Today we're excited to share a sneak peek of The Traitor Prince by CJ Redwine!
Read on for more about CJ and her book, plus an excerpt, and an exclusive offer!
Hi everyone! YABC is so excited for CJ Redwine's third book in her Ravenspire series, The Traitor Prince, so we wanted to share an exclusive excerpt from her amazing book along with an exclusive offer from CJ!!
See the details below about the exclusive offer after you have devoured the excerpt below!
and you will receive Ravenspire story "The Wicked Woods" free!****
Please click the link below to purchase The Traitor Prince!
Click the link below to check out the first three chapters of The Traitor Prince that is being offered exclusively by Epic Reads!
~ Excerpt ~
The guard started for the hall but then stopped as a tall girl with long black hair and alabaster skin stepped out of a stairwell and moved toward them. She wore solid black from her shirt and pants to her boots. Her wrists were adorned with twin iron bracelets, and her hands were curled into fists.
The animals in the stalls began a chorus of howls, hisses, and snarls that sounded nothing like any animal Javan had ever encountered. It would’ve been enough to send a chill down his spine except the girl was already doing that.
She moved like a predator—all lithe muscle and efficient grace—and her dark blue eyes were fixed on him as though she meant to tear him to pieces. The skin on the back of his neck prickled, and he fought the urge to slide back a step. She looked to be his age, and Javan would’ve spent useless time wondering why she was working in such an awful place, but he was too busy hoping she didn’t decide to feed him to whatever nasty-smelling animal was currently howling for its dinner.
“New prisoner. Thirty-year term. Looks like he’ll be a good competitor.” The magistrate whisked another key out of his pocket and Javan’s chains fell away.
The girl’s eyes narrowed, and she slowly scanned Javan like he was a prize pig she was thinking of butchering. “Maybe,” she said finally, her voice cold and quiet. “Looks a little soft, though.”
Javan’s chin rose, and he glared at her. He’d taken honors in every physical competition hosted at Milisatria with the exception of the disastrous fencing tournament in fifth year. He’d just buried the body of his mentor, ridden hard across the desert, tried to stop an impostor from taking the throne, and been thrown into Maqbara, where he was determined to either gain an audience with the king or escape, whichever came first.
He was anything but soft.
Her brow rose as if his thoughts had been written on his face. “You think I’m wrong?”
“Yes.” The word came out before he could think better of it.
For a second he imagined something like regret flashed across her face, and then she said in her eerily quiet voice, “I’m never wrong. You’ll either toughen up fast, or you’ll be meat.”
“What does that mean?”
She shrugged as if she couldn’t be bothered to explain herself, and stood silently next to him as the magistrate and his guards hurried across the arena and out of the prison, slamming the door shut behind them.
When the echo of the door’s closing died, she said, “Here’s the schedule. Breakfast is at first bell. Chores are at second, third, and fourth depending on which level your cell is on. Fifth bell is lunch. Arena practice is divided up between bells six through nine, again depending on your level. Dinner is at tenth bell, rec time is at eleventh, and lockdown is at twelfth. Prisoners will be locked in their cells between meals and tasks. There are six guards per level and all of them will beat you within an inch of your life if you disobey a single order. Tenth bell just rang. Kitchen is on the ninth level. Eat what you can grab. If someone steals it from you, you either take it back, or you don’t eat. If you steal food from someone else..”
“I’m not a thief.”
“Better not take it from someone stronger and faster than you.” She met his gaze, and he forced himself to stand his ground beneath the ferocity in her eyes. “I run the prison when the warden is busy. If you attack me—”
“I would never—”
“If you try, I will hurt you until you’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel anything but pain. If you attack other prisoners, you’d better be certain they aren’t allied with those who are more vicious than you.”
“Miss . . . I’m sorry. I don’t remember what the magistrate called you.”
“Sajda.” She said it like it was a challenge she’d thrown in his face.
“I don’t care.”
“I can see that. I just . . . I wanted to tell you that I’m not dangerous. I’m not a criminal. I shouldn’t be here.” He put as much sincerity into his voice as he could, but her expression remained cold.
“Everyone says they shouldn’t be here. Only some of us are telling the truth.” She turned from him and motioned toward the stairs. “There’s an open cell on the fifteenth level. Don’t miss lockdown. Any prisoner who fails to answer roll call in his or her cell after lockdown will be hunted down and killed.”
“I suppose you do the hunting,” he muttered as he followed Sajda toward the stairs.
Her back stiffened. “The warden does the hunting. And if I were you, I’d do everything I possibly could to stay far, far away from her.”
He thought he might like to stay far, far away from Sajda as well, but that wasn’t an option yet. Not until he understood the way the prison worked and the people who lived in it.
As he climbed the narrow stone steps that led to the next level, he pressed his hand to his heart, feeling the soft brush of the red sash against his skin, and whispered a prayer that he would find a way out of Maqbara before it was too late for his father and for himself.
Meet CJ Redwine!
C.J. Redwine is the New York Times bestselling author of YA fantasy novels, including The Shadow Queen, The Wish Granter, and the Defiance trilogy. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at www.cjredwine.com
Meet The Traitor Prince!
Javan Najafai, crown prince of Akram, has spent the last ten years at an elite boarding school, far away from his kingdom. But his eagerly awaited return home is cut short when a mysterious imposter takes his place—and no one believes Javan is the true prince.
After barely escaping the imposter’s assassins, Javan is thrown into Maqbara, the kingdom’s most dangerous prison. The only way to gain an audience with the king — and reveal Javan’s identity — is to fight in Maqbara’s yearly tournament. But winning is much harder than acing competitions at school, and soon Javan finds himself beset not just by the terrifying creatures in the arena, but also a band of prisoners allied against him, and even the warden herself.
The only person who can help him is Sajda, who has been enslaved by Maqbara’s warden since she was a child, and whose guarded demeanor and powerful right hook keep the prisoners in check. Working with Sajda might be the only way Javan can escape alive — but she has dangerous secrets.
Together, Javan and Sajda have to outwit the vicious warden, outfight the deadly creatures, and outlast the murderous prisoners intent on killing Javan. If they fail, they’ll be trapped in Maqbara for good—and the secret Sajda’s been hiding will bury them both.
The Ravenspire Series (CJ Redwine)