About the Book
Author: Rene Sears
Publisher: Brown Dog Press
Released: September 15, 2017
Series: Crossroads of Worlds #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Author contact links: Website
Purchase links: Amazon
But that left three hellhounds coming after us, jaws gaping and flecked with slaver. They bayed triumphantly.
Or two of them did. The third was—different. It was still a giant black dog with unnatural red eyes, but compared to the others it was…fluffier. The three of them closed on us. Morgan clutched at me and the blade at her wrist flashed into being again, this time longer and heavier, with a serrated edge. Beads of sweat popped out along her forehead and she paled as she braced for an attack. I pulled more energy into knots, frantically but precisely—there was no telling what might happen if I mis-tied them.
The hounds were almost on us. I could feel the heat of their breath, smell the sulfur stench of them. Morgan tensed beside me.
Then the fluffier one turned on its fellows. It barked frantically and its body shuddered with the impact of the other two as they leaped into it.
Morgan’s blade didn’t lower, but she dug in one of her pockets until she pulled out something which she pressed into my hands. It was a glass disc in shades of red and gold, marred by a smear of Morgan’s blood. There was a light floating over it, not quite a reflection of the silver twisting all around us. Something else, its own. I turned to look at the dogs, and the light stayed constant. Ah.
“This way.” I pulled Morgan after me. The hounds snarled and bit at the air behind us, but Morgan walked backward, her silver blade sweeping the air, and they would not come close enough to risk its touch. The shuffling of our feet over gravel paths was interspersed with whines and growls.
The gate wasn’t far, thank God, only a few turns through the hedges away. Morgan’s hand was bone-grindingly tight on mine as we walked and her side was almost black with flowing blood. Some of it had caked on my hand, and I had to chew on my tongue to keep from thinking too hard about her living blood drying on me. The scenery didn’t help my stomach any. There were places where it looked like watercolor on glass—thin. Not real. Parts of it fragented. Had they broken off? Where had they gone?
“There,” she gasped, and we staggered onto a side path through a break in the greenery. A doorway stood in front of us, silver and strong, and the light on the glass disc pointed straight to it. I wanted to collapse with relief, but I couldn’t—not yet. Not until you know your friends are safe, part of me whispered. When had I started thinking of them as friends?
“Hngh,” came a noise from behind us, the whine of a frustrated animal. Morgan stiffened, and turned. The hellhounds were snuffling around. The fluffy one seemed to be missing.
I braced my arm beneath Morgan and turned around.
And nearly swallowed my own tongue. The missing yath hound, the fluffy one, was waiting behind us. It could easily have killed us while we were fighting the others, but it hadn’t. Its red eyes met mine, and its tail waved from side to side.
“Biscuit?” Morgan said, and the tail wagged faster. Biscuit? Seriously? “It’s okay, Javier.” Her voice was odd with pain. “I know him. He’ll help us.”
Lunn, a deep voice echoed in my head. Tell her my name is Lunn now. I stumbled and caught myself. I was almost, but not quite, getting used to creatures talking directly into my mind. The hellhound shoved his broad head under my hand and helped me balance before Morgan could stumble. His tail wagged.
Orphaned during the Savannah Flu, Javier is looking for other spellcasters without knowing if any survived. When he finds a caster named Morgan and her nieces, Igraine and Iliesa, he has to hide the secret of his isolated upbringing, desperate not to alienate the only community he has left.
But Igraine and Iliesa have secrets of their own. The wild hunt comes to the mortal world seeking them. Why the Queen of Faerie wants them, no one knows, but no one wants to hang around to find out. Javier flees with them between worlds, finding a rare talent for communicating with fae creatures—though he’s sure his father wouldn’t have approved of his new hellhound.
A mysterious man claiming to be from his mother’s estranged family finds Javier, but does he want to claim the family his mother repudiated? He must choose whether to go to his mother’s family or help his new friends—but it may be too late to escape the malevolent gaze of the Queen of Faerie.