Once upon a time the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with. NALINI SINGH New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. Nalini Singh loves writing paranormal romances. Currently working on two ongoing series. Have you read LORD OF THE ABYSS? I wrote it as part of a series with three other authors, but it stands fully alone too, if you just want to ready.
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It was the first thought Liliana had as she lay weak and drained across the black nalin of the floor, her face reflected in its polished surface. As she watched, the one they called the Lord of the Black Castle rose from his ebony throne at the head of the room and walked down the ten steps with a lazy grace that spoke of power, strength…and death.
Trying desperately to close her hand into a fist, she attempted to push herself up onto her knees, unwilling to meet him at wbyss a disadvantage. But her body was debilitated beyond bearing by the blood she had spilled abyes make the crossing, her wrists spotted with it, though her magic had sealed the wounds.
The spell should have deposited her in the forests beyond his domain, not in the midst of his great hall, where he stood as the lone, lethal shield against the vicious beings beyond. She could feel eyes on her, hundreds of them. And yet no one made a sound.
The boots were almost to her now. Cruelty was no stranger to her, not after having grown up with the Blood Sorcerer for a father. His castle held within it the gateway to the Abyss, the place where the servants of evil were banished after death to suffer eternal torment at the hands of the basilisks and the serpents, and he was the guardian of that terrible place.
It was said that even the most inhuman of the dead quivered when confronted by his visage.
But that was a lf, she thought as he crouched down beside her, his boots heavy in her line of sight. He was not ugly at all. Strong hands gripped her by the shoulders, pulled her roughly to her knees. And she found herself staring into the face of a monster.
Sun-kissed hair, eyes of winter-green and skin that held the golden brush of summer even in this black place devoid of warmth, he could have stood in as the model for the mythical Prince Charming spoken of in childhood storybooks. Except Prince Charming did not wear armor of impenetrable black, and his eyes were not full of nightmares.
It made the hair on the back of her neck rise. A spray of razors rode over his knuckles, while his fingers were tipped with bladed claws the same shade as his armor.
Perhaps he had with the three oldest children, but not with the youngest…with Micah. Oh, he would be pleased. For those he bespelled rarely, if ever, broke through the veil and found themselves again. Irina believed herself the chatelaine of a great keep, childless and with her only duty being to see to the needs of the master—even if those needs meant nights filled with screams and bruises ringed around her neck more often than not.
Her gaze glanced off her daughter even when Liliana stood directly in her path and pleaded for her mother to thr her, to know her. By contrast, the winter-green eyes on her face right then saw her when she wished they would not. She had meant to slip unnoticed into his household, learn all she could about him before attempting to speak the truth of his past. Perhaps it was futile, but she could no more help it than a cornered animal could stop itself from striking out. As it was, one of her hands slammed up against the cold black of his armor.
It felt like rock. Sjngh course, before she could attempt any such thing, she had to survive. A second later, Liliana found herself being picked up in huge tree-trunk arms as the monster watched. In contrast to the strange whispering lors that pervaded this castle of harshest stone, she could feel a big, steady heartbeat against her cheek, the speed of it so slow as to abyes nothing human.
It was all knots and bulges, misshapen and without any true form. He did have ears, but the large protrusions stuck up far too high on the sides of his head.
Nalini Singh on Micah, the Lord of the Abyss… | Harlequin Blog
Ugly, she thought, he was truly ugly. That made her feel better. At least one being in this place might have some sympathy with her. She tried again, got the same response.
For the monster would punish him. All too aware of the cage created by that kind of fear, she went silent, conserving her energy. Then she glimpsed the stairs.
She felt her feet brush the stone, too, but Bard just held her in a more restrictive way, ensuring she took no injury. The stairs seemed to spiral down interminably, until she wondered if she nalni being taken into the very bowels of the Abyss itself. But the dungeons they finally came to were harshly real, the passageway lit by a torch that lodr just enough illumination for her to see that each cell was a black square broken up by a small window set with bars.
She strained her ears but heard only silence. Either there were no other prisoners…or they were long dead. Opening the door to the nearest cell, Bard stepped inside and placed her in the corner, atop a bed of straw. His eyes met hers, and she sucked in a breath. Large and dark and full of sorrow, they were the eyes of a scholar or a physician, shimmering with compassion.
But he shook his head when she parted her lips. There would be no mercy from him, not here. As he turned to step out, he grunted and rattled something in the other corner. Then the door slammed shut, leaving her in a darkness so complete, it was stygian. But no—a scrap of light flickered in from the flames of the torch outside, enough to allow her to navigate the cell.
Gathering her strength, she crawled to where Bard had rattled what sounded like a metal bucket.
Her hands touched it after what seemed like hours, and she felt her way carefully up its side until she could dip her fingers within. Her throat suddenly felt as if it was lined with broken glass. Sheer need gave her the strength to pull herself up onto her knees and cup her hands, drink her fill. The water was cool and crisp and sweet, the droplets trailing down her wrists.
It was beyond tempting to gorge, but she stopped herself after a bare few mouthfuls, aware her empty stomach would revolt if she overindulged. Her eyes more accustomed to the shadows now, she glimpsed something else beside the pail.
Opening it, she found a small loaf of bread. Hunger a clawing beast in her stomach after days without food, she ripped off a piece and chewed.
A skittering to her left, the sound of tiny paws on stone. She turned her head, found her abhss meeting two shiny ones that gleamed in the dark. Still, she examined her roommate carefully.
It was a small, quivering thing, its bones showing through its skin.
Desert Isle Keeper
Tearing off a piece of bread, she held it out. She continued to hold the bread, almost able to see the way the tiny creature was torn between lunging for the food thw protecting itself.
Hunger won and it darted to grab the bread from her grasp. An instant later and it was gone. It would return, she thought, when its belly forced it to. Closing the container with half aabyss loaf still inside, she placed it beside the water and made her way to the straw. For a dungeon, she thought drowsily as her body began to shut down, this place was not so terrible. The monster clearly needed to take lessons from her father in how to make it a filthy pit full of screams and zbyss despair.
Bitty was a good pet. He let her stroke his long silky ears as much as she wanted, and sometimes, he made enough of an effort to move to follow her around the room. No more lettuce for you. She struggled to her feet under the burden. And the dream changed. Because even at five years of age, she knew nothing good ever came of her father seeking her out.
I have a use for him. Cuddling Bitty close to her chest, she toddled along after her father, and then up…and up…and up. Let me take the creature. Eyes of dirty ice stared at her for a long moment before her father yhe, continued to climb the twisting, winding lore to the tower room.
Where she was never, ever supposed to go. So she walked into that room full of strange scents and books. Nalimi had her smiling in tremulous hope. Everyone always said her father was a blood sorcerer, but there was no blood here, so they had to be wrong.
Nalini Singh on Micah, the Lord of the Abyss…
Looking sungh, she met his gaze as he loomed over to take Bitty from her protesting arms. Her smile died, fear a metallic taste on her eingh. Switching his hold, he suspended Bitty by his silky ears.
A continuity is a short series where each book is written by a different author, but there is a backstory that runs through all of the books. Here, the stories are connected by four royal siblings and the kingdom of Elden.
My book is 4. Australia published the first two titles Gena and Jill in January and the second two titles Jessica and me in March To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance.
Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out. As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor.