New series, new paranormal world, new heroes!
So who's up for a trip to Annwyn?
That's Annwyn the underworld as ruled by fairies. And I don’t mean the lovely little harmless type that fills modern fairy tales and cartoons. I mean traditional fairies the ones who take great delight in upsetting the lives of mortals. They gamble and make deals, and will quite happily trick you into visiting Annwyn or giving up your soul (you will never get what you want from a fairy—in fact lawyers came about as humans tried to avoid making bad deals with fairies, of course we’ve all forgotten about that. Most of us have forgotten about fairies altogether.)
You've all read the brochure and signed the forms? I'll remind you of the rules anyway. While we’re in Annwyn please don’t eat the food or drink the wine as you will be stuck here. The same goes for dancing.
If you have to talk to a fairy, don’t agree to anything.
Today Verden, Lord of the Hunt is escorting Caspian, a changeling, to Annwyn. We’re going to tag along and see some of the castle and get a glimpse of the Court. If you follow the rules, we should make it out of Annwyn with our souls. Ready to cross the veil?
Behind him the gate closed with a snap like a breaking twig. He turned to look behind him but there was no gate, just two trees that looked no different from any other two trees around him.
He appeared to be in a forest of some kind. But the trees were taller and bigger than was possible and the color was wrong, not brighter, but more vibrant. The magic he’d felt of the silver tea set was nothing compared to the power in the air here. He could taste it, almost metallic on his tongue.
“Am I dead?” It sounded like a stupid question, but it was always good to check the technicalities and read the fine print on the ticket.
“So I’m physically here.” Caspian flexed his fingers. He felt real.
On one hand that was good, on the other it meant he’d vanished from the mortal world and given that time moved differently he’d have no idea how long he’d been gone for.
He tried not to glance wildly around him, but part of him couldn’t contain the glee at being at Court. Part of him, the fairy part obviously, was reveling in the sensation of power. The mortal part, the part he usually listened to, was far more cautious. So he reined in all emotion and tried to ignore the magnificence as the forest began to change and thicken.
Overhead the branches arched to form a roof and the forest became a living building. The walls were the trunks, but embedded in the bark were what looked like gems. From the roof vines and flowers tumbled, the colored petals danced in the breeze. Shadows flickered along the edges, but they didn’t belong to Verden or Caspian. Shadow servants. They looked human, but they didn’t speak and kept their gaze on the grass at their feet.
The doubt and fear rose to the surface, smothering any wonder he felt about being in Annwyn. This place was unnatural. He shouldn’t be here. He didn’t want to end up like the shadow servants, bound to serve to pay a debt.
Okay, I probably should have mentioned shadow servants before we got here, they won’t hurt you they are just souls paying a debt or penance—remember the rules as you don’t want to become one. Shhh we’re about to go into the Hall of Judgement….
What Caspian glimpsed in the mirror had been a reflection of the true beauty of the Court.
The fairies were beautiful. Sharp cheekbones, pale eyes of every shade from blue to yellow to green and pink. Their clothing was cut in styles no human hand could replicate, like haute couture had taken nature as inspiration and blended it with styles straight out of history but without the modesty.
Skin and silks.
He looked away before he could be drawn in, his gaze dropping to just a few yards in front of him as he followed Verden. In his bare feet, jeans, and shirt he drew curious gazes as he walked forward. Some hissed and drew back as if mortality was catching.
Mortality isn’t catchy. It’s a soul that makes you mortal and fairies don’t have souls…that’s also why they have no qualms about stealing yours, they don’t see them as necessary. Damn, one of the group just took a sip of wine. Oh well. If we only lose one that’s a good trip across the veil. I think we’ll skip the tour of the river of damned souls and head home before…too late. Every time someone trades their soul for wealth—it won’t last. Did you not study the brochure? Let’s go. Two humans lost is okay, three is getting too many and I want to keep my job.
So now you’ve had a peek at Annwyn you have the chance to win The Outcast Prince and find out what happens to Caspian while he’s there (he wasn’t being taken to the Hall of Judgement for no reason).
Leave a comment to go in the draw :)
Or you could offer up your soul, whichever is easier…
Winner drawn on July 4 at 7pm WST.
Praise for The Outcast Prince:
“Brilliantly unique, beautifully sensual, The Outcast Prince had me spellbound from the first page! Shona Husk's engaging voice and vivid, creative world-building make every one of her books a must-read!” — Larissa Ione, New York Times bestselling author
“Innovative fantasy... An emotional and engaging tale.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
Just One Taste Is All It Takes...
This is no ordinary mirror. Caspian caught a hint of color, a whirl of a waltz just past his reflection—a glimpse into the decadent Fairy Court of Annwyn. The home he could never have. It called to him, whispering temptation after temptation...if he could only reclaim his rightful heritage.
To Be Forever Lost...
Caspian has an even stronger reason to stay in the world of humans. He's just met a woman who captivates him like no other. But loving him has proven to be dangerous. And he will do whatever it takes to protect Lydia from the vicious, seductive world of Court—even if doing so requires the ultimate sacrifice: his soul.
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