Hey everyone !
I don’t know if you know the book, but Chaos Born was a really nice surprise for me. You can discover my review here. To let you discover a little more about the book, I’m happy to present you this nice exerpt:
« Lora? »
With a start, I realised Caleb Haskett was standing over me. It had been a long time since we’d seen each other and age had only complimented his good looks. He took off his mud‐splattered greatcoat and sat down opposite me, back placed unwisely to the room. He wore a Watchman uniform, the four gold stripes on his jacket shoulder announcing his rank as Captain. Now, Caleb always had been ambitious. Considering the nerve it took to wear his uniform in a place like this, I wondered if he’d turned stupid as well. Nervous eyes watched him and the dice game was quickly disbanded. The guard threw me an exasperated look and I flushed, wishing Caleb had the sense to be a little more discrete.
« Thank you for meeting me Lora. » Caleb smiled. « It’s been a long time. »
Puffing a few smoke rings, I shifted my boots to where he could see them, knowing he had always hated my love of Outland fashion. « Last time we saw each other, I recall you lecturing me about my inevitable descent to The Pit, » I said.
He gave a short, bitter laugh. « In all fairness, Lora, you’d just killed a man in your kitchen. You’re lucky I didn’t throw you in jail. Again. »
« In all fairness, he had it coming. »
« The man was unarmed. »
« The great big axe was a conversation piece? »
« You had already disarmed him. »
« Enough. » I took the cigarillo out of my mouth, and ground it out on the table. I’d been flattered and curious when Caleb had sent a message, requesting a meeting. He’d long since
cut me out of his life. I leant back in my chair, observing him from under lowered eyelashes. Approaching middle age, Caleb still had that type of open, honest face that stood out in a crowd, especially this one. I watched as he turned in his seat, searching for the barmaid. He spied her chatting to a sailor with periwinkle blue tattoos on his arms and motioned at her with a gesture that demanded attention. Her eyes flicked to Caleb’s raised hand, and he indicated he wanted two beers. The barmaid’s eyes shifted to me. Making the forked sign of evil, she turned to the bar to get us drinks.
I looked pointedly about the now subdued room. « Strange place to want to meet. »
Caleb held a hand up, as if halting a barrage of questions. « I needed somewhere out of the way, I have a favour to ask. Something I want to keep unofficial. »
« No small talk then? » I smiled. « I’m surprised you knew of this place. I thought you’d been keeping your nose clean in High Town, never to return. »
Caleb frowned. « No one forgets where they came from. I grew up on the same streets as you. »
« Not quite the same as me, » I murmured. Caleb’s father had been a wealthy oil import merchant who had lived in a respectable home that skirted the border of Applecross. Caleb had been a fearless kid who had loved to escape his nanny and explore. Our paths had crossed when he’d arrived one day in Abraham’s Alley, chasing a kid who’d stolen his shoes. Charmed by his clear blue eyes, I’d helped him get those expensive shoes back, though I’d gotten a cracked rib in the process. We had been friends for many years after that.
The barmaid appeared, heaving two pewter tankards of the murky local beer. She set them down and took Caleb’s offered coin. Sneaking a sullen glance at me, she hurried away, back
to the bar. Caleb wiped the rim of the tankard with his sleeve, then took a tentative sip. He grimaced, put the heavy cup down and pushed it away, lips puckered like he’d sucked a grapefruit. « Do you know the barmaid? » he asked.
« Why? » My eyes skipped over to her automatically. She was behind the bar again, making every effort not to look at our table. I hoped she wasn’t one of Gideon’s conquests or spies.
« She didn’t seem to like you much. » Caleb’s face was blank. « Maybe she thought you had your eye on her tattooed friend. »
I took a long drink from my tankard, wincing as the cold, bitter taste washed down my throat. Watching Caleb over the rim, I felt irrationally annoyed he hadn’t noticed my boots. Warmth began to radiate from my chest from the strong brew. It eased the ache in my leg, which always grumbled more in winter. I could ignore Caleb’s personal attack, even though it stung. We’d had many fights after he’d joined the City Watch. He’d been forced to bail me out of jail a few times and I got tired of seeing the disappointment in his eyes when he looked at me. I placed my half‐empty tankard down and gave him my best deadpan stare. « You notice her hair? »
Caleb glanced over his shoulder, searching the room before spying her behind the bar serving drinks. « Why? »
« Not very observant for a Constable. » I pretended I hadn’t noticed the ranking on his jacket, knowing it would rankle.
« I’m a Captain now. I was promoted a few weeks ago and have an office in Piccano Square. »
« Piccano Square? You don’t say. » I drained the rest of my beer then banged the tankard down. « What was in the barmaid’s hair? »
Caleb thrust a hand through his hair, eyebrows drawing together. « Hellfires, Lora. I don’t know. Lice? »
« Hilarious. » I found myself leaning forward, as if trying to catch his smell, something to bring back a glimpse of the past, a time when anything had seemed possible. But the air was full of sour sweat and testosterone, so I caught nothing to rush back old memories. Leaning back in my chair and feeling somewhat disappointed, I laced my fingers behind my head. « She’s got a plait, woven with black thread. Surely you remember the traditions of the craft wielders here? »
« It’s been many years since I’ve had to think of such things, » Caleb said. « Where I come from now, magic and such dealings are considered taboo. »
« Black thread announces she’s trained to teach darkcraft, » I reminded him. « White indicates a lightcraft teacher. »
Caleb smiled, but the good humour fell short of his eyes. « I remember now. And no one likes poor Lora, because she’s a Witch Hunter for the Order of Guides. »
I wondered why he was trying to piss me off. « You’re quite catty for someone who asked for this meeting. Why don’t you tell me what you want then we can both be on our way? »
Caleb cleared his throat, the previous brashness softened by sudden uncertainty. « How does Gideon fare these days with his business? Are you still in his employment? »
« Why? » I laughed. « Looking for night work? You don’t strike me as the type to sell your services to the highest bidder. »
« Don’t make fun of me. » His eyes glinted in a way that made me feel uneasy. It spoke of something dark lurking just beneath the surface. I took in his furrowed brow and hard eyes and wondered what had tarnished this white knight. I had the horrible idea he was going to threaten me. I didn’t respond well to threats.
« I wasn’t making fun, » I said carefully.
He leant forward, elbows on the table, steepling his fingers. « I’ll be honest, Lora. I need your help. I’d do anything to— » he stopped abruptly, his jaw jamming up tight, lips thin. His eyes flashed with something I’d seen in clients: helpless rage.
I leant forward and placed a hand over his, relishing the warm contact. « Alright. Tell me what you need and I’ll see if I can help. »
He removed his hand after the moment went too long. « Did you hear what happened at the Church of Saint Pendergrast? »
I tucked my own hands into my armpits, an old comforting gesture from my childhood I never could seem to shake. As long as it wasn’t thumb sucking, I figured it was all right. « Sure, » I said. « A Regulator went bonkers in a Higher Path church. Or beserked. Or whatever it’s called. Killed a few priests. Not the first time The Order has had to clean up after their pet nephilim. »
Want to know more? You can check the author’s website : http://rebekahturner.net/
Chronicles from the Applecross, Book 1
Synopsis: A fresh and exciting debut novel introducing the Chronicles from the Applecross.
Lora Blackgoat, smuggler and mercenary, has been lying low after a job gone bad made her a laughing stock in the industry. When a childhood friend turns to her for help, Lora leaps to restore her reputation and starts hunting a killer who is stalking the gas-lit streets.
She never expects that her path will lead her to the Order of Guides, a sadistic militant religious organisation – or to Roman, a deadly and dangerously attractive half-angel warrior who also hunts the killer.
When Lora discovers that the killer has broken fundamental laws of magic to enter the city, she also uncovers a conspiracy that leads back into her own dark past.