How long can a human survive in the treacherous court of the winter fae, when even his allies are fighting for their lives?

Dis is a changeling, a human stolen away from his own world as a child by the vicious winter fae. He's survived to adulthood through a combination of luck and careful oversight by his only ally, a fairy lord named Marten, but his success might have finally reached its end.

It's the winter solstice, and Oberon's court is ...

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The Solstice Gift

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How long can a human survive in the treacherous court of the winter fae, when even his allies are fighting for their lives?

Dis is a changeling, a human stolen away from his own world as a child by the vicious winter fae. He's survived to adulthood through a combination of luck and careful oversight by his only ally, a fairy lord named Marten, but his success might have finally reached its end.

It's the winter solstice, and Oberon's court is preparing for a hunt with a history of bloodshed, one that requires Dis to be an unwilling participant. Even if Dis lives through that, he's being watched by the king of the fae himself, and no one can save him if Oberon has marked him for sacrifice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781781841587
  • Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/17/2012
  • Series: Oberon's Court , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 670,585
  • File size: 185 KB

Meet the Author

Cari Z is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She is back in America, finally, and loves it, despite having to relearn how to use a clutch. Writing consumes the free time that isn’t spent on a mat or playing with her husband, or both (wonderful when interests coincide like that), and she hopes you enjoy what she writes as much as she enjoys writing it.
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Read an Excerpt


The changeling lay still and silent, his breath quiet, his heartbeat sluggish, and wordlessly prayed for deliverance.

Sable, the powerful Unseelie fae and a noble of the Winter Court, slept like the dead tonight, never stirring beneath her gossamer comforts. She was so deep into her cups that the changeling chained to the floor couldn’t even hear the rise and fall of her chest. He pressed his dry tongue fruitlessly to chapped lips, unable to soothe them but instinctively trying regardless. Despite the dryness of his mouth, his exhalations misted with every breath—tiny flecks of moisture he couldn’t spare transforming to ice. He knelt, knees and wrists bound together to keep his head low, and he listened, straining for the slightest sound of someone approaching him.

The stone floor was a few degrees colder than the air in Sable’s bedchamber, enough to make the changeling wince at first, but soon his knees and forearms grew numb and gave him one less body part to shiver over. He wished his back would go numb as well, but rolling to his side while bound in this position was impossible. Every night he knelt on this same floor, shackled to the foot of the bed, stretched in a position of supplication that exposed every bit of him to the chill winter air. It was always winter here, never warm, and he longed for the freedom—not much—just enough—to curl into a ball and seek his own scant heat, instead of trembling all night long, awake and miserable and left to catch whatever naps he could in the kennel throughout the day.

There were varying degrees of discomfort in this place. Usually he’d be bound like this as soon as his mistress decided to sleep, but sometimes he was free for longer if Sable wished him to clean, and even though the water chafed his hands red, at least it meant he was moving. Occasionally Sable would sleep in another fae’s bed, leaving her changeling’s care to her brother, which was always a good thing. Marten was both more tender and caring than his sister could dream of, and he never said the changeling’s name like it was a curse.

The changeling had been stolen during a raid to the human realm a score of years ago—as measured by the fae. He was one of three children brought back, and he was the only one of them who had survived to adulthood. When it had become clear that he was going to survive, Sable had taken away his human name and given him a new one—Dis. "Because you are the opposite of everything desirable," she had murmured sweetly as she had bound the name to him, tying it to his spirit as the fae did with their true names. "Disagreeable, dishonourable, disturbed. Utterly distasteful, yet I will bear the burden of your upkeep in spite of your many flaws." Because whatever else he was, Dis was unique to the Winter Fae, the only human to survive and thrive among them, and his position as her personal slave elevated Sable’s status. Despite her ownership, though, Sable could barely stand to touch him even to hurt him, which Dis was more thankful for than he hoped she would ever know.

It was so cold...it seemed that Dis felt it more tonight, or perhaps it was just a side effect of his loneliness. Oberon’s court was frantic with activity in the week before the winter solstice, and Dis’ sole source of comfort had been too busy to come to him. That meant he’d spent the past three nights chained to Sable instead of cloistered with Marten, and it made Dis uncomfortable to realise just how much he had come to rely on the fae. He shouldn’t rely on anyone but himself, but Marten made it so easy...until he didn’t come.

As though to berate him for his lack of faith, Dis suddenly heard the soft pad of footsteps enter the room, not from the main door, but from the small one that joined the siblings’ chambers. Sable and Marten shared a suite of rooms in the guest wing of Oberon’s castle, a sign of their high status. Dis shuddered with relief as the familiar footsteps drew closer. Hands that were normally cool felt blisteringly warm against his shoulders as they crept towards the manacles, and the smooth silver circles opened quickly at Marten’s touch. He silently guided the chain out of the knot it made around Dis’ body, then pulled Dis back into his arms.

"Quietly," Marten whispered as the resurging pain in his legs made Dis’ breath catch. He helped the changeling to his feet, then led him slowly into the next room. Dis cast one last look back at Sable, slightly fearful that she would wake, but there was no need. She never even stirred.

Marten shut the door behind them, then brought Dis to the edge of his bed and pressed him down onto the furs. "Sit." He headed for the silver pitchers of water and wine and Dis watched him go, devouring every movement.


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