Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans, and happy Thursday to everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for RUINSONG! I’m so excited because today I have an excerpt of the book to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it and Julia Ember, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Ruinsong by Julia Ember
Published on November 24, 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, YA, Queer
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Revolution, or silence?
In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence must choose between the two. For years, she has been forced to torture her country’s disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen’s bidding.
But when she is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must finally make a choice: Take a stand to free their country from oppression, or follow in the queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself.
In this dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy, two young women from rival factions must work together to reunite their country, as they wrestle with their feelings for each other.
The velvet curtain lifts, revealing two figures standing on the stage. One of them is Lord Durand, the queen’s confidant. I recognize him from last year. Papa says Durand is the architect of these Performings – the queen wanted vengeance on us, but it was he who proposed the method and honed it. As a reward, he was given a lordship and an estate, making him the only noble exempt from the horrors of the Opera Hall.
The second figure, a girl, surprises me. The queen has always employed the same chantrix for the Performing: a fire-haired mage named Ava who wore her advancing age like a carefully chosen accessory. This girl looks so young, and she stands hunched, wringing her hands. She presses against the rear curtain as if looking for the first chance to run. She stares into the crowd with wide eyes that never stop moving.
“She looks ready to faint,” Baron Foutain whispers. “Do you think that if the principal were to expire onstage, they’d just forget the whole thing and send us home?”
“Maybe we can sneak out in the shuffle,” I say. “Climb the balcony, steal the mage pins off some of those stewards, and bribe our way to freedom.”
“I like it.” The baron nods, his hazel eyes twinkling. He weighs his purse in his hand. “I’ve got a few coins to throw at this endeavor.”
Lord Durand takes center stage and clears his throat. “Esteemed guests, on behalf of Her Majesty, I am humbled to present a new talent to you this evening. Our most gifted corporeal singer, and a delightful, exuberant mezzo-soprano.”
He sweeps a low bow, but when he lifts his head, he’s smirking. The theatrics of it all make me sick. I fish another lemon drop out of my pouch.
Still, the audience applauds politely. The queen will be here somewhere, watching the proceedings from behind the stage or concealed in one of the dark private viewing boxes above us. No one wants to be seen resisting.
Durand beckons the new singer forward, and she creeps to him like a timid barn cat. There’s something I recognize in the shape of her nose, the curve of her pink rosebud mouth. She’s pretty, but in a fragile way, like a pressed flower in the pages of a book. She’s thin and white, with ivory skin and long blond hair styled into a sort of tiara. A green gown clings to her frame, her waist cinched by a shimmering corset inlaid with emeralds.
Durand pushes her into the light. “Chantrix Cadence de la Roix,” he says, and I nearly choke on the lemon drop. “The jewel of Her Majesty’s academy, ready for her first season.”
I start to cough, but the baron isn’t paying attention to me anymore. Cadence de la Roix. I know that name.
From Ruinsong. Copyright 2020 Julia Ember. Reprinted with permission from Macmillan.
Have you added this amazing book to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!