Hey everyone! Today, I have an awesome excerpt to share with you from The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney #2) by Alane Adams (October 15, 2019 – SparkPress). First, here’s more about the book:
Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana Witch Academy and is already up to her ears studying for Horrid Hexes and Awful Alchemy! Worse, Endera’s malevolent spellbook has its hooks in her, whispering in her ear to use its dark magic. Meanwhile, the entire school is talking about the Rubicus Prophecy; a sign has arrived that the chosen witchling is among them, the one who will one day break Odin’s curse over them. When an Orkadian warship arrives carrying troubling news, Abigail and her friend Hugo are swept into a new mystery after a young boy from the ship, Robert Barconian, asks for their help retrieving a missing item.
Along with the former glitch-witch, Calla, the four friends end up deep in the catacombs beneath the Tarkana Fortress—a place where the draugar, the living dead, wander about. Abigail discovers there is more to the Rubicus Prophecy than anyone ever imagined. Can she stop it in time before she and her friends are destroyed?
Filled with magical spells, spine-tingling ghosts, and visits from the Norse gods, The Rubicus Prophecy pits Abigail against a sinister power greater than anything she has ever imagined.
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And now for the excerpt! Enjoy!!
Excerpted with permission from The Rubicus Prophecy: Witches of Orkney, Book Two by Alane Adams. © 2019 Alane Adams. Published by SparkPress, a BookSparks imprint, a division of SparkPoint Studio, LLC.
“What do you think, Abigail? Does my braid look too tight?”
Abigail adjusted the long pleat that hung down Safina’s back. “No, it looks perfect. You’ll be the prettiest firstling ever.”
“Do you really think so?” Safina looked up at Abigail with wide green eyes.
Abigail smiled. “Think so? I know so. Now, did you pack all your things?”
They ran through the list of simple items the girl had. Like Abigail, Safina was an orphan, although there was no mystery about what had happened to her mother. Heralda had been caught in a lightning storm in the middle of using a divining spell, and the result had been disastrous.
“Now, what do you do when Madame Vex greets you?” Abigail prompted.
“Say, ‘Good day, Madame Vex, pleased to meet you.’” Safina dipped into a curtsy.
“Perfect. And when it’s time to choose a roommate?” “Find the closest girl and lock arms.” She thrust her elbow around Abigail’s and grinned up at her. She had a gap between her front teeth and a sprinkle of freckles on her nose. “I wish you and I could be roommates. Then you wouldn’t be all alone.”
“I like my attic room just fine.” Abigail tapped the girl on the nose. It was the truth; she’d grown used to the attic’s dusty corners and cozy rafters. And being alone wasn’t so bad.
“Will I see you much?” Safina’s lower lip wobbled a bit.
Abigail gave her a swift hug. “When I can. I’ll be busy with classes, and so will you—too busy to miss me.”
Safina gazed at her earnestly. “I know being stuck here at the Creche all summer looking after us wasn’t much fun for you, but I’m glad I got to know you better. Will you walk with me? All the way to the gates?”
The other firstlings had already stormed out like a herd of sneevils, fussed over by fawning witch mothers who had found time to see them off. Abigail and Safina were the last to go.
“I suppose I can walk you to the gate,” Abigail said, “but you’ll have to go in by yourself. Witchlings mustn’t show weakness.”
“My witch’s heart is made of stone,” Safina piped up, reciting their code.
“That’s right,” Abigail said, but she flinched at the words. She hated the Witches’ Code, hated reciting it. It always made her feel . . . less. As if it was chipping away at her, shaping her into something else. “Come now, I think Old Nan’s baked some fresh jookberry scones. Let’s see if there are any left.”
The firstling chattered away as they made the long walk to the gates of the Tarkana Fortress, nibbling on the fresh scones. Safina was a sweet witchling, but soon enough she would learn the ways of witchery, and she would be like all the rest. Cold. Ruthless. Ready to cast a spell on any who crossed her.
Before long, the iron gates loomed in front of them. Safina gazed up, her eyes wide.
“Don’t pinch me if I’m dreaming,” she whispered. “I don’t ever want to wake up. I can’t believe I’m really here. I’m going to be a witch.”
“Not if you don’t go inside.” Abigail gave her a little nudge, and the girl took a step forward before turning to flash a grin.
“I’m going to be the greatest witch ever,” she said, then ducked inside the gates.
Abigail sighed. She’d thought the same thing on her first day. Now she wasn’t so sure what she wanted. Find- ing out her father was a real live star had made Abigail question who she really was. It didn’t help that a murky mystery surrounded her mother. She wished she could just talk to her, find out why she had run away.
As Abigail headed for the ivy-covered dormitory tower, she noticed the firstlings were crowding around something, talking excitedly. Curious, she elbowed her way into the center and gasped.
Growing out of the cracks of the cobblestones was a flower on a thick green stalk, nearly as tall as she was. It looked like an ordinary sunflower, but its petals were blood red. Its thick round center pulsed slightly, as though something living were inside. Abigail looked around and then backed away, filled with a sudden dread.
The flower was growing in the exact spot where the viken had attacked her and nearly ended her life.