Blood of the Settler Queen – Sneak Peek

Enjoy this excerpt from Book 1 of the Blood Reign Trilogy

Queen Maeva

The Queen woke in the dark, already almost at Rainfields edge, cursing her blood for what it did to her in the night. She had been caught unaware more often these past weeks, in deep sleep, which had never been her way.

Now her legs carried her miles away before her consciousness even caught up.

Of course, she thought, of course, it would be this place. Today of all days. Of course it would call me to it.

She slowed for the final steps, approaching the edge with gentle feet, softer than cotton in the breeze, as slow as the earth turns, displacing only a few pebbles as she went.

The moon glared white. She stared at it as in the periphery of her vision. She remembered in vivid color the time she jumped.

Jumped, she forced herself to remember. I jumped. I didn’t step. The voices called to me; Mother beckoned me, and I went. Oh, my child. So much I owe you. 

Ariane, her first. The disfigured infant, the Queen’s own face reflected in the horror of the child’s.

Other memories, faces, of those she’d loved and of those she’d hated, floated across her sky. Into her peripheral vision. Into her line of sight. Faces were everywhere. Maeva shook her head.

Focus, Maeva. This is the moment you must focus more than you ever have in your life.

She fixed her eyes on the moon, on her intent.

We’re in such a delicate balance. So many who have come before, so many who fought to survive. And now it’s on my shoulders. But my own offspring? How many must be born and die before we get this right?

She asked the question knowing part of the answer. She had created this. She was responsible for it. There was only ever supposed to be one; their multiplicity was her own doing. It had seemed so right at the time. Assurances, for Lower Earth.

She would see them killed, but she would not fall for Lucius’ trap.

“They’ll see it on my face,” she called to the moon. “They’ll know exactly why I’m there. They’ll see right through me.”

Panic rose in her gut. She looked through the sky for some answer, any answer.

“What would I do if they know what I’ve come for? What would I do? I’d falter, I’d fail. Can I possibly leave it all to fall in ruin? Incite some civil war, worse than Lower Earth has seen since the Mist? No! I can’t let that happen. It’s not going to happen in my time. I know what they’ll all say. It will all come back to me, the destroyer, the Fool Queen. The one who ruined it all!”

The sky gave no response.

“Mother! What is this life you have put me in?”

All was quiet.

Even the voices were silent.

“How is this what I’ve become!” She ripped at her skin. The

 pain eased her mind. She tore at her arms, her neck, her chest. Welts rose, flesh folding on itself. She didn’t stop, not yet, she needed some response.

And still, all was quiet. No sound but her blood rushing to heal. She held it back, forced herself to feel it. To feel the pain.

The Queen stood, skin flapping and flesh seeping, her ugliest self and she felt it was right. She was right to be ugly in this of all places.

She inhaled the sea spray, letting it sting in the wounds. Waiting, her world on hold, for just a moment longer. Everything inside her was desperate to heal, but she held the blood in place.

And then she let her biology react. The blood rushed into the gashes wasting no time, running like rivers pulling air and time inwards, splitting cells at breakneck speed, turning wrangled veins into petal-soft cheek, lips, eyelids l

ike butterfly wings.

And she was back in her body, the Queen’s body. Solid, healed. She glowed in the moonlight.

Turning her back on the night, she started slowly across the damp moss on black jagged rock, not feeling the cuts, mind clear and focused.

“No, Mother. Not this time. It will not be my hand,” she spoke into the night, resolved.

She set her course for Archer, to steady him for what he would have to do.

“It will not be my hand to kill my own kin.”