Inimical by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(Circuit Fae, #3)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: September 18th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Being a fairy princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you have to choose between saving your people…And killing your girlfriend. Oh, and let’s not forget having to pass summer school, too.
Talk about a hot mess.
First, there’s Rouen, princess of the dark Fae, goth-rock star Euphoria, and soon-to-be senior at Richmond Elite High. Her world is all things ice, snow, and death. And that death will include her own people unless she can defeat her evil father in a Battle of Wits and War and seize the throne. Trouble is, taking the throne is a death sentence for the princess of the fair Fae. In other words, a quick death for Syl, Rouen’s girlfriend.
And that’s so not good.
Second, there’s Syl, princess of the fair Fae, geek girl mathlete, and also an incoming senior. Things aren’t any easier for her. Syl must save her people by battling her old nemesis, the fair Fae prince, and the same rules apply: taking the throne means a death sentence for the other court’s princess, Rouen.
Even worse, Syl and Rouen’s enemies have figured out they’re a couple. Now, both Rouen’s father and Syl’s archenemy are teaming up to ensure neither of them makes it till Midsummer’s Day never mind to the fall semester.
Looks like passing summer school is the least of their worries.
In this scene, Rouen’s been pulled back to her Dark Faerie realm to confront her traitorous father and his minions.
I am the dark Fae princess, daughter of King Reinghûl, savior of the Winter Court on whom all the hopes of UnderHollow depend.
And I’m late for school.
At least, that’s what the alarm on my phone is telling me. Time works differently in Dark Faerie than it does in the mortal realm. I’m also cut off from my soul-bond with Syl, so I have no idea what’s happening with her.
Worse, there are seven razor-sharp glaives pointed right at my throat.
I heave a heavy sigh. This again. Every time I show up here, someone’s trying to kill me.
Casually, I silence my phone and straighten up. “Hi, boys.”
My father’s seven Ebon Knights surround me, aggression tensing each muscle beneath their black adamant armor. Everything around us is cold and white and wintry. Gusts of freezing wind tangle my hair, coating the ends in tiny icicles and tossing it into a black halo around my face.
Good thing I’m immune to all things Winter.
Razor-sharp glaives? Not so much.
It’s also not the greatest that I can’t feel Syl. My heart races, telling me I’ve got to help her, but I remind myself: my girl’s resourceful and smart. She’ll be okay. Besides, we’ve got a plan, and even though it’s gone sideways (Syl not being here means no healing the hearthstone), I’m determined to salvage whatever I can, right here and now.
I’m the one who severed my father from the hearthstone.
It’s my fault he’s dying and taking all of Dark Faerie with him.
Guilt gnaws at my insides.
“Drop your weapons,” one of the Knights barks, and before I can even answer, he steps in to pat me down while the others hold their blades to my throat.
“I have no weapons.” It’s true. I lost my grip on my violin when I was dragged here, and the black-handled knives I keep under my cot were far out of reach.
This time, though, I haven’t come to fight.
Looking past the crossed glaives, I see Knockma Castle lies in the distance. That’s where I’ll find my father. Dread constricts in my chest, but I’m keeping my hope alive.
He can be saved. I know it. And I have no choice.
Dark Faerie needs him. If there’s one thing our last foray into UnderHollow taught me it’s that I’m not ready to rule. I could barely manage a group of dark Fae children, never mind govern an entire realm.
Syl and I almost died because I wasn’t strong enough.
Besides, the man is my father. Our complicated past aside, I owe it to him to try.
When I move an inch, the Knights aggressively, and somewhat nervously, shove their pikes in my face. They remember the last time we met, when me and a bunch of dark Fae kids cleaned their clocks, kicked their butts, ate their lunches.
Pick your metaphor. We beat them, and bad.
I still owe those kiddos a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.
“Aw, it’s like you guys hold a grudge,” I taunt them, but can you blame me? These jerks are the sons of our most powerful elders, the arch-Eld, but they stood by while my father held their young siblings hostage in the dark Oubliettes so no one could stop him from draining the hearthstone.
I’m blaming that on his dark self, too. This time, I’ll free him from it for real.
The Ebon Knights’ leader, Stavrin, steps in. He’s six feet of sexism wrapped up in a dreamy package and armed to the teeth. Now that he knows I’m weaponless, he’s overconfident and smug.
“Back so soon, princess?” His voice is edged in a smirk, and he gives my PJs—a cami and capri sweats—a snotty once-over. “We sensed you the moment you crossed over into the Snickleways. Have you come to surrender to the king?”
Let’s see…do I need to get to the castle? Yes. Do I want to go in chains? Hells no.
I might not be ready to be queen, but I’m still a princess. I’ll confront my father on my terms.
I stare him down. “Nope. Sure haven’t.”
Stavrin’s face goes redcap-red.
Whatever. I’ve got business to take care of. Namely, getting to the castle, taking stock of my father’s mental health, and if it’s bad, finding the Winter Council to help me wrangle him into dark-self rehab.
Before their reports stopped coming, the last I’d heard was that he was doing as expected—terrible. That was before he was dying, though. Now there’s added incentive to come back from the dark side.
I’ll just have to remind him.
As for Stavrin… “Look, buddy-boy.” I poke Mr Pushy right in the center of his armored breastplate. “You can either get out of my way, or we can have a repeat of what happened the last time we met.” Namely, I threw a baby liannan sidhe at him. She charmed his face off. Almost literally.
It was glorious.
“That”—his dark eyes glitter with hatred—“won’t be necessary.”
“We’ll see.” Normally, I’d goad him a little more, but right now, I don’t have time to deal with these goons. I need to find my father and get him on board with our plan to heal the hearthstone, him, and save my half of Faerie.
All in a day’s work for a dark Fae princess.
But when I take a step, all the Knights jump a mile. “Relax, Mr Pushy.” I put my hand on Stavrin’s glaive and shove it away. “And point your blade elsewhere. You don’t get to threaten me, you troglodyte. I’m heading to the castle on my own.”
“You…I…” Stavrin blusters, red-faced beneath his tawny complexion. “You…” Either he’s not used to women giving him orders or he’s trying to figure out if troglodyte is a compliment.
“Great comeback.” I pat his shoulder. Now that there aren’t seven glaives in my face, I brush past ol’ Stavs, bare feet crunching on snow.
Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance–where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.
She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she’s clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.
She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.
GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.
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