Andrea Cremer Snakeroot: A Nightshade Novel

ISBN 13: 9780399164224

Snakeroot: A Nightshade Novel

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9780399164224: Snakeroot: A Nightshade Novel

The next thrilling novel in the internationally-bestselling Nightshade series! 

Fans asked for it, and now they've got it! Andrea Cremer is continuing the story she began in in her internationally bestselling trilogy: Nightshade, Wolfsbane and Bloodrose. In this new installment, Bosque Mar haunts the dreams of both Adne and Logan, trying to escape for the Nether, where Calla, Shay and the other Guardians trapped him in the final battle in the War of All Against All. Will he turn Adne to the dark side?  Will Logan reclaim his birthright?  And will darkness take over our world?  In a novel filled with magic, romance and breakneck action, master storyteller Andrea Cremer's newest installment will not disappoint!

This series is perfect for fans of Lauren Kate, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Ally Condie, and Richelle Mead.

What people are saying about the first three Nightshade novels:

"A book for well-read hopeless romantics who like their heroines conflicted, their love interests smoldering, and thier passions triangulated and torrrid." --The Los Angeles Times

"Sexy and intoxicating, filled with action, suspense and definitely romance." --Romantic Times Book Reviews

"Will keep you reading intently." --Entertainment Weekly

"Intensely romantic." --Justine Magazine

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Andrea Cremer is the internationally bestselling author of the Nightshade novels, which include Nightshade, Wolfsbane, Bloodrose, Rift and Rise.  She is also the author of Invisibility, which she wrote with David Levithan. She went to school until there wasn't any more school to go to, ending with a Ph.D. in early modern history--a reflection of her fascination with witchcraft and warfare--and taught for years at Macalester College. She grew up roaming the forests and lakeshores of northern Wisconsin, but now lives in Minneapolis.  @andreacremer

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A living nightmare

Adne had never fainted before, but now, even on her knees, she couldn’t keep her balance. Black fog poured into her mind, blotting out the real world and forcing her into a waking nightmare.

She knew the scene immediately, but somehow being in the garden amplified her awareness that this dream was something more than a product of her own imagination. She was too aware of the earth beneath her, how alive it was. With her hands on the ground, Adne could feel everything—the channels and pathways of roots and rivers, minerals and magma. And the earth knew her. Beneath her palms, it shuddered.

“Very good.”

Adne squeezed her eyes shut. She knew the voice but refused to acknowledge it. This is not happening. He is not here.

She wished she could close her ears along with her eyes so she wouldn’t hear the footfalls that brought him next to her. His presence was overwhelming. Powerful, and inexplicably alluring.

“I love this place,” Bosque Mar said, his voice cool as silk. “The garden was what brought you to me. This is our place.”

Still huddled with her eyes closed, Adne whispered, “No.”

Bosque laughed. “Such a fighter. You remind me of her.”

“Stop.” Adne felt tears rising in her throat.

He was close. Too close. She could sense his body as he crouched beside her. “It’s time for you to come with me.”

Adne screamed, rolling away from him. “No!”

She lashed out with one arm, finally opening her eyes. She struck at nothing but the air.

ADNE HAD LEARNED to live with nightmares years ago. Since the day her mother suffered and died, tangled in the shadow grip of Bosque Mar’s evil wraith, Adne often woke trembling, covered in sweat, with a throat raw from screams. Wanting to show a brave face, she hadn’t told anyone—not her father, not even Connor—how frequently the night terrors shook her from sleep, sudden and violent. But life had changed and she couldn’t continue to keep that secret, because now she rarely spent a night alone.

When Adne jerked up with a cry that night, Connor was awake immediately. He cradled her trembling body in his arms.

“It was a dream,” he whispered before she said anything. “Easy now.”

He stroked her hair, his fingers pausing briefly when they found the sweat on the back of her neck.

“Your mother?” Connor asked quietly when Adne’s limbs had stopped shaking.

Adne shook her head. She wasn’t ready to talk yet.

Connor stiffened beside her, and Adne knew why. The nightmares she’d told Connor about had been those of her mother and the wraith. But since the war had ended one month ago, something had changed. The shadows that visited her now were different, and yet unsettlingly familiar.

“Do you want to tell me about it?” Connor asked.

Shaking her head again, Adne turned her face to press her lips against Connor’s cheek. He took her chin in his hand, turning her farther until her mouth met his. Adne waited for the warmth of Connor’s skin and the gentle strength of his touch to chase the nightmare away, as she knew it would. Though guilt caused a slight twinge in her chest, she hurried to lose herself in the sensation. In the joy and ceaseless thrill of having this man—whom she’d desired since she first knew what it was to want a man that way—in her arms each night, holding her, kissing her. When they were twined together in the dark, Connor made it clear how long he’d wanted her too.

After the nightmare, Adne’s desire for intimacy wasn’t only about loving Connor, it was about using him to chase away her fears. And she didn’t want to use him. But Adne couldn’t think of anything else to do. She was frightened by her dreams, but she was more afraid of what Connor would think if she shared the visions with him.

Telling Connor the truth was out of the question. Telling anyone was out of the question.

Connor’s lips were on Adne’s neck and she closed her eyes. The cold sweat that covered her body gave way to heat spreading over her skin. Adne twisted her fingers through Connor’s silky hair before wrapping her arms around his neck. She clung to him, willing the shadows still creeping into the edges of her consciousness away, her body electric with tremors of fear and desire. Connor had always been light to her. Pure light and hope in the face of sorrow and despair. Whatever darkness threatened her now, Connor would keep it at bay.

He had to.

· · ·

The library at Rowan Estate looked like a tornado had torn through it. As Sabine turned in a slow circle, observing the damage, she thought it looked like it had a few weeks ago, right after Shay had closed the Rift that separated the human world from the Nether realm. Considering all the cleanup work and restoration she’d helped with to get the place back in shape since then, Sabine was not amused by this new development.

“Over here!” Adne called.

Sabine picked her way through the rubble until she reached Adne’s side.

Adne crouched among what had been dozens of bookshelves, riffling through splintered wood and torn pages. “Things have been taken.”

Sabine leaned over her. “How can you possibly know that?”

“You’re not the only one who spent hours getting this place organized,” Adne said. “I gave up days of my life cataloging this section, and I swear it’s not all here. There are books—important books—that are missing.”

“Are you sure this isn’t what’s happened to them?” Sabine asked, picking up a pile of debris that looked like it had gone through a shredder.

Adne laughed, but Sabine recognized the determined set of her jaw. “No. I’m sure that’s what whoever did this wanted us to think,” Adne said. She swept her arm toward the rest of the library . . . or what was left of it. “They wanted us to think it was an attack, when it was actually a theft.”

“So case closed?” Connor kicked aside pieces of a shattered marble bust. “Good work, Adne. Can we go home now?”

“Hardly.” Adne was bent over the remnants of books at her feet.

“I didn’t sign on to play detective,” Sabine said. “Can I go beat up the thieves for information instead?”

“Sounds like fun.” Connor laughed. “But it’s thief, not thieves. The second one managed to get away.”

“How’d that happen?” Sabine asked. The Searchers weren’t sloppy and the thieves were human; catching them should have been easy.

“He displayed his immensely noble character by tripping his associate, so we were busy catching that guy while the first one made it to the getaway car,” Connor said. “He drove into a populated area where we couldn’t pursue him without drawing unwanted attention.”

“The tripped associate’s a no go,” Ethan said as he walked up, apparently having overheard the last bit of their conversation.

“Why’s that?” Sabine asked.

“He’s been hexed.” Ethan sat down next to Sabine. “He can’t answer questions about who employed him or why.”

Sabine’s gaze swept over the ransacked shelves. “What do you mean, hexed?”

“Hexed, cursed,” Adne said. “Whatever you want to call it.”

“Black magic?” Sabine’s frown deepened. “How is that possible?”

“Why wouldn’t it be possible?” Connor twirled a lock of Adne’s hair in his fingers. She batted his hand away, but not without throwing a teasing smile at him.

“Because the Rift is closed and the Harbinger is gone,” Sabine said. “I thought that meant the Keepers’ magic was cut off. No more wraiths. No more hexes. Nothing.”

“The magic from the Harbinger, yeah,” Connor said. “So you’re right about no wraiths, but magic—basic magic—is still around. That won’t ever go away.”

“Don’t sweat it.” Ethan put his arm around Sabine’s shoulders. “Black magic keeps us employed. We have to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand.”

“So you think Logan is behind this hex?” Sabine asked, pulling Ethan’s arm farther around her so she could nestle against him. “And the theft?”

“He’s our number one suspect,” Ethan said. “Wait—replace number one with only. Only suspect.”

Adne smiled, but her eyes remained worried. “Why did he want those books?”

“What were they about?” Connor asked. He’d picked up the pieces of a broken vase and was entertaining himself by trying to fit them back together.

“That’s what worries me,” Adne said. “They were about the Keepers’ heritage. Family lines. Legacies.”

“You’re worried because Logan’s checking out his family tree?” Sabine asked. “Maybe he’s just lonely. After all, he’s the only Keeper left, right?”

“No, he’s not.” Ethan frowned. “There are a few younger Keepers still scattered around the world. They’ve gone into hiding, trying to prevent us from tracking them down. Though it’s sort of a moot point. I think they’re more paranoid about us finding them than we’re interested in hunting them. They’re harmless now. Just humans dabbling in the dark arts.”

“Exactly,” Adne said.

Connor dropped the vase fragments. They broke into even smaller pieces when they hit the floor. “I think you skipped a few steps. I didn’t get a resolution from that conversation.”

Adne smiled. “Sorry. I mean that the Keepers who didn’t end up as withered husks—because they were living on borrowed time—are still out there. But they don’t have power—at least, not power like they used to.”

“You think Logan wants to get it back.” Sabine ground her teeth.

“Maybe . . . probably,” Adne said. “The books that are missing aren’t only family trees. They recount the origins of the Keepers.”

“Hmmmm,” Connor said. “Oh . . . uh-oh.”

“Uh-oh is an understatement.” Ethan fingered the hilt of the dagger belted at his waist.

Sabine asked, “Can he do it? Find a way to restore their power?”

Adne rubbed her temples, suddenly looking weary. “I don’t know and I’m not sure how we find out. Logan took the books that hold the clues we need.”

“But we do have this.” Connor produced a small wooden box from inside his long leather duster. “Check it out.”

“What’s that?” Sabine asked. She took the box from him, since Adne’s head was still bowed. The box was intricately carved of ebony wood, and it was locked.

“We took this off the thief we did manage to catch,” Connor said. “It was the only thing he was carrying. The other guy had the books.”

Sabine ran her fingers over the patterns and deep grooves of the wood. “I wonder what’s inside.”

“Let’s find out,” Connor said. He snatched the box out of Sabine’s hands and picked the lock. He opened it, peered inside, and frowned.

“Give it here.” Adne reached up and Connor handed it to her.

Adne gave a little gasp. “Oh!”

“What is it?” Sabine peered over her shoulder.

Within the box lay a torn sheet of paper, a small, oddly shaped white stone, a pair of gold rings, and a pendant.

Sabine reached inside and picked up the rings. “They’re engraved on the inside of the bands.” She peered at the tiny markings. “A. Hart, E. Morrow. Amor et fidelitas.

“‘Love and loyalty,’” Adne murmured. “Wedding rings?”

“That’d be my guess,” Sabine said.

“Women.” Ethan reached over Sabine and grabbed the piece of paper. “Going for the jewelry before the evidence!”

Sabine elbowed him. “The jewelry is evidence.”

“Right.” Ethan winked at her before reading the faded ink. “Alistair Hart Nightshade, 1388–1666, Great Fire of London.”

“That’s weird.” Adne took the paper from Ethan, turning it over in her hands.

“You mean that he died at age 278?” Connor asked. “I’d say that’s par for the course in our line of work.”

“No,” Adne said. “I mean that the stuff in the box is way older than this note. This is paper, not the parchment they would have used in the Middle Ages.” She held the paper up to the light. “I think it’s signed on the back, but the ink is really hard to make out. Wait . . . yeah . . . here’s the name. ‘C. Nightshade, 1859.’ Oh great.”

“What?” Sabine asked.

“That has to be Cameron Nightshade,” Adne said. “He built this place. Rowan Estate is named after his wife. He came over from England in the eighteenth century, she showed up a little later—they were the first Keepers in North America.”

“Are you jockeying for Silas’s old job?” Connor asked. “What’s up with the history lesson?”

Adne stuck her tongue out at him. “I just happened to spend some time reading the books I was cataloging and not trying to get out of my responsibilities . . . like some people I know.”

Connor shrugged. “I’d rather be out in the field than in a musty old room.”

“It wasn’t musty until all the shelves were obliterated,” Adne said.

“So Cameron left a note in Alistair’s box?” Sabine asked.

Adne nodded. “If I’m remembering right, Cameron was Alistair’s son.”

“But why would Logan care about this stuff?” Ethan reached into the box, picking up the small white stone. “And what the hell is this white rock doing in here?”

Sabine took a closer look at the object and began to laugh.

Ethan threw her a sidelong glance. “What?”

“That’s not a rock,” she said. “It’s a knuckle bone.”

“Gah!” Ethan dropped the bone. Fortunately, Adne shoved the box out in time to catch it.

“Why would anyone keep a bone in there?” Ethan said, rubbing his hands on his coat.

“It was a thing,” Adne said. “Usually it was only for saints and other famous types, but the bones of the dead were thought to have great power . . . that’s more bad news for us.”

“You think Logan wanted this stuff to work some nasty mojo?” Connor asked.

“I’d say that’s a safe bet.” Adne picked up the pendant. “This is a lot prettier than the bone.”

Sabine leaned close. The pendant was an oval about the size of her palm, hanging from a thin gold chain. The bloodred ruby was rimmed with gold, and a ghostly image—a rose centered between two crossed swords—hovered in the gemstone’s depths.

“That’s beautiful,” she whispered.

Adne nodded. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“That’s an intaglio,” Connor said. “It’s kind of a cameo in reverse. They inscribed the image into the gem’s surface—that’s what gives it so much depth. They were sentimental gifts, and the words carved into the setting usually had mystical significance or power—like a talisman.”

They all stared at him.

Finally, Ethan said, “How the hell do you know that?”

Connor coughed, looking at Adne and then away. “I . . . uh . . . may have been doing some reading about jewelry recently . . . uh . . . yeah.”

Adne blushed, lowering her gaze back to the contents of the box. A small smile played on the corners of her mouth.

“Anyway,” Connor said. “That’s what the necklace is.”

Sabine reached out, taking the pendant from Adne. She turned it over.

“This is inscribed too,” she said. “Sanguine et igne nascimur.”

“‘In blood and fire we are born.’” Adne shivered. “Anything else?”

“Another name,” Sabine said, her voice growing quiet. “Eira.”

A numb silence fell over the group.

“The first Keeper,” Adne said. She snatched the pendant from Sabine. She shoved ...

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Andrea Cremer
Editorial: Philomel Books (2013)
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