Five men and two Elven princes have embarked upon a quest: to save a sister from the wasteland of the Great Winter where she is held in the clutches of a Monster Lord who all believe brought desecration and ruin to the once glorious kingdom of Trevelyan. It is a land where hideous creatures and madness prey upon the careless, a land where faerie magic has taken an evil turn. For fifty years, no man or ally of men has been safe beyond the Cranreuch Plain.
Until Belle's choice leads them all to discover the truth.
Now rescuing her might come at a cost no one expects -- and from an evil no one but a princely beast and the faeries of Evensong ever anticipated.
The door fell open. Quillan and the others stared at the apparition before them.
"Welcome, gentlemen. Pray, do come in. This is, indeed, a surprise."
Quillan's step faltered. "Is she mad?" He'd not expected to see a faerie, much less a creature so beautiful, as beautiful as any of the others he’d met from Evensong. Her long, glistening ringlets shone against her black skin, and the wisping red robes she wore glittered with her every move.
"Who are you?" Firmin demanded to know.
The faerie threw back her head and laughed. "Who is it that asks? You are not of the palace, and you have come to me unbidden, and yet you ask questions?"
"We are men from Loring, and we seek our sister and the beast. Now, tell us who you are."
Her black eyes narrowed and her lips drew into a straight line. "Raina has not sent you?"
"I warn you, do not play games with us." Gilles's voice rumbled with menace. He stepped closer still.
"You warn me?" As she spoke, a gust of wind sliced in through the small opening in the wall and raised her filmy robes sothey swirled about her body. Her brilliant wings shimmered and danced, and her midnight eyes mocked the men standing before her. So threatening she looked that Firmin drew his sword. In the same instant, red smoke whirled from her sweeping fingertips, and the sword was wrenched from his hand. It flew with deadly speed around the room, cutting a path through the fiery haze, and slashing wildly before it buried a foot or more into the white granite between the heads of Firmin and his brothers. The door slammed shut, and the demon faerie, her feet inches above the floor, floated close enough for Quillan to feel her hot breath.
"And you!" she rasped at him between her teeth. "What stalwart warning would you give me?" Slowly, her claw came up to his face, and with one long, red nail she touched the skin of his cheek.