Spotlight on Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sara B Larson), Excerpt, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to spotlight Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sara B Larson).
Read on for more about Sara, plus a excerpt & a giveaway!
Meet Sara B Larson!
Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE), the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, and the forthcoming WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME (Oct. 27, 2020, TorTeen/Macmillan). She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction. She’s online at www.SaraBLarson.com.
Meet Warriors of Wing and Flame!
Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson continues her enchanting YA fantasy duology with a timeless fairytale feel in an original voice.
The doorway between the magical Visempirum and the human world has been reopened. Paladin are once more living in the citadel where Zuhra and Inara grew up completely isolated by the magical hedge that trapped them there. Amidst the brewing conflict between the Paladin and humans looms the threat of Barloc, who has stolen Inara’s immense power and continues to elude the Paladin who are desperately searching for him.
In this sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light, Inara and Zuhra must navigate the treacherous paths of self-discovery, their love for each other, and for the boys who have captured their hearts. Together, they search for the strength within themselves to bridge the divide between the two worlds they inhabit, even as war threatens to destroy everything—and everyone—they love.
~ Excerpt ~
Darkness crept across my room, stealing the final hint of daylight partially visible through my window next to where I lay, covers pulled up to my chin. Small noises came from the hallway, and I wondered if it was Zuhra. Part of me wished to go to her . . . but the other part of me, the part deep inside that was darker than the inky blackness spilling across the night sky, froze me in place. Though I willed it not to, my heart began to thump hard,
harder, harder. My face flushed hot; my arms went numb.
Rising like a tsunami—something Zuhra and I had read about in a book years ago—a deceptively deadly wave that just kept coming, and coming, and coming, rising with unimaginable force, destroying everything in its path.
My breath burst out in short gasps, faster and faster, until the room spun along with my stomach.
You’re safe. He’s gone. You’re safe . . .
I repeated the phrases to myself again and again, but they were feeble blockades against the relentless wave of panic, crumbling with barely a hint of resistance.
“Zuhra,” I called out weakly, between pants. Zuhra . . . come to me. Help me.
It felt like I was dying again, not from a wound inflicted by a monster in the form of a man, from the monster inside of me.
› 37 ‹
The massive, prowling beast that stalked through the emptiness where my magic had once resided. The physical wounds were gone, healed by Raidyn and Zuhra’s combined efforts. But not even their immense combined power could fix what his attack had done to me.
What it was continuing to do to me.
I threw off my covers, grabbed a dressing gown from my ward- robe, and began to pace my room. Sleep was not going to come, no matter how exhausted I was, no matter how drained my body might have been after the trauma I’d endured. I wanted my power back—needed it back. I would even have willingly accepted the roar again to have it returned to me.
I paused by my window, glancing out at the darkened grounds. The hole in the hedge was still there, a visible wound torn through our lives. The matching hole inside me throbbed, painful and raw, until everything blurred and I had to wipe at my eyes to clear my vision from the tears that kept gathering. Dizziness from breath- ing so hard and fast forced me to grip the window seal to keep myself upright.
I didn’t know how long I’d been standing there when I noticed two tall, shadowed figures walking across the grounds toward the hedge. A rush of dread f lashed through me; my nails gouged the window seal. Before the scream building in my throat could release, the clouds parted, and the silver light revealed my father and the Paladin who I was almost certain had feelings for my sister—Raidyn.
I watched them for only a moment before turning and rush- ing to my wardrobe. Sleep wasn’t coming, that much was certain. And I couldn’t bear the thought of standing in my room for who knew how many more hours by myself, lightheaded with panic. Instead, I hastily yanked off my dressing gown and nightclothes and pulled on whatever dress was closest. Without bothering to waste time putting on shoes, I left my room, my feet silent on the worn carpets and cold stones of the citadel’s hallways. I hesitated by the door to Zuhra’s room, but then hurried past it, hoping my sister was getting the sleep that eluded me.
The closer I got to the front entrance of the citadel, the colder
› 38 ‹
it got; it wasn’t until I stood at the threshold of the massive stair- case and stared down at the darkness swirling where the heavy doors had once resided that I remembered Barloc had destroyed them as well as the hedge. A night-chilled wind lifted the hair from my neck, sending a shiver skipping over my skin as I hurried down the stairs and past the charred remains of the doors.
Even though the clouds had erased the moon once more, turn- ing the night as dark as the soil beneath my toes, a strange sense of peace enfolded me once I was free of the citadel. I was exposed, and cold, and powerless . . . but I was outside, near the gardens and orchards I’d spent most of my life tending. My true home, more so than anywhere inside the massive structure behind me.
Finally, with a deep breath, I turned away from the gardens to face the ruined hedge, where Adelric—my father—and Raidyn still stood by the hole, their backs to me. Their voices were a low murmur as I drew closer. Before I could make out what they were saying, my father stiffened and spun, lifting a hand, his veins in- stantly lighting up with his power.
“Inara?” He quickly lowered his hand when he realized it was
me, his shoulders relaxing slightly. “What are you doing up—and out here?”
“I couldn’t sleep,” was all I offered, and thankfully Adelric didn’t push me. A muscle in Raidyn’s jaw tightened, his gaze strayed to the citadel behind us then back to me, but he remained silent.
“You’re barefoot—aren’t you cold?”
Ignoring Adelric’s question, I moved past them toward the charred wound in the hedge. When I lifted my hands up to one burnt leaf, the hedge fluttered half-heartedly, as though the in- ability to repair itself had removed its desire to even try to protect us any longer. The blackened edges crumbled beneath even the gentlest of touches, turning to dust in my palm.
“Why can’t it heal? Nothing has ever been able to hurt it before—nothing. I don’t understand how he did this . . . how he . . . he . . . I don’t understand.” And suddenly, I was crying, the words choked to a halt by the echo of pain, of emptiness, of holes where there was once so much more.
My father stepped up beside me and gently put an arm around
› 39 ‹
- I stood stiffly at first. Though he was my father, he was also little more than a stranger. But when he didn’t let go, I slowly allowed myself to lean into him—a bit. “The custovitan hedge is nearly impenetrable, but nothing is invincible. Not even this hedge could withstand a blast of such massive, concentrated power, like the type a jakla possesses so soon after the change.”
I shuddered beneath his arm.
“But it doesn’t have to stay this way,” he quickly added. “It merely needs a little help.” When he lifted his other hand toward the hedge, his veins were already glowing with power. I turned my head away, squeezing my eyes shut.
“Sir, I’m not sure that’s a wise use of—”
Raidyn’s hesitant protest cut off. I refused to look, refused to watch my father use the power he’d gifted me—that I would never again feel burning within me.
The previously fresh night air took on an acrid bite. Awareness of power flowing from my father into the hedge raised the hair on my arms. Was he truly doing what I thought he was?
The arm around me tightened; I felt the strain within him. How much would it take to heal the hedge? Was it even possible?
A rustle of leaves. A flutter of movement that sent a cool waft of air over my cheeks. Unable to resist any longer, I finally opened my eyes to find an unbroken sea of green. The hole was gone. The hedge moved before me, well and whole once more, vines gliding over one another in celebration—in relief.
My eyes burned unexpectedly. I blinked a few times to clear them as my father let his hand drop back to his side, the glow- ing power in his veins dimming rapidly before disappearing com- pletely.
“You see? He’s not all powerful. Soon he will be just like any other Paladin. Then we can stop him and fix the damage he’s done.”
“Can we get my power back?”
There was a long, heavy pause. “No,” he finally admitted. “It is truly a miracle you are even alive.”
This time I clamped my teeth, keeping the words rising up, barreling toward my mouth, from escaping. I didn’t want him and Raidyn—or anyone else—to know that a part of me almost
› 40 ‹
wished Zuhra and Raidyn hadn’t succeeded in saving me. Because without my power, I felt like a husk of my former self. Carved out, left empty and useless.
Instead, I stared at the hedge that had finally settled into still- ness once more, and said, “Thank you for healing it.”
He hugged me tighter, and we stood there together, little more than two strangers, no matter what blood bound us, staring at the hedge silently.
Warriors of Wing and Flame
By: Sara B Larson
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: October 17th, 2020
Three winners will each receive a trade paperback copy of Sisters of Shadow and Light and a Hardcover of Warriors of Wing and Flame
~ (US/Can Only) ~
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The gold and red is super pretty, and I really appreciate the cartoon drawings. I have a sister, so any books that have that as a main plot point are always a good read.