by Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
final few stragglers looked at me with the alltoo-common look of fear mixed
with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their
open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to
appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him
before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn
leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark
auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the
tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.
sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and
in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re
there, you can help the king with the wisps.”
over, but he didn’t move.
forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful
boots before coming back in.”
of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He
stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice
water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even
deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.
marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to
glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”
weighed, and found wanting.
rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda
original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant
girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no
one dismissed me.
place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me
nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had
simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.
up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his
reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
but it made me feel better.
around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want.
Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to
a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.
And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.