Happy #teasertuesday fantasy avengers! I’m fairly excited about today’s teaser because it takes place in one of my top three locations I wish I could apparate to in Silver Hollow: the secret library…
See you’re already excited, aren’t you? Any true bibliophile will confess to loving these little tributes authors tend to drop for their fellow book nerds. From Rand and Loial’s book obsessions in Wheel of Time to the library in Harry Potter, we’re suckers for creating spaces we’d like to inhabit. Before you begin, know these teasers hold major spoilers if you haven’t already read Silver Hollow. For those who have, or those who fancied a piece of fiction, happy reading!
*major spoilers for silver hollow below*
Borderlands #2 Teaser
Ten minutes and two more near misses later, Faye released her hold of the shadows and slipped through the hidden entrance into the library. A deep shudder wracked her nerves as her inner nixy stretched within her. Keeping such tight hold over it for so long had been draining, not to mention she nearly lost her hold completely thanks to Mr. Goblin King. Faye didn’t care who he said he was, she wasn’t convinced he wasn’t going to toss Amie’s mother into a labyrinth.
The stacks helped, the rich scent of aging books and magic a balm as always. It wasn’t too hard to see why her twin preferred to spend most of her free time here. Most of the servants avoided the library when either of the Blackbriars were present, even Underhill. So it had quickly become their favorite haven right after the more private gryphon library in the West Wing.
The bookshelf easily slid back into place where Faye had just emerged with a hint of scattered dust in her wake.
The stacks were near-silent, save the occasional scratching and buzzing overhead. Some of the garden pixies had taken to nesting about the castle ever since Amie was crowned.
Ignoring the pixies, Faye stepped down the main aisle to the deeper shadows at the back of the tall room. The library was equally large as the ballroom, with plenty of hidden nooks and depths between shelves. Books hung about the walls, up to the second and third floors. Shelves spread in no apparent order, save the deeper you explored, the older the tomes. While the gryphon’s library held more rare and dangerous texts, the main library was more varied.
They hadn’t understood just how varied until Jo happened upon the library’s best kept secret.
Faye stopped once she reached the back wall. No lamp or pixie lights reached this far back, and it was only thanks to her Unseelie senses she could pick out the details in the darkness before her.
“Jo? Could you let me in?” Faye’s whisper cut through the silence like a bell.
Another moment passed where she started to question the other in her that always knew where her twin, James and Amie were.
The wall illuminated a fierce, eerie blue, offering a peek into the room beyond. Faye stepped through without hesitation. The sensation of walking through walls felt strange, no matter how many times Jo let her pass through. She often wondered how her twin stood using the innate ability.
The glow faded once Faye entered Jo’s private domain, the wall reappearing solid at her back.
“You’re late,” Jo greeted from her seat at the round table at the center of the room. Two empty chairs sat on either side of her, parchment and stacks of scrolls and books before her. A ring of circular shelves standing ceiling to floor framed the scene. Lamps hung at varying lengths from the roof, charmed to glow whatever color and intensity the current occupant preferred. Today, Jo had set them to shine a buttery yellow, gleaming off her silver-blonde hair.
“A wizard shows up whenever she means to, thank you very much.” Faye shook off the lingering nixy until her glowing purple skin faded back to an almost human bronze as she approached.
Jo snorted, but didn’t look up from the page she was currently translating. “Quoting the Hobbit won’t win you any brownie points with me.”
“Worth a shot, wasn’t it?” Faye flopped into the seat beside her twin and rubbed her sore thigh. “You ever wonder if Tolkien knew about the Borderlands when he wrote his books?”
“Possibly.” Jo cast a cursory glance Faye’s way. “Though I doubt he passed into Silver Hollow, unless he fell into a time warp. More likely he met some Unseelie clan leader who pretended to be a lord while filling his head with tales of glory before our exile and made up stories about dragon wars.”
“Sounds like something our Uncle Lochlan would make up.”
Jo’s aquamarine eyes lit with a familiar mischief as she met Faye’s gaze. “Exactly.”
Faye was pleased to have pulled her sister from the books without being hexed. “Sorry I was late. I almost ran into Dameri in the east passage.” Jo wrinkled her nose at the name and Faye grinned. “Right? I think if she hadn’t had company she would have found me out too.”
Jo set down her pen and sat back while massaging her left hand. “I wasn’t even aware she’d returned from the southern border. Who was she with?”
Faye wiggled her eyebrows. “The Goblin King.”
Jo rolled her eyes. “Okay, no, really?”
Faye sang her best impression of a song from one of their favorite movies until Jo hissed and covered Faye’s mouth with a glowing hand. Faye flinched as her sister charged her tongue with enough nixy to still her voice.
Jo narrowed her eyes. “I won’t need to steal your voice again, will I?” Faye shook her head and Jo finally lowered her hand. “Good. Ready to tell me what happened?”
“Well, to be fair, I really do think he’s the Goblin King, or something like that. He cast a pretty powerful glamor though. Almost lost my hold on my nixy on the spot. Plus, that voice… If he wasn’t clearly some kind of villain, I’d steal him from Dameri.”
Jo rubbed her forehead. “Faye.”
“Okay, fine. Seriously, I think we should keep an eye on him tonight. Maybe leave him to me.” Faye froze when Jo tightened a vice like grip on her arm. Her twin was often thought the sweet one. Few knew Jo was the scary one. Faye might be Amie’s shield, but Jo was the true sword, the others just didn’t know it.
“No. You’ll leave him be. Let Dameri deal with him. We only move in if he attempts to glamor her. Remember, we’re trying to strengthen relations between the major houses. The weaker we are, the easier the clans can pick us off.”
Faye winced as Jo removed her crushing grasp. “Got it. So I’m guessing my brother plans on tailing him later? Where is James anyway?”
Jo returned her focus on the manuscript before her. “Don’t worry about James. He’s making sure nothing like what happened at the last party happens tonight.”
Faye tilted the open tome nearest her, taking in the gold leaf illumination and perfect archaic script. “What have you been working on this time?”
Jo’s skin flushed a sudden vibrant blue and the air in the room thickened with an undercurrent chill. “A solution to our golem problem.”
“Did you find a way we can somehow control them?” Any excitement Faye might have felt died with her sister’s words.
“I did learn something from my tests earlier today, but you aren’t going to like it.” Jo pursed her lips as she turned the page in her text, revealing an illustration of golems being raised to life. “We may have the power to take control of the golem army from Morcant, because the earth used to create them comes from the Cove.”
“Well, crap,” Faye replied.
to be continued…
“In a single night of madness, Amie won the battle and lost the two people she loved most. As she struggles to be the queen her people need, her family band together against the hidden threat at their borders.
Haunted by the ghosts of her past, Amie strikes a pact with an ancient being called The Storyteller. In order to see Emrys again, they must put aside their blood feud, and cross the veil to a place of spirits and monsters.
Blackbriar Cove is a land where superstition and chaos reign, and spirits plague dreams. A dark curse has twisted the Unseelie who once lived in the home the Blackbriar twins vowed never to return. But death is not the end in Silver Hollow, and the war for the Borderlands has only begun.”
Silver Hollow (Borderlands #1)
is available where eBooks are sold