The Alliance is losing. Their most critical weapon, seventeen-year-old witch Nathan Brynn, has killed fifty-two people, and yet he’s no closer to ending the tyrannical, abusive rule of the Council of White Witches in England. Nor is Nathan any closer to his personal goal: getting revenge on Annalise, the girl he once loved, before she committed an unthinkable crime. There is an amulet, protected by the extremely powerful witch Ledger, which could be the tool Nathan needs to save himself and the Alliance. But the amulet is not so easily acquired. And lately Nathan has started to suffer from visions: a vision of a golden moment when he dies, and of an endless line of Hunters, impossible to overcome. Gabriel, his closest companion, encourages Nathan to run away with him, to start a peaceful life together. But even Gabriel’s love may not be enough to save Nathan from this war, or from the person he has become.
Set in modern-day Europe, the final book in the Half Bad trilogy is more than a story about witches. It’s a heart-poundingly visceral look at survival and exploitation, the nature of good and evil, and the risks we take for love.
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In the year that my father turned twenty-eight he killed thirty-two people. Celia used to make me learn facts about Marcus. That’s one of them. It was the most he killed in anyone year before the war between Soul’s Council and the Alliance of Free Witches. I used to think that thirty-two was a lot.
In the year Marcus turned seventeen, the year of his Giving, he killed just four people. I’m still only seventeen. Before the Battle of Bialowieza—the day my father died, the day almost half of the Alliance died, the day now referred to as “BB” by anyone who dares refer to it at all—anyway, before that day I’d killed twenty-three people.
BB was months ago and now I’ve passed fifty kills.
I’ve killed fifty-two people to be precise.
It’s important to be precise about these things. I don’t include Pilot—she was dying anyway—and Sameen isn’t in the count. What I did for her was a mercy. The Hunters killed Sameen. Shot her in the back as we fled from the battle. And Marcus? I definitely don’t include him in the fifty-two. I didn’t kill him. She killed him.
Her name makes me want to spew. Everything about her makes me want to spew: her blonde hair, her blue eyes, her golden skin. Everything about her is disgusting, false. She said she loved me. And I said I loved her but I meant it. I did love her. What a stupid idiot! Falling for her, an O’Brien. She said I was her hero, her prince and, like the dumb, thick mug that I am, I wanted to believe her. I did believe her.
And now all I want is to kill her. To cut her open and rip screams out of her. But even that isn’t enough; that won’t come close to it. I’d have to make her know how hard it is to do what I did. I’d have to make her cut off her own hand and eat it, or cut out her own eyes and eat them, and still that’d be easier than what I did.
I’ve killed fifty-two people. But really all I want is to get my hands on her. I’d be happy with fifty-three. Just one more and I’ll be satisfied.