How do you guys like the pace of your books? Lots of slower character development scenes? More action? I feel like I’m still trying to figure out how to balance all that in books. I felt the same way with book two and my beta reader said I needed to EXPAND those scenes, so idk. Maybe I’m doing something right. I’ll leave that up to you guys. 🙂
Queen Titania sits above it all on a throne seemingly made of gold-plated branches and leaves. Instead of the armor I last saw her in, she wears deep maroon gown that sparkles when she shifts thanks to all the gemstones sown in. The knight from before, Iver, notices us first, nods our way, then whispers to Titania. She looks our way and frowns, but waves us forward.
“Are you mad, Oliver?” she hisses. “Bringing your human friend–”
“Well her human friend is still being attacked by the leanan shee, as are others. They’re getting sickly and weak. I thought you had her. The people she apparently works for, I could understand still being after, but one faerie?”
The queen doesn’t seem to be listening. Her eyes dart across the floor as if the elaborate multicolored patterns of the rug beneath her feet has the solutions. “We’ve been monitoring the coast around the clock, waiting for her to come back. How far north or south must she have gone to come ashore and circle back?”
“Here’s a better question,” Iver chimes in, “who gave her the ability to stay out in the lake long enough that she could circle around? That would be an exhausting swim for our knights, but a leanan shee? They get by on their looks, not their strength.”
“Queen Mab sympathizers?” Oliver suggests.
Titania shakes her head. “We took care of them last summer. And why would they have a leanan shee sucking the life from humans? They were just enlisting them.”
There’s no way I’m catching up with anything they’re saying, so I try to figure it out on my own while they bounce ideas off each other. Not that I think I’m going to be any help. The only weird faerie things I know related to Faerie are those figures in the water.
“There’s been figures in the water,” I say. The faeries go silent, so I explain. “For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing weird shapes in the water. I saw them near Olinis Island that night when Lyra got away and asked Oliver about them. He said they must just be aquatic faeries of some kind.”
Titania and Iver glower at Oliver.
“What?” he demands, lifting his hands in defense. “You heard her. I didn’t see them. They could have been anything. They weren’t near Grand Harbor and a lot of faeries were out that night.”
The queen massages her forehead and holds her hand up for her son to stop. “All right. Let’s worry about what we’re going to do about them now.” She turns to Iver. “Concentrate our forces on the beaches closest to Grand Harbor. We’re not stopping until we find this leanan shee.” Turning back to us, she says, “I want your friend watched around the clock.”
“With all due respect, Your Majesty, Miguel won’t let us anywhere near him,” I point out. “My fight with him today proved that much.”
“Send Kole and Kellen to watch him then.”
“Are they they best option?” Iver asks.
“They are if I tell them to do it. For all their foolishness, they were some of my best spies during my hundred years’ absence. If they can handle my sister, they can handle a human boy. If we can’t find her, we’ll wait and have him lead us to her.”
“He’ll be in danger, though,” I argue.
“Our forces will be close enough that we’ll be able to catch up and get Miguel out of danger before we attack the leanan shee.” A gentle smile comes to the queen’s lips. “Your friend will be fine. I promise.”
God, how I want to believe her. Something tells me that new faith might have more than a few magical roots, but there’s so much magic swirling around that I have no way to tell for sure.
A horn silences the music and causes the queen to get to her feet, standing straight, stiff, and stern before her people. “Iver, make it happen. Oliver, get Kole and Kellen to watch Miguel and get Georgina out of here. This irate vampire coven is going to be hard enough to deal with without human blood in the air. Apparently they’re spotting strange figures in the channel separating us from Canada. Would have been nice to know we were having a similar problem.”
She flashes Oliver a dirty look that he avoids.
My blood turns to ice as I squeak out, “Vampire coven?”
Oliver takes me by the arm and drags me towards the nearest exit with Iver close behind.
“Why didn’t you ever tell me there were vampire covens?”