Lovers to enemies + CRUEL PRINCE
Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries.
Her mother was given a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm. She chose the Storm.
When Prince Dalca captures her father and sentences him to death, Vesper will do anything to save him from sharing her mother’s fate.
Even magically alter her face and infiltrate Dalca’s army.
Even steal Dalca’s heart—and give him hers.
Even walk with him into the Storm.
The warning bells toll as the Storm bangs fists of wind against our walls and rattles the shutters with its bellow, trying to crack our little house open like an egg. The humid air is heavy and fragrant with ozone, and my mouth floods with the tell-tale taste of copper and spun sugar.
From the other room comes the sound of a sitar and Amma’s raspy voice, singing a lullaby to soothe the storm-touched, who cower in fear of what the bells promise. The slow, dreamy tune makes the clanging even more jarring, but Amma’s doing her best, just as she has for the last fifty years, running this home for the storm-touched.
But I can do more.
I pull back the moss-cloth curtain that separates the kitchen from the main room and hurry past the storm-touched in their beds, pausing to press a soft touch to Gia’s wooden knee and side-step the gnarled roots that extend from her feet, courtesy of her Storm-given curse. In my haste, my elbow knocks into the bowl at the edge of her bed, sending half-peeled shalaj root flying. But there’s no time to pick them up, no matter how precious food is.
A stormsurge is coming.