Series: Brilliant Darkness #2
on July 29th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, YA
Buy on Amazon
Read The Defiance (Brilliant Darkness, #2), the highly anticipated sequel to The Scourge (Brilliant Darkness, #1), a 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist!
SuspicionTrust. Fear Compassion. HateLove.
It hasn’t been long since Fennel, a Sightless Groundling, and Peree, her Lofty Keeper, fell in love and learned the truth: the Scourge, and their world, are not what they seem.
Fenn and Peree are determined to guide their people to the protected village of Koolkuna, but first they must convince them that everything they believe is a lie. An impossible task, especially when someone seems hell-bent on trying anything—even animal sacrifice and arson—to destroy the couple’s new bond and crush the frail truce between the Groundlings and the Lofties. Not everyone wants to uproot their lives in the forest, and those who stay behind will be left terribly vulnerable.
Fenn and Peree’s resolve to be together, and the constant threat of the Scourge’s return, push both groups to the breaking point. Unable to tell friend from foe, Fenn must again decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to ensure the future of the people of the forest.
Only this time, the price of peace may be too high to bear.
Only the odd snore rumbles from the other shelters as I crack the door open and slide out. The forest isn’t so quiet. Crickets hum hypnotically, leaves shift and sigh in the breeze, and frogs and bats keep the time with their cries. If the greenheart trees offer the forest its scent and flavor, then its animal inhabitants provide the tune.
I slink like prey from dark spot to dark spot, minding the sound of my steps. There’s probably a Groundling guard somewhere. The moon illuminates the path, so I walk under the shade of the tree branches. There’s a luster ahead.
For a long time I thought the water hole glowed. Calli finally told me the moon—which I’ve heard can be as slim as a curled-up leaf or as spherical as a stone—reflects in the water hole below. It seems unfair, somehow. The sighted see not only the fickle moon, they see two.
The water sweeps softly onto the shore, then recedes, dancing with itself, careless who hears it. I hold under the cover of the forest, soaking in the sounds and scents of the night.
After a few minutes, I hear more deliberate movements in the treetops: the low thump of quiet footsteps along the walkway overhead. They stop above my head. A soft birdcall greets me. I wave, letting them know it’s safe.
The rope ladder dives toward me, bumping against the tree trunk as it falls, and I steady it as Peree descends. My heart pulses in my chest as he draws near. I feel like I’ve stolen these moments with him, moments we’ll have to eventually give back. I don’t want to steal time with him. I want it to be ours to keep.
Check out my review of The Scourge here!
A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first novel in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.
A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.