GENRE: Historical Fantasy
In 18th century England, Elisabeth’s sister is violently kidnapped, forcing her family back into the supernatural world they disavowed. Now, as Elisabeth journeys across Europe to rescue her sister, she faces her people’s warring families, the vampire servants they create, and a cabal of powerful madmen—and her success might prove the destruction of them all.
They walked single-file and surefooted through the dark woods, their bare feet padding lightly atop the damp carpet of earth and leaf and needle, their shifts knotted above their knees so as to clear the brush just coming into leaf. It had been a bitter winter and a rainy spring, but now the sky was clear and filled with stars, casting a spectral glow on the new green leaves. The moon was high already and when again she could let herself remember this night Elisabeth would realize it was a sickle, unusually thin and bright: a tool for reaping, and she should have taken it for a sign.
But she was never one to pay attention to such things, and this night had been no different. Her mind had wandered as she trailed after Cathy, watching the scaly soles of her eldest sister’s feet turn black with soil, her pale calves flashing from beneath her yellowed shift. At their head Mary was singing:
Ombra mai fu
Cara ed amabile
Her sweet, clear voice rising on the wind to curl among the trees, and Elisabeth fancied they were rustling in response, their branches stirring to gather the music towards themselves. How many times had they walked this path? More than ten springs now, the longest she could remember staying anywhere. Their home. For the first time she understood all that the word invoked: safety, family, a place of refuge.