- N. N. Light
New Release | The Seven Hungers: Dark Whispers (book 4) by Morgan Quaid #uf #horror #urbanfantasy
Title: The Seven Hungers: Dark Whispers (book 4)
Author: Morgan Quaid
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror
Forced to flee to the First Hunger and escape the wrath of the Crown and their new, deranged leader, Drake and his companions soon find themselves caught up in a civil war which threatens to tear the cosmos apart. A new enemy, one of the elder gods, has risen from obscurity, aligning herself with Chaos itself in a bid to topple the existing hierarchy and reshape the multiverse to her own designs.
Book 4 of The Seven Hungers series places Drake in a new kind of peril, forcing him to battle not only his own inner demons, but the malevolent force of Chaos itself. The fulfilment of prophecy hangs in the balance as does the fate of humankind and every citizen of the Hungers.
Find Your Feet
Rough hands shove me into a makeshift holding cell in what looks like the foyer of an old corporate building. The cell is constructed of barricades, repurposed desks, and pieces of furniture wired together and fashioned into a rudimentary holding room.
Rook and Janus stumble after me, the former keeping Janus from falling on his ass and stumbling to the polished marble floor. A brace of guards stands at the makeshift doorway to the cell, weapons trained on us, gas masked faces giving nothing away.
The sound of gunfire cracking drifts into the room from outside, punctuated now and then by a deep thud as the building shakes. Our temporary prison flexes and shudders beneath the onslaught but manages to stay more or less intact.
“What happened?” Janus whimpers, eyes wide and no doubt already suspecting that his first journey to the Hungers may not go as he had hoped.
I shrug. “Either Luka screwed up and sent us to the wrong place, or the city of Heron has been swallowed by war and we’ve managed to land ourselves smack bang in the middle of it.”
As if to confirm that later suspicion, the building reverberates in response to a deafening boom. The floor beneath us shudders at the impact, dust falling from the ceiling. The guards at the entrance to our cell turn around, their attention drawn by whatever just impacted the side of the building.
“Either way,” I say, “our goal down here is to blend in with the locals and keep a low profile, so getting picked up by soldiers the moment we set foot in Fairyland up puts a bit of a wrinkle in the plan.”
I twist my fingers, pulling the ether in an attempt to bring a simple working to life. Power crackles and fizzes between my fingers, snuffed out before it has a chance to truly live.
I turn to Rook. "That was your brother out there? The lad with the mustard tattoos on his face. Sorcerer by my guess."
Rook shrugs, still reeling from the revelation herself. I try to pull ether and once more the infant spark of sorcery is snuffed out before it has a chance to breathe.
"What the hell did he do to me?"
Rook throws her hands up in the air.
“How should I know? Last time I came here the war was at least three provinces to the north. This was a tourist town. People came here to see the rivers and to visit Birdsong. It’s a kind of pilgrimage that people make, but this place was never at war.”
I close my eyes, focusing in on the simplest charm I can manage, a kinetic replicator achieved by the rapid twitching of index and fore fingers in a specific pattern. Light blooms between the fingers of my right hand. I open my eyes, holding the light and testing the etheric bond I’ve managed to make.
“Okay,” I offer, “so, that’s something at least.”
I draw ether, trying to enlarge the light source a little. The charm splutters and then fizzles out, leaving us in the dark interior of the makeshift cell, our masked guards seemingly unaware of the display.
“Well, shit!” I offer.
Sorcery, Lilith hisses, though of an ancient kind I have not witnessed in generations. It stifles the working of ether, and it does not belong in this place.
Oddly, hearing Lilith’s voice gives me some comfort. True, she might be an egomaniacal sociopath with a history of trying to kill me and take dominion over the Hallowed World above, but I’m short on allies these days. The ex-sovereign of the Seventh Hunger is a long way from trustworthy, but self-preservation is a wonderful motivator and if I die in this world, our deal is null and void and she loses everything.
“When you say, it doesn’t belong in this place,” I ask, “are we talking power from one of the other Hungers, or something different?”
Rook and Janus ignore the question. They’re both well accustomed to me having these little chats with Lilith, my inner demon.
I roll my eyes. “Well, that’s hugely helpful. Could you expand a little?”
Sorcery from the Hungers below, but an ancient power which predates we sovereigns.
I nod. “And does it have a name, this power?”
Many. In my world, it was known simply as the Whisper. It is an ancient power, derived from one of the Elder Gods, a figure who possessed the ability to quell use of the ether in her brethren. Legend has it, this god employed her power by means of the spoken word.
The building shudders again, dust falling from the ceiling as we struggle to keep our feet. A series of percussive thuds cut through the air, following an explosive shockwave.
I click my fingers, getting Rook’s attention. She turns.
“You’re brother,” I say, “any chance you could sweet talk him into letting us out?”
She shrugs. “We haven’t spoken since we were kids, and he’s a Yellow Scar now. I’m not even sure he’ll remember me. They brainwash recruits in the scars. It’s part of their training. Besides, when I was taken away he was just a young boy.”
Her usual stalwart nature is notably absent. The combination of being back on her native soil and coming face to face with her estranged brother has her reeling.
I turn to Janus, his wiry frame clinging to Rook like a child hiding behind his mother.
“What about you?” I ask. “How’s your head?”
He looks up at me, dark eyes wide. “I’m okay, I suppose. Just a little rattled.”
I nod. “And what about her?”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Morgan Quaid is a writer of speculative fiction, specializing in comics, graphic novels, short stories and fast-paced, first person novels. Quaid’s writing tends to blend concision and fast-moving plots with epic sci-fi/fantasy themes, creating stories that often have more in common with film rather than traditional novels.
Social Media Links: