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The Midnight Sea

The Midnight Sea By Kat Ross Summary

In The Midnight Sea, Kat Ross delivers a riveting fantasy, For a world of shifting alliances and trusts, fully realized and multi-faceted characters, and a fantasy that takes place in a little touched upon setting in young adult literature, The Midnight Sea delivers on all fronts and starts off a new series of romance, magic, and a well-written and captivating story.

They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons for hunting demons.


Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King's elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she's willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he's possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other's emotions, and humans and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius's past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake.

About the Author

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the new Nightmarked epic/urban fantasy series, the western steampunk Lingua Magika trilogy, the Fourth Element (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos) and Fourth Talisman historical fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters, and doomsday scenarios.

The Fourth Element (3 book series)

The Midnight Sea

Blood of the Prophet

Queen of Chaos

The Midnight Sea By Kat Ross Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The wind whistled through the high passes as we picked our way up the trail. Slow-moving shadows signified the long train of people and animals stretching ahead, but the snow was blowing too hard to make out much more than that.

The Khusk range was an unforgiving place, I knew. It was my twelfth year crossing these mountains and so far, the hardest. The snow had begun weeks earlier than usual. It piled in drifts against the rocks and concealed crevasses that could swallow a man and his horse whole. But we couldn’t turn back. That would mean certain death by starvation, while the crossing was only possible death—generally without warning. A foot placed wrong. A quiet weakening of the snow shelf until the slightest movement set off an avalanche. Most of us would make it to the other side, I knew. Most, but not all.

Higher and higher we climbed, into the teeth of the storm. I squeezed my sister Ashraf’s hand. We leaned into the wind, hoods cinched down tight. The sheep bleated plaintively as they scrambled up the steep, winding trail. They weren’t happy, but they too had made this crossing before and knew better than to try stopping. Our animals were as hard and stubborn as we were.

On a clear day, you could stand atop these icy cols and see to the edges of the earth. But now the visibility was perhaps a dozen feet in any direction. I knew we would stop for the night soon. The journey to the spring pastures in the foothills took eight days, the reverse more than twice that. Our route passed a series of fixed campsites that hadn’t changed in generations. One of those lay perhaps ten minutes ahead, a dent in the spine of the mountains that offered some shelter.

“Here, let me take him,” I shouted to Ashraf.

My sister looked up at me. A puppy squirmed inside her sheepskin coat. It had been a gift from our father for her seventh birthday. He had wanted to tie the dog to his saddle, but she insisted on carrying it. I could feel her steps lagging. It was the end of a long day and she was exhausted.

I unbuttoned my own quilted arqalok and held out a hand.

“Come on,” I said. “I’ll give him back when we camp.”

Her dark brows set in a line. “I’m as strong as you, Nazafareen.”

“I know that,” I snapped. I was exhausted too. “Just give me the dog.”

Ashraf scowled but she eased the puppy from her coat. He wriggled and squirmed. I cradled his warm body in one hand while I made space for him among my layers. And then he gave a loud bark and kicked his hind legs. Sharp nails gouged my wrist. I loosened my grip for a moment, but that’s all it took. The puppy was off and scampering into the storm.

Without a word, Ashraf ran after him. In a heartbeat, she’d vanished behind an outcropping. I muttered a curse and followed her.

We had been warned never to leave the path. To always keep our place in the long train of the Four-Legs Clan. But I thought I knew these mountains well enough to find my way back, even in such severe conditions. And Ashraf had left me no choice.

I followed her footprints, calling her name. The wind whisked my voice away the moment it left my lungs. How far could a little girl and her puppy get?

Not far, it seemed. I rounded a pile of fallen boulders and the footprints stopped abruptly. “Ashraf!” I yelled. “Where are you? It’s too cold for games.”

I turned in a slow circle, panic rising in my chest when I saw how close I was to a ledge that dropped away into the swirling snow. I couldn’t tell how far down the fall was. A hundred feet? A thousand? Five thousand? The footprints didn’t lead to the edge though. They stopped dead about six feet away. Past that, the snow looked undisturbed.

“Ashraf!” I yelled again.

And then I heard a low whine. It was the dog, shivering in a crevice. I approached with my palms out. He eyed me warily.

“Come on, stupid dog,” I said.

I had just knelt down to reach for him when a low growl rose in his throat. The dog tried to squeeze deeper into the crack. His eyes were fixed on something behind me.

I had a small knife in a sheath at my waist. I fumbled for it now. There were wolves in these mountains, although they’d never been known to attack a human in broad daylight, so near the entire clan. Maybe the harsh early winter had made them desperate.

I spun around and let out a relieved breath. It was my sister. She stood in front of the ledge, the wind blowing at her back and streaming her long hair in front of her face. I could scarcely make out her features in the darkness of her hood.

“Thank the Holy Father,” I said. “Come on, we have to be getting back before they leave us behind.”

Ashraf didn’t move. The dog’s growling turned into a pitiful, high-pitched whine that set my teeth on edge.

What’s wrong with you?” I asked. The wind dropped for a moment, leaving a pocket of silence. My breath plumed white in the dying light. It would be dark soon. “Ashraf?” I stepped toward her. “You’re too close to the ledge. Come away.”

Shut up,” my sister told the dog, and her voice was not her own.

My heart started to thud, slow and painful.

“Stop it,” I said. “Just stop it.”

She didn’t reply. I wanted to pick up the dog, stuff him in my coat and get going, but suddenly, I didn’t want to turn my back on her. Where had she come from? Why did the footprints stop?

She was just a little girl. My irritating sister, who followed me everywhere and never gave me a moment’s peace. Who begged me to braid her hair exactly like mine, and always put her share of barberries on my plate because she knew they were my favorite.

If you don’t come now, I’ll tell Father,” I warned.

I’ll tell Father,” she said. My own voice now, thrown back at me. The hair on my neck rose.

I don’t know how long we stood like that in the snow. Long enough that it started to accumulate on her hood and shoulders. Long enough that the last bit of daylight bled from the sky. I felt frozen, unable to think. I didn’t understand what was happening, only that there was a tangible wrongness to my sister and I had no idea what to do about it. I felt trapped in a nightmare, the kind where every movement is heavy and ponderous, like an ant floundering in honey.

Ashraf’s breath, I noticed distantly, made no fog. It was the same temperature as the air.

I don’t know what would have happened if the dog hadn’t started to bark. A frenzied yapping and snarling. It broke my trance and I took a step toward her. Pulled her hood back. Saw the eyes, no longer a soft blue but something else, something dark and sentient. It had devoured the whites so they looked like hard black almonds in her face.

I dropped my knife. Urine trickled down the insides of my thighs.

Her teeth snapped together and she leapt at me, knocking us both to the ground. We tumbled through the snow. I could feel the ledge yawning at my back. My fingers scrabbled over the icy rocks, searching for anything to grab onto. Then I was kicking over empty air. Terror made me wild. I thrashed, trying to throw her off, but she was too strong. Freezing breath panted in my ear.

I screamed, sliding inexorably over the edge. And then hands grabbed me and hauled me up. I saw the face of my uncle. He looked angry and confused.

“What in the name of the Father are you two doing?” he demanded, releasing me.

I scooted away on my bottom. He still held Ashraf by the arm. I couldn’t speak, but I could point. He looked at her for the first time and finally understood, stepping back as confusion turned to fear. Her mouth curved in a smile. And I knew what she meant to do. My uncle was tall and strong. Whatever was inside her would take him, and then it would take me, and then it would walk back to our camp and take us all, one by one.

I whispered a wordless prayer and scrambled for my knife, half-buried in the snow.

“Druj!” he hissed.

Druj.

I had never seen one, but I’d heard them spoken of when the embers of the campfires burned low. How they’d come from the north in an endless tide, Undead things with iron swords, and shadows whose touch meant death. How some of them, the ones called wights, wore human bodies, except that their eyes were as black as the deepest crevasses…

In a blur of movement too fast to track, Ashraf knocked my uncle down and straddled his chest, mouth stretching wide to reveal black gums. A dark mist oozed out of that mouth. Creeping toward my uncle. The knife trembled in my fist.

“Ashraf,” I begged, tears freezing on my cheeks, but I didn’t move. I was too afraid.

It would have had my uncle if the ledge hadn’t given way. There was a thunderous crack as the ice shifted. And then Ashraf was sliding into the void. I bit down on my tongue and tasted blood as a small hand caught on the rim. Over the wind, I heard a thin voice call my name.

Nazafareen.”

I crawled over, sobbing and shaking. Ashraf dangled over a league of swirling snow.

“Please, Nazafareen, help me. I’m slipping…”

I looked at her face and for a second, I saw my sister as she used to be. Just a little girl of seven summers. She seemed so small and frail against the ocean of darkness beneath.

Please, Nazafareen,” she cried again, and this time her voice was her own, high and sweet. And terrified. Somewhere behind me, the dog howled and howled.

How could I let her die?

I seized her hand and started to pull her up. That’s when her other arm shot up and grabbed my hair. I still had my knife but I couldn’t use it on her. Not even to save my own life. So I didn’t understand when the blade sunk into her throat.

I looked numbly at my hand. My knife was still there. It was my uncle’s that lay buried in Ashraf’s flesh. She jerked once, twice. Her claw-like fingers released me.

I watched as the thing that had taken my sister tumbled into blackness.

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The Midnight Sea

The Midnight Sea PDF

Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN0997236213, 978-0997236217
Posted onMay 10, 2016
Formatpdf
Page Count334 pages
AuthorKat Ross

The Midnight Sea By Kat Ross PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

In The Midnight Sea, Kat Ross delivers a riveting fantasy, For a world of shifting alliances and trusts, fully realized and multi-faceted characters, and a fantasy that takes place in a little touched upon setting in young adult literature, The Midnight Sea delivers on all fronts and starts off a new series of romance, magic, and a well-written and captivating story.

URL: https://amzn.to/3wDLUcV

Author: kat Ross

Editor's Rating:
4.4
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