The Crumbling Pageant
(Volume One of the Fury Triad Series)
Author: Patricia Burroughs
Publisher: Story Spring Publishing
Genre: Dark Young Adult Fantasy
The people of Ordinary England are unaware of a hidden magical England existing alongside--the world of the Magi. Their cathedrals are temples to the old gods. They are ruled not by poor mad George, but by the ailing King Pellinore of the House of Pendragon. The wars of the Magi, however, are no less deadly.
The Furys are known for their extraordinary music, their powerful magic, and their historic role as kingmakers. But the Furys have their secrets as well, none so dangerous as the Dark daughter whose Shadow magic spills from her unchecked. Unless Persephone Fury's powers are concealed, she's marked as a target for those who would use and abuse her power.
But these are desperate times, and this frightening daughter must make a good marriage. On the night of her debut, her world crumbles around her when she is abducted from the man she loves by the man she most loathes.
Evil powers circle, calling her to the destiny foretold at the moment of her birth, drawing her to the source of her power, to the one place she can finally be free. That can only happen, though, if she embraces the Dark magic within her.
Persephone is ruthless, devious, and clever, but when confronted with the truth, she must make horrifying choices. Can she defy destiny and seize her own fate?
Inside this rustic cottage she heard nothing but—
Her heart stopped.
She was not alone.
Whoever was with her was as still and watchful as she. Her fingers longed to flex in defence, but she kept them still. Was it someone she could overcome? With her magic tingling in her veins and her rage at what had been perpetrated upon her, she knew she could. She could overcome anyone who dared stand in her way.
She allowed her eyes to open completely and, after a moment, saw beyond the feeble light from the small window and into the gloom of the dark corner. Another blink, and shape emerged. Long legs stretched forward. Elbows were planted on the arms of a chair. Long, pale fingers steepled and glittering black eyes stared over them at her. A predator, watching. Waiting.
She shot up, the pain in her right shoulder tearing through her. “How dare you!”
His wand flicked out, aimed at her heart, though beyond the movement of that one agile hand, the rest of his body remained as still and dangerously relaxed as before. “Quite easily,” he purred.
Her purple gown, once a source of horror and then of wondrous pride, now was ripped open with a bandage and too much skin showing beneath it. She covered herself with both hands, enraged. “What sort of blackguard watches a young lady sleep?” she demanded, her heart pounding. “And… and…” She found herself unable to voice her shock and alarm at being faced with a wand again, much less the sort of man who would possess one.
A shudder of revulsion rippled through her.
“I’ve not been watching you sleep. I’ve been watching you awaken.” The wand twitched. “Consider carefully any move you make, because if I even suspect that you are about to attack me again, you will be chastened. Again.”
Chastened? Was that what he called it?
His voice was silky and menacing in the gloom. “Unless you’d like a wound in your left shoulder to match that on your right?”
She drew back in fear, despite herself.
“Ah, so we have an understanding.”
He twirled his wand through his slender, nimble fingers and then back into his palm again.
Patricia Burroughs had insomnia throughout her entire teen years. This meant she read books in the middle of the night, and slept during class in the middle of the day. Unless, of course, she was hiding a novel inside a physics textbook. Who needed physics? She believed in magic. Eventually she turned her propensity for daydreaming and scheming into storytelling, which manifested in award-winning screenplays and books. She still can’t sleep at night, but now it’s her own characters keeping her awake.
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