Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Babblings

Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis

The Nitty Gritty: Jacque Pierce is enjoying the end of summer vacation before her senior year of high school starts. While on look out duty for the new exchange student something strange happens. She hears a voice in her head, and the new exchange student tunes our to be a hot Romanian with a secret. 

Her world is turned upside down by the arrival of Fane, and the knowledge that she is his mate. Soon Jacque is pulled into the political world of werewolves as she is claimed a mate by two rival wolves.

Opening Line: "Jacque Pierce sat in the window seat in her bedroom looking across the street at her neighbors house: she wasn't really being nosy she though to herself,  just curious."

The Good: Um...Well I can say that this book gave me the pick me up on a bad. It was a laugh, and the laughs just kept on coming. But not for being a good book.

The Bad: This book is one gigantic obnoxious slice of teenage life. From the characters, to the plot, to the dialogue. The MMC's name is Fane Lupei, which means Crown Wolf in Romanian. Are you kidding me? That's like naming a dragon Draco Fuego. Dragon Fire. Its a punch in the face without so much as a kiss hello. Come on Loftis, you can do better than that. That is beyond cheesy. I mean like Barney at a birthday party cheesy.

The book is supposed to be about Jacque, which is fine by me and Loftis does POV switches which again is fine by me. I like 3rd person limited books. What I don't like it that we get the same scenes from Fane's POV and then Jacque's or vice versa. So the plot never really moves at a steady pace. We take two steps forward and have to rewind back.

I don't even know where to begin with Sally and Jen. Sally is only annoying because she is playing off Jen. I don't know what Loftis thinks of modern teenagers but I don't know what that would display such sexual misconduct and speech with a wonton disregard for any adults in the room. I didn't get it and I wanted to slap Jen hard across the face and then wash her mouth out with Bleach.

They just aren't believable as teens. They should have been adults. Well no, this book should have been trashed or maybe been reworked. If Loftis could have found a great editor and maybe better critiquers. Yes that is a word. Look it up.

Loftis needs to look up subtly in the dictionary, and then learn how to apply it. She spells everything out for us like we are two year olds who don't have the basic inference skills to read between the lines. Instead of leaving Fane as the mysterious Romanian next door and have Jacque and her readers figure out what Fane is she slaps use with him during a info dump on page 7 or something. Give me a break. Let me come to the conclusion that this, and that are going to happen in the book. Don't tell me 10 pages in whats going to happen on page 300.

The humor and sarcasm is so forced in this book she could have made a sausage with it. I mean wearing a Twilight shirt that says Team Edward to meet a wolf you don't want to be mated to? That isn't funny or sarcastic. Its pathetic. So of like an old hooker with sagging bobs and varicose veins walking up and down the street in a too short dress. She's past her prime and needs to sit down, but she keeps going.

Prince of Wolves is that hooker.

Final thoughts: I would rather be stuck on a deserted island with nothing but Twilight to read till I die of starvation than read this book or any in the series every again. And I hated Twilight with a white hot passion bordering on insanity.

0 Hearts

Monday, September 16, 2013


So I was dying to get my hands on Lover at Last. There had been all this build up and tease from both Ward and her fans. When I finally got the first copy from the library I tore into it and had it read in about 7 hours. Hey give me a break I had to go to Bible study that night.

I was less than thrilled with book 11. Though I've loved all the previous books. Well Lover Reborn irked me a little bit. Not the book but just some of the actions of the characters. Namely Xhex. I still don't like her and probably never will. However that is neither here nor there.

Synopsis: Wrath and the Brotherhood are locked in an epic battle over his throne and the very future of the vampire race.

My Thoughts: Lover at Last left me a little disappointed. After 11 books its almost as if Ward has forgotten what her characters sound like. In LAL all the brothers started to sound the same and the stars of the book Blay and Qhuinn were overshadowed by the introduction of new characters and plot lines. I know she had to set up the next book but that still should have taken a backseat to Blay and Qhuinn. I mean she didn't let them finally get together till 500 into the book, and then we had to read about the progression of their relationship in the epilogue. I just didn't think was fair since their build up started in book 5.

So while I am waiting for the King I don't know if I am anticipating it. So many of my favorite urban fantasy books came out of the gates swinging hard only to end up in a dark alley face up with Colombian necktie. I fear the BDB is walking toward that alley. There's enough time for her to turn it all around, but she has to be careful. I mean there are have tidbits about the book released by Ward herself. Apparently we are going to get more Murdher in the book and my only question is...who asked for more Murdher? He's some crazy vamp from Xhex's past do we really need an actual plot line with him in it?  I can't be the only one who doesn't care about him. We get to see more of the orgy chick that services Assail and the Bastards. Like I care about her either.

I think if Ward got rid of all these extra characters and side stories she could focus on the crux of the BDB universe. I'm just praying the BDB don't go the way of the Dodo bird.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cover Revel

UK cover
US Cover

So if you've been hiding out in a cave the last few years you probably don't know that the Uk book covers are always different from the US covers. I'm not sure why but that is just the way of the world. Sometimes our coves are better and sometimes not. For me I like the UK cover of the Heroes of Olympus, but I love the US cover of Half Blood Prince.

While neither of these cover really captures what Ward has described Wrath as. I think they are trying to be super sexy and Wrath is more of the lethal beauty sort or vamp. He isn't Edward Cullen. More Blade than anything. So I think the models on both covers is a misstep. To be honest I can't decide which cover I like better. The UK version has Wrath is more of a guardian angel. He is watching over the city of Caldwell filled with his subjects and the US version has Wrath sitting uncomfortably on his throne. Heavy is the head that wears the crown and all that jazz.

Both covers are nice renderings and they are eye catching. Look forward to more Wrath in his upcoming book.  

Flowers for A Grimm

Chapter: High Ho'

Quintus was not a dwarf that liked to be kept waiting. He fancied himself just as important as the Snow Queen herself. Never mind that fact that he was the fifth oldest of seven dwarves and that he was a little lower than a bank teller. He was one of the Seven Dwarves and that alone made him important.

He fiddled with his ruby cufflinks and then he fumbled with his caveat at his throat. It was a old style he was sure but it was still stylish and he felt all the more important for being brave enough to wear one. Quintus would wear it till it was back in fashion and then he would go back to his bow ties. If everyone else was doing it it wasn’t in style was what he said.

He was a very important dwarf and he had things he needed to attend to.

Namely India Jin. He shook his head of such fantasies. He had business to get on with, and business for a dwarf always come first.

He looked down at his watch and swallowed back a sigh. His partner was never on time, but this was pushing it. He heard a twig snap. “Who’s there?” he demanded. He couldn’t understand why they had to keep meeting in the Enchanted Forest. The place always gave him a raging case of the creeps.

Dwarves liked wide open spaces with rich chocolate earth. Trees took up burrowing and tunneling space. Not to mention those damned nixies.

His partner stepped free of the trees in one smooth motion. Not one branch broke or snapped off. Seeing the perfection of his partner’s entrance did not put Quintus in a better mood.

“You kept me waiting.” It was more of a bark than actual speech, but Quintus was sure his intention had been telegraphed properly.

“You bow and scrap at the feet of that pretender on the throne and you dare give me lip about time.” The voice under the cowl almost sent Quintus into a shiver.

He felt doused in a bucket of ice cold water. It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t that voice should be singing lullabies in the Summerlands.

Quintus took a step back. “Who are you?” he asked. For certain this was not his partner.

“Don’t you remember me Quintus?” The cloaked figure took a step forward. “We were the best of friends.” Another step.

Quintus took another step back. His back bumped up against a tree. He was running out of room. “No it can’t be. You’re dead.” He reasoned trying to keep the wine out of his voice.

The figure laughed. It was entirely without mirth or warmth. “The news of my death were gravely exaggerated. I was given a kindness.” He was a mere hair breath away from Quintus now.

“What do you want with me?” He squeaked.

“Oh my dear Quintus you are going to be given a great honor.” A hand shot out of the cloak and closed around Quintus’ neck. “You are going to be the Snow Queen’s harbinger of death.”

Waiting and Anticipating....

Rick Riordan has become one of my favorite authors. I am a total Percy fangirl. Well in this series Leo and Hazel are my favorites. I am still trying to warm up to Annabeth, but she has this sense of entitlement that I found grating in the Jackson series and its further irritating in Heroes of Olympus.

Synopsis: At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

My Thoughts: I really think we are going to see Percy come into his own in this book. Sure Percy staved off the Titans in the first series, but that was a lot of smoke and mirrors and luck. This book is really going to test him. Annabeth is going to test him, and Percy is going to rise to the top. I want to see a lot more of Leo in this book. I feel like Riordan is using him as comedic fodder and he has so much potential. I don't want him regulated to the sidekick role.

I really wish Riordan would research the by-play between POC of their white counterparts a little more. Especially if he is going to pull characters from a time before Civil Rights. Its one thing to stick Hazel in that situation and then put her in the modern world just to give her an interesting backstory. Its another thing to really let Hazel own the world she grew up in and the world she faces now.

The relationship between Hazel and Nico is going to be interesting and I hope Riordan gives it to us. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Book Babblings

Rise of the Fallen by Donya Lynne

The Nitty Gritty: Micah Black is a male on the edge. The edge of his 18th floor balcony. His mate packed up his bags and walked out. That would be fine for a normal man to get over, but not a bonded vampire. Its a fate worse than death.

And Micah wants to die. He sets up his murder at the hands of Apostle, a dreak cop itching to bust a few vampire heads. In steps Samantha Garret. A ex-army medic currently working the pole at the Black Garter trying to escape an abusive husband. She breaks up the vampire execution and incurs the wrath of Apostle. along the way she brings Micah back from the brink of self destruction.

Opening Line: "Glass shattered as the heavy vase flew across the room and smashed against the wall."

The Good: For a free book this was a great first opening gambit. It wasn't spectacular by any stretch of he imagination, but it was enough to pique my interest in the series.  The book should have been longer. I felt like Lynne cut a lot out to make it fit into the free e-book category to entice readers and buys.

She took a detour on the sex and introduced us to vampire BDSM with some subtle knife play. I have to give her an A for effort on that front. It wasn't a smack in the face with the BDSM, it was a natural flow.

The sex scenes were good I would have liked to have seen more POV switches during the sex however. It all seemed to be coming from Sam's POV and I thought that it would have up the steam factor to have gotten Micah's POV once in awhile.

The Bad: This reads like Black Dagger Brotherhood fanfiction. Now don't get me wrong its a nicely written book and I finished the whole thing, but the similarities with the BDB is uncanny.

1. We have a set of vampire warriors charged with protecting the race.
2. they have been fighting this foe for years.
3. The books center around the matings between the AKM and their mates. Be they other King's Men. or other females.
4. Vampire males have biological bondings and matings with their mates
5. Vampires can dematerialize and wipe memories from the minds of humans.
6. All the AKM are scared males that need the loving touch of their mates to redeem them.
7. everyone is either a male or a female.
8. Local watering hole that AKM go to to unwind, troll for sex and drink.

Micah and Sam's relationship went from 0 to 180 mph in less than 2.5 seconds. There just wasn't enough time for the give and pull you would expect from a male that tells you he is a blood sucking vampire. Now I wasn't looking for a meltdown. But come on at least give me half a chapter or something. Sam thought about it for ten seconds before she climbed into bed with Micah.

The opening chapters were used to info dump which I hated. I mean it did open with the fight Micah was itching for, but then it was a lot of backstory that could have been woven in with byplay between the characters.

Final Thoughts: I hope that in the books to follow she steps out of the BDB mold and carves out a series for herself. I do want to read the second book at least.

Waiting and Anticipating.....

So I've been a Ward fan since I got the recommendation to read Dark Lover from a friend on Goodreads. These so called BDSM erotic writers trying to ride El James very short coattails should beg Ward to give them lessons on how to write a sex scene. The woman is good and so are her scenes. Though she does tend to use the same word over and over again, but then there are only so many ways you can use to describe a woman's who-ha.

I've loved the Black Dagger Brotherhood since Wrath and Beth's story. I was a little miffed at Ward for Lover at Last. However this isn't a BDB book. This is an Fallen Angels novel and I am looking forward to it. Jim was the very of a very high cliff overlooking the pit of hell itself. I can't say that I understand what going on with him and Sissy and I can't really say that as this point I even care about her. I mean that's cruel to say but I am more interested in the game between Jim and Davina than anything else.

Synopsis: When Cait Douglass resolves to get over her broken heart, throw off her inhibitions, and start really living, she’s unprepared for the two sensual men who cross her path. Torn between them, she doesn’t know which to choose--or what kind of dire consequences could follow.

Jim Heron, fallen angel and reluctant savior, is ahead in the war, but he puts everything at risk when he seeks to make a deal with the devil--literally. As yet another soul is unwittingly caught in the battle between him and the demon Devina, his fixation on an innocent trapped in Hell threatens to sidetrack him from his sacred duty...

Can good still prevail if true love makes a savior weak? And will a woman’s future be the key, or the curse, for all of humanity? Only time, and hearts, will tell.

My Thoughts: I think this book is going to the tipping point in the good verse evil struggle. I am loving the gay angle with the angels. I mean being a Christian it was a little shocking to say the least but then I just remember that this is a work of fiction and not to be taken seriously. That is a hard think for a diehard nerd like me though. I mean I'm just waiting on submitting my Star Fleet application.

I want to see what is going on with Eddie. They are just carrying around his body and I have a feeling that is going to come into play later in the books. I hope its this one. I can't stand this mopey Adrian. I need him being hard and fast. He makes this books a lot more interesting when he has something to prove. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Waiting and Anticipating......

So I was just bopping around on Goodreads today and I find out that John Flanagan is gifting us with one last trip with Will Treaty!!

I am in hog heaven over this. The Ranger's Apprentice is one of my favorite book series. I am so love with all the characters even if I started out hating Horace.

I think the first time I stumbled across this book I was in Barnes and Noble looking for a hardback copy of The Sorcerers Stone. The jacket of The Ruins of Gorlan caught my attention. I bought the book and the next day I was back for the second one, then the third, and well you get the picture. I have since turned two cousins and a nephew onto this series.

I clapped like a five year old at a Beiber concert when Flanagan wrote the Brotherband Chronicles. I'm hoping he keeps expanding the Rangerverse and keeping giving us tales from the other kingdoms and other characters. In 11 books his characters kept growing and improving and the story line never lost steam. Charlaine Harris, Laurel Hamilton, PC Cast, and other urban fantasy writers could take some lessons from him.

The Synopsis: John Flanagan stated in an interview that the final book of the series will tell the story of Will's first apprentice being the first female ranger. And it will take place 16 years after Will and Alyss's wedding in The Lost Stories

My Thoughts: From the little teaser chapter that has been released I am dredging reading what I fear is going to be the death of one of the main characters. Not because I particularly care about this character, but because of what that death is going to do to the character I do care about. I am a little miffed that we won't get the book till Nov. 5 and the UK and Australia get it Oct. 1. Might have to bribe one of my Manchester friends into getting it for me and shipping it. Sometimes the Uk book jackets look better than the American ones...just saying. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Babblings

To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory 

The Nitty Gritty: Dulcie O'Neil is a fairy regulator for he ANC. Its her job to keep the supernatural set of California in line. In short she is the long arm of the law for creatures from the Netherworld.

After a nasty hex from a well known illegal potion smuggler Dulcie returns to arrest the bastard. Only to find him ripped apart and half eaten, and now she is the prime suspect.

On the hunt for the killer she is saddled with a agent from the Netherworld and she can't tell anyone. Oh and she might be in the middle of a love square. All in a day's work for a fairy.

Opening Line: "There was no way n hell I was looking in the mirror."

The Good: I had such incredible high hopes for this book. The jacket grabbed my attention for the word go. Society has always placed fairies in the non-threatening category. After all we call gay men with more glitter than testosterone, fairies in an effort to emasculate them. So we never think of fairies as doing more than flying and giggling. I love you Tinkerbell! So I loved that Mallory took a fairy, gave her a gun and a bit of an attitude. It was a nice touch in a otherwise lackluster book.

The Bad: Dulcie O'Neil is all that is wrong with this book. So much so that I was unable to finish this book because I wanted to physically throw up if I had to spend another second being inside her head. Her name sucks. Not in a candy sucking sort of way either. It really sucks. Its not a name that rolls easily off the tongue. Its not a name that makes any sort of sense and I had a class with a honest to God, Bonquesha.

I found her hatred of her ears completely annoying. I am all for a wardrobe upgrade, a new hair color or sexier panties. But I draw that line at changing something that fundamentally makes you who you are. It would be like me not wanting to be black anymore. Being black is who I am. Part of who makes me who I am. To think about hating that part of myself enough to want to change that makes me physically ill.

The "love" square in this book went beyond the pale of believability. None of it made sense. There wasn't enough build up and you should never throw more than two potential lovers at a characters in the first book. I mean come on whet our appetites a bit first. I just felt that she was trying too hard to work in some romance in a book that would have been a better book without it.

I am so sick and tired of female leads with self esteem issues. Seriously! I am serious. What gives? Are women that self conscious about themselves. Are we that shallow that we are always thinking about our appearance and measuring ourselves up against other women? Its disgusting that everyone thinks Dulcie is beautiful and she thinks she is an ugly hag. Any woman that enters her line of sight is in danger of a death glare because Dulcie thinks they are prettier than her and thus after her man. Which man we don't know because she had a harem of them to choose from.

Final Thoughts: Will never finish this book nor start the rest of the books.

0 stars

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Babblings

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy 

The Nitty Gritty: Stephanie Edgley is a girl mourning the sudden passing of a beloved uncle. She doesn't have long to mourn as he leaves a house and a fortune to her.

Sitting alone in hew newly acquired home she is rescued by Detective Skulduggery Pleasant, a war veteran, who just happens to be a living skeleton.

Thrust into the world of magic young Stephanie is loath to return to her ordinary life, especially not after she learns that her dearly departed uncle was the vicitim of a magical attack. With new threads, a spanking new name, and a fire wielding skeleton for a partner Valkyrie Cain will risk life and limb to prove she is more than just a kid.

Opening Line: "Gordon Edgley's sudden death came as a shock to everyone-not least himself.."

The Good: I am in love with Valkyrie Cain. She is a breath of fresh air in a literary world choking under the smog of Bella Swan rip-offs. I love her name. Its not a name she comes to lightly, and not a name that instantly transform her into Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her name does invoke a warrior goddess bringing her enemies to their knees. And that is what Valkyrie does. Though not in the traditional sense that we think a warrior woman should do. Her unshakable loyalty, sense of justice, and stubbornness are just as much tools of warfare as a gun, sword or fireball. She is technically a kid. Landy never lets us forget that and neither does he.

However we are teased with the budding powers of Stephanie as she begins to unlock the sleeping magic that has been buried in her family through fear and unbelief.

Landy took the trope out of a YA fantasy book. We have been bombarded with werewolves, vampires, love sick teen girls with low self esteem and daddy issues to the point where its all blurring together and the book sales are starting to level off and drop in some instances. It was a fun run while it lasted, but the YA set is demanding more and I applaud Landy for breaking that YA mold and giving it to them.

Who would have thought that in this zombie obsessed culture that we would read a book about a skeleton. With him being the good guy. Pleasant isn't sickeningly good nor is he so tortured that its hard to think of him as the good guy. He is the Batman of the YA set. He does have a tortured past that takes a lot for him to get past so that he can be effective in the present, but it shaped him into the skeleton he is today. Today he can laugh and joke with Valkyrie while pursuing his quarry to the ends of the earth. Never once did he sake Cain's faith in him. Not once did we question his motives. Others night have, but Landy's readers didn't. The revelations of his past helped us care more about him.

Landy also broke another YA trope. He gave his female lead a functioning set of parents. Especially her father. He might have been a tad forgetful, but he loved Stephanie. Even sat down to have a heart to heart with her where he showed us how deep his love went. Though if you're like me you were frustrated that he didn't want anything to do with magic thus forcing Step to lie to him.

The Bad: I would have thought that the villain would have taken a little more to take down. As much of a presence that Cain played in the rest of the book I would have liked to have seen a bit more from her in the final take down of the villain.

Don't get me wrong I'm glad that Cain wasn't written off as a ditzy little girl and pushed aside while the grownups did all the work, but as much as she did in the moments leading up to the final showdown I wanted her to be more of a part of it. Of course this could be because she is not a warrior mage like the other characters and Landy wanted to tease us a bit more.

Final Thoughts: This is an exciting series one that I look forward to delving head first into.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Changling, my Changling

Chapter 1

The moon hung low and bright in the midst of the inky blackness that was winter's first night. A tiny silver sickle was the only source of light within the dense forest. Only two creatures lurking in the forest needed the reassurance from the moon. The rest of the creatures took solace in the cold arms of darkness. 

Jack Frost, in all his chilling glory, was already making his slow trek across the carpet of moss and grass. A pair of Black Knights stood tall and valiant in the flow of the moon and the frost in the air. Their breath, the only things moving, swirled from their nostrils in lazy patterns. Their chests rose and fell with a synchronized, practiced rhythm born of years of hard fighting. The silence of the forest stretched. 

Neither man felt the need to speak. 

They were on the hunt. Silence and stealth were their forerunners. Their prey was trying to hide, but the creature was going to make a mistake. 

They always did. 

The Knights stood side by side in a relaxed pose. Almost as if this was a bromace night out in the country. 

They slide their sword free of its scabbard without so much as a whisper of sound. A twig snapped. 
The knights sprang in silent action. Nathan broke off to the left, Martin took the right. Nothing needed to be spoken. Their training was showing. Each knight took care of their footfalls as they ghosted from one bare patch of cover to the other. Another twig snapped followed by a soft curse. Martin's ear twitched at the sound. He was closet to the sound and he stepped out of the shadows to engage their prey. 

"Its easier if you surrender." He barely spoke above a whisper. His voice ladened with an ironclad command. His eyes zeroed in on the possible hiding place of their target. He was not going to repeat himself.

Nathan didn't break cover. He was the backup in this chase. Just in case their prey tried to run again. He would need to cut them off at the pass. 

With trembling steps a girl moved out from the shadows. She was a tiny thing, reeking of teenage drama and woes, barely old enough to wonder about the poor job her training bra was doing. The girl was shivering in a stained and ripped sweater dress that was clearly too big for her. Her pale skin glowed translucent under the moonlight. It was currently dotted with flecks of mud and blood from her mad dash through the forest. "I haven't done anything wrong." Her voice trembled. Nathan was sure it was born of fear more than the cold. 

Martin advanced on her. "I am not here for your pleas for mercy demon." The moon glinted off the chaste surface of his sword. 

The girl’s eyes widen to dinner plates when she saw the sword. She took a step back from Martin's advances. She has lost her shoes in the pursuit. "Please," she begged chewing on her bottom lip nervously. Her hands came up in silent surrender.  

Martin took no notice of her placations. "By the covenant of the Black Knights with the Almighty I sentence you to death for your crimes against the created." That was all the girl needed to hear. She let loose a whimper and turned to take off into the forest once again. 

She had been quick as a dart, but by God Martin was faster. His arm shot out grabbing a fist full of the girl's hair. 

Nathan jumped out of the shadows of his perch to intercept the girl. He was not keen on another chase. There was only so much his body could do at his advance age. 

With a vicious yank Martin drug the girl backwards. She fell with a thud and a tiny crack. "Praise God for this victory." He stepped on the girl's arm to hold her down. The girl looked up at him, her eyes round and pleading, silent tears streaming down her face. Martin looked down at her. Pure malice pouring out of his eyes. "May God show you mercy." She opened her mouth to scream. 

Martin swung his sword. She never got the scream past her lips before her life's blood stained the steel of Martin's sword. 

Nathan stood over the girl as Martin pulled his heavy boot off her arm. The logo of his boot branded across the flesh of her arm. Her fingers gave a final twitch before settling into a death grip. 

A heavy silence fell in the forest. The darkness grew heavy with sadness. 

Nathan was the first to break the silence, “What have you done?” he demanded as he turned away from his brother in arms. His chest rose and fell in rapid succession. The night air was suddenly thick with the rich smell of fresh blood. As Nathan spoke, the coppery tinge coated his tongue. 

Martin moved away from the body like discarded trash. He pulled a black handkerchief from his left back pocket to begin to cleaning his sword. “I have only done what you have been failing and unwilling to do Nathan.” Martin started at the hilt of his long broadsword working his way down to the tip. 

His sword was a gloriously wicked affair. Majestic, as that was its name was a 12 foot double edged sword wrapped in blackened steel. It was fabled that the Knights' swords were worked with meteorite rock. Its beauty was currently marred with the blood of the dead teenager. Moonlight caught the jewels worked into the crosspiece sending silver bursts of moonlight across Nathan’s face. 

Nathan backed away from the light show. He jabbed his sword toward the mangled body steaming a few feet away. “This is not what we do.” He growled. He punctuated each word with a jab of his sword. 

“It should be.” Martin snapped. He bite back the rest of the angry retort. It took him a minute to pull himself together. Martin shook his head and continued. “Have you grown weary of the fight?" He looked down to finish cleaning his sword. "This is not the first changling we have put down. Is that the source of your disgust?” Martin looked to study Nathan's face. Nathan's stomach rolled with the accusation. This was not the first time they had this argument. Since Martin had taken his vows, nearly 25 years ago to the day, they had upheld their pledge to guard mortals against the onslaught of the supernatural.

They stood as sentries in the night protecting people from the things of nightmares and fairy tales. The pair had been brother in arms as well as friends since that day. However Nathan feared Martin had lost his way. He was waging a one man war against the very mortals they were sworn to protect. A changling was no more responsible for what they were than the man on the moon. Martin believed in the divine justice he wielded with his sword.  

Nathan snorted as he sheaved his sword once again. It was clean of any blood or gore. “I am disgusted that you are killing innocents!" The cold fury in his voice snapped like a whip. A startled bird took flight from a nearby tree. "The child could have been saved." Nathan's shoulders slumped as he sighed. His tirade finally spent. 

He couldn’t help the movement of his head as he turned to gaze at the the body. Nor could he help the tears that rolled down his face. 

Martin calmly sheaved his sword as he spat. Nathan's tantrum's were nothing new. They had been brothers since Martin's vows. Tonight he feared Nathan's tantrums would only get worse. 

“She was a changling Nathan. There is no saving that. It was going to come out sooner or later. I don’t like to gamble on the later.” He bent down to retrieve his hastily discarded duster and cross. “It wasn’t human Nathan. Don’t waste tears on evil.” He shrugged himself into the black duster and draped his heavy cross around his neck. "Hold your tears for the souls we just saved.” He away turned from Nathan to walk back to their rented SUV.

Nathan stood in the grove of trees alone. His head bent in a silent prayer “Lord forgive us for we know not what we have done.” Nathan’s eyes lingered on the child’s body. Her eyes frozen open in terror. Her last scream had been chocked off by Martin’s brutally efficient slash across her throat. 

The child's beauty eternally marred by Martin's savagery. 

Nathan closed his eyes and walked away.