On the run from the brutal Sage and his army of Legions and Cormorants, seventeen-year-old Cera Marlowe knows the only place strong enough to protect her is the Alliance Council Estate.
Cera’s introduction to the Estate is far from welcoming. As a Blight, her dueling powers of light and darkness make her a half-breed threat to the Alliance’s sacred powers. Cera’s ability to decipher hidden messages in classical artwork buys her shelter temporarily, but the clock is ticking as she’s faced with a daunting choice that could cost her everything.
I bounce my foot as Devon drives us deeper into the forest at a crawling pace. Maddox sits beside me, tapping a restless beat on his knee as the rumbling engine fills the growing silence. Autumn leaves blanket our path, and the bleak horizon blocks out the rising sun, but I know it’s there, hiding behind the clouds, waiting to break through.
“Is the wound bothering you?” Harper flattens the edge of the bandage wrapped around my burnt calf. “The serum will probably wear off soon.”
“It’s fine, really.” I’m far from fine. But it’s not the wound that troubles me. With every passing minute, I get closer to the Alliance Council Estate—the one place Mom has spent the last ten years keeping me safe from. And I’m terrified.
“Keep watch for any creatures. We’re not in the clear yet.” Devon’s weary eyes meet mine in the rearview mirror.
I’ve been watching and listening for hours, sandwiched in the back, caught next to Harper, who keeps shooting Maddox a side-eyed stare, making him shift uncomfortably. Every now and then he glances at me, tightening his lips, holding back words his eyes are fighting to say. But words can’t erase the awkwardness between us.
I look out the window. No violent wind signals beastly Cormorants overhead, and no misted Legions creep along the prickly underbrush, tracking our path. “We’ve set good distance. Nothing’s in sight.”
Sandra Fernandez Rhoads is the young adult fantasy author of the Colliding Line Series: MORTAL SIGHT and REALMS OF LIGHT. She was born in Queens, New York to Cuban-Colombian parents, but grew up in Texas with a love for classical art and literature, specifically Renaissance artists and Late Romantic poets. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a degree in English, and then went on to earn an MA in her “seventeenth century crush,” John Milton. Sandra’s past experience also includes a background in acting, directing, as well as script writing for stage and short film. She has a deep love for the artist community and the arts, and enjoys venturing out and trying new art forms. Currently, she is learning to play the cello she’s named Lysander, and one day hopes to play the theme to Jurassic Park.