Karen Marie Moning
If this is the first book you’ve picked up in the Fever Series, at the end of this novel I’ve included a guide of People, Places, and Things to illuminate the backstory.
If you’re a seasoned reader of the series, the guide will reacquaint you with notable events and characters, what they did, if they survived, and if not, how they died.
If you’re reading an ebook, factor this into your expectation of when the story ends, which is a bit before the final page count.
You can either read the guide first, getting acquainted with the world, or reference it as you go along to refresh your memory. The guide features characters by type, followed by places, then things.
My philosophy is pretty simple—any day I’m not killing somebody is a good day in my book.
I haven’t had many good days lately.
I reflect on the highlights of the past year:
July 5, the day my sister, Alina, called my cellphone and left a frantic message that I ended up not hearing until weeks later. She was murdered, abandoned in a trash-filled alley shortly after she placed that call.
August 3, the night I arrived in Dublin, saw my first Fae monster behind the glamour and realized either I was crazy or the world was. Turns out the world was but that didn’t help much.
September: an entire month vanished during a single afternoon in Faery, playing volleyball with an illusion of my dead sister.
October 3, I was tortured and nearly killed by the vampire-wannabe Mallucé in his hellish grotto beneath the Burren. That’s the night I learned to eat the flesh of dark Fae for its healing properties and the enormous strength it bestowed.
October 31, Halloween, the night the walls between man and Fae came crashing down, I was gang-raped by four Unseelie princes and turned into a mindless shell of a woman, an addict to Fae sex.
November, December, and part of January are calendar pages ripped cleanly from my mind, leaving no memory at all, until I surfaced from being hellishly Pri-ya to find I’d spent all that time in bed with Jericho Barrons.
Then there’s that date I’ll never know—impossible to gauge the day, year, or even century in the Silvers—when I killed Barrons and, believing him dead, became a woman obsessed with obtaining the Sinsar Dubh so I could re-create a world with him in it.
More of January and February: lost in the Silvers, working with the enemy, the Lord Master, plotting my revenge.
May 11, the night I learned the girl I loved like a sister was the one who’d killed my sister.
May 16, the day we reinterred the Sinsar Dubh in the underground chamber at the abbey and I discovered V’lane was really Cruce, one of my four rapists, and that I’d been working all along with the most cunning, dangerous Unseelie prince in existence.
June 26, the day I chased Dani into the Hall of All Days, a place I didn’t dare follow. If I had a do-over, I’d leap through that damned Silver and chase her anyway, despite the formidable odds.
July 22, I discovered who Jada was, and that my brilliant, effervescent, spunkalicious Dani was gone, leaving behind a controlled, humorless, stone-cold killer.
Now, I add another date to my grim tally.
One year five days after I first touched my well-pedicured foot to Ireland’s wild soil—August 8: the day the Sinsar Dubh won. And all it had to do to defeat me was wait patiently, quasiquietly, with gentle nudges here and there, until I mindfucked myself into crossing that forbidden line. It took my hostile squatter a mere two and a half months from the day I buried the corporeal Book beneath the abbey to seduce me into opening it.
I’d spent most of that time sleuthing for a spell to summon the Unseelie King and demand he reclaim his Book from inside me, withdrawing from Barrons and the world, becoming a shell of who I was—all because I’d been afraid the Sinsar Dubh might somehow trick me into opening it.
I understand something now: that which we fear, we somehow beckon near and engage in a dance, as toxically intimate as a pair of suspicious lovers. Perhaps it’s because deep down we want to face it. Perhaps it’s just the way the universe works; we’re magnetized waltzers and our hopes and fears emit some kind of electrical impulses that attract all that we dream, and all that we dread. We live and die on a dance floor of our own making.
Here, now, drifting where it’s silent and still, I begin to apprehend with acute clarity every single thing I did wrong.
A WAREHOUSE IN A DARK ZONE, DUBLIN, IRELAND
Or try to. Jada crashes into me with a muffled grunt then her hands are on me, everywhere, touching, patting and pulling, undoing my restraints, and the sensation is too much. My body is hypersensitive.
Finally, she frees my hands. I push her away and open my eyes. Too fast, too much. Light thrusts cruel needles into my brain.