“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world.”
Emory Fae has only known one thing—life at The Academy, a school for those who have special abilities. Following in her parents’ footsteps, the pressure to uphold their dream falls on her and one of her best friends—Adair Stratton. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. With whispers of dark magic spreading across Kiero, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.
An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher, sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath, for the first time in years, they demand the Faes listen to their proposition for a new treaty. Caught in the middle of politics, Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis, search for the one thing that matters the most—the truth.
Their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made, and war ravages Kiero. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic, and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision. Will he fight or bow to the darkness within?
But, Adair’s decision will change the course of Kiero forever, setting in motion irreversible destinies for everyone at The Academy as Emory Fae rises as heir.
Heir of Lies is the first book in the bestselling Black Dawn series.
Heir of Lies (Black Dawn #1) by Mallory McCartney
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Link to Goodreads:
The afternoon sun soaked into his neck as Brokk Foster raised the bow, drawing the string back, his arrow nocked. The bowstring grazed his cheek as his arm shook; he tried not to blink against the sweat rolling down his temple. The courtyard faded away in that second, his hawk-eyed teacher, Professor Iasan, standing to the side, his arms crossed, his face impassive. Brokk’s fellow classmates stood near, and the looming structure of the Academy was behind them. A strand of his golden hair tickled his forehead as he exhaled. It’s not real, just release the arrow. Just release it. At the opposite end of the range, a stuffed dummy was raised with an emblazoned red target where a heart would be. Not real, not real, not real. Muscles screaming, he tried to empty his charged mind, to convince himself that the undiluted fear that clutched his heart was unreasonable. With still shaking arms, the arrow flew, cutting through the air with a soft hiss. Laugher erupted behind him, making him cringe as he lowered the bow and saw the lodged feathered end in the ground, not even close to the dummy. “Enough!” Professor Iasan’s booming voice cut off his classmates’ jeers. Brokk turned, lifting his gaze to meet the incredulous look of his best friend, Memphis Carter. Memphis raised one eyebrow as his smooth voice filled Brokk’s consciousness, only for him to hear, “Well, what are you going to do this time?” Huffing, Brokk wrenched his gaze away. Sometimes his friend could be such an ass. Tactical training class was Brokk’s nemesis, and he met, not for the first time, Professor Iasan’s cutting accusations. “Foster! What do you call that?” More chuckles rippled out, and the tips of his ears burned. A minute passed, and then another as Brokk studied the fascinating details of his leather boots. “Well?” Raising his gaze to meet Professor Iasan’s, that familiar flicker of anger ignited in him. He was so tired of being trained for no acclaimed threat. The Academy had taken him in years ago, with golden promises of schooling him in the control of his abilities so he could have a shot at a normal life— that they all could. Over the years, the Academy had become a school woven from lies. The students here were regimented, honed, and molded into weapons. He did not sign up to be a soldier. Brokk felt his lips tug upward as he threw the bow at his feet. It clattered noisily, as he threw his hands out to his sides. “I’m done, Professor Iasan.” He brushed past Memphis, not meeting his gaze. Through the catcalls and hollers, Memphis’s voice cut through his mind, “Brokk…” Memphis’s tone only made him walk faster out of the courtyard, not looking back once.
Passing under the stone archway, its chiseled carvings always struck him as unnerving and beautiful at the same time. It told the story of the Academy: how the Faes and the Strattons had built the foundations for their democratic government, how they had pulled Kiero out from under the shadow of war, how the Academy was—and had been for fifteen years—structured to present the world its golden warriors, fighting of any threat of abuse and injustice. The pupils here were some of the most gifted and were the strongest representation of what Kiero had to offer. Or most uncontrolled. Most needed to be caged. It wasn’t that he didn’t agree with what the Academy stood for. Brokk was just as well learned in Kiero’s history as any other student:
about the trade wars with the Shattered Isles, about how Roque’s father and his council continued for years to enslave Nei’s people and slaughter the desolates—people without or with very weak abilities. The scales of the world had been uneven for a very long time, and the Faes had fought for this freedom away from the past, which was bathed in blood. Of course, Brokk was honored to be a part of such a movement. He was grateful that Nei and Roque had taken him in. He had no recollection of his parents or what had happened for him to end up alone in the forest that surrounded the Academy so many years prior. Without the Faes, he would not have survived or would have been at the mercy of the raiders. Their world wasn’t perfect, but it was at ease. The raiders had proclaimed separate regency and had, somewhat, left their towns and cities alone. The Shattered Isles were under a peace agreement now with the Faes, but no longer accepted Nei as one of their own blood. The desolates were under the sworn oath of protection from the Academy, and the Academy continued to grow and flourish with the Faes’ dream. Brokk sighed, looking up past the archway to the open sky and the endlessness it provided. He should be grateful. He should take his instruction without question. He should be proud to be a student here and graduate to serve his country. He would be a government official, a warrior and protector of the peace. But he was not. There had been whisperings for the last couple of years of what exactly the seniors were instructed to do by Cesan Stratton. Brokk shivered, his eyebrows furrowed as those whispers pulled at the throes of his mind; creating chaos and fear, unleashing the students as weapons. Everything started as whispers in this place, but the knowledge of what Cesan might be doing, what he was brain washing into the hearts and minds of students had shattered Brokk’s flawless view of the world around him. He would not be carved into a fearmonger; he would not use his abilities to crack the frail bond of peace that had been accomplished within Kiero. He would not be a monster. His throat felt thick as he tore his gaze away and continued his walk back to the main building. Whether the rumors were true was a whole other problem. Cesan was not his favorite man and they rarely saw eye to eye, but was he an enemy? Brokk sighed, his dark thoughts whisking away any peace of mind he might have had for the day. A tolling bell rang out behind him, marking their lunch break, and breaking him free from his thoughts.
Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.
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