The Blood She Betrayed
By Cheryse Durrant
"He's dead." Max's fingers clenched around the kitchenware. "You...you chopped off his head!"
"There are two ways to kill a Taloner - chop off its head or rip out its heart. You would rather I let him live so he could kill you?"
"No, it's not that, it's just..." The frypan clattered against the bench. "He was so nice."
"Until he tried to kill you."
Either this girl had a passion for medieval costumes, or he'd died and gone to heaven and she was his leather-scented welcoming committee.
Max McCalden's drunken fall from a balcony could have turned out worse.
Instead of dying due to his stupidity and a slippery ledge, he is saved by a Goth Angel with ivory skin, violet eyes and midnight-black hair. Introducing herself as Shahkara, the girl's stilted accent, costume, sword and lack of social awareness make her all the more intriguing to Max. When she asks him to point her to the nearest 'tavern', he offers her to stay at his place...totally unaware of how his life is about to be turned upside down.
She must remain incognito. Besides, she had been abandoned by her people. She was no longer the Princess Royal. She was a shahkara, a peasant in a foreign land.
Shahkara is in awe of her surroundings. Earth is unlike anything she has every seen before, with carriages that move thanks to something Max calls 'science', showers that don't fall from the sky, and a thing called 'Maccas' that provides humans with spicy burgers with cheese.
But Shahkara isn't here for cars, hot showers or McDonald's burgers. The survival of her people and her world is at stake.
Taloners prowl both Gorias and Earth. They are creatures that resemble humans, but with one deadly difference - the long talons they hide between their knuckles, which they use to sink into the chests of their prey...and to rip out, and eat, their hearts.
Having travelled between Earth and her home Gorias through the Twilight Mists of a new moon, when the fabric between the worlds is at its thinnest, Shahkara has been sent to Earth on a pressing mission: to activate The Elnara, an ancient death lantern with the ability to destroy all Taloners once activated.
And being shackled to a seventeen year-old human boy with a Taloner target on his back is not an ideal situation.
Max thought Taloners were an old Celtic myth. He certainly never expected to have one turn up in his house and try to kill him.
Saved once again by the half-human, half-Taloner Shahkara, Max strikes a deal with her: he'll help her find the death lantern, if she keeps him safe and lets him come along. With little choice, seeing that her meager knowledge of Earth won't suffice on her trip if she's to make it undetected, Shahkara agrees.
But with Taloners after them both and time slowly running out, will Shahkara be able to activate the lantern before it's too late? And at what cost?
Brawls, wicked intentions, romance, destiny and magic collide in a novel that is sure to have you hooked until the very last word.
With effortless humour, vivid detail and a cast of relatable characters, Cheryse Durrant's The Blood She Betrayed is a refreshing change from your usual YA fiction, reshaping myths and creating worlds that will entice and engage readers across the world.
Taloners may eat your heart. But humans can steal it.
Join Shahkara and Max's journey today!
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