Everyone knows trauma awakens forbidden, deadly Ardor magic. But when rebels burn down the palace, Princess Marika finds herself brimming with the powers her family sought to destroy. Forced to seek refuge at the last magic university, where her family's enemies roam free, she must choose: controlling the magic, or unleashing it.
SHADOW AND BONE X Dark academia.
It was not the first time an Ardor had been bleeding in the dining room.
Marika Cyran shifted in her seat, tearing her gaze away. Hardly how she’d imagined spending her first evening home. Her toes throbbed in new shoes. Her dress strained from the weight she’d gained on summer holiday. Halfway through this damned dinner and already she was uncomfortably stuffed. The last thing she needed was a nauseous gut full of pity for the fool Ardor unlucky enough to get caught by Uncle Juri.
“So good to have you all back,” murmured Juri. “The manor does grow lonely while you’re away.”
Father gave Juri’s shoulder an affectionate shove. Odd to see them so playful. Father’s cool brown hands, the size of dinner plates, warded off Juri’s retaliatory blow. Juri’s close crop of black coils, grayer than Father’s, stretched along the edges as he laughed.
“And of course we’re ever so grateful to you for watching over the place for us.” Father’s warm grin faltered, eyes sliding over Juri’s shoulder to where the Ardor crouched, shackled before the fire. “But Juri, is this really necessary?”
The Ardor groaned. Frail, gray-skinned and sickly, he leaned heavily against the bloody chains held by the guardsman at his back. Trembling fingers reached toward the dying fire in the grate in a feeble attempt to keep the flame alive. If the strength of the fire was any indication, neither would last much longer.