The Viking Mist
by Ariella Moon
(The Two Realms Trilogy, #2)
Publication date: March 2nd 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
When a fairy kills a fairy, they forfeit immortality.
Never over three centuries, since the Last Fairy King was assassinated, has a noble fay been murdered in Fairy…until now.
The mysterious murder leads to an astounding discovery. Mab, Queen of Fairy, accuses Talfryn’s parents of stealing an elixir that restores immortality. She holds his fay father hostage, forcing the Halfling to enter the Viking realm to retrieve the potion.
Talfryn has five days to navigate the world of lethal Cold Iron, locate the human mother he has never known, and recover the elixir that could mask the murderer — a quest he cannot survive without aid from Fenella. Will the Thaness of Thorburn honor their alliance, knowing the venture would jeopardize her freedom and second chance at love?
In 16th century Scotland, Fenella believes Talfryn is dead. Her covert plan to regain her thanedom and safeguard her life hinges on marrying her kidnapper’s son…for love. With weeks until their wedding, she can ill afford to break Edward’s trust, or his heart…again.
Will love be lost…or found?
In this sequel to The Beltane Escape, shape-shifters and secrets abound, time bends, fates interweave, friendships fray, and no one is safe.
Fenella sat at the high table, the only female, the only redhead, and the only captive in the teeming Blackwood hall. Like a hen among wolves, she was mindful of the Blackwood garrison. Seated at side trestle tables afore her, the men hunched over their trenchers, eating and drinking. They bantered and clapped each other on the shoulder. Of the threescore of them, who a year ago had stolen her from her stronghold and clan, nae a one had showed remorse. Ever.
She tightened her grip on her goblet. Though ’twas fruitless, she glanced at the two escape routes that led outdoors. Both the main staircase near the dais and the screens passage that separated the Great Hall from the service quarters at the opposite end of the hall led down to the upper courtyard.
Sipping her spiced wine, Fenella fought warring urges to remain vigilant or flee to her isolated chamber.
Doona appear weak. She straightened her back, conjured a composed demeanor. Bone tired and brittle from a sleepless night listening for Edward’s contingent, Fenella imagined a litany of ill fates that might have befallen him. Worry vanquished her hunger. She stared unseeingly at the candied almonds and wedge of fruit cheese that comprised the final course of the late morning meal.
Fenella worried her thumb across her scar. If anything has happened to Mr. Blackwood… She narrowed her eyes and slid a sideways glance at Lord Argonshire, the only other occupant at the high table, save for a suspicious-eyed priest. Anger and dislike flushed her skin. I will blame you. For surely, Argonshire had sent his son off on another pretense—trouble at a Blackwood holding, or mayhap a sighting of his lordship’s long absent eldest son, Gavin.
You will do anything to keep Edward and me from becoming close.
Although his lordship had stolen her to gain guardianship of her and reap the wealth of her thanedom, his control legally ended when she married or turned ten and eight. She was certain Lord Argonshire had nay intention of relinquishing those reins.
Her nape prickled when she felt Lord Argonshire’s gaze land on her like a hawk snatching a rabbit, piercing her with obvious suspicion and disdain. As Fenella’s discomfort intensified, she fought the urge to shift position and angle her body away from Argonshire. Does his lordship watch for proof I carry the taint? Fear coiled within her, but she would not give him the satisfaction of seeing her cower. She adjusted her mantle, wrapping the length of scarlet wool more tightly around her, but maintained her countenance.
Thankfully, two empty seats separated Fenella from his lordship and the clergyman. Nay chair awaited Argonshire’s middle son, Hamish. But a chair did await Gavin, He-Who-Can-Do-Nay-Wrong. Do Gavin and Hamish share their father’s arrogant nose and distrustful brown eyes? ’Tis doubtful their eyes would reveal a lifetime of rejection, like Edward’s.
She surreptitiously reached beneath the table and smoothed her hand across Edward’s empty chair, which was nearest her. If further harm has come to you, Mr. Blackwood, I will avenge you. Somehow. Someday. Her freckled face heated.
Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval Scotland and Fairy fantasy romance, Two Realms Novellas, origin stories of characters and magic in the Two Realms, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances. Ariella’s “Covert Hearts” appears in Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.
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