WINTERS PASSAGE PDF

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Julie Kagawa's bestselling series The Iron Fey captivated the imagination--and hearts--of readers of all ages with its mix of magic, fantasy and romance. Winter's Passage The Iron FeyJulie Kagawa Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl until she discovered that she. Read Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #) PDF Free. Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary computerescue.info she discovered that she is really a faery princess.


Winters Passage Pdf

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Freebie (Kindle UK) Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa (young adult) For now this book is free only directly from Harlequin in ePub, PDF. Winter's Passage Pdf Book Author: Julie Kagawa This Book Categories: Adult Novel Book Language: English Book Pages: Publish Date: 08/28/ Winter's Passage (The Iron Fey) - Kindle edition by Julie Kagawa. and therefore don't need the story in a kindle format Kagawa offers a free PDF download of.

They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter—a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat Find More Posts by AnemicOak. May Device: Apple iTouch. Visit Susan Crealock's homepage! Find More Posts by Susan Crealock.

Mar Device: Find More Posts by arcadata. Apr Location: Anaheim, CA Device: Find More Posts by birdbrainbb. The space between the trunks, where the trod lay, was cloaked in shadow, and it seemed to me that the shadows were creeping closer. A cold wind hissed through the trunks, rattling branches and tossing leaves, and I shivered.

With a frantic rushing sound a flock of tiny winged fey burst from the trod, swirling around us in panic and spiraling into the mist. Ash took my hand and pulled me away from the trod, hurrying back to his mount. Lifting me to sit just behind the saddle, he grabbed the reins and climbed up in front.

Ash dug in his heels with a shout, and the horse shot forward, snapping my head back. I squeezed Ash tightly and buried my face in his back as the faery horse streaked through the wyldwood, leaving the trod far behind. We stopped infrequently, and when we did, it was only to let me and the horse rest for a few minutes. He remained wary and suspicious, and never truly relaxed the entire journey.

The horse, too, was jumpy and restless, and it panicked at every shadow, every rustle or falling leaf. Something was following us; I felt it every time we stopped, a dark, shadowy presence drawing ever closer As we rode on through the night, the eternal twilight of the wyldwood finally dimmed and a pale yellow moon rose into the sky.

Ash and the fey horse both had seemingly unlimited endurance, more so than me, anyway. Riding a horse for hours and hours is not easy, and the stress of being chased by an unknown enemy was taking its toll. I was dozing off once more, fighting to keep my eyes open, when Ash suddenly pulled the horse to a stop and dismounted.

Blinking, I looked around dazedly, seeing nothing but trees and shadows. Move forward. We should be safe there. What does it want? In that moment, I felt safe. Settling back against him, I closed my eyes and let myself drift. I must have dozed off, for the next thing I knew Ash was shaking me gently. Without the cover of the trees, I could see the sky, dotted with stars.

The glade was clear, except for one massive gnarled oak in the very center. Roots snaked out over the ground, huge thick things that prevented anything bigger than a fern to flourish. The trunk was wide and twisted, like three or four trees had been squashed together into one. Its branches drooped, or had snapped off and were scattered about the base of the tree.

Most of its broad, veined leaves were dead and brittle; the rest were a sickly yellow-brown. I gazed at the dying tree and felt an incomprehensible sadness, as if I were seeing an old friend about to die.

Shaking it off, I looked around for a doorway or gate, but the tree was the only thing here. Will it open? When it stopped, I slid out of the saddle and joined him. Doors in trees were not unusual in the Nevernever. How do you get it to open? For a moment, nothing happened. Then, with a loud groaning and creaking, one of the massive roots snaked out of the ground, shedding dirt and twigs. Rising into the air, it formed an archway between itself and the ground, and the space between shimmered with magic.

Puck was through that gateway. If he was still alive. I tripped over a root on the other side and stumbled forward, barely catching myself. Straightening, I gazed around the moonlit grove of New Orleans City Park, recognizing the huge mossy oaks from our last visit. The air was humid, warm and peaceful.

Crickets buzzed, leaves rustled and moonlight shimmered off the nearby lake. Nothing had changed. It had been this peaceful the last time we were here, though my world had been falling apart. Ash touched my arm and nodded at a tree, where a willowy girl with moss-green skin watched us from the shadow of an oak, her dark eyes wide and startled. There is something dangerous following you. The dryad blinked and shifted her gaze to him. I glanced behind me, and my stomach twisted so hard I felt nauseous.

Now, like its twin in the clearing, it was dying. A lump rose to my throat. I remembered the Elder Dryad from our first visit here: an old, grandmotherly fey with a soft voice and kind eyes who had given the very heart of her tree to make sure I could rescue my brother. The Elder had known she would die if she helped me. But she gave us the weapon we needed to take down the enemy fey and get Ethan back.

The dryad girl stepped beside me, gazing at the dying oak. Too weak to leave her tree, she sleeps now, dreaming of her youth.

But not gone, not yet. It will take a long time for her to fade completely. She knew all along what was going to happen. The wind tells us these things. Just as it tells us you are in terrible danger now. Why have you come? I need to see him. Yes, of course. I will take you to him, but I fear you will be disappointed.

A human name, belonging to a lanky, redhaired boy, who had been the neighbor of a shy farm girl in the Louisiana bayou. Robbie Goodfell, as he called himself back then, had been my classmate, confidant and best friend.

Always looking out for me, like an older brother. Goofy, sarcastic and somewhat overprotective, Robbie was…different. It was like he simply faded from their memories, despite the fact that whenever anything went wrong in school— mice in desks, superglue on chairs, an alligator in the bathrooms one day—Robbie was somehow involved.

No one ever suspected him, but I always knew. To keep me safe from those who would harm a half-human daughter of Oberon. But also, to keep me blind to the world of Faery, ignorant and unaware of my true nature, and all the danger that came with it. During a battle with an Iron faery, a brand-new species of fey born from technology and progress, he was 15 Julie Kagawa shot and very nearly killed.

Ash and I brought him here, to City Park, and the dryads took him into one of their trees to sleep and heal from his wounds. If he woke up at all. We had to leave him behind when we left to rescue Ethan, and the guilt of that decision had haunted me ever since. I pressed my palm against the mossy trunk, wondering if I could feel his heartbeat within the tree, a vibration, a sigh. Something, anything, that told me he was still there. But I felt nothing except sap, moss and the rough edges of the bark.

Puck, if he still lived, was far from my reach. But I felt that if I took my eyes away for a second, I would miss something. The dryad girl nodded. He lives still. Nothing has changed. Robin Goodfellow sleeps his dreamless slumber, waiting for the day he will rejoin the world. Perhaps days. Perhaps centuries. Perhaps he does not want to wake up. There is nothing you can do for him but wait, and be patient. Summer glamour swirled around me, the magic of my father Oberon and the Summer court, the glamour of heat and earth and living things.

I felt thousands of tiny insects swarming over and burrowing into the trunk, the rapid heartbeat of birds, dreaming in the branches. I pressed deeper, past the surface, past the softer, still growing wood, deep into the heart of the tree.

And there he was. I felt the wood cradling his thin, lanky frame, protecting it, and heard the faintest thump-thump of a beating heart.

Puck hovered limply, his chin on his chest and his eyes closed. He seemed much smaller in sleep, fragile and ghostlike, as if a breath could blow him away. I drifted closer, reaching out to touch him, brushing insubstantial fingers over his cheek, pushing back unruly red bangs. I really need you to come back. There was no flicker of eyelids, no twitch of his head, responding to my voice. Puck remained limp and motionless, his heartbeat calm and steady, echoing through the wood.

Depressed, feeling strangely sick, I pulled out of the tree, returning to my own body. As the sounds of the world returned, I found myself fighting back tears. So close. So close to Puck, and still so far away. Robin Goodfellow has always been extraordinarily difficult to kill. A pair of familiar golden eyes peered down at me, attached to nothing else, and my heart leaped. It was Grimalkin, the faery cat I met on my last journey to Faery.

Grim had helped me out a few times in the past…but his help always came with a price. The cat loved collecting favors and did nothing for free, but I was still happy to see him, even if I still owed him a debt or two from our last adventure.

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True to form, Grimalkin finished stretching, sat down and gave his fur several licks before deigning to reply. You have always proved most entertaining. Your ill-contrived deal with the Winter prince.

And I can protect you better in my own territory than the wyldwood or the mortal realm. At least part of the way.

I am looking for someone. Several yards away, he glanced back over his shoulder, twitching an ear. Are you coming or not? If you say there is something after you, it would make sense not to be here when it comes to call, yes? The Elder Gate loomed before us, tall and imposing even though the tree was dying.

As we approached, the entire trunk suddenly shifted with a groan. A face pushed its way out of the bark, old and wrinkled, part of the tree come to life.

The Elder Dryad opened her eyes, squinting as though it was difficult to focus, and her gaze fastened on me. He waits for you on the other side. I shivered all the way down to my toes. Ash immediately took my hand and drew me away, striding in the opposite direction, his body tense like a coiled wire. Grimalkin slipped after us, a gray ghost in the shadows, the fur on his tail standing on end.

Ash paused beneath the limbs of another oak, put his fingers to his lips and let out a piercing whistle. Moments later, the fey horse trotted out of the shadows, snorting and tossing its head, skidding to a stop before us.

And quickly. I blinked in surprise. The horse trotted down brightly lit streets, weaving through cars and alleyways and people, and no one saw us. No one even glanced our way. Or the dragonfly-winged sylph perched atop a telephone pole, watching the streets with the intensity of an eagle observing her territory. We nearly ran into a group of dwarves leaving one of the many pubs on Bourbon Street. The short, bearded men shouted drunken curses as the horse swerved, barely missing them, and galloped away down the sidewalk.

We were deep in the French Quarter when Ash stopped in front of a wall of stone buildings, old black shutters and 21 Julie Kagawa doors lining the sidewalk. A sign swinging above a thick black door read: Ye Olde Original Dungeon, and there was red paint spattered against the frame in what was supposed to be blood, I guessed. At least, I hoped it was paint. Ash pushed open the door, revealing a very long, narrow alleyway, and turned to me.

The alley ended in a small courtyard, where a scraggly waterfall trickled into a moat at the front of the building. We crossed the footbridge, passed a bored-looking human bouncer who paid us no attention and entered a dark, red-tinged room. From the shadows along the wall rose something huge and green, crimson eyes glaring out of the monstrous, toothy face of a female troll.

I squeaked and took a step back. Up close, she stood nearly eight feet, with swamp-green skin and long, taloned fingers. Beady red eyes glared at me from her impressive height. Lost a bet with a phouka or something?

No Summer fey allowed in here, so get lost. We need to use the hidden trod. Facing a prince of the Unseelie Court, she turned almost sniveling. She glanced back over her shoulder, lowering her voice. She glanced at me again, then back at the Winter prince, claws flexing at her side. Sensing her dire predicament, the huge faery finally backed off. The Dungeon, for all its eerie decor, turned out to be nothing more than a bar and nightclub, though it definitely catered to the more macabre crowd.

The walls 23 Julie Kagawa were brick, the lights dim and red, casting everything in crimson, and snarling monster heads hung on the walls over the bar. There were human patrons at the bar and sitting throughout the room with drinks in hand, but I saw only the inhuman ones. Goblins and satyrs, phouka and redcaps, a lone ogre in the corner, drinking a whole pitcher of a dark purple liquid.

Unseen and invisible, the Unseelie fey milled through the throng of humans, spitting in their drinks, tripping the drunker ones, stealing items from purses and wallets. I shivered and drew back, but Ash took my hand firmly. Not something you want to see, trust me. Grimalkin had disappeared—normal for him—so it was just us receiving the cold, hungry glares from every corner of the room.

I tried to dodge, but the space was tight and narrow, and the clawed fingers latched onto my sleeve. Ash turned. There was a flash of blue light, and a half second later the redcap froze, a glowing blue sword at his throat. No one moved. I slipped past him and the redcap, who was keeping very still in his seat, and moved toward the back of the room. Behind him, the narrow corridor was tight, dim and full of smoke.

I blinked and moved aside as they passed, reeking of smoke and alcohol, and stumbled back toward the main bar. Looking back, I caught a glimpse of the room behind the panel as it swung closed—a toilet, a sink and a mirror—and stared wideeyed at Grimalkin. But I suggest we get moving.

That redcap motley has taken quite an interest in you. Ash joined us in the hall, his icy blade still unsheathed, tendrils of mist writhing off it to mingle with the smoke. Cat, have you opened the trod? My brothers are looking for you as well. Those redcaps could work for him, or they could be spies for Mab herself. I can guarantee it. Ash snorted. Instead, a cold breeze blew into the hallway, smelling of frost and bark and crushed leaves, and the gray, misty forest of the Nevernever stretched away through the door.

I followed, stepping through the doorway that became a split tree trunk on the other side. Ash ducked through and shut the door firmly behind us, where it faded into nothingness as soon as he let it go, leaving the mortal world behind.

It was colder in this part of the wyldwood. Frost coated the ground and the branches of the trees, and the mist clung to my skin with clammy fingers. Everything was overly quiet and still, as if the forest itself was holding its breath. His breath did not puff or hang in the air like mine did. Trembling, I rubbed my arms to get warm. I want to get to Winter as fast as possible. My legs were cramped, both from riding and walking, my head hurt, and the cold was sapping the last of my willpower.

And I knew from personal experience that it would only get colder the closer we got to Tir Na Nog. Thankfully, Grimalkin noticed my reluctance. Perhaps we should look for a place to rest. Can you do that? Ash took my hand, and with Grimalkin leading the way, we walked into the curling mist. Chapter Three The Living Cold Ash stopped, every muscle in his body coiling tight, as the echo of that eerie cry faded into the mist.

How could it find us so quickly? The cat had never done that before. If he has your trail he will be coming fast. Depressed, feeling strangely sick, I pulled out of the tree, returning to my own body.

As the sounds of the world returned, I found myself fighting back tears. So close. So close to Puck, and still so far away. Robin Goodfellow has always been extraordinarily difficult to kill. A pair of familiar golden eyes peered down at me, attached to nothing else, and my heart leaped.

It was Grimalkin, the faery cat I met on my last journey to Faery. Grim had helped me out a few times in the past…but his help always came with a price. The cat loved collecting favors and did nothing for free, but I was still happy to see him, even if I still owed him a debt or two from our last adventure.

True to form, Grimalkin finished stretching, sat down and gave his fur several licks before deigning to reply. You have always proved most entertaining. Your ill-contrived deal with the Winter prince.

And I can protect you better in my own territory than the wyldwood or the mortal realm. At least part of the way.

I am looking for someone. Several yards away, he glanced back over his shoulder, twitching an ear. Are you coming or not? If you say there is something after you, it would make sense not to be here when it comes to call, yes? The Elder Gate loomed before us, tall and imposing even though the tree was dying. As we approached, the entire trunk suddenly shifted with a groan. A face pushed its way out of the bark, old and wrinkled, part of the tree come to life. The Elder Dryad opened her eyes, squinting as though it was difficult to focus, and her gaze fastened on me.

He waits for you on the other side. I shivered all the way down to my toes. Ash immediately took my hand and drew me away, striding in the opposite direction, his body tense like a coiled wire. Grimalkin slipped after us, a gray ghost in the shadows, the fur on his tail standing on end. Ash paused beneath the limbs of another oak, put his fingers to his lips and let out a piercing whistle.

Moments later, the fey horse trotted out of the shadows, snorting and tossing its head, skidding to a stop before us.

And quickly. I blinked in surprise. The horse trotted down brightly lit streets, weaving through cars and alleyways and people, and no one saw us. No one even glanced our way. Or the dragonfly-winged sylph perched atop a telephone pole, watching the streets with the intensity of an eagle observing her territory. We nearly ran into a group of dwarves leaving one of the many pubs on Bourbon Street. The short, bearded men shouted drunken curses as the horse swerved, barely missing them, and galloped away down the sidewalk.

We were deep in the French Quarter when Ash stopped in front of a wall of stone buildings, old black shutters and 21 Julie Kagawa doors lining the sidewalk. A sign swinging above a thick black door read: Ye Olde Original Dungeon, and there was red paint spattered against the frame in what was supposed to be blood, I guessed.

At least, I hoped it was paint. Ash pushed open the door, revealing a very long, narrow alleyway, and turned to me. The alley ended in a small courtyard, where a scraggly waterfall trickled into a moat at the front of the building. We crossed the footbridge, passed a bored-looking human bouncer who paid us no attention and entered a dark, red-tinged room.

From the shadows along the wall rose something huge and green, crimson eyes glaring out of the monstrous, toothy face of a female troll. I squeaked and took a step back. Up close, she stood nearly eight feet, with swamp-green skin and long, taloned fingers.

Beady red eyes glared at me from her impressive height. Lost a bet with a phouka or something? No Summer fey allowed in here, so get lost. We need to use the hidden trod. Facing a prince of the Unseelie Court, she turned almost sniveling. She glanced back over her shoulder, lowering her voice. She glanced at me again, then back at the Winter prince, claws flexing at her side. Sensing her dire predicament, the huge faery finally backed off. The Dungeon, for all its eerie decor, turned out to be nothing more than a bar and nightclub, though it definitely catered to the more macabre crowd.

The walls 23 Julie Kagawa were brick, the lights dim and red, casting everything in crimson, and snarling monster heads hung on the walls over the bar.

There were human patrons at the bar and sitting throughout the room with drinks in hand, but I saw only the inhuman ones. Goblins and satyrs, phouka and redcaps, a lone ogre in the corner, drinking a whole pitcher of a dark purple liquid. Unseen and invisible, the Unseelie fey milled through the throng of humans, spitting in their drinks, tripping the drunker ones, stealing items from purses and wallets.

I shivered and drew back, but Ash took my hand firmly. Not something you want to see, trust me. Grimalkin had disappeared—normal for him—so it was just us receiving the cold, hungry glares from every corner of the room.

I tried to dodge, but the space was tight and narrow, and the clawed fingers latched onto my sleeve. Ash turned. There was a flash of blue light, and a half second later the redcap froze, a glowing blue sword at his throat. No one moved. I slipped past him and the redcap, who was keeping very still in his seat, and moved toward the back of the room. Behind him, the narrow corridor was tight, dim and full of smoke. I blinked and moved aside as they passed, reeking of smoke and alcohol, and stumbled back toward the main bar.

Looking back, I caught a glimpse of the room behind the panel as it swung closed—a toilet, a sink and a mirror—and stared wideeyed at Grimalkin. But I suggest we get moving. That redcap motley has taken quite an interest in you.

Ash joined us in the hall, his icy blade still unsheathed, tendrils of mist writhing off it to mingle with the smoke. Cat, have you opened the trod? My brothers are looking for you as well. Those redcaps could work for him, or they could be spies for Mab herself.

I can guarantee it. Ash snorted. Instead, a cold breeze blew into the hallway, smelling of frost and bark and crushed leaves, and the gray, misty forest of the Nevernever stretched away through the door.

I followed, stepping through the doorway that became a split tree trunk on the other side. Ash ducked through and shut the door firmly behind us, where it faded into nothingness as soon as he let it go, leaving the mortal world behind. It was colder in this part of the wyldwood. Frost coated the ground and the branches of the trees, and the mist clung to my skin with clammy fingers.

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Everything was overly quiet and still, as if the forest itself was holding its breath. His breath did not puff or hang in the air like mine did. Trembling, I rubbed my arms to get warm. I want to get to Winter as fast as possible.

My legs were cramped, both from riding and walking, my head hurt, and the cold was sapping the last of my willpower. And I knew from personal experience that it would only get colder the closer we got to Tir Na Nog.

Thankfully, Grimalkin noticed my reluctance. Perhaps we should look for a place to rest. Can you do that? Ash took my hand, and with Grimalkin leading the way, we walked into the curling mist.

Chapter Three The Living Cold Ash stopped, every muscle in his body coiling tight, as the echo of that eerie cry faded into the mist. How could it find us so quickly? The cat had never done that before. If he has your trail he will be coming fast. Run, now! The woods flashed by us, dark and indistinct, shadowy shapes in the mist.

Grimalkin had disappeared. Direction was lost in the coiling mist.

Winter's Passage

I only hoped that Ash knew where he was going as we fled through the eerie whiteness. The howl came again, closer this time, more excited. I dared a backward glance, but could see nothing beyond the swirling fog and shadows.

But I could feel whatever it was, getting closer. It could see us now, fleeing before it, the back of my neck a tempting target. Ash jerked me to a stop three feet from the edge, and a shower of pebbles went clattering down the jagged sides, vanishing into the river of mist far below. The crack in the earth ran along the edge of the wyldwood for as far as I could see in either direction, separating us from the safety on the other side.

Beyond the chasm, a snow-covered landscape stretched away before us, icy and pristine. Trees were frozen, covered in ice, every twig outlined in sparkling crystal. The ground beneath looked like a blanket of clouds, white and fluffy. Snowdrifts glittered in the sun like millions of tiny diamonds. About a hundred yards away, an arched bridge, made completely of ice, sparkled enticingly in the sun. Something snapped in the woods at our right, something huge and fast. The Hunter was silent now, no howls or deep throaty bays; it was moving in for the kill.

We reached the bridge, and Ash pushed me forward onto the icy surface. There were no guards or handrails, just a narrow arch over a terrifying drop. Stomach clenching, I started across, trying not to look down. My foot slipped, and my heart slammed against my ribs, pounding wildly as I flailed.

Right behind me, Ash grabbed my arm tightly, and somehow we made it to the other side. As soon as we were off, the Winter prince drew his sword. Sunlight flashed along the blade as he raised it and brought it slashing down on the narrow bridge. The bridge cracked, icy shards glittering as they spiraled into the air, and he raised the sword for another blow. Across the chasm, something dark and monstrous broke out of the trees, fog swirling around it. When it saw what Ash was doing, it roared, making the air tremble, then bounded for the bridge.

Ash brought his sword down again, then once more, and with a deafening crack, the ice bridge shattered. Our end slid away and dropped into oblivion, taking with it the entire arch, which clashed and screeched its way down the side of the cliff.

The shadow on the other side slid to a halt, green eyes blazing with fury as it stalked up and down the edge for a moment, panting. Then, with a snarl that showed a flash of huge white teeth, it turned and slipped back into the misty wyldwood, vanishing from sight.

I shuddered with relief and sank down into the snow, gasping, feeling as if my lungs and legs and whole body were on fire. But as the adrenaline wore off, I realized how frigidly cold it was on this side of the chasm. The icy wind cut through my bones and stabbed into me like a knife. I leaned into him, felt his heart racing, and shivered against his chest. He was silent, resting his forehead against mine, saying nothing. Just there. He does not care whose realm he is in when tracking his prey.

If he is after you, you will see him again. Ash took my elbow and drew me away from the chasm, positioning himself so that he blocked the wind howling up from the gap. We have to get Meghan inside. I suppose. Surely you are not taking the girl there? Well, this will be interesting. Follow me, then. An icy gale howled up from the chasm before he could answer, slicing into me and tossing drifts of snow into the air.

Icicles hung from frozen trees, some longer than my arms and as sharp as a spear. Every so often one would snap off and plummet to the ground with the tinkle of breaking glass. The cold here was a living thing, clawing at my exposed skin, stabbing my lungs when I breathed. I was soon shivering violently, teeth chattering, thinking longingly of sweaters and hot baths and burrowing under a thick feather quilt until spring. The woods grew darker, the trees closer together, and the temperature dropped even more.

By now I was losing feeling in my fingers and toes, the cold making me sluggish. I felt as if icy hands were grabbing my feet, dragging me down, urging me to curl up in a ball and hibernate until it was warm again. A flash of color in the trees caught my eye. On the branch above me, a small bird perched on a twig, bright red against the snow. Its eyes were closed, and it was fluffed out against the cold, looking like a feathery red ball.

And it was completely encased in ice, covered headto-toe in crystallized water, so clear that I could see every detail through the shell. The sight should have chilled me, but I was so cold all I felt was the spreading numbness. I tripped over a branch and fell, sprawling in a snowbank, ice crystals stinging my eyes.

I was suddenly very sleepy. My eyelids felt heavy, and all I wanted to do was lay my head down and sleep, like a bear through the winter. It was an appealing thought. Get up. I muttered something about how tired I was, but the words froze in the back of my throat, and I only grunted.

If you do not get her up now, she will die. If they closed, they would freeze and stay shut forever. Give in, the cold whispered in my ear. Give in, sleep.

My eyelids flickered, and Ash made a noise that was almost a growl. Get up! Surprise flooded in, as my heart leaped and my stomach twisted itself into a knot. I laced my arms around his neck and kissed him back, feeling his arms around me, crushing us together, breathing in the sharp, frosty scent of him. When we finally pulled back, I was breathing hard, and his heart raced under my fingers. I was also shivering again, and this time I welcomed the cold. Ash sighed and touched his forehead to mine.

We followed them until the trail finally ended at a small, dilapidated cabin beneath two rotting trees. I was eager to get inside, out of the biting chill, but Ash took my hand, forcing me to look at him.

Ash released me, stepped onto the creaking, snow-covered porch, and knocked firmly on the door. A woman opened it, peering out with tired, bloodshot eyes. A gray robe and cowl draped her body like old curtains, and her face, though fairly young, was lined and weary. What can I do for you, Your Highness? Will you let us in? Make yourselves comfortable, poor children. Its deformed head was too large for its body, its tiny limbs were shriveled and dead, and its skin had an unhealthy blue tinge, like it had been drowned or left out in the cold.

The child kicked weakly and let out a feeble, unearthly cry. It was like watching a train wreck. Inside, a fire crackled in the hearth, and the warmth seeped into my frozen limbs, making me sigh in relief.

But midnight draws close, and we must depart. The door clicked behind her, and we were alone. My fingers were finally getting some feeling back, and were all tingly now. If only for a little while. Moonlight sparkled through the glass, and the land beyond was frozen solid. This was Unseelie territory, like Ash had said. I was far from home and family and the safety of a normal life. Closing my eyes, I started to shake. What would happen to me once I reached the Winter Court? Would Mab throw me in a dungeon, or maybe feed me to her goblins?

What would a centuries-old faery queen do to the daughter of her ancient rival? Fear twisted my gut.Pray we do not meet again, for you will not even see me coming.

I dared a backward glance, but could see nothing beyond the swirling fog and shadows. Of course, there is plenty of adventure along the way and the introduction of a few new characters.

Ash led me through a narrow 41 Julie Kagawa canyon, sheer cliff walls pressing in on either side until it opened up in a snowy clearing surrounded by mountains.

Whatever it was, it was closing fast. I squeezed Ash tightly and buried my face in his back as the faery horse streaked through the wyldwood, leaving the trod far behind. My foot slipped, and my heart slammed against my ribs, pounding wildly as I flailed.

We rode through the snow-laced streets toward the palace, and the denizens of the Unseelie Court watched us pass with glowing, inhuman eyes. His own blood dripped from his sword arm to stain the ground.

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