The Shattered Tower
Where there is magic…there will always be war.
Justice of the Arcana Council Sara Wilde has dedicated her life to protecting the world’s most vulnerable members of the psychic community. But as an ancient enemy of the Council closes in, inciting the Shadow Court and its followers around to deadly action, there’s no way to avoid a world-changing war.
Worse, this final battle not only threatens millions of innocent Connecteds, it has the potential to destroy everyone close to Sara. The Magician, the Devil, the Fool, Death, the Moon, Judgment—no one is safe. Even as Sara realizes how much she has come to love her found family, she knows she could lose them in a blink of an eye.
But Sara hasn’t fought this hard, for this long, to give up now. And when she combines the full limit of her abilities with her trusty Tarot cards…the game will never be the same.
Except the cards can no longer save you when you climb The Shattered Tower.
Read an Excerpt
I raced through a nightmare of acrid smoke and pelting rocks, my lungs desperately trying to suck oxygen from the heavy air. Arms cocked, legs pounding, I bent as low as I could to the ground and lunged forward. I didn’t see the open pit until I was nearly on top of it.
Jerking to the side, I managed a staggering leap, barely clearing the sinkhole of oil and fire burbling just below street level. The arcane black market terrorists had definitely leveled up their game.
I plunged on, not wasting the breath to retarget Archangel Michael, who was holed up between two crumbling stones nearly a quarter mile away. Mortars sang overhead, crashing into ancient stone walls that had been built to endure millennia of conflict. But this wasn’t war, exactly. This was the distraction of a bunch of asshole magic throwers who wanted to see the world burn. Still, I had no doubt this style of battle would quickly become the norm if I didn’t do something about it.
“Sara.” The headphone wrapped around my ear crackled with urgency, but it was the distress in the voice on the other end of the line that put true power into my steps.
“I’m coming,” I gasped, zigging out of the way of a clatter of fire and breaking glass.
The Archangel cursed something in Latin, or maybe a more ancient language than that, but though languages had recently become my strong suit, I didn’t need to translate to pick up on his meaning. We were treading on sacred territory here, none more sacred as far as he was concerned—the ancient ruins of King Solomon, built atop Temple Mount in what was now the heart of Jerusalem. I was sure the streaming news services would record this assault on the Mount as yet another terrorist event, giving credit to whatever group on their short list would guarantee them the most clicks when they blasted the news across the world.
But they were wrong. They were always wrong.
The Shadow Court was behind this. A cabal of the richest, most psychically gifted humans and their allies who wanted to bring the rule of magic to every government, scientific institution, financial market, and syndicate of power in the world. That path led only to disaster, as I understood more than most. I’d dedicated my life to protecting the most vulnerable members of the psychic community, innocent Connected children, who all too often ended up as spare parts or extra batteries for the infernal machinations of their stronger, more twisted counterparts. Up to now, most of those battles had been fought in the shadows, down the labyrinthine rabbit holes of the arcane black market.
The game was changing, though. Now war was coming out in the open, putting the vast majority of Connecteds at risk of total annihilation. The Shadow Court was making their bid for ultimate power.
And I was running out of time to stop them.
I swung around the corner and jumped back just as quickly, narrowing my eyes as surprise and annoyance ripped through me. Someone was shooting at me—me! I was freaking Justice of the Arcana Council, so souped up on psychic powers that I might randomly explode the multiverse, and some asshole Connected all hopped up on technoceuticals and misplaced fanboy zeal thought he could take me out?
Not gonna happen.
I dodged another wave of bullets. Fire licked along my nerves and pooled into the center of my palms. But I didn’t need to throw fire at this tryhard to knock him out. I needed to leave him in my dust.
At that moment, the operative ahead of me leapt into the air with a flip worthy of an Olympic gymnast. He was halfway into his rotation when a second figure shot out from the side, a streak of black and red. The two collided, and a wild, feral scream of sheer delight filled the alley, audible above the explosions and nearly making me stumble.
I knew that voice. I also knew the flash of jagged silver blades their owner wielded, cutting down the operative midair. My erstwhile attacker still managed to throw something, but clumsily and under the barrage of sharp pointy things. The projectile shanked awkwardly to the right, where it struck the wall. A radiating spike of electrical charge lit up the entire side of the building before the wall was reduced to ash.
“Damn,” I muttered, leaving the hapless operative to face Sariah and her knives as I raced on.
Her laughter rang out after me, a disconcerting mix of my voice and her uninhibited pleasure. Caught somewhere between being my mirror self and my twin sister, Sariah had recently taken on a new job. As the Night Witch, she embodied the avenging warrior that, as Justice, I could never be.
Sariah’s overall job satisfaction was very, very high. I suspected that was a performance problem waiting to happen, but not today.
Another turn, and I saw him. Archangel Michael, the Hierophant of the Arcana Council, as pale as new-fallen snow, his great wings flickering over him. His wings were invisible to ordinary Connecteds, same as his entire form wasn’t visible to ordinary humans. But no one had ever accused me of being ordinary.
He also wasn’t looking at me, but staring off into the distance. I whipped my head to the right, trying to pierce the smoke, but I only picked up the vaguest sense of fighting, loud, angry voices, the clash of disparate groups coming together. Part of the distraction, or an ancillary outcome of chaos in the streets? I thought I saw a flash of movement heading toward the battle scene, and a cool chill rushed over me. Death, I figured. As one of the Council’s premier badasses, Blue was no doubt close to the action on a night like this.
Either way, Michael needed to keep his eye on the prize.