In a world where magic and religion battle for dominance, 16-year-old Anora spent years avoiding both. But when demonic creatures kill her surrogate sister, Anora must overcome her aversion to magic and embrace the forbidden power of necromancy to protect her homeland.
Three nights after we’d performed the burial rites and laid Annavel Farmingdale’s body to rest, I was in the graveyard with Marus, digging it back up.
“What is so urgent that we need to be disturbing the dead in the dark of night?” I muttered. It was a question I’d been contemplating since Marus had summoned me.
They’d found Annavel’s body on the river bank, just below the bridge. If it hadn’t been for a fallen tree jutting into the stream, the body might have floated further south, away from Bankshead, and eventually been swept out to sea. But the tree had fallen, the body had been pushed onto the bank by the current, and a search party had found her the morning after she’d gone missing. We’d buried her later that day.
As I dug, the distinct odor of the dank earth penetrated my nostrils, the smell of a spice loaf gone to mold. You could cover my eyes and take me all over the Western Territories, but I would still be able to tell you when we’d arrived at the burial ground after a single breath.
After an hour I’d barely made a dent in the grave. The rain wasn’t helping things. Every thrust of the shovel added layers to the mud that had caked my body from the walk over from the convent. Sure, the villagers drew comfort from the fact that the dead were neatly packed under five feet of earth, but it made it that much harder to get to the bodies.