I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE A COUPLE OF TEASERS FROM MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK! SIEGE AND STORM BY LEIGH BARDUGO . THE SEQUEL TO SHADOW AND BONE ..(IF YOU HAVENT READ SHADOW AND BONE, I DONT KNOW WHAT ELSE YOU’R DOING WITH YOUR LIFE!!!!)
MAL & ALINA:
As we pushed off from the fountain, one of the washerwomen leaned forward.
“If you ever get tired of skin and bones,” she called to Mal, “I’ve got something to tempt you.”
I stiffened. Mal glanced over his shoulder. Slowly, he looked her up and down. “No,” he said flatly. “You don’t.”
The girl’s face flushed an ugly red as the others jeered and cackled, splashing her with water. I tried for a haughtily arched brow, but it was hard to restrain the goofy grin pulling at the corners of my mouth.
“Thanks,” I mumbled as we crossed the square, heading toward our boardinghouse.
I rolled my eyes. “For defending my honor, you dullard.”
He yanked me beneath a shadowed awning. I had a moment’s panic when I thought he’d spotted trouble, but then his arms were around me and his lips were pressed to mine.
When he finally drew back, my cheeks were warm and my legs had gone wobbly.
“Just to be clear,” he said, “I’m not really interested in defending your honor.”
“Understood,” I managed, hoping I didn’t sound too ridiculously breathless.
THE DARKLING & ALINA:
Ivan bowed and darted from the room, closing the door behind him. “He can’t wait to get away from you,” I said, hovering by the door. “He’s afraid of what you’ve become. They all are.”
“Do you fear me, Alina?”
“That’s what you want, isn’t it?”
The Darkling shrugged. “Fear is a powerful ally,” he said. “And loyal.”
He was watching me in that cold, assessing way that made me feel as if he were reading me like words on a page, his fingers moving over the text, gleaning some secret knowledge that I could only guess at. I tried not to fidget, but the irons at my wrists chafed.
“I’d like to free you,” he said quietly.
“Free me, flay me. So many options.” I could still feel the press of his knife at my cheek.
He sighed. “It was a threat, Alina. It accomplished what it needed to.”
“So you wouldn’t have cut me?”
“I didn’t say that.”
ALINA & FRIEND:
“Your friend seems to be enjoying himself.”
I shrugged. “Mal’s always
been like that. You could drop him in a camp full of Fjerdan assassins, and he’d
come out carried on their shoulders. He just blooms wherever he’s
“I’m more of a weed,” I said dryly.
… “I like weeds,” she said, pushing herself off from the railing and gathering her
scattered lengths of rope. “They’re survivors.”
“I can see my shadow pass over them, pass over the road and the barren winter
fields, the black shape of a girl, borne high by her own unfurling wings.”
ALINA& … :
“There was no sound but our breathing and the shift of our bodies together. He
was kissing my throat, my collar bone, drinking my skin. I shivered and pressed
closer to him.”
GENYA & ALINA:
Genya laid her hand over mine. “You did what you had to do, Alina.”
I let out a harsh bark of laughter and yanked my hand away. “Is that what the Darkling tells you, Genya? Does that make it easier?”
“Not really, no.” She looked down at her lap, pleating and unpleating the folds of her kefta. “He freed me, Alina,” she said. “What am I supposed to do? Run back to the palace? Back to the King?” She gave a fierce shake of her head. “No. I made my choice.”
Ivan froze, his smirk evaporating. Behind him stood a tall boy around my age, maybe a few years older—ruddy hair, a broken nose.
He had a cocked pistol in his hand, the barrel pressed against Ivan’s neck.
“I’m a gracious host, bloodletter. But every house has rules.”