Songs of Seraphina
by Jude Houghton
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 30th 2015
Tenebris Books, Grimbold Books
Some battles bleed so much, and for so long, that the earth never truly forgets their dead. Some battles are born of oppression, and some of greed, and some simply because it was written in the stars.
Three sisters—Charlemagne, Cairo and Pendragon Agonistes—are sent from America to England to live with their eccentric grandparents after their mother disappears and their father falls to pieces. But before the girls have time to find their feet, Charlemagne is married off to a dead man, Penny takes a nap and wakes up as a boy, and Cairo is swept into a dangerous romance with a man who wants her for more than her considerable charm. With the girls wrapped up in a conflict they barely understand, they don’t notice that their grandmother is transforming, or that the two demigod assassins who took their mother are now coming for them—if one of them can get over his crisis of conscience.
In this richly painted tale, at whose heart is the unbreakable bond of family and blood, the world of Seraphina collides with our own as three unique girls are dragged into twilight lives past, fighting for vengeance, retribution, and the survival of their exiled people.
Hamquist pulled back his cloak revealing his huge two-handed sword, the steel glinting naked and blue against his woollen breeches. “Have we ever needed more than this?” Hamquist replied. “Ever?”
That’s not what Crakes had meant, but he played along. “What a big sword you have.”
Hamquist grinned, then suddenly swung around and grabbed Crakes’s throat.
“W-what are you do-ing,” Crakes choked.
“Tonight you reek of carelessness, throwing punches around like some carnival puppet. Fussing about the stink as though we’re on a . . . a sniffing expedition.” He added in falsetto, “It’s so smelly here! Oh, where did I put my pomander?”
“I-I . . .” Crakes couldn’t breathe.
Hamquist let go, and Crakes doubled over choking. “Remember the last time you got careless?”
He tried to nod; speaking was impossible. Humiliated, Crakes studied the ground, but failing to fix on anything, inspected a small clump of mud on the tip of his boot. He picked up a stick and poked at it.
“You lost your hand and that’s why you wave that ugly stump around.” Hamquist pointed at a nearby tree stump. “Oh! Look at that!” he said with sudden alacrity. “Twins!” He laughed manically and slapped Crakes on the back. Crakes found himself laughing too. The joke wasn’t funny, but it broke the tension, a distraction from their real purpose, which they both knew was rotten to the core. Holding his sides, Hamquist was about to make another crack, when suddenly his eyes narrowed and his face became serious as stone.
“Athene,” he said, sweeping his nose back and forth. “She is coming.”
Headlights appeared around the corner.
“That’s curious,” Hamquist said.
“She knows we’re here.”
“Does it make a difference?”
Then it was time.
Jude developed a love of fantasy from a relatively early age after realising an innate talent for making stuff up could result in something other than detention. Working across the globe in fields as diverse as journalism, data entry, sales, management consultancy and babysitting, Jude has partially succeeded in putting an English and History degree from Oxford University to good use. A somnambulist, insomniac, lover of letters, Jude writes late into the night, most nights, tumbling down the rabbit hole to dream of other lives.
Jude currently lives in Pennsylvania with an over-enthusiastic family and absurdly entitled dog.