, will be released on May 23! Here is the official cover for the book and two snippets to go with it! Don’t wait to pre-order the book at this link.
They were far out from shore now—it was a shining line in the distance, the highway a ribbon of moving lights, the houses and restaurants along the coastline glimmering. “Well, as it turns out, my parents didn’t die in the ocean.” Emma took a shuddering breath. “They didn’t drown.”
“Knowing that doesn’t wipe out years of bad dreams.” Julian glanced toward her. The wind blew soft tendrils of his hair against his cheekbones. She remembered what it felt like to have her hands in that hair, how holding him had anchored her not just to the world, but to herself.
“I hate feeling like this,” she said, and for a moment even she wasn’t sure what she was talking about. “I hate being afraid. It makes me feel weak.”
“Emma, everyone’s afraid of something.” Julian moved slightly closer. “We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you don’t feel anything.”
“Jules—” She started to turn toward him in surprise at the intensity in his voice, but paused when she heard Cristina’s footsteps quicken, and then her voice, raised in recognition, calling:
Cristina was there, in the middle of the room, looking up at one of the chandeliers. There was a row of three of them, unlit but glittering with crystal drops.
Mark let the door fall shut behind him and she turned. She didn’t look surprised to see him. She was wearing a plain black dress that looked as if it had been cut for someone shorter than her — it probably had been.
“Mark,” she said. “Couldn’t you sleep?”
“Not well.” He glanced ruefully down at his arm, though the pain had gone now that he was with Cristina. “Did you feel the same?”
She nodded. Her eyes were bright. “My mother always said that the ballroom in the London Institute was the most beautiful room she’d ever seen.” She looked around, at the Edwardian striped wallpaper, the heavy velvet curtains looped back from the windows. “But she must have seen it very much alive and filled with people. It seems like Sleeping Beauty’s castle now. As if the Dark War surrounded it with thorns and since then it has slept.”
Mark held out his hand, his wound circling his wrist like Julian’s sea-glass bracelet circled his. “Let us wake it up,” he said. “Dance with me.”