Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for S.M. Beiko’s Children of the Bloodlands! I am so excited to share an excerpt of this second book in The Realms of Ancient series. This is one fantasy series that is sure to be enjoyed by those who enjoy books that include ancient mythology. Keep reading to learn more about the book and enter the giveaway to win a copy of Children of the Bloodlands and two custom owl pins. (US/CAN)Title: Children of the Bloodlands (The Realms of Ancient #2)
Author: S.M. Beiko
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
The dazzling second book in S.M. Beiko’s Realms of Ancient series
Three months after the battle of Zabor, the five friends that came together to defeat her have been separated. Burdened with the Calamity Stone she acquired in Scion of the Fox, Roan has gone to Scotland to retrace her grandmother’s steps in an attempt to stop further evil from entering the world.
Meanwhile, a wicked monster called Seela has risen from the ashy Bloodlands and is wreaking havoc on the world while children in Edinburgh are afflicted by a strange plague; Eli travels to Seoul to face judgment and is nearly murdered; Natti endures a taxing journey with two polar bears; Phae tries desperately to obtain the key to the Underworld; and Barton joins a Family-wide coalition as the last defense against an enemy that will stop at nothing to undo Ancient’s influence on Earth — before there is no longer an Earth to fight for.
Darkness, death, and the ancient powers that shape the world will collide as our heroes discover that some children collapse under their dark inheritance, and those who don’t are haunted by blood.
It had been their secret — his and Saskia’s. What they’d found down in the woods at the bottom of the scrabby glen that day, months ago, just after Saskia had turned eight. Papa had been home, rare occasion that it was. She understood that they needed money to pay the bills and that Papa needed to work as much as he did, but sometimes she resented the long road that kept him from them for weeks and weeks. And there was also the invisible road inside of them that divided their hearts. The road paved black when Mum had died.
On that brighter day, the day after her birthday, Papa took them for a walk. He wasn’t as strong as she remembered him being. He seemed bowed as a croggled tree. His knees weren’t in good shape, and he was not young. Albert was fifteen, but their parents had had them late in life. Saskia didn’t mind; this is how she thought all parents were. Old and grown and wiser than she ever could be.
But she could see age in Papa’s stiff walk, the hours and days of driving taking its toll. It made her feel sick. “Go on ahead, ye wee gomeral,” he’d said, sitting on the crest of a hill. “I can see ye from here.”
But they’d gone too far into the woods, and Saskia knew Papa couldn’t see them anymore. Albert always had to go far, as far as he could, to make it count. Saskia only ever wanted to be near him. She wanted his protection, and she wanted to protect him, too. But above all, she wanted to show she could be brave.
Albert stopped at a massive split in the rock of the munro — it was as if a big axe had cut it in half. The sun shone into it, revealing the barest crack in the world.
Albert climbed down to investigate. Saskia didn’t protest, but she wanted to.
“There’s something down here,” he said, frowning into the small crater. “You’ve got small hands. C’mon.”
Saskia twisted her shirt in those small hands and picked her way down. She and Albert bent, heads touching, and she put her hand in —
“Sss!” Saskia pulled her hand back, shaking it.
“What?” Albert grabbed her hand, alarmed, and they both stared at the cut, the blood trickling around Saskia’s wrist and dripping into the crack.
The ground shook, and Saskia screamed. Albert grabbed her hand, pulled her up the hill, and they took off in a blur back the way they’d come.
Excerpted from Children of the Bloodlands by S.M. Beiko. © 2018 by S.M. Beiko. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd. www.ecwpress.com
Praise for Children of the Bloodlands:
“In book 2 of The Realms of Ancient, Beiko brings the hammer down while continuing all that I loved about Scion of the Fox — the characters, the originality, and the real-world locations. I cannot wait to read the series finale. Bravo!” — Julie E. Czerneda, author of the Night’s Edge series
“S.M. Beiko’s Children of the Bloodlands is a wild, fiery, earth-shattering, sky-scraping ride. Roan and her friends, who came together so memorably in Scion of the Fox, must now follow separate paths, which lead them into realms that are both terrifying and beautiful, and truths that hurt before they heal. Book 3 can’t come soon enough!” — Caitlin Sweet, author of The Door in the Mountain and The Flame in the Maze
“The rewardingly complex mythology is deepened through parallel humanizing themes in the protagonists’ storylines, while game-changing action sequences unleash real consequences in the highly diverse world. A densely-packed, well-crafted sequel that will leave readers eager for the trilogy’s finale.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Children of the Bloodlands is an exceptional instalment to the Realms of Ancient saga. S.M. Beiko injects her narrative with a passion and pathos that had me hooked from the very first page. This is a complex and compelling fantasy from one of Canada’s most exciting literary-spec writers. I’m eagerly awaiting book three.” — Charlene Challenger, author of The Voices in Between and The Myth in Distance
“[An] intricately plotted and pleasantly creepy volume. Roan, with her sarcasm, intensity, and increasing world-weariness, is a compelling, realistic protagonist . . . This action-packed Canadian animal fantasy trilogy is recommended for its unique mythology and diverse characters.” — School Library Journal online