Karen Marie Moning Faefever

ISBN 13: 9780575108530

Faefever

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( 77.519 valoraciones por Goodreads )
 
9780575108530: Faefever

Recommended by Charlaine Harris, author of the series that inspired HBO's hit series TRUE BLOOD, this new #1 Bestselling series will take readers by storm!He calls me his Queen of the Night. I'd die for him. I'd kill for him, too.When MacKayla Lane receives a page torn from her dead sister's journal, she is stunned by Alina's desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister's killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil that it corrupts anyone who touches it.Mac's quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shapeshifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V'lane, a lethal Fae prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man of deadly secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

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About the Author:

Karen Marie Moning is the No.1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of 12 novels, including the RITA AWARD-winning Highlander novels and the internationally bestselling urban fantasy Fever series. Her books have been published in 21 languages, and her events draw fans from all over the world.

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

Chapter One


The pain, God, the pain! It’s going to splinter my skull!

I clutch my head with wet, stinking hands, determined to hold it together until the inevitable occurs—I pass out.

Nothing compares to the agony the Sinsar Dubh causes me. Each time I get close to it, the same thing happens. I’m immobilized by pain that escalates until I lose consciousness.

Barrons says it’s because the Dark Book and I are point and counterpoint. That it’s so evil, and I’m so good, that it repels me violently. His theory is to “dilute” me somehow, make me a little evil so I can get close to it. I don’t see how making me evil so I can get close enough to pick up an evil book is a good thing. I think I’d probably do evil things with it.

“No,” I whimper, sloshing on my knees in the puddle. “Please . . . no!” Not here, not now! In the past, each time I’d gotten close to the Book, Barrons had been with me, and I’d had the comfort of knowing he wouldn’t let anything too awful happen to my unconscious body. He might tote me around like a divining rod, but I could live with that. Tonight, however, I was alone. The thought of being vulnerable to anyone and anything in Dublin’s streets for even a few moments terrified me. What if I passed out for an hour? What if I fell facedown into the vile puddle I was in, and drowned in mere inches of . . . ugh.

I had to get out of the puddle. I would not die so pathetically.

A wintry wind howled down the street, whipping between buildings, chilling me to the bone. Old newspapers cartwheeled like dirty, sodden tumbleweeds over broken bottles and discarded wrappers and glasses. I flailed in the sewage, scraped at the pavement with my fingernails, left the tips of them broken in gaps between the cobbled stones.

Inch by inch, I clawed my way to drier ground.

It was there—straight ahead of me: the Dark Book. I could feel it, fifty yards from where I scrabbled for purchase. Maybe less. And it wasn’t just a book. Oh, no. It was nothing that simple. It pulsated darkly, charring the edges of my mind.

Why wasn’t I passing out?

Why wouldn’t this pain end?

I felt like I was dying. Saliva flooded my mouth, frothing into foam at my lips. I wanted desperately to throw up but I couldn’t. Even my stomach was locked down by pain.

Moaning, I tried to raise my head. I had to see it. I’d been close to it before, but I’d never seen it. I’d always passed out first. If I wasn’t going to lose consciousness, I had questions I wanted answered. I didn’t even know what it looked like. Who had it? What were they doing with it? Why did I keep having near brushes with it?

Shuddering, I pushed back onto my knees, shoved a hank of sour-smelling hair from my face, and looked.

The street that only moments ago had bustled with tourists, making their merry way from one open pub door to the next, was now scourged clean by the dark, arctic wind. Doors had been slammed, music silenced.

Leaving only me.

And them.

The vision before me was not at all what I’d expected.

A gunman had a huddle of people backed against the wall of a building, a family of tourists, cameras swinging around their necks. The barrel of a semiautomatic weapon gleamed in the moonlight. The father was yelling, the mother was screaming, trying to gather three small children into her arms.

“No!” I shouted. At least I think I did. I’m not sure I actually made a sound. My lungs were compressed with pain.

The gunman let loose a spray of bullets, silencing their cries. He killed the youngest last—a delicate blond girl of four or five, with wide, pleading eyes that would haunt me till the day I died. A girl I couldn’t save because I couldn’t fecking move. Paralyzed by pain-deadened limbs, I could only kneel there, screaming inside my head.

Why was this happening? Where was the Sinsar Dubh? Why couldn’t I see it?

The man turned, and I inhaled sharply.

A book was tucked beneath his arm.

A perfectly innocuous hardcover, about three hundred and fifty pages thick, no dust jacket, pale gray with red binding. The kind of well-read hardcover you might find in any used bookstore, in any city.

I gaped. Was I supposed to believe that was the million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, scribed by the Unseelie King? Was this supposed to be funny? How anticlimactic. How absurd.

The gunman glanced at his weapon with a bemused expression. Then his head swiveled back toward the fallen bodies, the blood and bits of flesh and bone spattered across the brick wall.

The book dropped from beneath his arm. It seemed to fall in slow motion, changing, transforming, as it tumbled, end over end, to the damp, shiny brick. By the time it hit the cobbled pavement with a heavy whump, it was no longer a simple hardcover but a massive black tome, nearly a foot thick, engraved with runes, bound by bands of steel and intricate locks. Exactly the kind of book I’d expected: ancient and evil-looking.

I sucked in another breath.

Now the thick dark volume was changing again, becoming something new. It swirled and spun, drawing substance from wind and darkness.

In its place rose a . . . thing . . . of such . . . terrible essence and pitch. A darkly animate . . . again, I can only say thing . . . that existed beyond shape or name: a malformed creature sprung from some no-man’s-land of shattered sanity and broken gibberings.

And it lived.

I have no words to describe it, because nothing exists in our world to compare it to. I’m glad nothing exists in our world to compare it to, because if something did exist in our world to compare it to, I’m not sure our world would exist.

I can only call it the Beast, and leave it there.

My soul shivered, as if perceiving on some visceral level that my body was not nearly enough protection for it. Not from this.

The gunman looked at it, and it looked at the gunman, and he turned his weapon on himself. I jerked at the sound of more shots. The shooter crumpled to the pavement and his weapon clattered away.

Another icy wind gusted down the street, and there was movement in my periphery.

A woman appeared from around the corner as if answering a summons, gazed blankly at the scene for several moments, then walked as if drugged straight to the fallen book (crouching beast with impossible limbs and bloodied muzzle!) that abruptly sported neither ancient locks or bestial form but was once again masquerading as an innocent hardcover.

“Don’t touch it!” I cried, goose bumps needling my flesh at the thought.

She stooped, picked it up, tucked it beneath her arm, and turned away.

I’d like to say she walked off without a backward glance, but she didn’t. She glanced over her shoulder, straight at me, and her expression choked off what little breath inflated my lungs.

Pure evil stared out of her eyes, a cunning, bottomless malevolence that knew me, that understood things about me I didn’t, and never wanted to know. Evil that celebrated its existence every chance it got through chaos, demolition, and psychotic rage.

She smiled, an awful smile, baring hundreds of small, pointy teeth.

And I had one of those sudden epiphanies.

I remembered the last time I’d gotten close to the Sinsar Dubh and passed out, and reading the next day about the man who’d killed his entire family, then driven himself into an embankment, mere blocks from where I’d lost consciousness. Everyone interviewed had said the same thing—the man couldn’t have done it, it wasn’t him, he’d been behaving like someone possessed for the past few days. I recalled the rash of gruesome news articles lately that echoed the same sentiment, whatever the brutal crime—it wasn’t him/her; he/she would never do it. I stared at the woman who was no longer who or what she’d been when she’d turned the corner and entered this street. A woman possessed. And I understood.

It wasn’t those people committing the terrible crimes.

The Beast was inside her now, in control. And it would retain control of her until it was done using her, when it would dispose of her and move on to its next victim.

We’d been so wrong, Barrons and I!

We’d believed the Sinsar Dubh was in the possession of someone with a cogent plan who was transporting it from place to place with a purpose, someone who was either using it to accomplish certain goals or guarding it, trying to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

But it wasn’t in the possession of anyone with a plan, cogent or otherwise, and it wasn’t being moved.

It was moving.

Passing from one set of hands to the next, transforming each of its victims into a weapon of violence and destruction. Barrons had told me that Fae relics had a tendency to take on a life and purpose of their own in time. The Dark Book was a million years old. That was a lot of time. It had certainly taken on some kind of life.

The woman disappeared around the corner, and I dropped to the pavement like a stone. Eyes closed, I gasped for shallow breaths. As she/it moved farther away, vanishing into the night where God only knew what she/it would do next, my pain began to ease.

It was the most dangerous Hallow ever created—and it was loose in our world.

Creepy thing was, until tonight, it hadn’t been aware of me.

It was now.

It had looked at me, seen me. I couldn’t explain it, but I felt it had somehow marked me, tagged me like a pigeon. I...

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