Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell

Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell

by Amber R. Duell
Genres: Young Adult

Title: FRAGILE CHAOS

Author: Amber R. Duell

Pub. Date: July 11, 2017

Publisher: Radiant Crown Publishing, LLC

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 300

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooks, Indiebound,  Goodreads

A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION.

AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL BRIDE.

BETRAYAL THAT COULD DESTROY THEM BOTH.

“Every fiber of my being is woven from the rage of mortals.”

Theodric, the young God of War, has a talent for inciting conflict and bloodshed. After being stripped of his powers by his older brother, King of Gods, he sets out to instigate a mortal war to prove himself worthy of being restored to power.

“I loved Kisk once; it was my home… But that was before. This is now.”

Sixteen-year-old Cassia, like many in the modern era, believes gods and goddesses to be just a myth. Enemy to her country and an orphan of the war, she has no time for fairy tales. That’s until religious zealots from Theo’s sect offer her up as a sacrifice.

Can Cassia and Theo end the mortal war and return balance to the earth and heavens? Or, will their game of fate lead down a path of destruction, betrayal, and romance neither of them saw coming?

 

Scene from Goran’s point-of-view

Theodric disappears through the temple doorway, his hands in fists. I stand halfway between the heavy wooden doors and the new—the first—sacrificial bride of the War God. Gods above! He didn’t do it. He didn’t send the girl to the Netherworld. I have been trying to talk him into this for ages, so why now? He had been so adamant about dispatching her on the walk here…

Cassia, Theodric had called her. And she had called him Theo. Theo of all things! What happened last night? Theodric wasn’t in the mortal realm long, and he hadn’t mentioned anything strange when he returned. He grumbled something about his sister, but that’s not unusual.

Cassia’s ragged breaths draw my attention away from the open temple doors. Her fingers press against the cut Theodric’s sword left on her neck. I blink the questions away. It doesn’t matter; she’s still alive, and Theodric wants me to take her to the house. The house. Where in the world am I supposed to put her? There hasn’t been an overnight guest since I sacrificed myself centuries ago. Probably longer. Cassia sways, casting a suspicious glance into the shadowy pit near her feet, and I stand a little straighter. One thing at a time.

“I’m Goran, Theodric’s adviser.” At least my voice sounds certain. The rest of me feels as if I’m imagining the situation. I hold out my palm in the Kisken greeting. The air chills under Cassia’s glare.

Okay then.

 

I drop my hand and clear my throat. “If there’s anything you need—”

“Send me back.” She sucks in a breath and claws at the white fabric over her chest. “I want to go back. Send me back.”

The energy drains from my body, my shoulders rolling forward. What were they thinking to sacrifice her against her will? And a non-believer at that. Where do I start with the explanations? “Do you understand exactly what happened to you?”

“This…” Her bare feet pat against the stone floor as she backs away. “It’s… It’s not… real.”

My left eye twitches. “How about a drink?” Gods know I need one.

I inch around Cassia with my hands raised, and she turns to follow my movements. I kneel next to the altar and brush aside the red cloth draped there. Three bottles line the shelf—sacrificial wine, the mortals call it, though it has no part in any ritual. That never stops them from gorging themselves on it afterward. I’m not sure why Theodric keeps it here, but right now, I don’t care.

Swiping the first one off the shelf along with two glasses, I set them on the altar with a thud. Cassia’s eyes bore into me, and I flash a small smile. She purses her lips. Make that two drinks

When I remove the leather seal, a strong earthy scent hits my nose. “Are you joining me?”

“Because things ended so well the last time I had a drink in this temple.” Her words are razor sharp. “No way.”

“It’s just wine.” I pour the ruby liquid into one glass and down it. It has a warm, chocolaty taste that chases away the tight worry building in my chest. I close my eyes and sigh. “To be honest, I need a minute to think before taking you to the house. Plus, we should give Theodric time to hole himself up in the War Room to avoid another—”

Cassia stomps across the temple and slams her palms down on the altar. We hold each other’s stare for a moment, hers swirling with both hatred and fear. I look away first and pour wine into the second glass. Before it’s halfway full, she rips the bottle from my hand, lifting it to her lips, and throws her head back.

My jaw drops. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

She lowers the bottle, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. “Yeah? Well, I think it’s a spectacular idea.”

I start to warn her it’s strong, but she’s already guzzling it again. I lean my elbows against the altar. “It will be all right, you know.”

But she isn’t listening. Or, if she is, she doesn’t care. I press the heel of my hand against my forehead to stop the dull, pounding ache from growing.

It’s a good thing Theodric didn’t kill her—a moral thing. But it might also be a very bad thing. I snatch Cassia’s glass and swallow the contents in two gulps.

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Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s spent the last six years living in Germany, Maine, and Mississippi as a military wife where the next step is always an adventure.

When Amber isn’t writing, she’s wrangling her two young sons. She is a lover of history, a fan of snowboarding, and a travel enthusiast. In her downtime, she can be found curling up with a good book and a cat or two.

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Week One:

7/3/2017- YA and Wine– Interview

7/4/2017- Twinning for Books– Review

7/5/2017- Literary Meanderings – Guest Post

7/6/2017- YA Book Madness– Review

7/7/2017- YABC – Interview

Week Two:

7/10/2017- Quite The Novel Idea– Review

7/11/2017- Margie’s Must Reads– Guest Post

7/12/2017- Wishful Endings– Review

7/13/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

7/14/2017- Rachel’s Book Reviews– Review

 

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Comments

  1. Paula Novack says:

    Looks good!

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