Magic without mercy, p.1
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       Magic Without Mercy, p.1

           Devon Monk
 
Magic Without Mercy


  Praise for the Novels

  of Devon Monk

  Magic on the Hunt

  “This is a really action-packed story with tons going on… Once you get involved with these characters, you don’t want to stop reading. They come alive and you begin to see Portland in a whole new way… This is an absolutely awesome series with a complex world set in familiar surroundings. With action and characters that can’t help but draw you into the drama and the dilemmas, you’ll find yourself ignoring everything as you travel along with Allie, Zay, and their friends.”

  —Night Owl Reviews

  “The most exciting of the series yet.”

  —Dangerous Romance

  “Get ready for another nonstop adventure in Magic on the Hunt.”

  —Romance Reviews Today

  “Superb.”

  —Genre Go Round Reviews

  “Congratulations to Ms. Monk for yet another great installment in the fantastic Allie Beckstrom series.”

  —A Book Obsession

  “Oh, how much I love Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series. I have never missed a beat with her amazing urban fantasy… This is one series that I can’t get enough of and I really love how kick-butt Allie is.”

  —Seeing Night Book Reviews

  Magic at the Gate

  “The action-packed fifth Allie Beckstrom novel amps up the magical mayhem… Allie’s adventures are gripping and engrossing, with an even, clever mix of humor, love, and brutality.”

  —Publishers Weekly

  “Devon Monk takes her story to places I couldn’t have dreamed of. Each twist and turn was completely surprising for me. Magic at the Gate truly stands out.”

  —Reading on the Dark Side

  “A spellbinding story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”

  —Romance Reviews Today

  “Suspense is the name of the game… I’m really enjoying this series… Each book brings you a little bit further into it and leaves you wanting more.”

  —Night Owl Reviews

  Magic on the Storm

  “The latest Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy is a terrific entry… This is a strong tale.”

  —Genre Go Round Reviews

  “First-rate urban fantasy entertainment.”

  —Lurv a la Mode

  Magic in the Shadows

  “Snappy dialogue, a brisk pace, and plenty of magic keep the pages turning to the end. Allie’s relationship with Zayvion, her friend Nola, and the other Hounds adds credible depth to this gritty, original urban fantasy that packs a punch.”

  —Monsters and Critics

  “This is a wonderful read full of different types of magic, fascinating characters, an intriguing plot… Devon Monk is an excellent storyteller… This book will keep everyone turning the pages to see what happens next and salivating for more.”

  —Fresh Fiction

  “Monk sweeps readers up in the drama and dangers of the heroine’s life as it steadily changes and grows… an intriguing read with fascinating characters and new magical elements introduced to the mix.”

  —Darque Reviews

  “The writing moves at a fast pace with plenty of exciting action… This series just gets better and better with each new book.”

  —Night Owl Reviews

  Magic in the Blood

  “Tight, fast, and vividly drawn, Monk’s second Allison Beckstrom novel features fresh interpretations of the paranormal, strong characters dealing with their share of faults and flaws, [and] ghoulish plot twists. Fans of Patricia Briggs or Jim Butcher will want to check out this inventive new voice.”

  —Monsters and Critics

  “[A] highly creative series about magic users in a world much like our own, filled with greed and avarice. I love the character of Allie, and she is just getting better and stronger as the series continues… If you love action, magic, intrigue, good versus evil battles, and pure entertainment, you will not want to miss this series.”

  —Manic Readers

  “One heck of a ride through a magical, dangerous Portland… imaginative, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous… An un-put-downable book, Magic in the Blood is one fantastic read.”

  —Romance Reviews Today

  “This series uses a system of rules for magic that is original and seems very realistic… The structure of the story pulled me in right away, and kept me reading. There’s action, adventure, fantasy, and even some romance.”

  —CA Reviews

  “Ms. Monk weaves a unique tale of dark magic that will keep readers at the edge of their seat. Magic in the Blood is so thoroughly described that the creepy bits will have you thinking of magic and ghosts long after you’ve finished the story. Fast-moving and gripping, it will leave you wanting more.”

  —Darque Reviews

  Magic to the Bone

  “Brilliantly and tightly written… will surprise, amuse, amaze, and absorb readers.”

  —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  “Mystery, romance, and magic cobbled together in what amounts to a solid page-turner.”

  —SFFWorld

  “Loved it. Fiendishly original and a stay-up-all-night read. We’re going to be hearing a lot more of Devon Monk.”

  —Patricia Briggs, New York Times bestselling author of River Marked

  “Highly original and compulsively readable. Don’t pick this one up before going to bed unless you want to be up all night!”

  —Jenna Black, author of Sirensong

  “Gritty setting, compelling, fully realized characters, and a frightening system of magic-with-a-price that left me awed. Devon Monk’s writing is addictive, and the only cure is more, more, more!”

  —Rachel Vincent, New York Times bestselling author of My Soul to Steal

  Books by Devon Monk

  The Allie Beckstrom Series

  Magic to the Bone

  Magic in the Blood

  Magic in the Shadows

  Magic on the Storm

  Magic at the Gate

  Magic on the Hunt

  Magic on the Line

  Magic Without Mercy

  The Age of Steam

  Dead Iron

  Magic

  Without

  Mercy

  An Allie Beckstrom Novel

  Devon Monk

  A ROC BOOK

  ROC

  Published by New American Library, a division of

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

  New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,

  Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,

  Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,

  Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

  Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,

  New Delhi - 110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632,

  New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,

  Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

  80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  First Printing, April 2012

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  Copyright © Devon Monk, 2012

  All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  ISBN: 978-1-101-58000-4

  REGISTERED TRADEMARK — MARCA REGISTRADA

  Printed in the United States of America

  PUBLISHER’S NOTE

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

  If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

  ALWAYS LEARNING

  PEARSON

  For my family

  Acknowledgments

  Without the many people who have contributed time and energy along the way, this book would not have come to fruition. I’d like to give a much-deserved thank-you to my agent, Miriam Kriss, and my editor, Anne Sowards, two consummate professionals and all-around awesome people who make my job easy.

  My love and endless gratitude go out to my fantastic first readers and brainstormers, Dean Woods and Dejsha Knight, whose loving support and brilliant insights not only make the story stronger, but also make me a better writer. Thank you also to my family, one and all, who have been there for me every step of the way, offering unfailing encouragement and sharing in the joy. To my husband, Russ, and sons, Kameron and Konner—if I haven’t said it lately, thank you for believing in me. You are the very best part of my life. I love you.

  Lastly, but certainly not leastly, thank you, dear readers, for letting me share this story, these people, and this world with you.

  Table of Contents

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-one

  Chapter Twenty-two

  Chapter Twenty-three

  Chapter Twenty-four

  Chapter Twenty-five

  Chapter Twenty-six

  Tin Swift

  Chapter One

  I had a headache. That headache’s name was Shamus Flynn.

  “Allie, my love,” he said, “you’re wrong.” That got him a quick glare from Zayvion, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the fireplace. Zay dragged a whetstone along the edge of his katana and caught my gaze.

  “Would you like me to make him shut up?” Zay asked with a little more excitement than I liked to hear.

  Terric, who was rummaging through a stack of knives on the shelf, just snorted. “Good fucking luck with that.”

  “No, it’s fine,” I said. “It’s just—”

  “You’re wrong,” Shame said again, flipping off Terric. “I’m telling you, you’d do best with a projectile weapon. You can’t use magic anymore, so you’ll have to keep a certain distance from the fight. Get in too close and magic will eat you alive. Then it will eat you dead just for good measure.”

  Shame was right. I couldn’t use magic. Ever since we’d fought Leander and Isabelle at the Life well and nearly gotten killed, magic had been making me sick. It had only gotten worse the more I used it, and when I’d tried to use a Tracking spell on a Veiled—an undead magic user I’d seen step out of a living person—I’d passed out and hit my head on the concrete.

  Now if I so much as breathed an abracadabra, I was on the floor puking. I had no idea why I was the only one suddenly allergic to magic. Maybe because I was the only possessed person I knew? Maybe because I could literally pull magic up through my body, whereas other people just drew it into the air and directed it into spells. Whatever the reason, it was seriously cramping my style.

  “I don’t want a gun,” I repeated.

  “Come, now,” Shame coaxed. “Look at all the pretty options.”

  “Options” was an understatement. When Shame had told us he had a small stash of weapons that the Authority didn’t know about, his only omission was how damn many blades, cudgels, whips, sticks, pointed things, explosive devices, and guns he had squirreled away in the rickety three-story town house bolted into the cliff side.

  Seriously. I flinched every time he lit a cigarette.

  “Shamus,” his mother, Maeve, said from where she was resting on the couch in what might have been a comfortable modern living room before Shame had covered the walls, bookshelves, and entertainment center with both magical and nonmagical killing devices. “If she doesn’t want a gun, don’t trouble her so about it. What weapon would you rather carry, Allison?” she asked.

  I glanced over at Maeve. She was drinking a cup of tea, her bare feet up on an overturned crate that said explosives across the side. She looked a little more rested after her short nap. Victor still had his eyes closed and was resting in the reclining chair by the window.

  Shame had had the sense to keep most of the house in working order. There were beds, a surprisingly nice kitchen, and a fairly well-stocked pantry that Hayden was off investigating.

  I rubbed my palms down the sides of my jeans, wiping away sweat. Staring at the guns Shame had laid out on the coffee table made my skin crawl. I wasn’t sure I could touch a gun, much less use one.

  I didn’t want to kill again. Not like that.

  Bartholomew gave you little choice, my dad, who was still dead and still possessing a corner of my brain, said quietly. Whatever advantage we have now, it is because of you. Of what you did to him.

  It was strange hearing my father talk about us—me, Zayvion, Shame, Terric, Hayden, Maeve, and Victor—like he was a part of our group, wanting the same things we wanted, fighting for the same things we were fighting for. Or maybe it wasn’t so strange anymore. He’d helped us—helped me—more in the past few days than he had in my entire life.

  And now that we had mutinied from the Authority, gone against Authority law—and, oh, yeah, did I mention I shot the man who had assigned himself as head of Portland’s Authority?—we needed all the help we could get.

  Even if that meant listening to the dead guy.

  “I don’t know,” I said, answering Maeve’s question. “Maybe I’ll stick to a blade.”

  Shame made a tsk sound. “Don’t want to shoot a man, nice and clean,” he said, “but you’re more than happy to carve him up? You sure about that? Swords can be messy business.”

  “It’s all messy business,” I said. “And the only thing I’m sure about is that I’m not going to decide this right now.”

  “Better sooner than later.”

  “I’ll do it in the morning.”

  Zay stopped running his thumb along the edge of his katana and sheathed it. He gave me a steady look. The same kind of measuring look Victor, who I had thought was half asleep, and Terric, who was finished digging through the things on Shame’s shelf, were giving me.

  “What?” I asked.

  “It is morning,” Shame said. “Has been for hours now.”

  I closed my eyes and tipped my face up to the ceiling. Hells, I was tired. I didn’t remember the last time I’d slept, didn’t remember the last time I’d eaten. I smelled like old magic,
death, and blood. And I was not going to pick up a gun, make another decision, or do another damn thing until I got clean and fed.

  “Someone make breakfast, okay?” I lowered my gaze from the ceiling. “I’m going to take a shower.”

  I strode down the hall, past the open kitchen area—where Hayden was whistling a song from Phantom of the Opera—and past the two guest bedrooms where everyone had slept… except for me. I’d spent my downtime sweating off nightmares and staring at the darkness while listening to make sure whoever was on watch was still awake and watching.

  The last door on the right was the guest bathroom. I walked in and flicked on the lights.

  I didn’t know why Shamus had decided to buy a house. When we’d asked, he had used an unconvincing innocent-eyes look on his mother and told her he hadn’t bought it—he’d won it in a poker game.

  Most likely he’d stolen it.

  Whoever had built the thing was either a genius or a madman. It really was bolted into the cliff, the roofline beneath the road above, which snaked the hill in hairpin curves, and the hill around it was covered in sword fern and vine maple among the fir trees. If you weren’t trying really hard to look for it, you wouldn’t see the house at all. Not because of magic. No, nothing other than a perverse sense of architectural humor kept it hidden.

  But for all that, it was decorated in a clean, modern style with just enough nice touches to show that whoever had lived here liked luxury and knew which luxuries mattered most.

  And one of those luxuries was the shower. The thing took up half of the huge bathroom, and had more sprays, mists, and other watery onslaughts than a November storm front. Dark marble and chrome hinted toward a man’s aesthetic, but didn’t make the room feel cold or uninviting.

  I shucked out of every stitch I had on, hoped Dad would do me the favor of not paying attention to me for the next twenty minutes or so, and turned on the shower.

  The entire ceiling above the shower sprayed water as if someone had nailed a rain cloud to the rafters. I stepped into that steady stream and closed my eyes, letting the water sluice away my aches.

  But when I closed my eyes, all I saw were images of the Veiled—far too strong now, and growing stronger. The Veiled had always wandered the city, not that most people believed in them.

 
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll
Add comment

Add comment