Today, I've got an excerpt from Nightspell, Leah Cypess's newest release, courtesy of Teen Book Scene. Hope you enjoy!
A trapped, panicked feeling burned its way up Callie’s throat. She forced it down, concentrating on maneuvering her way between tables, and was halfway to the side door of the banquet hall when the room behind her went silent.
It was just for a second -- a momentary break in the rhythm of conversation -- but Callie had learned to pay attention to the moods of the court, and she knew immediately that something was wrong. She turned, her skirt catching on a chair edge, afraid to find out what her sister had done now.
But Darri was still seated, her shoulders tense beneath her shiny strands of dark hair, leaning forward in that way she did when she was spoiling for a fight. Varis was seated too, his tired face set in a shrewd, polite expression. Neither of them had seen what the rest of the court had.
The Guardian was striding across the banquet hall toward them. He moved far more easily than should have been possible in that iron casing, as if the black metal was a second skin.
Callie’s breath caught in her throat as she struggled between an urge to run toward Darri and an urge to get out of the banquet hall. In the end, she followed her strongest instinct: to do exactly what the rest of the court was doing. Nothing at all. She watched.
The Guardian’s feet hit the marble floor with a heavy, metallic tread. Everyone watched him as he passed, though they pretended not to; they returned to dining and talking, but less ostentatiously, trying not to draw attention to themselves.
Across the room, Prince Kestin stood, his eyes flashing, but he was too far away to do anything.
The Guardian drew his silver sword. He was so fast that not even Varis had time to move before the sword sliced through Duke Salir’s throat, just as the duke was tilting his head back to down a goblet of wine.
Wine splattered, Duke Salir vanished, and the goblet shattered on the floor. For a moment the room resembled a painting, everyone in it frozen and silent, all staring at the Guardian. The silver sword was the only real-looking object in the room.
Then, one by one, the courtiers turned away. The low buzz of conversation resumed, a few servants detached themselves from the corners to clean up the wine and the glass, and the Guardian sheathed his sword and kept walking.
Thanks so much to Ms. Cypess and Teen Book Scene! I hope you'll all give Nightspell a try if you ever have the chance, it's a good book.