Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS! 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, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
The House of Always by Jenn Lyons
Series: A Chorus of Dragons #4
Published on May 11, 2021 by Tor Books
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Queer
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For fans of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, The House of Always is the fourth epic fantasy in Jenn Lyons' Chorus of Dragons series that began with The Ruin of Kings.
What if you were imprisoned for all eternity?
In the aftermath of the Ritual of Night, everything has changed.
The Eight Immortals have catastrophically failed to stop Kihrin's enemies, who are moving forward with their plans to free Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. Kihrin has his own ideas about how to fight back, but even if he's willing to sacrifice everything for victory, the cost may prove too high for his allies.
Now they face a choice: can they save the world while saving Kihrin, too? Or will they be forced to watch as he becomes the very evil they have all sworn to destroy.
A Kind of Rescue
Twenty-four days after the Battle of the Well of Spirals The Main Island of Devors, Quur
The emergency bells rang out all over the island, fast and loud, magically amplified. Talea regarded the Devorans running from the dining hall, noting how unprepared the priests all seemed to be. These people had been so certain of their fortress library’s inviolate, impenetrable defenses. They’d grown sloppy.
Now the priests would pay for it. Everyone would pay for it. Talea found little satisfaction in I told you so. She’d have gladly traded gloating opportunities for a little more serious preparation. For example, the panicking priests, monks, and assorted scholars running around like shocked rabbits weren’t paying attention to Talea’s group. Personally convenient, yes, but it demonstrated a fundamental flaw in training. When being attacked, the first thing one should always do was secure any unknown variables.
Talea being the definition of unknown variable.
She rushed to the ramparts along with everyone else. Tempest rains left the stonework slick, visibility shuttered to vague shapes crawling in the distance. The rains hadn’t muffled the sound of fighting, the retort of the scorpion war machines, the screams.
The Lash’s attack on Devors had begun.
“She got here faster than we thought,” Galen said, exhaling. “Didn’t they say this was impossible? What of the wards?” Sheloran D’Mon whipped around as she scanned the defenses. Her expression suggested she wanted to conjure the abbess through pure indignation to begin scolding her. “Someone must have disabled them,” Talea said, “but I don’t know where they keep the controls.”
“I do,” Janel Theranon said. She stood behind the assembled group, arms crossed over her chest, an unamused scowl twisting her mouth. “I know where they are.”
“Really? How?” Sheloran squinted at her, eyes narrowed with suspicion. Which made sense. If you’d never seen a Joratese person in your life before, let alone a Joratese person dressed like a vané knight, then Janel would be strange indeed. In their defense, they hadn’t been attacked in over a century. But one would think the people screaming that the end of the world is nigh would be the ones most prepared for their world ending, yes?
“Because I used to be married to the man who created them,” Janel answered. “Assuming they haven’t changed the location in a few centuries, it’s this way. Come with me.” She headed into the complex without checking to see if anyone followed.
Talea raised an eyebrow at Teraeth. He stared at her with a face wiped clean of emotion. “Wasn’t me.”
She wanted to stop and talk to the man. Talea wasn’t stupid enough to ask why Teraeth’s manner suggested a thread pulled taut enough to snap; she knew what had happened to him at the Well of Spirals. Years wouldn’t be enough time to recover from being forced to kill your own mother. He’d had weeks at best.
But there was no time to talk, not even if Teraeth had been willing. Not with the bells ringing and Janel running. They followed her, joined by Thur vishar. The rest trailed behind like dangerous little ducks who’d imprinted on the wrong mother.
Janel ran to a large room off the main courtyard, where the warding array had been hidden under mosaic tile flooring. Kalindra Milligreest stood in the center, staring down at the broken tiles. Clearly, she too had known where the controls were kept. The woman was still dressed in Quuros mourning clothing appropriate for the High General’s daughter-in-law, now laughably unsuited for a siege. What Kalindra wore wouldn’t have stopped a gentle winter shower, let alone typhoon rains and sword blows.
Kalindra startled as everyone filed in. “I came here as soon as I heard the bells,” she said. “Someone sabotaged it—” She pointed to the discarded pickax left behind.
The whole group stared. The shattered stonework revealed elaborate glyphs, ruined. Entire sigil sections were missing, making it impossible to know the original pattern’s form.
“Is there any way to repair this?” Janel asked Thurvishar.
“Possibly,” the D’Lorus wizard said, “but the damage is already done if the goal is to keep out attackers—I have my doubts it was ever going to be capable of keeping out a kraken.”
“I’m going down to the docks.” Galen unsheathed his sword. “You’re welcome to join me.”
“Just try and stop me.” Galen’s wife, Sheloran, smiled as she spread her metal fan—her personal equivalent of drawing a blade.
Janel nodded but made no move to follow. “Teraeth and I will stay here. I have to assume she’d been taking advantage of the fact that Teraeth is technically still king of the Manol and presumably has access to all the best armorers. And his predecessor’s wardrobe, which was considerable.
The “husband” referenced must have been Terindel, to whom Janel was married in a previous life. He rarely used magic. That is not the same as not knowing any magic. Honestly, though, I never would have guessed the Devoran Library wards had been placed by none other than Terin del the Black. I have . . . questions.
He wouldn’t have been.
Copyright © 2021 by Jenn Lyons
What do you think about The House of Always? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!