Home > Beauty & Rage (Broken Crowns Trilogy 1)

Beauty & Rage (Broken Crowns Trilogy 1)
Author: Natalie Bennett

 


BLURB


Crumbled castles. Napalm skies.

Ancient oaths and exiled royals.

Nowhere to run from this. No way to forget.

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put her back together again....

Reyes Straykova is an abomination.

Born of death and madness, he’s only satisfied by bloodshed and destruction.

His tyrannical uprising has cloaked the sun in an impenetrable darkness. The savage and corrupt pledge loyalty to his rule, causing more blood to spill whilst striking fear in the masses.

Duvessa Vasiel wasn’t ready to be a queen.

Her crown’s been snatched away and replaced with another—along with her freedom.

Claimed by the volatile and ruthless beast responsible for bringing the world to its knees, she becomes ensnared in a court of hellish nightmares.

Sleeping with the enemy takes on a whole new meaning when her life is held within their treacherous hands.

As Reyes immerses her in endless obscenity and wickedness, something slumbering deep within begins to wake.

Lines are blurred and truths become questioned.

When every word and action could bring about her demise, how can she ever reclaim what was stolen?

Murder. Betrayal. Sinister schemes.

Bow to the King and watch chaos reign.

 

 

Playlist


(SPOTIFY)

Imagine Dragons—Dream

Unions—Afraid of the Dark

BANKS—Contaminated

Breaking Benjamin—What Lies Beneath

Lana Del Rey—Change

We Came As Romans—Learning To Survive

Digital Daggers—Paper Bag Princess

The Plot In You—Feel Nothing

Evanescence—Broken Pieces Shine

Sadistik—Russian Roulette

WENS—Bones

Gin Wigamore—Hallow Fate

Mumford and Sons—Broken Crown

Halsey—Bells in Santa Fe

DeathbyRomy—Time

Sofia Karlberg—Viva La Vida

Ruelle—Slip Away

Creed—Overcome

Jill Andrews—Lost It All

Lumineers—Nightshade

 

 

Glossary


Supe (Sue-pay) — all pureblood supernaturals.

Demi (Dim-E) — all half-breed supernaturals.

Chimera (chee-mare-a)— varying, manmade creatures containing a mixture of genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of embryos, grafting, or mutation.

Smilodon (smi-lo-don)— a genus of saber-toothed cats.

 

 

EPIGRAPH


Those who make no lasting impression in life will surely be forgotten in death.

~Duvessa Vasiel~

 

 

CHAPTER ONE


Can you imagine what it’s like to die almost every time you close your eyes?

There’s a familiar sting of doubled-edged teeth digging into tender flesh, followed by excruciating pain. Your throat’s viciously torn open, leaving blood to run in thick rivulets over a naked body, staining the darkened forest floor crimson.

You know this is the end, heart slowing until it ceases to beat in the arms of a faceless killer. No one comes to your rescue. You die alone without knowing why such a cruel fate was bestowed upon you, wondering what you did to deserve this.

I awoke as I usually did with perspiration coating my skin, fingers grasping at my neck as if I could fix what had been shredded.

Off and on for the past six months, I’d been having this same dream. I never saw my murderer’s face, and my brain still hadn’t caught on to the fact that it was merely a dream.

None of it was real, yet terror and a deep sense of sadness always remained in the hollows of my chest long after I woke up.

Swiping strands of midnight hued hair from my sweaty forehead, I clumsily reached for the cup of water I kept on my nightstand, sighing the second the cool glass touched my fingertips. I’d barely lifted it when a bang on the other side of my door made me jump, sending it straight to the floor where it shattered.

Another bang—more forceful—and someone yelling my name cleared away all lingering drowsiness.

The hands of time came to a near stand-still and reality slowly began to seep in.

Something was burning.

And it was too quiet.

While not unusual for such an hour, it wasn’t the kind of quiet that came on the heels of peaceful slumber. It was unnerving, the type of silence that sent blind panic and blood-curdling dread to the pit of one’s stomach.

That’s what ultimately sent me stumbling from my bed, feet sliding into silk slippers, just missing the shards of glass scattered across the wine-colored marble.

I undid the heavy lock barring me in and everyone else out and pulled the door open.

“Dove!” Toby’s wide blue eyes and worried face showed fleeting relief before a rushed, “We need to go,” flew from his mouth and his hand shot out to grab my wrist. I was pulled into an empty hall. Two guards should have been stationed at either end while I slept, but both were missing.

“What’s on fire?” I asked, settling into a speedy jog to match his pace.

The further we went from my bedroom, the stronger the acidic stench in the air became.

“Everything but this castle. For now.”

“Everything?” I struggled to keep my voice level. “Where is my father?”

He stopped abruptly at the end of the hall, using a gentle hand to prevent me from slamming into his broad back. His head turned to the left and then to the right before he looked at me with a somber expression, unmistakable pity in his eyes.

“We no longer have a king. We have only you now, my queen.”

“What do you mean…?” I trailed off as he pulled me forward again, blinking dumbly at the back of his curly blonde head. Realization hit me like an arrow to the chest. My stomach plummeted, heart splitting right down the center.

I didn’t ask for further clarification or elaboration. I knew exactly what he meant.

For us to be without a king meant my father was dead. As his only child and sole heir, I was the one meant to ascend the throne. I’d been raised, educated, and sculpted to be a queen by every means, but it wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

I wasn’t ready.

I staved off the overwhelming urge to fall apart. I couldn’t become deadweight for Toby. As terrible and painful as this news was, I had neither the luxury nor the time to grieve. Whatever was going on, the situation was urgent.

“The other supes and demis?”

“Scattered or dead.”

That had me drawing up short, pulling my wrist free from his grasp. “You need to tell me what’s going on.”

“I will tell you everything the moment you’re safe. Princess Jacinda and Princess Scarlett have already been escorted away from the palace. The longer we stay here, the more danger you’re in.”

Away from the palace.

Those words looped through my head twice. He wanted us to flee.

I dodged his attempt to grab me again and took a step back, and, as I did, the smell of smoke and fire intensified.

“You wish for me to run? You’re telling me to abdicate?”

A tic in his rounded jaw was the only sign of his growing frustration. His duty was to protect me, but mine was to protect this palace and all those loyal to the Vasiel crown. Even if it was burning to a crisp, a captain never abandoned their ship.

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