Before Vengeance by Louisa Lo
(Cosmic Balance #0.5)
Publication date: TBA 2015
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
What if everything you’ve ever known, down to what you are, was a lie?
Growing up in the enchanted kingdom of Dualsing, seventeen-year-old Lady Serafina has always known she’s different. Her fae power never manifested itself during puberty, and her parents treated her like a tolerated houseguest rather than family. Even her childhood sweetheart, Crown Prince Eldon, distanced himself the moment he was old enough to know the secret about Serafina that everyone in their world seems to know—except her.
Now her upcoming birthday is being treated as a national holiday by the very people who’d neglected her, Eldon is in for a political battle of his life that she’s somehow being dragged into, and Serafina is developing abilities that feel terrifyingly right, but aren’t fae power at all.
As she starts to investigate her origin, Serafina has no idea she would be setting in motion events that would have far-reaching consequences not just for herself, but for all the planes.
Note: BEFORE VENGEANCE is a prequel of VENGEANCE BE MINE.
Under the fading sun, I hurried past the palace square, keeping my shoulders slumped and my eyes downcast. To the conversing noble in the vicinity, all they saw was a misfit. Someone looking to avoid trouble and attention.
The truth was, I was trying to avoid bringing attention to the trouble I might cause.
“Lady Serafina,” Alston, the royal butler, called from behind me.
I whirled around on the smooth, white marble floor. Alston balanced a jug of honey in each hand. The lower grade honey was intended as payments to the brownies for their housekeeping service.
I tried to concentrate on Alston’s words, and not the fact that the honey had been skimmed off the top by the butler.
Damn my keen sense of right and wrong, so utterly opposed to what everyone else on this plane considered normal.
“M’lady,” the imposing butler seemed disgusted with himself for having to address me. He didn’t even bother with a bow. “I’m to inform you that on the day of the Crossover, you’re to come to the South Tower before dawn.”
I nodded and started walking, hoping that would be all.
“One more thing,” Alston blocked my path, his eyes dropped to my neck with deep disapproval. “May I remind you to wear the Eye of Sebille at all times. I cannot stress enough the importance of it.”
A couple of noble ladies close by snickered at me, their laughter rang across the square like bells. Their pixies, taking cue from their mistresses, zoomed right by my braid rather than keeping a respectable distance.
I swallowed, my fingers brushed against my bare neck of their own accord. The Eye of Sebille was a long necklace with a bejeweled, egg-sized pendant. I hated wearing it. Not just because of its dead weight and sharp surface, but because of the mystery it represented.
In all my seventeen summers, I had never laid eyes on the Sebille family heirloom. Now, I was suddenly expected to wear it all the time. Why? Did it have something to do with my birthday?
When Alston passed by me, one of the honey jugs brushed against my arm. As the glass made contact with my exposed skin, sensations exploded though my system. It was as though in that moment, I could feel the hardship of the brownies, thankless servants little better than slaves. I felt their every yawn, every sore muscle, and every blister.
A brownie would have to work all year long just to get a single jug of cheap honey. To have over a third of it taken away by someone in a position of power…
It wasn’t right.
The injustices they suffered crashed through me like a tidal wave, stealing my breath and making my fists clench. But when the torrent of indignation passed, what was left in its place was a dead calm.
As I watched Alston’s retreating back, a song rose in me like a long-forgotten nursery rhyme:
Honey, they say you never go bad.
Make an exception,
For he who made the brownies sad.
Before Alston reached the corner of the palace square, he doubled over with pain. He dropped the jugs and collapsed on the floor, curling into a fetal position. He groaned, his arrogant and formidable demeanor gone.
The jugs bounced off the marble floor and landed on a small wooden patio table nearby, without a crack to the glass or a single drop of honey spilling.
Somehow, I knew Alston was in for a long night of food poisoning, just like I knew the brownies, to whom the jugs belonged, would find the honey tasted twice as sweet as it normally would. I had no idea how I knew. I just did.
“Louisa Lo has an exciting new voice to bring to urban fantasy and a fun and breezy writing style that kept the pages quickly turning well into the night! I need more!” –Michelle Rowen, National Bestselling Author
Louisa Lo lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, an aristocratic cat, and more cardboard boxes than she cares to unpack. She decided to write about vigilantes, because it seems like a better life choice than trying to become one and landing herself in jail. She just has that kind of luck.
Please visit www.louisalo.com to learn more about Louisa and her books.