Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
What if everything you’ve ever known, down to what you are, was a lie?
Growing up in the enchanted kingdom of Dualsing, seventeen-year-old Lady Serafina has always known she’s different. Her fae power never manifested itself during puberty, and her parents treated her like a tolerated houseguest rather than family. Even her childhood sweetheart, Crown Prince Eldon, distanced himself the moment he was old enough to know the secret about Serafina that everyone in their world seems to know—except her.
Now her upcoming birthday is being treated as a national holiday by the very people who’d neglected her, Eldon is in for a political battle of his life that she’s somehow being dragged into, and Serafina is developing abilities that feel terrifyingly right, but aren’t fae power at all.
As she starts to investigate her origin, Serafina has no idea she would be setting in motion events that would have far-reaching consequences not just for herself, but for all the planes.
Note: BEFORE VENGEANCE is a prequel of VENGEANCE BE MINE.
I opened the door a crack and asked tentatively, “Mr. Lichen?”
“Come on in, m’lady,” a deep voice boomed.
I entered the observatory, closing the door behind me. Though I’d been coming here for almost a year now, I had never quite gotten over the sense of wonder when I entered the three-story structure. Eldon once told me that the human plane had structures that were similar to this called IMAX theaters, except they weren’t powered by magic, but technology.
In the hushed darkness, the only source of light was from the dome-shaped ceiling above. Mesmerizing bright lines, similar to the ones Eldon created for our chess games but in multiple colors, shaped and reshaped themselves into overlapping patterns on a backdrop of royal blue.
Mr. Lichen got up from the desk at the center of the room, gesturing toward the three heavy volumes he’d already pulled out for me. “Tonight it’s Eglantina-Six, Marigold-Twelve, and Oda-Four. Now that you’re here, I’ll be on my way.”
I nodded, knowing my mentor would have no trouble seeing my gesture despite the lack of light. After a lifetime of working here, he had developed an uncanny ability to see in the dark. I waited until the door closed behind him with a thump before letting out a shaky breath, though whether my reaction was due to the cool air or my assigned task, I knew not.
I reached the desk. “Alina, are you there?”
Alina, a pixie, zoomed in front of my face with an abundance of energy, her rapid-fire chatter even faster than the beating of her wings. She darted all over the place, doing spins and somersaults, then a mock dive bomb, the lantern in her hand threatening to go out with all the acrobatic moves.
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Slow down!”
Alina clutched her chest in an imitation of heart failure and took a few deep breaths. “I. Miss. You. How. Have. You. Been? Going. This. Slow. Is. Killing. Me.”
“Well, maybe not as slow as that,” I said dryly.
Taking that as a point of victory, Alina shot up a few feet and did another couple of somersaults with a loud, “Yay-I-am-wearing-you-down!” before settling down on the surface of the desk. She sat, the long-suffering lantern on its side next to her.
“So, how have you been?” she asked.
“Fine,” I lied. No way would I darken the little pixie’s mood with my own problems.
Alina didn’t look entirely convinced, but true to the nature of her kind, she couldn’t hold her suspicion, nor her attention, for long.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” she cried and flew into a half-opened drawer. She came back out hugging an enameled egg, its silver chain dangling off her feet. Her tiny arms could not even cover the entire circumference of the pendant, and the diamonds encrusted on its surface cut into her tender flesh.
I opened my palm and Alina dropped her offering into it right away, rubbing her skin.
“The Eye of Sebille,” she breathed. “As you wish.”
“Louisa Lo has an exciting new voice to bring to urban fantasy and a fun and breezy writing style that kept the pages quickly turning well into the night! I need more!” –Michelle Rowen, National Bestselling Author
Louisa Lo lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, an aristocratic cat, and more cardboard boxes than she cares to unpack. She decided to write about vigilantes, because it seems like a better life choice than trying to become one and landing herself in jail. She just has that kind of luck.