Seer Mona Arnett—brash, spoiled, and severely agoraphobic—hasn’t gone outside in ten years. When the royal council recruits her to predict the king's future bride, her reading returns the worst name imaginable: her own.
Opalvale’s vital magic will die without a queen. Now, Mona must decide: how much chaos and ruination will she risk to keep herself off the throne?
The first time I stepped into the Flood, I had just killed my brother. I was twelve years old.
We’d been on our evening walk—we took one every night, in the summer. Patrick said it was time to go home. I never wanted to do what he told me. He wasn’t my father, however much he liked acting like it. So I ran away, along the bluffs that rose like flat white teeth near the sea. He chased me, caught me by my scarf. We wrestled for it by the cliffside.
He wouldn’t let go. He was so much older, and stronger. I asked him, again and again, I screamed at him, but he wouldn’t. He just wouldn’t let go. So, I did.
And that’s when he went over.
I hadn’t meant to do it. Swear upon the seven gods, I hadn’t.
While his body lay broken on the rocks below, I knelt on the clifftop, stared at the sinking white sun. My heart railed against my ribs, so hard they might have cracked. All of me might have cracked. How long I stayed like that, I couldn’t say.
I used that time to pray for my own death. Face hot and slick with tears, I prayed to Eledorr, the moth. I prayed she would deliver me. I needed to die like I’d needed few things in my short, charmed life.