Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: 15th September 2020
The Fae stole everything from Wyn. Her home. Her family. Her soul.
Now they want Her help. A murderer for hire, but this mission – kill the Shadow Queen, the boogeyman of the realm – is a suicide mission. At best! If she doesn’t say yes, they’ll steal more of the small family she’s piecemealed together since dragging her ass out of Faerie three years ago.
Guided by a vaguely familiar dark elf, Wyn must traverse the Shadow Court, a barren wasteland with toxic air populated by nightmarish creatures. Faerie warps everything it touches.
And helping them? Means giving them the last part of herself.
Trigger warning: mention of abuse
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Ash-Shadow-Triskelion-Book-ebook/dp/B08BG8SVY2/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ash-Shadow-Triskelion-Book-ebook/dp/B08BG8SVY2/
Sarah King is the author of the YA Dark Fantasy novel Of Ash & Shadow. Sarah wrote her first book at fourteen and quickly decided it would never again see the light of day. Six (never-to-be-seen-again) books later, she wrote the first incarnation of Of Ash & Shadow during her final residency at Seton Hill University‘s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program.
A Connecticut native, Sarah currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her very understanding, listens-to-her-rave-about-the-stupidity-of-writing-a-golden-sword-into-her-book, boyfriend and two (lovingly spastic) dogs. Dogs who she honestly talks about more than her writing.
Webiste – http://www.sarahkingauthor.org/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20457951.Sarah_King
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SKingAuthor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sarahkingauthor
“Was she human?” she asked, leaning her cheek on the palm of her hand so she could stare at him sideways. Watch for his reactions as much as listen.
Prince Orin’s eyes closed, and his lips sank like the Titanic—quick and hard. “I thought so.”
“What does that mean?”
Wyn’s gaze narrowed.
Orin opened his eyes, turned his head to meet her gaze square on. “Do you know what a Changeling is?”
“Intimately,” she said, word clipped by the knot in her throat at the mention of this particular fae species.
Wyn was a scholar on the Changelings. Knew them as well as she knew the arches, whorls, and loops of every soldier’s thumbprint. Body identification wasn’t always easy, often fingerprints were lost, but they didn’t exactly have dental records on hand within the small army she called family.
She’d called a changeling family once.
Offspring of fae, deemed too sickly to survive within Faerie, they were exchanged for a human child, to be raised on Earth—where their faerie powers, what little they had of them, would be dampened by the lack of magic. Faerie warps the human child left to grow within its borders, unprotected, until it is no longer human, but fae. A transfer of power in the fae’s eyes. Little issue for them, giving up a child to steal a perfectly healthy one in return. A balancing act with a deadly cost when the barrier disintegrated.
Melisandre looked human, acted human, thought herself human. Little of her fae heritage apart from enhanced physical beauty would have remained as evidence. Wyn’s chest tightened. A car jack pressing her ribcage into her lungs inch by inch. Salty tears burned the rims of her eyelids. She bit down hard on her tongue to halt the emotional close call.
Changeling children were the first to be unmasked when the barrier broke.
Changeling children were the first to feel the magic bleed into the human realm.
Changeling children were the first fae to go on killing sprees as the power drove them to insanity.
“Please, Wyn, d-don’t do this.”
Wyn stared down in frozen horror at the wide, ice-blue eyes of her best friend whose face wore Dylan’s blood like war paint.
Wyn blinked and she was on her feet, storming the length of the room and back. Her fingers curled into fists and back again, each lap of the room doing little to dissuade her mind from throwing the first punch. Bile was the mountain climber ascending her throat, digging his pick axe into the tender flesh with each inch upward. Fast stepping it to the window, she threw it open and shoved her head outside into the cool breeze.
She tried to count the hours since her last meal. Six? Eight? Twelve? It was long enough she couldn’t remember. Still, her stomach heaved and deposited a steaming waterfall of bile to the flowerbeds below. Her mouth burned, and the world spun before her eyes, winking in and out like a light with a faulty bulb. Resting her forehead against the windowsill, she wrenched the back of her forearm across her mouth dragging away spittle and bile.
Memories exploded inside her mind.
Of her best-friend’s mouth open in a silent scream, bloodied hands raised in shaky defense. Of her first kill and the sulfuric smoke that brought her to a similar position, puking her guts out in front of two corpses.
One of which she’d created with a fire poker.
Her ledger transcended a little black bound notebook. It was a one terabyte hard drive, squeezed for every kilobyte of space. Cyrus preached forgiveness of self, and forgetfulness of the lives lost. Most took those words of wisdom to heart. She took them as a challenge. To never forget. Too many people were being forgotten. Someone needed to remember the long dead. Dead and lost and to her never forgotten. Each kill, each memory, was penance paid for Dylan.
Wyn took one last, long draw of fresh air and returned to sit beside Orin.
“I plunged a fire poker through a changeling’s icy heart.”
“Your brother’s murderer?”