Published: September 25th, 2015
Fennel and Peree are finally where they’ve worked ceaselessly to be: together and safe from the Scourge in the protected village of Koolkuna. But on the day of their partnering ceremony the children of the village are stolen away—Fenn’s loyal companion, Kora, among them.
Fenn wants to bring the children home, especially as the villagers seem to blame Peree and her for the tragedy. Only since the death of her own family, she’s terrified that a wrong move on her part will lead to the loss of others she loves.
Despite her apprehension, Fenn and Peree join a small search party led by rival Kaiya, the one person who stands a chance of finding the children thanks to her mysterious past. As they travel away from the safe waters of Koolkuna and into the Scourge-infested wilds, Fenn endures Kai’s scorn, her subtle designs on Peree, and the squabbling of the group. But nothing in her life so far has prepared her for the fierce warrior women who will steal others’ children to preserve their own existence—the Fire Sisters.
If Fenn is to survive the threat of the Scourge, rescue the children from the Sisters, and have a hope of making a life with Peree in Koolkuna, she must face her fear of failure and loss and become the leader she’s destined to be.
Read THE FIRE SISTERS, the thrilling conclusion to the bestselling young adult fantasy Brilliant Darkness series! There are three novels and two short stories in the series. The first novel, The Scourge, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.
“The Sisters were something else, Fenn,” Peree says. “All painted white. Armed to the teeth. And that scream… Thrush went white as a stone.”
I won’t forget the Sisters’ battle cry any time soon. “Why didn’t the children cry or shout? Why couldn’t I hear them at all?”
He lets out a long breath. “I don’t know. They weren’t gagged or anything. But they looked odd. Kind of… slack-faced.”
I shiver, and he rubs my arms.
“It reminded me of a story Kadee told me once," he says, "about a man who came to a village and, at the request of the people, played his pipes to lead all the rats that had been bothering them away. But once the rats were gone, the people wouldn’t give the piper what they promised him in return. So the next night, he came back, played his pipes, and took all their children away. Only three children remained behind to tell the villagers what had happened. One was lame, and so couldn’t follow the other children. One was deaf, and so couldn’t hear the music. And one was blind and couldn’t find her way.”
I make a face at that. “What did the people do?”
“They begged and pleaded with the piper to give their children back, but he was angry, and he wouldn’t.”
I sigh. “Peree, I wish Kadee would teach you some new stories. Ones with happy endings.” I start to move away. “We should get ready.”
“Wait.” He draws me back into his arms. “The timing could be better, but… I don’t know when I’ll have you to myself again.”
He kisses me.
We’ve shared a lot of kisses now—sweet, soft, tender, steamy, seductive, intense. I never knew there were so many kinds. This one starts slow and builds, like a fire catching. My legs go weak, and my insides turn to liquid.
I press myself against him, wanting no distance between us. His back is muscled under my hands, and his slim hips fit well against my own. His sweet honeysuckle scent makes me dizzy. If only we could lose ourselves in each other, forget everything and everyone else… let it all slip away in the heat of our passion.
For a moment, I let myself pretend we can.
RECOMMENDED SERIES READING ORDER:
The Keeper (novella)
The Gatherer (novella)
The Fire Sisters
About the author:
A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first novel in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.
A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they've had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she's not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she's inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.