The King in the Stoneby Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Series: Two Moon Princes #2
Published on July 25, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
A full moon,
A silver key,
And the unbending passion of two young lovers will bring hope to a defeated kingdom and, through their sorrow, deliver a king who will change its fate.
Vivid visions have haunted Andrea since her arrival in northern Spain. In her visions, the ruins of the medieval village she’s excavating comes alive, and, around the fires burning in the no longer buried hearths, she sees people dressed in furs sharpening old fashioned swords.
Even more upsetting for her that the headaches her visions leave is the fact that Julián appears in them—Julián, the king from her world whose rejection she is trying hard to forget.
But when a slide bury Andrea under the mountain, Julian comes searching for her. Soon after they are reunited under the mountains, the full moon opens a portal and sends them back a thousand years into the past, to a time right after the Spaniards have been defeated by the Arabian invaders.
Separated by a bitter winter, Andrea and Julian are caught in opposite sides in the battle between the Spanish last unconquered settlements and the Arabian army. A battle for survival that will determine the fate of a kingdom and demand of them the ultimate sacrifice: As the Arabs close on the mountains, Julián makes a decision that will break Andrea’s heart and change them forever.
I was upset at Professor de la Vega for her contemptuous dismissal of my statement that there had been a fire. Although I couldn’t argue with her because I had no proof, I felt in my bones that I was right, for I knew this village. I knew it as she could never know it from her cold pillaging of these desolate ruins. I knew it as it had been when the huts were still dwellings with burning fires in their hearths. When people, real people, not visitors for the day, lived in them. When women cooked over the fires and wove cloth on their looms while men cleaned their weapons and discussed the day’s hunt. And later when the coals had turned to embers, they made love to one another under the rough covers of untanned hides. I remembered this village the way it had been when it was full of life. Before the fire.
I stopped walking, confused by the intensity of my memories, and looked around to find my bearings. I was breathing rapidly as if I had been running and my legs were shaking.
“Are you okay?” Covadonga asked.
I nodded. There are no people here, I told myself, no warriors, no loom, no fires. I forced myself to look inside the hut to see it as it really was: an empty circle of stones. The hut was empty as I expected, although this particular one was not a circle. It was oblong in shape and bigger than the others. The chieftain’s hut, most likely. Roughly at its center, four sticks tied by ropes marked the place where the hearth had been.
Where the fire is burning.
It’s hot inside the hut, the air so thick with smoke my eyes are tearing. I blink. There’s no smoke here, I remind myself, there’s no fire. Yet the acrid smell of green wood burning tells me otherwise, and when I look again I see the glare of the central hearth reaching up toward the darkness above, pushing back the shadows.
Beyond the hearth, within a semicircle of seated dark figures, two men are arguing. But a wall of people––women, men and children––stands between me and the hearth, and their words never reach me. I push my way toward the fire slowly, painfully slowly as moving hurts. Sweat runs down my face from the effort. By the time I reach the hearth, the argument is over.
One of the men, a big warrior with a fiery red beard, reaches forward and snatches his opponent’s sword, a long sword shaped like a crescent moon. He raises it over his head then with a sharp, sudden movement, slams the blade against the hearth. As the sword shatters, the room explodes in a chant of death that swallows his words.
In front of him, the captive stands, head held high. He wears a long black robe and his hair, unlike his adversary’s that falls wild over his shoulders, is hidden under a turban. His sword is gone and his hands are bound behind his back, but still the man holds himself straight, not bent in submission, staring ahead as if addressing an equal.
The red-bearded man unsheathes his sword. Two of his men move forward and grab his opponent’s arms, and as they do, the prisoner turns and I see his face. Julián’s face.
I scream and try to move forward, but the pain inside me swells into a wave, surrounding me, blinding me, bringing me down, helpless, to my knees.
This giveaway is open internationally and ends August 11, 2016. Enter using the Rafflecopter below.