Faerie Winter: Book 2 of the Bones of Faerie Trilogy

Faerie Winter: Book 2 of the Bones of Faerie Trilogy

by Janni Lee Simner

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The long-awaited sequel to Janni Lee Simner's breathtaking YA fantasy debut, Bones of Faerie.

Liza is a summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and to rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.

Born in the wake of the war between humanity and Faerie, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent. Even the evergreens' branches are bare. Winter crops won't grow, and the threat of starvation looms. And deep in the forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.

Here at last is the sequel to Bones of Faerie, for all those fans of dark fantasy and dystopian adventure who thrilled to Janni Lee Simner's unique vision of a postapocalyptic world infused with magic.

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940155977148
Publisher: Janni Lee Simner
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Series: The Bones of Faerie Trilogy
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 110,806
File size: 477 KB

About the Author

Janni Lee Simner lives in the Arizona desert, where the plants know how to bite and the dandelions have thorns. In spite of these things—or maybe because of them—she believes she lives in one of the most stunning places on earth.

Her post-apocalyptic Bones of Faerie trilogy is set after the war between the human and faerie realms has destroyed the world, leaving behind a land filled with deadly magic. The first book, Bones of Faerie, was dubbed, “Pure, stunning, impossible to put down or forget,” by World Fantasy Award winner Jane Yolen. School Library Journal describes the second book, Faerie Winter, as, “A hauntingly exquisite portrait of a postapocalyptic world.”

She’s also the author of Thief Eyes, a contemporary young adult fantasy based on the Icelandic sagas; of the kids’ adventure story Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer; of the short-story collection Unicorn Seasons; and of three more novels and more than 30 more short stories, including appearances in Welcome to Bordertown and Cricket magazine.

To learn more about visit her online at www.simner.com.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Snow crunched beneath my boots as I patrolled the winter forest, a gray wolf by my side.

Low on the horizon, a waxing moon shone through the trees, silvering the bare branches of oak and ash, sycamore and elm. Cold bit through the tips of my leather gloves, and my breath puffed into the still air. An oak branch swung at me, sleepy and slow. The wolf—Matthew—growled a warning, but I ducked out of the way easily enough. The oak sighed, but it didn't try again. The trees were too tired to do much harm this winter.

I walked carefully over a line of fire ants melting a trail through the snow. Nearby I heard the clicking of termites chewing dead wood. Termites were among the few creatures who hadn't gone hungry since the leaves had fallen from the trees.

Beneath a pine that had dropped all its needles, a patch of ice-frosted ferns shivered. Something dark moved among the ferns—Matthew's ears stiffened into alertness. I slowed my steps and rested my hand against his back. We walked forward together.

A shadow hunkered amid the ferns, shapeless and trembling. As I knelt before it, the shadow took on a human shape, arms and legs and face, features smudged and indistinct in the moonlight. A child—in one hand it held out a toy, shaped like a dinosaur from Before—long Before.

I removed my glove and took the child's other hand in my own. Shadow fingers passed right through mine, and cold shivered through me. I reached out with my magic, and that magic was cold, too. Cold bound us one to another, shadow and living, strong as twisted rope. Softly I asked, "What is your name?"

Something deep within the shadow yearned toward me, aching to be called back to life. "Ben." His hoarse voice was at the edge of hearing.

I couldn't call any shadow back to life. "Seek sleep, Ben." I put my magic—my power—into the words. "Seek rest, seek darkness, seek peace."

Icy numbness spread through my fingers. Ben whimpered as he sank into the ferns and the snow. His fingers slipped from mine. "Ethan," he whispered, and then he was gone, leaving behind only a moon-bright whiteness that stung my eyes.

Cold shot through my palm and up my arm. Matthew nudged my other hand, and I remembered the glove I held. I pulled it on. Tingling warmth spread through my fingers, until I could move them once more. "Thanks, Matthew." I pressed my nose to his. Our frosted breaths, human and wolf, mingled in the air.

Matthew made a quiet sound. "Time to go home," I agreed. We turned from the ferns, back toward the path and the chores that waited in town. I scanned the snow and brush around us, but I didn't see any more shadows.

At least it was only human shadows we needed to watch for now. Until this winter, the trees had held shadows of their own, and those shadows had attacked anyone desperate enough to venture out at night. The trees' roots and branches had attacked, too, by day and night both.

But now the trees had dropped their leaves and they slept, and instead human shadows from Before roamed the woods at night, shadows of those who'd died during the War with Faerie. Sometimes those shadows drifted into town, looking for lost loved ones. I still remembered the look on Matthew's grandmother's face when the daughter I hadn't known she'd had appeared at her door. At least she'd let me lay that shadow to rest. Another of our townsfolk had shivered to death when he wouldn't let go of the shadow of his first wife, whom he'd lost during the War. After that, Matthew and I had started doing regular patrols, heading out before dawn a couple of times a week.

We could head out before dawn now that the trees no longer sought human flesh and blood. It had been a welcome change not to fear every rustling leaf.

Matthew stopped and sniffed the air. He turned and trotted off the path, deeper into the forest. I followed. My hand moved to the belt cinched around my oversized coat and the knife that hung sheathed there, a habit from years spent tracking game through more wakeful forests.

Matthew stopped by a mound about the same size he was. He nosed at it, let out a low whine, and began digging. The old snow was unevenly packed, as if it had been shaped by human hands. A faded brown dinosaur sat perched atop it, molded of hard pre-War plastic.

Cold got down beneath my coat and scarf, chilled my toes in their wool socks. I helped Matthew dig, knowing well enough what we would find.

Ben had been young, little more than a toddler, with curls that hung frozen over a face made pale by the moonlight. He hadn't died in the War after all. He'd died no more than a day or two ago, after the last snowfall, and someone had buried him here.

I wanted nothing more to do with dead children. I wanted to flee this place, but we had to know what had happened to him, in case it posed some danger to our town.

Cold stiffened my fingers. The dinosaur toppled into the snow. I kept digging.

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