Read an excerpt from A Sleight of Shadows by Kat Howard

Read an excerpt from A Sleight of Shadows by Kat Howard

The Home of Shadows sits on bones. All of the sacrifices, all of the magicians that died within the Shadows, they’re buried below the foundations. Bones maintain magic…

We’re excited to preview a snippet of Kat Howard’s A shadow ridea throwback to the Unseen World collection that started in A wickedness of magicians—obtainable now from Gallery / Saga Press.

After eliminating the supply of the Unseen World’s corruption, Sydney is left with virtually no magical skills. Feeling alienated from herself, she is set to regain her standing because the world’s most harmful magician. Sadly, she should do it shortly: the Home of Shadows, the hell on earth that made her what she was, the place the place she sacrificed every little thing to destroy, is being rebuilt.

The magic of the Invisible World is appearing surprisingly, failing, bleeding from the perimeters. Decided to cease the Home of Shadows from returning to energy and defeat the magicians who need nothing greater than to get her again, Sydney goes to extremes in a determined bid to regain her sacrificed magic. She is compelled to determine what she’s going to hand over and what she’s going to lose and whether or not what have to be destroyed isn’t just the Home of Shadows, however the Invisible World itself.

World Fantasy Award finalist Kat Howard has penned a sequel that asks how you might have happiness in a world that does not need it, the place the price of that happiness could also be an excessive amount of to bear.


The lady seated on the desk forged no shadow.

She ought to have. The sunshine from the house drew grey veils on the espresso cup, empty, positioned on the counter, the chair the place the lady was sitting, the little white candle in entrance of her.

It had been simply over seven weeks – fifty-three days, to be actual – since Sydney had given up her shadow in The Turning’s ultimate problem. Ever since she requested Verenice Tenebrae to chop it from her physique so she may sacrifice it to maintain the magic on the earth.

By this time, she had grown accustomed to the absence of her shadow. It had been unusual, at first, the absence. For the primary few days, there had been the fixed feeling that one thing was lacking. The half-breath earlier than she put a reputation, as soon as once more, to what wasn’t there had felt – every time – stretched and tense.

However his shadow was not his solely loss. It wasn’t even a very powerful, only a image of what had been deserted. When Sydney sacrificed her shadow, she sacrificed her magic. And even now, even now that she now not sought to forged a spell the identical means she did – the automated means the blood moved by her veins and the breath moved by her lungs – she did not. did not must be reminded that the flexibility was gone. This absence was a relentless ache. It lingered in her scars and in her bones, the place the magic had been pulled from her. The loss was a reminder of who she had been.

Magic had been his entire life. It was his first reminiscence, his first, his first objective. That was what she had been made for. It turned the sting towards which she perfected herself, the means to all her ends. It had been hers – solely hers, not a weapon the Home of Shadows may use at will – for such a short while earlier than she disappeared.

She wished him again.

She had a place to begin. One remaining piece. Not sufficient to do one thing she could not do extra simply by flipping a change. Not sufficient to tell apart her from an unusual one that had been fortunate sufficient to wander in one of the vital welcoming corners of the Invisible World, and who had sufficient willpower to remain there.

She may nonetheless mild a candle. She had simply sufficient magic to offer him hope.

It was a merciless hope, as sharp because the knife that had lower by his shadow and his magic. A ache commensurate with absence. However leaning on the sting of the unattainable was what she knew.

Sydney shook her ideas and targeted on the candle in entrance of her. A small white tea mild in a dented field, the sort bought in a bag of hundred that smelled faintly of vanilla and plastic. Easy. Primary.

His first bag was virtually empty. She had others.

Sydney spoke the phrase that triggered the spell and the candle lit, because it at all times did. Even the primary time after shedding his shadow, and his magic with it. In that flickering second, she too had burned. Burned by the hope that she had been unsuitable, that her magic had not disappeared, that every little thing would return to regular. This was not the case. Not that day, and not one of the days that adopted.

A ache throbbed behind his eyes and the style of smoke lined his throat – the aftereffects of utilizing magic making themselves identified. They have been coming quicker now, yet one more reminder that issues had modified.

Sydney concentrated once more. Magic now required preparation in a means it had by no means finished earlier than. Inhaling, she twisted her left hand, sharply flexing two fingers. It was the second spell she tried daily. The spell that will extinguish the candle she had simply lit.

Ache like hearth licked the frayed edges the place his shadow had been lower from his physique. A phantom blade lower its means by her bones, tracing the locations the place her magic had as soon as been etched into her.

The candle flickered, went out.

Sydney gritted her tooth towards the ache and waited, watched. Maintained his focus. Blood was flowing from his nostril. The candle has sunk.

And went out.

Extract of A shadow journeyCopyright © 2023 by Kat Howard

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