One day, then two, and now midnight was nearly upon them.
Far away from the glitter and glamour, midnight soaked the gritty streets. Beggars slept huddled in corners, and skinny cats slipped around stone corners. Séverin and Laila walked lightly, their shoulders hunched against any curious glares. Séverin had never had any interest in seeing the catacombs. He knew that it was an underground ossuary holding the remains of millions. Cradled in its earth were the bodies of duchesses and aristocrats, plague victims, and those whose heads had been snapped off by a guillotine’s teeth. Countless, unnamed individuals who were now nothing more than ghastly halls and arches made from grinning skulls and cracked jaws.
Laila shivered as they got close. Slowly, she plucked off her gloves, then reached down to touch the metal fence surrounding the entrance. She closed her eyes, then gave a tight nod. Roux-Joubert was here. Calm washed over him then. He thought of the stories he’d heard growing up about the underworld. The tale of Orpheus, who looked behind him and lost everything. He wouldn’t be that. He would descend and ascend, and lose nothing but a handful of time. He swallowed hard against the doubt lodged at the back of his throat and took the stairs. Above his head, a sign carved in stone declared.
Arrète! C’est ici l’empire de la mort.
Stop! This is the empire of death.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and A CROWN OF WISHES. Her middle grade debut, ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME, released April 3, 2018 from Disney/Rick Riordan Presents. Her next young adult novel, THE GILDED WOLVES, is slated for Winter 2019. Chokshi’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She was a finalist in the 2016 Andre Norton Award and the Locus Top Ten for Best First Novel. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Tour organized by The Royal Polar Bear Reads and Wanderer in Neverland