Posted on July 4, 2011 by Flames
FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with an excerpt from Night Veil, the second novel in the new Indigo Court series written by Yasmine Galenorn. This dark fantasy story debuts on Tuesday, July 5th. In this preview, you’ll read a brief introduction to the world and a part of the first chapter.
Night Veil: The Beginning
Myst led her people into the shadows and ice, and there they hid, sheltered in the depths of lore. The Vampiric Fae were pariah, kept a dirty secret, shamefully debasing the entire realm of Faerie. And so in furtive silence, the Host fed and drank deep and did rend the flesh of its victims and feast. But their thirst was unquenchable, and it was then that Myst discovered one of their newfound powers: Members of the Indigo Court could drink from the souls of the magic-born…
With this discovery, a vision for the future began to evolve, and the foundation of terror began…
Night Veil: Chapter One
The great horned owl sat in the oak.
I could see the bird from my window as it huddled in the sparse branches, trying to protect itself from the snow. I longed to join it, to strip off my clothes and turn into my owl self, to fly free under the haunting winter moon, but the weather was harsh and cold. And Myst was out there, hiding in the forest with her people, waiting.
And somewhere, hidden in her mists and shadows, Grieve is there, captive, caught in Myst’s web. Can he still possibly love me? Can he still be saved from the blood that flows through his veins? How can I let him go, now that we’ve found each other again?
I opened the window and leaned out, glancing down at the yard below. The snow gleamed under the nearly full moon, a crystal blanket of white flooding the lawn. The Golden Wood—or Spider’s Wood, as I called it—was aglow as usual, with a sickly green light that I’d seen every night since returning home to New Forest. A thousand miles and years seemed to separate me from my former existence, although it had been only a couple of weeks since I arrived back in town. But in that short time, my life had turned upside down, in every possible way.
The wind called to me to come and play and I closed my eyes, reveling in the feel of the breezes lashing against my skin. My owls shifted, urging me to fly. The tattoos—a pair of blackwork owls flying over a silver moon impaled on a dagger—banded both arms.
Slipping on my leather jacket and gloves, I cautiously climbed out on the shingles, making sure that the snow that had built up didn’t slip, sending me sliding to the ground, but it had turned to ice. I scooted until my back rested against the window, then brought my knees up, circling them with my arms, and nestled as best as I could against the cold.
As I stared up into the oak, the great horned owl let out a soft hoot, stirring my blood. Over the past month, he’d taught me to shake off the fear of falling, to soar through the unending night turning on a wing, catching mice in the yard, while always, always, keeping an eye on the forest.
You are Uwilahsidhe. You are magic-born. You must keep watch for Myst, he constantly reminded me. The Queen of the Indigo Court seeks to destroy you.
I raised one hand in salute, the snowflakes softly kissing my skin, and he hooted again, a warning in his tone.
“What is it?” I whispered. “What are you trying to tell me?”
Ulean, my Wind Elemental, swept around me like a cloak, answering for him. He fears for you. There are ghosts riding the wind tonight, and the Shadow Hunters are out and about. There will be death before the morning.
More death. More blood. My stomach churned as I thought about the four killings reported over the past two days. One had been a child. All had been torn to bits, eaten to the bone.
I gazed at the forest. What were Myst and her people up to tonight? Who were they hunting? The bitch-queen was ravenous and without mercy.
There has been so much death over the past few days. They are terrorizing the town and now everyone fears them, even though they don’t know from whom they run. I leaned against the gentle current that signaled Ulean was embracing me. She had been my guardian since I was six years old, bonded to me through ritual, a gift from Lainule, the Fae Queen of Rivers and Rushes.
And they should fear. Myst won’t just go away. She is here to make her mark and conquer. She is here to destroy. Ulean caught up a skiff of snow and sent it into the air, spiraling around me.
I glanced back inside at the clock. Seven P.M. Another two hours before we were to meet with Geoffrey. Finally, after five days of silence, the Northwest Regent of the Vampire Nation had summoned us. Five days after we had rescued our friend Peyton from Myst. Five days after I’d lost Grieve. Five days during which the Indigo Court had rained hell on the town, killing eight people.
The owl hooted again and as I glanced in his direction, a shadow of movement caught my eye from below, over near the herb gardens.
Crap—something was rooting around down there. Not an animal, so what was it? Another glance over at the Spider’s Wood showed nothing amiss, but we couldn’t take any chances.
Ulean, do you know what that thing is?
I leaned forward, trying to keep it within my sight.
I need to know what it is. We can’t take a chance on letting it prowl around our land.
* * *
Night Veil is available now at Amazon.com.
This excerpt was provided by and is being published with express permission from the author.