April 5, 2018 by ceresbooksworld
Entombed in Glass
(Unfortunate Soul Chronicles, #2)
Publication date: March 29th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Mirror, mirror on the wall.
What’s behind that fated call?
He’s the seer of present, future, and past,
Yet remains a nameless face entombed in glass.
Raised as a servant in the underwater kingdom of Atlantica, Alastor worked his way up to a regal member of the Royal Guard. Only as a decorated soldier did he stand a chance of winning the hand of the woman he’s loved since childhood … Poseidon’s only daughter, Princess Vanessa. But, when the war against humans rages, dark magics are evoked to give the mermen a fighting chance. Temporarily granted legs, they charge from the sea into a doomed battle.
Doing the bidding of his masters as a trusted pawn,
The claims of his loyalty couldn’t be more wrong.
Waking on land, with bodies all around, Alastor’s lone goal becomes returning to the ocean and the only life he’s ever known. A plan that is quickly diverted when Hades, Lord of the Underworld, appears with a twisted agenda all his own. Cast to a land far from the lapping comforts of home, Alastor’s sole companion is a troubled misfit named Sterling that soon comes to depend on him. Trained to be a hero, how far is Alastor willing to go to return to the woman he loves? And can he live with the sacrifices he’s forced to make?
Each day he schemes to break free from their thrall,
and honor a self-made vow … to kill them all.
This was not the dabbling with humanity I underwent thanks to Vanessa’s spell. During that experience I never ventured out of ear shot of Mother Ocean’s steady lapping, its soothing rhythm holding the promise of home. Here, my bare feet were chaffed and bloody from the rocks and twigs I trudged over in a march to … nowhere. Every tree looked like the last. Every jog in the path thrust me farther into the maze of green. Enormous birds, larger than any I had ever seen, swooped overhead. Beaks held high, they screeched their calls at the late day sun which filtered down through slits in the canopy of leaves.
Time moved at a turtle’s pace, its passing marked only by the dark shadows stretching across the damp earth. Before long, the visible slivers of sky were kissed by night’s delicate violet hue. I may have found it lovely, had I not been torn from everyone and everything I cared about and experiencing crippling thirst for the very first time. Funny thing, thirst. At home it’s a moot concept lost in the rolling current. Here it depleted what was left of my strength, and threatened to turn my bones to stone.
Forced to shuffle on, a vine caught my ankle and hurled me into a boulder twice the size of my head. Ribs crunched, the air leaving my lungs in a pained huff. Gasping, I rolled onto my back, and tried to blink my way through the ache. Directly above me, a splinter of moonlight illuminated a single flower. One bloom. A vision of perfection in a forest of stifling chaos. Its beauty exploded from a long stalk, silky black pedals tapering down to a blush shade of plum at the tips.
“That’s a wild orchid,” a playful voice taunted from everywhere, and nowhere. “Its enchanting bloom is an exotic beauty that rivals all other flowers. You once claimed that’s what your princess was to you, did you not? It was the night before we walked ashore, and already you missed her to the depths of your core.”
Pushing off my elbow, I rolled onto my knees. “Sterling? Is that you? Where are you?” My gaze swept the tree branches in search of him.
“I … end up places.” His chuckle echoed all around me; bouncing off every trunk, vibrating from the rock-covered earth. “That terrifying man with the blue-tipped hair was preparing for a jump. I thought I’d tag along. So rarely do I get to travel with company.”
Craning my neck, I located him in the bend of a lofty branch. Rising to my feet, I squinted to get a better view. Only the glow of his ethereal green eyes could be seen, peering down with vexing curiosity. “I didn’t understand a word of that, but perhaps we could discuss it further when you’re not in a tree?”
A dry snort of disbelief wafted down from above. “I’m not in a tree. What a ludicrous— Ow! Oof! Hunh!”
Tumbling down from his perch, Sterling smacked several sturdy, unforgiving branches and twigs before crashing to the ground in a heap. Groaning, he flopped onto his back. “Huh. I was in a tree.”
“Did you come back here looking for me?” I offered him a hand up, only to have him bat it away and leap up unscathed.
“That depends, who are you?” he asked, face blank of any inklings of emotion or recognition.
“Uh … Alastor?” I offered hesitantly, wondering if this was a joke with a punchline only he was privy to. “We fought alongside each other on the beaches of Lemuria. During which time, I told you that wild orchid story you just repeated, remember?”
Jabbing his hands on his hips, Sterling’s eyes narrowed. “Are those questions, or answers? Because, if you don’t know who you are, how do you expect me to?”
“I do know! You acted as if you didn’t!”
With a sympathetic shake of his head, he clucked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. Thick scars sliced his cheeks, morphing his smile into a maw of madness. “Such low self-esteem. How do you ever hope to be king?”
“I have no desire to be the king of anything.” Pulling back, I rapidly blinked my confusion.
“Then, there’s nothing to argue about.” He beamed, brushing leaves from the shoulders of the frayed cloak he wore—which he definitely didn’t have the last time I saw him. “You are a fickled pickle!”
My mouth opened to argue, only to be cut off by the voice of common sense pointing out what a useless cause that would be. “You’re mad.”
“True, but I’ve found all of the best people are.”
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.