Sunday, September 29, 2019

#BookReview: Trinity of Bones (The Necromancer's Song #2) by @CaitSeal

Synopsis: The much-anticipated second title of the Necromancer's Song trilogy. Naya Garth will do whatever it takes to bring Corten back from the shores of death.

Naya Garth, recently resurrected, is returning to Talmir--to the homeland that betrayed her. She is no longer their spy and weapon. She will testify against her former ambassador and spymaster, Valn, the man who had her murdered. Sucked into complicated politics at the Congress of Powers, Naya must forge new alliances in order to survive--as a wraith, one of the undead, she is a reviled creature. But her true mission is to uncover secret necromancy journals that might achieve the impossible: resurrect her love, Corten, for a second time.

Corten is stuck in the fringe fighting against shadows and monsters pulling him toward true death. There he learns that something is brewing in the world of the living, in the distant land of Endra--a dangerous ritual that will seal shut the doors of death and create chaos. Will Naya and Corten be able to reunite long enough to find out who seeks immortality? In a sea of diplomats, is it even possible to uncover the truth without plunging the world into war?
This title will be released on October 29, 2019.

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About the Author: Caitlin is a writer and compulsive reader living in Northern California. She graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in International Politics and Economics, and quickly learned that she preferred making up her own governments to working with real ones.

She started writing when she was six and her parents were kind enough to encourage her even though her stories involved things like haunted jukeboxes luring people to their deaths. When not writing she GMs tabletop games, practices aikido, and hunts for portals in old wardrobes.

She writes Fantasy and Science Fiction and is represented by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Her first novel, TWICE DEAD, will be published by Charlesbridge Teen in Fall 2018.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: When this book came up to read I was freaking out!!! I loved book one and this one omg I about died. I need more right now!! This was a fabulous edition to the story!  Each character was wonderful and the story was well paced and didn't disappoint.  The writing was beautiful and engaging and the twists and turns kept me going until the very last page!! I can't wait to get my own copy of this! 

Chapter 1: Corten 

Wind howled through the dark and twisting landscape of death. It pressed against Corten’s chest as he struggled forward. One step. Another. Up ahead light glimmered through a crack in the darkness. It was a portal, a tiny gap in the barrier between the world of the living and that of the dead. His old mentor Lucia’s voice resonated from the other side. The notes of her song were deep and rich, and achingly familiar, as she called him back toward life. 

As Corten struggled on, blades of shadowy grass sprang up to wrap around his ankles, and the wind pressed like a thousand hands trying to push him back. Rocky, uncertain ground shifted beneath his every step. The first time he’d died, the pull of this strange landscape had been gentle and insistent. Voices on the wind had whispered of rest and safety. He’d refused them, and now it seemed death was determined not to let him escape a second time. 

Corten set his teeth in a snarl and pushed on. Second resurrections were tricky, but theoretically not impossible. He just had to reach the portal. 

The ground crumbled under his foot as though in response to his determination. Corten cried out and stumbled to his hands and knees. Struggling to stand, he heard a sound more terrifying than the howling wind. Lucia’s voice was faltering. 

“No!” Corten forced himself up, fighting the wind and his own exhaustion. He was so close. The song broke off as Lucia coughed. Then she gasped in breath and managed another half-strangled refrain. 

“Corten!” a second voice called, higher than Lucia’s and sharp with desperation. 

“Naya?” Corten reached for the portal. For just a moment, he saw her on the other side, her eyes wide as she reached back for him. 

But it was too late. Lucia’s voice failed. The light wavered. Then with a crack like thunder, the portal closed, leaving Corten standing with one hand outstretched toward the infinite  darkness. 

“No,” Corten whispered. His hand fell limply to his side. Grass rustled against his legs as the wind’s strength lessened. He collapsed to the ground, and the grass blurred and reformed around the scorched pants he’d been wearing when he died. He shuddered at their touch, more like the brush of heavy mist than anything real. Probably because they aren’t real, Corten thought. This place was shaped by thoughts and fears. It was an echo of the living world, and nothing here was quite what it seemed. 

Naya had told him that when she’d died, she’d felt the shadows like a tide. Others felt invisible hands pulling them away. For him, death had always been this endless grassy field, all winds and uncertain footing. He’d wondered if the landscape would change after a second death, if whatever killed him would shape the scenery into something new. Apparently not. 

Corten stood, holding one hand against his chest. Hot pain still lingered where the sword had snapped his rib and sent his soul screaming back to this dark place. How long had it been since he’d followed Naya into the tunnels beneath the burning Talmiran Embassy? Time was impossible to judge on this side of death, but Lucia wouldn’t have waited more than a day or two before she attempted to sing him back. 

Images from those last hours before his death flashed through Corten’s memory. The fire they’d run through had seemed  almost alive as it furiously consumed the building—nothing like the controlled heat of the furnaces he’d worked with as an  apprentice glassblower. What they’d found in the tunnels below the embassy had been worse. Yet Naya had faced it all without flinching. Even when her father, Captain Hal Garth, had stood before her and snarled his hate, still she hadn’t run away. In that moment she’d seemed a different person from the quiet, uncertain girl she’d been when they first met. 
And from what he’d seen in that single glimpse through the portal, it looked as though she’d gotten away safely. 

Corten smiled to himself. Of course she’d gotten away. She was trained to fight, unlike him. Creator, he’d probably looked the fool when he’d swung that iron poker at her father. At least he’d managed to break the foul man’s arm. 

Corten’s smile turned to a grimace. Such a mighty legacy he left behind. Corten Ballera: failed necromancer, breaker of arms, and crafter of ugly glass trinkets. Oh, yes, the bards would surely sing his praises. And Naya . . . Well, if she were lucky, she’d forget him and go on to lead a long and happy life. Maybe she would even meet someone new. 

The image of her in someone else’s arms made his stomach twist. He squeezed his eyes shut, remembering the heat of her lips against his after they’d fled the execution. He must have been mad to kiss her like that. But in that moment, he’d felt so intoxicatingly alive that all his thoughts and doubts had been  incinerated. He’d imagined sweeping her off her feet and carrying her far away to find a place where they could both be more than their regrets and the mistakes they’d made. 

The wind blew harder. Insistent. 

Corten glared at the swirling dark expanse of this dead world that had claimed his soul. “So that’s it?” he asked. “That’s all I get?” 

The wind swallowed his words and carried them away. Corten stood. “This isn’t fair!” he shouted. “I still have things to do!” He had a life back in Belavine, friends. Was death at the hands of some hateful merchant really the end of his fate? 

The wind mocked him with its constant force. It made him feel like a little kid stomping and screaming at some slight. As that image formed in his mind, the world twisted, perspective warping and light flooding the dark. He was a little kid, five years old and fuming over the injustice of his parents’ going out for a picnic without him. His father scowled from behind his mustache while his mother rolled her eyes. 

As abruptly as it had come, the vision vanished, leaving Corten kneeling as he struggled to make sense of his surroundings. 

Well. That hadn’t happened last time he’d died. Then again, last time he hadn’t missed his chance at the portal. Corten stood on shaky legs. He closed his eyes and searched his memory for every scrap of lore he’d ever learned about death. The longest recorded gap between a death and a resurrection was four days and six hours. No one had ever successfully been resurrected after a second failure, but so far as he knew, no one had tried since the end of the war. And if anyone was going to try, it would be Lucia. 

Voices whispered through the darkness, barely distinguishable from the endless rustling of the grass. The back of Corten’s neck prickled with the sense of someone watching. 

Stop fighting.



When Corten opened his eyes, a figure stood before him. It was almost human, but its edges were indistinct and its face hidden in shadows. Corten stepped backward, nearly tripping over his own feet. 

“Stop fighting,” the figure said. The voice was masculine, and the rasp of it made Corten think of old books and mildew. 

Corten shook his head. He tried to back up farther but felt the ground shift ominously beneath his heels. His stomach lurched like he was already falling, and he had to fight down a gasp of fear. He reminded himself of all the times he’d gone up on city rooftops, even jumped off some of them just to prove to himself that such falls no longer held any power over him. But rooftops had always felt so stable compared to the loose rocks of the cliff ’s edge, and there was something very different about falling when you were the one in control of the jump. “I don’t want to die,” Corten said, managing to make the words come out in something slightly manlier than a terrified squeak. 

“What you want matters not. Your life is spent. Now it is time for you to rest.” 

Something about the figure’s words tugged at Corten. Necromancy was as much about purpose and will as it was about carving runes. A necromancer could use their circle to create and contain a portal, and they could use the song to find and guide a soul back. But they couldn’t force anyone back into life. What if it worked the same going the other way? “What happens if I refuse?” Corten asked. 

“All souls go to their rest.” 

Corten crossed his arms. “Why? And what are you anyway?”  

The shadow man didn’t answer. The darkness at the edges of Corten’s vision writhed, and the feeling of being watched intensified. 

“Will you drag me away if I refuse to go?” He wouldn’t let his fear get the better of him. If he stalled long enough, maybe Lucia would figure out a way to open another portal. 

“You will go willingly.” 

“I won’t.” 

“You will. If you don’t, the scavengers will consume you.” A chill crawled up Corten’s spine. “What’s that supposed to mea—” Before he could finish the thought, the ground beneath his feet vanished. His words became a scream as he plummeted into darkness. 

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