Read an Excerpt:
Again, Kari thought of the purple-skinned mutation that had chased her and Vivianne.
“So there were others?”
Raven sneered. “Failures, yes.” She raised a hand, but Kari grabbed her by the wrist.
“What failures?! Did you send the long-armed mutation that killed my friend?!”
Raven’s emotionless eyes made her heart drop. “I have done so much worse than send one beast out into the world, Kari, but I did not imagine we were here to talk about that.” Raven twisted her hand, tangling Kari’s wrist in long fingers. “Shall I show you every life lost, every drop of blood spilled? Not merely for my own pleasure, but because of you?”
Captain Gorn and his men from Flatcairn, bloodied and broken. And…a field of purple-blue flowers becoming the eternal grave of a young blonde girl.
“Raven…” Kari’s voice hitched, threatening a scream.
Raven laughed, derisive and cold. “Focus, Kari. You know better than to lose yourself to grief, don’t you? You know what is at stake now, in the present.”
Kari wrenched away, eyes wild. When she did, the image of the desolate city wavered and was replaced by a shimmering vision of a dark room. Cages lined the walls, each one filled with a huddled group of monstrous beasts; neither human nor demon, they sported extra limbs or other grotesque developments. Eyeballs protruded from sockets, tongues lolled from the side of mouths, and tumors grew from faces, stomachs, and chests. Their groans and screams filled the space, echoing through a long, dank hallway.
“Stop!” Kari screamed, and the image faded to Raven standing in the middle of a body-ridden street. She stepped away from the witch before stumbling, landing hard on her backside.
“Why are you doing this?”
Raven approached, carefully stepping around the gore and bodies. “This? This is the cost of knowledge. I had to do these filthy, disgusting things to become who I am now.”
She stopped in front of Kari and knelt. Despite the darkness of her eyes, they gleamed with untold levels of cruelty. Kari had always seen such evil inside of Raven, yet she had never imagined things like this.
“I want you to ask a different question, Kari. I want you to ask yourself, what are you going to do to stop me?”