- Book info
- Author updates
An epic tale of love and revenge set in a world inspired by Inquisition-era Spain pits the magical Moria against a terrifying royal authority bent on their destruction.
When the royal family of Selvina sets out to destroy magic through a grand and terrible inquisition, magic warrior-thief Renata - trained in the art of stealing memories-seeks to kill the prince, leader of the King's Justice, only to learn through powerful memories that he may be the greatest illusion of them all ... and that the fate of all magic now lies in her hands.
With the ferocity of series like Ember in the Ashes and Throne of Glass and loosely based on 15th century Spain, INCENDIARY explores the double-edged sword of memory and the triumph of hope in the midst of fear and oppression.
(P) 2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Release date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Print pages: 384
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.
Listen to a sample
From a hilltop, I watch as fire consumes the farming village of Esmeraldas. Wooden homes and sienna clay roofs. Bales of rolled hay amid a sea of golden grass. Vegetable gardens of ripening tomatoes, bushels of thyme and laurel. All common to Puerto Leones, but here, in the eastern provincia of the kingdom, the fire burns through something else: manzanilla.
The deceptively bitter flower with a yellow heart and white mane of pointed petals is prized for its healing properties not only in our kingdom, but in the lands across the Castinian Sea, ensuring a steady flow of gold and food into this tiny corner of the country. In Esmeraldas, where the manzanilla grows so wild it takes over entire fields, its sweetness momentarily masks the acrid scent of homespun wool and rag dolls, abandoned in haste as the villagers run along the dirt paths to escape the flames.
But nothing covers the scent of burning flesh.
“Mother of All—” I start to say a blessing. Words the Moria use when someone is moving from this life and onto the next. But I remember flashes of a different fire, of cries and screams and helplessness. A heavy weight settles around my throat. Taking deep breaths, I try to compose myself, but the blessing still won’t leave my lips. So I think it instead. Mother of All, bless this soul into the vast unknown.
I turn away from the flames just in time to see Dez march up behind me. His honey-brown eyes take in the scene below. There’s dirt on his tawny brown skin from that last scramble through the woods bordering the north of Esmeraldas. His fingers rake through thick, tangled black hair, and his broad chest expands with quick shallow breaths as he tries to regain composure. He touches the sword at his hip the way a child might check for a favorite toy, for comfort.
“I don’t understand,” Dez says. Even after everything we’ve been through he searches for a reason for why bad things happen.
“What’s there to understand?” I say, though my anger isn’t directed toward him. “We turned a six-day journey into four by sheer will, and it still wasn’t fast enough.”
I wish I had something to hit. I settle for kicking a cluster of rocks and regret it when the dust billows around us. The wind shifts, pushing the smoke away. I sink into my boots as if grounding myself to this place will stop my heart from racing, my mind from thinking, Too late. You’re always too late.
“This has been burning for half a day by the looks of it. We never would have gotten here in time to stop it. But Esmeraldas’s exports are worth their weight in gold. Why would the king’s justice set it ablaze?”
I retie my forest-green scarf around my neck. “The message from Celeste said Rodrigue’s discovery would turn the tide of our war. They didn’t want it found.”
“Perhaps there is hope yet,” Dez says. When he turns to the village at the base of the hill, there’s a new fervor in his eyes.
Or perhaps all hope is lost, I think. I am not like Dez. The other Whispers do not come to me for hope or rousing speeches. Perhaps it is best that he is our unit leader and not me. I know two truths: The king’s justice will stop at nothing to destroy its enemies, and we’re waging a war we cannot win. But I keep fighting, maybe because it is all I’ve ever known, or maybe because the alternative is dying and I can’t do that until I’ve paid for my sins.
“Do you think Celeste is—”
“Dead,” Dez answers. His eyes are fixed on the village, what’s left of it. A ripple passes along the fine line of his jaw, his skin darker after our journey in the sun.
“Or captured,” I suggest.
He shakes his head once. “Celeste wouldn’t allow herself to be taken. Not alive.”
“We have to know for certain.” I pull a thin spyglass from the inside of my leather vest pocket and turn back to the forest line, twisting the lens until I find what I’m looking for.
A bright light glints between the trees and flashes twice. Though I can’t make out her face, I know it’s Sayida waiting with the rest of the unit for our signal. I take out a square mirror to signal back. I don’t need to communicate that the city is burning, or that we’ve traveled all this way for nothing. They should see the smoke by now. I signal only that we’ve made it.
“Go back to the others. The Second Sweep will be here soon,” Dez says. Then his voice softens. Suddenly, he’s no longer my unit leader but something else. The boy who rescued me nearly a decade ago. My only true friend. “You shouldn’t have to see this.”
His thumb brushes softly over the top of my hand, and I stop myself from seeking comfort in his arms the way I am always tempted to do. A week ago there was a raid near our safe house, and I was sure we were going to be taken captive. Somehow we squeezed into a crate reserved for sandstone brick shipments, our limbs entwined. The kiss we shared then would have been romantic if it hadn’t felt like we’d been stuffed into a coffin, sure our luck had run out.
I slam the spyglass between my palms and return it to its hiding place. “No.”
“No?” He cocks an eyebrow and tries to twist his features into a fearsome mask. “There are no memories to steal here. I can finish the task.”
I cross my arms over my chest and close the distance between us. He’s a head taller than me, and as my unit leader he could order me to listen. I hold his stare and dare him to look away first.
His gaze goes to the side of my neck, to the finger-long scar I got courtesy of a royal guard during our last mission. Dez’s hands reach for my shoulders, and a sliver of temptation winds itself around my heart. I would prefer that he give me a command than tell me he’s worried for my safety.
I step back, though I catch the moment of hurt on his face. “I can’t go back to the Whispers a failure. Not again.”
“You’re not a failure,” he says.
On our last mission, Lynx Unit was tasked with finding safe passage on a ship sailing out of the kingdom for a merchant family whose father had been executed by the king. We were nearly to the shipyard when I was caught. I know I did everything right. I had the correct documents and I wore a dress covered in stitched flowers like a chaste farmer’s daughter. My job was to rip memories from the guard, enough to confuse him and give us insight into the ships coming in and out of the Salinas harbor. There was something about me that the guard didn’t like, and the next thing I knew, I was drawing my sword to defend myself. We won, and the family has spent two months somewhere in the empire of Luzou. It took ten stitches and a week burning off a fever in the infirmary. But we can’t show our faces in that town to help other families. In those two months the king’s justice has doubled its guards there. Our presence is supposed to be silent. Our units meant to be shadows. We saved one family, but what about the others trapped in the citadela living in fear of their magics being discovered? Even if Dez is right, and I’m not a failure, I’m still a risk.
“I have to be the one to find the alman stone, and I have to be the one to return it to your father.”
A smirk plays on his lips. “And here I thought I was the glory seeker among us.”
“I don’t want glory,” I say, and manage a bitter laugh. “I don’t even want praise.”
The wind changes again, smoke encircling us. When I look at him, he could be one of my stolen memories, coated in a layer of gray, somehow distant and close all at once as he asks, “Then what do you want?”
My heart twists painfully, because the answer is complicated. He of all people ought to know this. But how could he, when even in the moments I’m the surest of the answer, a new kind of want overpowers the next? I settle on the simplest and truest words I can.
“Forgiveness. I want the Whispers to know I’m not a traitor. The only way I can do that is by getting as many Moria on the next ship to Luzou as I can.”
“No one thinks you’re a traitor,” Dez says, brushing aside my worry with a careless toss of his hand. That dismissal stings even though I know he believes it. “My father trusts you. I trust you, and since Lynx Unit is mine to command, that’s what matters.”
“How do you walk around with a head that big, Dez?”
I’d still be a scavenger if Dez hadn’t petitioned his father and the other elders to train me as a spy. My skill has been useful at saving Moria trapped in the Puerto Leones borders, but no one among our kind wants a memory thief like me in their midst. Robári are the reason we lost the war, even if our side has been on the losing end for decades. Robári can’t be trusted. I can’t be trusted.
Dez believes in me despite everything I’ve done. I would put my life in his hands—have done it before and will do it again. But for Dez, everything comes so easy. He doesn’t see that. Among the Whispers, Dez is the cleverest and bravest. The most reckless, too, but it’s accepted as part of what makes him Dez. And yet, I know, even if I were just as clever, just as brave, I’d still be the girl that sparked a thousand deaths.
I will never stop trying to prove to them that I am more. Seeing destruction like this in Esmeraldas makes it so hard to hold on to what little hope I have.
“We’re going in together,” I say. “I can handle myself.”
He makes a low grumble at the back of his throat and turns from me. I fight the impulse to reach out for him. We both know he won’t send me away. He can’t. Dez runs his fingers through his hair and reties the knot at the base of his neck. His dark eyebrows knit together, and that’s the moment he relents.
“Sometimes, Ren, I wonder who the Persuári is—you or me. We’ll rendezvous in the Forest of Lynxes or—”
“Or you’ll leave me at the mercy of the Second Sweep for being too slow.” I try to put humor into my voice, but nothing will stop the flutter of my heart, the memories pulsing to be freed. “I know the plan, Dez.”
I begin to turn, new purpose coursing through my veins. But he grips my wrist and tugs me back to him.
“No. Or I’ll come looking for you and kill anyone who tries to stop me.” Dez presses a hard, quick kiss on my lips. He doesn’t care if the others are watching us through their spyglasses, but I do. Wrenching myself from him leaves me with a dull ache between my ribs. When he smiles I feel a heady want that has no place here.
“Find the alman stone,” he says. He’s Dez again. My unit leader. Soldier. Rebel. “Celeste was to meet us in the village square. I’ll search for survivors.”
I squeeze his hand, then let go and say, “By the light of Our Lady, we carry on.”
“We carry on,” he echoes.
I drum all the nervous energy in my body down into my legs. Pulling my scarf over the bottom half of my face, I take one last breath of fresh air, then run alongside him, down the hill from our lookout point, and into the blazing streets below. For someone built so tall and broad, Dez is fast on his feet. But I’m faster, and I make it to the square first. I tell myself not to look back at him, to keep going. I do it anyway and find he’s watching me, too.
We split up.
I plunge deeper into the ruins of Esmeraldas. Flames as large as houses don’t crackle—they roar. The heat on the smoldering cobblestones is oppressive, and the snap of roof beams caving in sets my teeth on edge as houses crumble along the road. I say a silent prayer that their inhabitants have already made it out alive. Smoke stings tears from my eyes.
In the square, fire has eaten through every building it has touched, leaving nothing but black ruins behind. Hundreds of footsteps mark the ground, all of them leading east toward the town of Agata. By now there is almost no one left in Esmeraldas. I can tell by the sickening silence.
The only thing untouched is the cathedral and whipping post in front of it. God and torture: the two things the king of Puerto Leones holds dearest to his heart.
There’s something familiar about the bone-white stone of the cathedral, nearby flames glinting off the stained-glass windows. Though I’ve never been to Esmeraldas, I can’t shake the impression of having walked this very street before.
I brush away the feeling and make my way toward the whipping post. Occasionally, if there is time, doomed Moria hide messages or small parcels in the last place the king’s men would think to look—and what better place than where the accused are taken to die?
Alman stone isn’t conspicuous on its own, though when it captures memories, it glows like it’s been filled with starlight. Before King Fernando’s reign, it was common, but now, with temples desecrated and mines run dry, Moria are lucky to find it at all. If Spymaster Celeste had enough warning, she would’ve hidden Rodrigue’s alman stone for the Whispers to retrieve.
“What happened to you, Celeste?” I ask aloud, but only the crackle of fire answers, and I continue my search.
The executioner’s block has dozens of long grooves from where a killing blade struck. The wood is dark, stained with dried blood. As I run my hands along the base, I am thankful I always wear gloves. The thought of heads rolling—of bodies hanging, of people locked into the paddocks and beaten senseless—makes my stomach turn and my legs tremble. My body reacts the same way to blood as it does fire. And that is precisely why I force myself to be here.
I move to the hangman’s noose. Esmeraldas is such a small village. I wonder when they find the time to practice so many forms of execution. Kneeling, I run my hands along the wooden boards beneath the noose for a break or a loose slat. Nothing. I walk around the whipping post, but all I find is a thin leather cord with a long strip of skin dried to it. Bile rises to my throat. I drop the whip, and when I do, the strangest sense of remembrance moves through me, and a vivid memory—one that does not belong to me, but is mine anyway—bursts into my mind.
I squeeze my eyes shut and palm my temples. It’s been months since I’ve lost control of the memories living in my head. Silent smoke gathers in my mind’s eye, then clears to reveal a scene drained of all color, and I’m forced to relive a stolen past as the Gray cracks open. I see the same street, the same square, but as it was once before the fire—
A man adjusts his grip around a freshly cut tree and drags it down this street. His shoulders ache, but his thin gloves protect against splinters. His mud-covered boots stomp blue-and-gray cobblestones into the heart of the village. A crowd gathers in front of the cathedral. It is the sixth day of Almanar, and his neighbors carry branches, broken furniture, cut trees. They stack and stack the pyre until no one can reach the top. Music spills from open cantina doors. The drummers have come around, slapping leather skins in time with the festive songs. Couples dance as torches are lit. He sees the faces he’s been waiting for—his wife and child run to him. They help him drag the tree onto the pyre—their offering for the festival of Almanar. Together, they sing and dance and watch the pyre burn.
Now I know why Esmeraldas felt familiar. Every memory I’ve ever stolen is a part of me. It’s taken years of training to push them back, keep them in locked compartments. But sometimes, they find a way out. I should thank the stars that the memory that has spilled from the vault of my mind is a joyous one. A rural harvest where everyone comes together to burn the old year away. And yet, my hands tremble and sweat drips down my back. I don’t want to look at it anymore. I force myself out of the Gray, shoving the memory back into the dark where it belongs. I’ve heard it called the curse of the Robári. Curse or not, I can’t let it get in the way of finding the alman stone.
My eyes sting from smoke and the piercing pain that stabs my temples. I push my weary bones to stand. There is no alman stone here. If I were Celeste, where would I have run?
Then I hear it. A single sound pierces the air.
At first, I think it’s from another unwanted memory slipping out of the Gray, but it grows clear as cathedral bells on Holy Day. A voice crying out for help.
Someone in Esmeraldas is trapped.
THEY SAY IT DIDN’T USE TO BE LIKE THIS. THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE kingdoms of Puerto Leones and Memoria were at peace. Were prosperous. Even when Memoria fell, conquered by the family of lions, there was a treaty. Order. My kind didn’t hide our magics, our bodies, our everything, in fear of a king. This is what we tell our children. Stories. The elders of the Whispers say a lot of things to make the days and nights pass by more quickly, but for many of us the world has never stopped burning.
It was a fire just like this one that changed me from the inside out. Even now, eight years later, that fire lives within my bones and blood and muscle. It’s brighter than this, brighter than the colorless Gray of my stolen memories. What I told Dez about forgiveness was the truth, but deep inside I know that I’ll always be trying to outrun flames that will never be extinguished.
I swallow the ash that forces its way into my nose and mouth, and race down a narrow street, following the desperate voice. I hurl myself over the debris that blocks my way. My scarf keeps sliding off. Smoke obscures my sight, and I nearly collide with a horse charging down the road. I skid into a muddy bank to avoid it.
A door swings from a nearby empty stable—it is here in front of a small house where the cry is loudest. The flames have burned through everything, and I have a feeling this is the origin of the destruction.
The door hangs slightly ajar, and footsteps large and small go in both directions. Who would return to a burned house? I toe the door open and wait a breath. The roof has already caved in over the living space. The white walls left standing are striped with black.
“Hello?” I call out.
Behind the rubble is a hall that still holds. For how long, I can’t be sure.
“Where are you?” I shout again, forcing my way down the hall and into a small kitchen.
The room is hazy with lingering smoke and smoldering embers. I chance another step, my eyes sweeping the room. An upturned wooden table and roughly carved chairs, one of them broken into splinters. My next step crunches on broken glass and I make out various sets of footprints, dark with mud and something wet—oil? Blood? I crouch down and touch the substances. When I bring them to the tip of my tongue, I taste both. I spit on the floor.
There must have been a terrible fight here.
“Hello,” I say again, but my courage slips from me.
My attention snaps to the kitchen door swinging open and closed in the breeze. A chill passes over my skin, prickling with warning when I turn to the fireplace. A large bundle lies on the ground, bits of glass strewn all around it.
I stumble backward so quickly I fall.
It’s not a bundle.
It’s a person.
When I close my eyes, my own memories are bright flashes that suffocate me. The blazing orange and red of fire, like the great mouth of a dragon, devours everything in sight. I slam my fist into the floor and the shock of pain snaps me back to the here and now.
My morning meal comes up until there is nothing but bile on my tongue. I wipe my face on the sleeve of my tunic. This can’t have been the sound I heard. I tug at my hair, fearing I’ve followed one of my vivid memories by accident, like the time I swore a woman was drowning in the lake and I dove in and found nothing, or the time I didn’t sleep for a week because I was certain there were children playing in my bedroom, singing a lullaby that kept me up all night. I live a life with the ghosts I’ve created, and as this house groans against the wind I swear my power will one day lead me to my death.
I brace myself on my hands and knees to stand. I have to get out of here. I have to reach the rendezvous point before Dez comes searching for me. A ray of sun beams through the kitchen window and illuminates the glittering glass along with something else, something clutched in the corpse’s hand.
A copper ring.
Inching toward the body, I breathe through my mouth. But that only makes it worse, because I can taste the death in the air. I flip the body over, knowing I’ll find a woman. My heart already knows what my eyes take time to see. Half of her body is charred. I brush away the smoldering rubble from her unburned brown skin. Her hair is silver with age, bright red blood is caked around her mouth, and a single brown eye is open and lifeless. If I walked past her in the village square, I would have seen just any older woman in the kingdom with gray-and-black homespun clothes.
But what marks her as one of us, one of the Moria, is the thick copper ring. The intricate etchings reflect her ranking among the elders of the Whispers, and the copper tells me she’s a Persuári. A refrain from the cruel rhyme sung in schools and taverns throughout the kingdom pops into mind—one copper heart persuades senses vast. On closer inspection I notice the green saliva dried on her chin. Poison.
“Oh, Celeste,” I whisper, an ache in my chest as I pocket the copper ring to bring back to the elders. Purple-and-blue bruises mar her wrists like bracelets. She must have fought hard. In her hand I find a small glass vial drained of the poison we all carry with us.
It was Celeste who’d insisted that Robári not be turned away from the Whispers. Most of the elders refused to train us, but Celeste was different. I hoped that I could be different with her help, too. Over the last decade the king has forced the Moria living peacefully in Puerto Leones to flee the kingdom. Celeste has helped families stay and trained young ones to use their powers without hurting others.
I draw the symbol of Our Lady over her torso, marking the V pattern of the constellations of the goddess. “Rest in Her Everlasting Shadow.”
Then I whisper, “I’m sorry.”
I have to search her body for the alman stone. Dez would do it in a heartbeat, I know. Perhaps Sayida would hesitate the way I do, but we came here for the mission. So, holding my breath, I pull back her ash-covered cloak.
“Mamá!” a voice warbles from somewhere deeper in the house. “Mamá?”
A child’s voice. I wasn’t hearing things. There’s a survivor in here. I know I should focus on my task—find the alman stone—but the weakness in that cry cuts into me, urging me away from Celeste and to the back of the house, where I discover another door. It’s unlocked, but when I try to push it, there’s a weight blocking the way.
“Don’t move!” I shout, my voice muffled by the scarf. “I’m here to help you!”
“I’m trapped!” the child sobs. “The man tried to pull me out but I ran back in and then everything fell—”
“Just stay there,” I say, eyeing the door. I take a few deep breaths, then charge. I slam into the door with all of my weight, but it gives only a couple of inches. I look around the room for something to help me push. I grab a broomstick leaning against the wall and use it as a staff, wedging it between the opening. With every ounce of strength I can muster, I push.
Inch by inch the door widens enough so that I can squeeze into the room.
At the sight of me, a boy whimpers. “Who are you?”
He can’t be older than five—six, at most—with large brown eyes, skin made darker by smoke, and a mop of auburn curls. A heavy wood crossbeam has pinned him to the floor and there’s a stitched doll clutched in his fist. Is this what he ran back in here for? He should have run away and never stopped. There was a time when I could have been this child, parents taken by the king’s justice. Thank the Mother at least he doesn’t have any external injuries.
“I’ve got you,” I say, making sure my scarf is tight over my face. He might be a child, but it’s best he doesn’t get too good a look at me. After all, I’m still a Whisper.
The boy starts screaming. “Mamá! Mamá!”
I didn’t realize what I might look like to a child trapped in a house about to collapse—my face and hands covered in soot, my dark eyes rimmed with kohl. Daggers at my hips and black leather gloves reaching for him. I was about his age when I was taken, though the palace guards wore decidedly finer armor.
“Please,” I beg. “Please don’t be scared. I’m not going to hurt you.”
He doesn’t stop screaming. His panic makes him choke and cough even worse until, for a moment, he pauses to gasp for air. And in that pause, I can hear a sharp metallic whistle pierce the sky. Esteban’s signal—the Second Sweep has arrived.
Over the pop of fire, the terror of the boy’s whimpers, and the thunder of my own heart, there’s a rumble of hooves pounding the parched earth.
I pull down my scarf, breathing in short, shallow gulps of air. We need to get out—now. Holding out my hand, I show the child that I want to help.
“Don’t be afraid,” I tell him.
The words don’t mean anything to him. I know that. But I also know that I can’t leave this boy behind to die—and I can’t wait for him to calm down before the Second Sweep finds us.
The gallop of horses is getting closer.
I grab the boy by the wrist. The elders have warned me against using my power unless it’s on people they choose. They don’t trust that I can control my magics. But its side effect is one sure way I know to put him into a painless stupor long enough that I can carry him out to safety.
The boy’s screaming louder, unable to do anything other than call out for his mother. Keeping hold of his wrist with one hand, I bite the tip of my glove and pull, my hand now exposed and clammy. The glove falls to the ground as the cry for a mother who won’t answer pierces my eardrum.
So I do what I must. What I am feared for. Why the Whispers distrust me and why the king’s justice used me.
I steal a memory.
The raised scars whorled on the pads of my fingers heat up, stinging like a match on bare flesh as a bright glow begins to emanate from my fingertips. When I make skin-on-skin contact, my power burns its way through the mind until it finds what it’s looking for. The magics sear fresh scars onto my hands as I grapple with something as slippery and transmutable as a memory. When I was a girl, I screamed and cried every time I used my power.
But now the heat and pain focus me. Entering someone’s mind requires complete control and balance. Once the connection is made, a number of things can go wrong. If I let go too soon, if we’re interrupted, if I steal too many memories, I could leave his mind hollow.
As my power latches on to his most recent memory, I brace for the shock of seeing into the child’s mind.
He can’t sleep. Papá and Mamá sent him to bed, but Francis wants to wait for Aunt Celeste to return from one of her adventures. Then he hears footsteps.
The noise comes from the kitchen. Maybe Aunt Celeste is back! Francis pulls off his covers. Cold toes touch the stone-tiled floor. Maybe she’ll keep him company, tell him one of her stories of ancient princesses from the long-gone kingdoms of Memoria and Zahara. Or of the old glowing temples of the magical Moria. Last time she put her finger to her lips and made him promise to never repeat those stories.
He tiptoes to the door and twists the doorknob.
There are strange men in the kitchen. Francis feels his voice creep up, wanting to scream for Mamá and Papá. But a twisting fear in his heart tells him to stay quiet.
There’s a crash. Glass breaking.
Men screaming. One of them catches flame, flailing and running across the room.
He sees Aunt Celeste. Wants to call out to her, but then she turns and does something very strange: While the guards try to put out the rising flames, she takes a glowing stone the size of a crab apple from her pocket and swallows it.
The boy’s scream gathers in his chest as Aunt Celeste falls like a bundle of wheat. When she doesn’t get back up, Francis’s cry finds its way out. “No!”
The guards all turn to him. Francis wants to move, but his feet feel like lead.
“Grab the boy,” one of the men says, his golden hair obscuring his face as he stands over Celeste’s unmoving body. “Arrest the family.”
The flames catch on the wall, spreading up and out.
“No one can know I was here,” the golden-haired man whispers. “Let it burn.”
Francis makes to run out the window, but a large hand grabs the back of his neck—
There’s a white light, shouting that’s louder than the boy’s memory. Something’s wrong. A wrenching pain stabs at my temples. The connection is breaking. It’s like I’m falling straight over a cliff. I try to hold on to the thread of magics connecting me to the boy’s mind, but the thundering gallop of the Second Sweep breaks my concentration. I frantically try to rein back my power, to salvage what I can from the boy’s memory, but I’ve latched on and more memories tumble after, one chasing the other, ripples of color as they’re erased from his mind and flood into mine.
I shake from the aftershock of it and let go. I try my hardest to stay upright despite the headache that pounds at my temples. The only good thing is that the boy—Francis—is asleep. He’ll never again be able to recall Celeste dying or the soldier trying to grab him. In the years since the Whispers saved me, I’ve learned to comb through s
We hope you are enjoying the book so far. To continue reading...