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Myth and Storm by Megan O'Russell

Read Online Myth and Storm by Megan O’Russell Young Adult Book

Overview: A failed rebellion will cost more than blood.

Ice, storms, sorcery, and pain separate the Karrons from those they hold most dear. With his family scattered across the farthest reaches of Ilbrea, Adrial stands alone in a capital on the brink of flames, facing the dark truth of the Guilds he cherished.

Murder disguised as law.
Assassins veiled by beauty.
Innocents sacrificed to vile pride.
A deadly plot to twist the fate of a kingdom.

With each discovery, the danger grows. Enemies lurk in the shadows, and the call for freedom will not be silenced. The future of his Guild hangs in the balance, and Adrial must choose between saving the one he loves and protecting the world he’s known.

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Myth and Storm by Megan O'Russell

Read Online Myth and Storm by Megan O’Russell Book Chapter One


I had always loved being surrounded by the scent of flowers.
Not for the beauty of the blooms. Pretty things can be damaged, ravaged by disaster and cruelty. Fragile beauty is too weak for a world that’s caught fire.
I loved the petals for what they could do. The right bloom could make an ink so vibrant it seemed born of magic or be ground into a balm that could save a life. A skilled hand could turn a few petals into a poison that could change the fate of a kingdom.
To a girl who could wield that weapon, the scent of flowers offered a promise of power.
But as I spent days sitting in the window in the library, looking out over Ilara, I grew to hate the floral perfume the Guilds had fabricated.
The healers and sorcerers that passed through the head scribe’s sitting room never glanced toward the common rotta girl perched on the windowsill. They bustled in and out all day, always speaking in hushed voices. Always hurrying as though one lost moment might change the scribe’s fate.
I tried not to watch them, not to draw the attention of the paun. I didn’t know if they chose not to notice me, or if the gods had somehow made me invisible.
I wished I had turned into a shadow no one could see. I had no faith the gods could ever be so kind.
It seemed the whims of gods and men had bathed the whole world in blood and cruelty as I spent my days staring out over the ruined capital of Ilbrea.
The flames had gone out after the first night. Then word came they’d killed Cade and his demons. The paun announced it so proudly, as though killing a few dozen men would somehow stamp out the hatred the common folk carried for the Guilds.
By the end of the second night, the smoke had stopped drifting into the sky.
That’s when the stink had begun. The putrid stench of rotting flesh filled the city as the bodies of the common fallen were left unburied.
That morning, the maids brought flowers. Dried flowers, fresh flowers, oils that had been made from flowers. They filled the scribe’s rooms to cover the scent of death that soiled the grand city of the paun.
But the bright scent of the blooms didn’t banish the stench of decay, not from my seat by the window.
Death himself swam around me with every gust of wind off the Arion Sea. Death would not let us forget what had been lost in Cade’s foolish uprising.
I stared out the window as the sun crept high in the sky, bringing a warmth that would only ripen the horrible stench. I couldn’t see any of the bodies from my perch on the third floor of the library. I could peer over the wall that surrounded the scribes’ home and into the square with its pretty little fountain that had been left untainted by the flames. If I stood on the windowsill, I could catch a glimpse of the merchants’ shops that had been burned, but Death did not mar my view.
“You should eat.” Taddy held a plate out to me.
A healer had stitched the worst of the wounds on the boy’s face, but his left eye was still swollen to barely more than a slit.
“You should eat, miss.” Taddy dared to take a step closer, holding the plate right under my nose.
I wanted to smack it out of his hands and scream that my eating should be the least of any paun’s worries. But the boy looked so sad and earnest, I didn’t have strength to do anything but take the plate and give him a nod.
Taddy pulled a chair closer to me before claiming his own plate from the tray. He took a few bites of roasted meat before looking back up at me.
“Eat, miss.”
I took a deep breath, trying to convince my body I was alive enough to eat. The scent of decay rushed into my lungs.
Taddy furrowed his brow as I shuddered. “At least take a few bites of the bread.”
The plain bread I could manage.
Taddy smiled, wincing at the movement of his swollen cheek.
The door to the scribe’s bedroom opened, and two women in healer red came out. They kept their heads close together, murmuring words I couldn’t hear as they crossed through the sitting room and out into the corridor beyond.
“He’s all right,” Taddy said after the door to the hall had shut. “They would have said something if he wasn’t all right.”
I wanted to go into the bedroom and see the scribe. See what they’d made of him. If they’d left him as the man I’d known or turned him into another paun monster.
But I’d been counting the ones bustling in and out of his room. There was still a sorcerer in with him.
I made myself finish the rest of my bread.
Taddy had taken the plate away and tried to offer me another meal before the sorcerer finally left the scribe’s bedroom.
Every bit of my body ached as I unfurled my limbs and climbed down from the windowsill.
None of the healers had even tried to come near me, and I hadn’t found the will to tend to my own wounds.
I was too hollow.
Finding the supplies I needed. Undressing myself. Making myself look at the damage Cade had done.
The pain I could bear. I’d felt worse before. But my loathing of the Guilds and revulsion at Cade’s contamination drove me into a numbing madness that left no room for reasoning through the necessary tasks. I was grateful for the void my hatred offered.
Taddy followed close behind me as I crept toward the scribe’s bedroom door.
I hesitated before touching the doorknob as the foolish notion that the sorcerers had plotted to keep me away from him swept past my reason.
No shock of magic shot through me as I twisted the knob and stepped into the room.
He lay on the bed as though he’d fallen asleep. The sorcerers had banished the bruises and cuts from his face, leaving him without a mark, despite all the damage Cade’s chivving bastards had done when they’d beaten him.
His chest rose and fell in a steady, calm way, like the sorcerers had stolen his cares when they’d stolen his wounds.
“I’ll get you a blanket then,” Taddy whispered.
I didn’t tell my feet to move, but they carried me to his bedside. I grazed the back of his hand with my fingertips. Not because I thought he’d feel my touch, just so I could convince myself he was still alive.
I leaned over him to whisper in his ear. “Wake up, you chivving paun.”
His breathing didn’t change.
“You have to wake up.” I rested my cheek against his.
He would have reached for me if he could. Or blushed. Or stammered as he tried to pretend he hadn’t fallen in love with me.
He didn’t move at all.
Hopeless fear dug deeper in my chest.
“I will not let you leave me. I am not done with you, scribe.”
I went to the wide couch in the corner where Taddy waited for me with a blanket. I curled up on the fancy upholstery while Taddy slept on the carpet.
I would flee to the windowsill again when the paun came back to check on their precious head scribe. They would preserve the heir of the Lord Scribe, use all the magic and might the Guilds possessed to keep him alive.
But I was the one who had saved Adrial Ayres’s life. I would not let the paun steal him from me.

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