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mercoledì 7 febbraio 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Nocturne by Kat Ross




Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night.

Solis, a wasteland of endless day.

Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.

But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.

As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?

So begins the first installment in an epic new fantasy series from the author of the Fourth Element Trilogy!

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Excerpt
The great forest of the Danai had never known the touch of summer or winter, spring or autumn, but the passage of the seasons could be tracked by the travels of Artemis the Huntress. Her orbit took a full year to complete but when she returned, her light supposedly made it almost as bright as true day—solar day. The tides would surge, covering the land for leagues. Nazafareen hoped to see that. Darius had told her what an ocean was, but she still found it hard to imagine so much water.

She crossed the meadow and descended into a thickly wooded valley. Finally, she saw a greenish flicker through the trees ahead. Her steps slowed, the hair on her arms lifting.
She had reached another sort of border.

The gate to the Dominion waited ten paces ahead. It looked like a rectangular doorway with no frame—just a glowing hole in the night. The surface had the shimmery quality of running water.

Nazafareen stepped closer. And closer still.

Two months before, Darius had carried her through the gate in his arms, nearly dead from her own fey power. Breaker, they called her. A mortal with daēva blood and the ability to shatter magic. She had drawn too much of it.

A lake. A green-eyed man with a scar and an evil sickness inside him. The crowns of trees burning like torches.

She dimly remembered a battle. Her bond with Darius flaring to life and being snuffed out again when they passed through the gate to Nocturne. It was why the daēvas were hiding her. Because that green-eyed man was a Valkirin, the clan that lived in the mountains, and if he ever discovered she still lived...

Nazafareen stared at the gate in queasy fascination. Her own world—her past—lay on the other side, but she had no memory of it. Darius said she’d broken a ward that contained a spell of forgetfulness. The backwash had wiped her own mind clean.

I want to know who I was. Who I am. I have the right.

She sighed, absently rubbing the stump of her missing right hand. It had been a stupid impulse to come here. Fleeing through the gate wouldn’t restore what was lost. Magic had erased her past and only magic could restore it.

Darius seemed to think her condition was irreversible, but Nazafareen refused to accept that. Someone, somewhere, knew something and she intended to find them. Except that the daēvas wouldn’t let her leave. And part of her didn’t want to go. Not without Darius.

She stood before the gate as Hecate set. The lunar night was nearly over. Soon Selene would appear, her bright yellow face heralding the dawn of the lunar day. It was time to return before they found her gone. She started back through the trees, the scant light growing dimmer by the moment. True night was coming, the brief period where none of the three moons was visible. The length of it varied from day to day. The daēvas called it the lacuna and it might last anywhere from a few seconds to an hour or more.

Nazafareen scanned the sky. A thin veil of clouds had swept in. So much for starlight, she thought. Let’s hope it’s a short one tonight. She pulled her cloak tighter and retraced her steps through the valley, moving as quickly as she dared.

Nazafareen paused at a soft sound behind her, like a breeze rustling the leaves—except that there was no wind. She wished she’d brought the lumen crystal. There were animals in these woods. Mostly small game, but Darius’s father Victor had seen wolves near the mountains. Her hand dropped to her belt knife.

One of the frog pools shimmered just ahead. Hecate sank beneath the rim of the sky. The forest seemed to take a last, lingering breath of anticipation. She glimpsed an owl gliding from branch to branch in the canopy. And then the lacuna descended, as dark as the bottom of the sea.

She’d always been safe at home with her lumen crystal when true night fell. Sometimes Darius came by and they played a board game with little wooden animals. The pieces had curving horns and barbed tails and different magical powers. All were cunningly carved to the smallest detail. Nazafareen usually won, though she often cheated when he wasn’t looking. A petty victory, but sweet nonetheless.

She glanced up, hoping the clouds would pass. Just a little starlight to guide me.

The dry rustling came again, behind her and low to the ground. Moving fast...

Author
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine DayThe Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.


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