SHADOWS OF IVORY by T L Greylock & Bryce O’Connor – COVER REVEAL and EXCERPT
Today we are thrilled to bring you not just the cover reveal of T L Greylock and Bryce O’Connor’s brand new novel SHADOWS OF IVORY, but also an excerpt from this new exciting new series!
If some of you are wondering if you saw this book released a couple of months ago, don’t worry, lockdown hasn’t quite pushed you over the edge just yet – this book did launch previously on 1st of May, but met some issues on Amazon. Those glitches have now been remedied, and Greylock and O’Connor are relaunching alongside the audio on August 7th.
You can preorder now:
An undying king. A relic of rune-carved bronze and ivory flames. A war for powers only a god could fathom.
In the centuries since rising up against a cruel, twisted dynasty, the Seven Cities have done much to move past their horrid histories, the memories of ancient monarchs who once fed on the life and blood of their own people. Those with a talent for magic are no longer hounded and slain. The lands beyond the Cities are safe, spared the atrocities the Alescuans once wrought upon them. For 300 years, there has been peace.
Then Eska de Caraval, head of the prestigious Firenzia Company, finds herself framed for murder.
Soon hunted for the strange bronze disc she most certainly did not steal, Eska is forced to pit both wit and blade against all manner of adversaries who would eagerly see her dead. An assassin in the shadows. A monster in the deep. A rival looking to burn her alive. From sword and fang and flame Eska must defend herself, struggling all the while to prove her innocence and unravel the mysteries of a dangerous artifact.
But unbeknownst to Eska and her enemies, the cruelest of those tyrants of old is stirring in his grave.
To celebrate the relaunch and the launch of the audio book, Greylock and O’Connor have had an absolutely stunning new cover designed. The artist behind it is Yam, with typography by Shawn King!
Are you ready?
Now I don’t know about you, but that absolutely screams epic fantasy to me!
I particularly love the wisps of smoke around the twin blades…
Menacing, with gorgeous detail, this cover is promising plenty!
Fortunately, Greylock and O’Connor have generously sent us not just their new cover, but also an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Shadows Of Ivory. Settle in and enjoy:
“You know how women are when it comes to pretty things.”
“Technically, I didn’t steal it.”
It was not lost on Eska that these were unlikely to be the best choice of words when faced with a pair of inspectors, the hot-breathed hounds panting at their heels, and the half dozen grunts wielding various instruments of violence just outside the alley. Not to mention the Iron Baron himself, fixing her with a steely glare. No, not lost at all, considering she was, in fact, holding in plain view the very object she was accused of stealing, an object quite dear to the belligerent baron.
“Nor was I going to keep it.”
The inspectors glanced at each other, but it was the Baron’s gaze that got under her skin, those condescending eyes, those furiously-angled eyebrows, that large chin which was offensive simply for being attached to his face.
“It’s not worth what you think it is, you know.”
This was patently false, but Eska never had learned when to keep her mouth shut, despite the numerous attempts made by more than one governess, and she couldn’t resist a jab at the Baron’s notorious lack of sophistication when it came to his home decor.
His face reddening, the Baron plucked the carved ivory and gold box from her hands and dropped it into the waiting arms of his valet, who stared at the ground as though it were the most fascinating thing under the sun.
“You’re fortunate you carry the name of de Caraval, girl,” the Iron Baron growled, forcing the words out through clenched teeth in a manner that reminded Eska of bones mistakenly placed in a meat grinder. The image pleased her.
“What would you do to me, Baron, if I didn’t wear ancinni silk and have priceless jewels on my fingers? Cut off my hand? Sell me to the highest bidder? I hear you do quite the trade in such things.” The rumor rushed off Eska’s tongue as cheerfully as a waterfall leaps off a cliff.
The Baron went from red to white in a heartbeat, his cheeks fairly blooming with iciness. If the valet could have melted into the cobblestones, surely he would have. Instead, he picked absentmindedly—or perhaps with subconscious insight—at the ring of golden daggers embroidered on the upper arm of his velvet jacket.
“It’s dark, girl, and no one knows where you are.” The Baron leaned close. Eska smelled the wine on his breath. Sweet and sour. And cheap. “I could make you disappear.”
Eska fought the urge to step back, but felt certain her heart was a moment from breaking free from the prison of her ribcage. “You forget yourself, Baron,” she said, hoping she sounded unruffled.
The small dagger—hardly more deadly than a letter opener—strapped to her ankle would be of no use here, though the bone handle seemed to burn against her skin. She nodded over the Baron’s shoulder at the inspectors. “These fine gentlemen know exactly where I am. In fact, I’m quite sure they’d be prepared to tell my father, the Vice-Chancelier, exactly how you laid hands on me, how you injured me, how you dragged me off to dispose of me.”
The inspectors kept their faces still, well-schooled in such things, and Eska wondered how much the Baron had paid them. The hounds stared up at Eska with dark eyes, panting steadily, every muscle taut beneath their smooth coats, their teeth white in the moonlight. Then the taller of the inspectors broke the silence, his words bringing Eska more relief than she cared to admit.
“I’m sure it’s all a misunderstanding, Baron.” The inspector smiled thinly at Eska. “You know how women are when it comes to pretty things.” He gestured to the ivory, glistening in the moonlight as it disappeared into the valet’s satchel. “You have your property back. I think it’s time we all go home.”
The notion that Eska was like a crow when confronted with a shiny object irked her as much as the Baron’s chin, but for once she held her tongue. Madam Mantua might have died of shock to see it.
The inspectors broke their shoulder to shoulder blockade, opening a path for her to leave the alley. Eska leaned over and patted the young valet on the shoulder. “The de Caraval household is always in search of good people,” she said. Without a glance at the Baron, Eska swept past the inspectors, trying not to shy away from the hounds who sniffed her with more interest than she’d like.
“We don’t bite,” she called over her shoulder, “and I’m quite certain my father would never send you on such a ridiculous task in the middle of the night. And as you can see, I run my own midnight errands.”
Despite the words of the inspector, the men outside the entrance to the alley did little to allow Eska easy passage. She managed to traverse the obstacle course comprised of their large booted feet, broad shoulders, and stout clubs without incident, but it wasn’t until she had put several wide avenues between her and the Baron that she felt capable of slowing her pace. She crossed the expanse of the Decadronum, the clacking of the heels on her boots horribly loud on the white stone as she followed the line of sentinel columns across the ten-sided plaza, and only then, sinking into the familiar shadows of the Lordican’s portico, did she allow herself to relax and breathe deeply.
The eerie water chimes at the far end of the Decadronum sounded the second song of the morning as Eska took a moment to wait for her heartbeat to return to normal. As the song faded, sending a shiver down her spine, she pressed the concealed release that unlocked one of the library’s tall wooden doors and slipped into the dim interior. Cursing her shoes once more, she crossed the marble entryway, the unfortunate clackety clack ringing after her, and entered one of the grand reading rooms, the empty desks lined up like a flock of sleeping swans. Eska threaded her way to the rear of the reading room and pressed another hidden lever, this one disguised as the big toe on a statue of a man clothed in nothing but a sweeping cape and gesturing dramatically—with equally dramatic muscles—toward an unseen horizon.
The bronze studded door in front of her, which ought to have opened to reveal a passageway restricted to staff at the Lordican—and therefore the sort of door Eska should not know how to open—remained steadfastly shut.
“Really?” Eska cast a withering gaze up at the blank eyes of the statue. “Now is hardly the time, Lyndronicus.”
The statue made no reply and Eska bent over to fiddle with the long-dead conqueror’s toe. It was known to stick, a faulty mechanism, the staff claimed. Eska was inclined to believe the door’s creator had deliberately made the latch tricky and susceptible to damp. If half the stories about the library’s first and greatest patron, who also happened to be its designer and architect, were true, Eska would expect the statue’s toe to crumble to dust at some predetermined future date—rendering the passageway useless. It was the kind of joke she was sure Giovanespi de Varetteau would enjoy.
“Perhaps,” Eska muttered as she wiggled the toe this way and that way, ears straining for the faint click that would signal the alignment had been corrected, “a different appendage would be more appropriate. At least if I yanked it, I ought to get a response.”
“That’s rather vulgar.”
Eska whirled around, nearly convinced the statue of Lyndronicus had finally answered her after years of one-way conversations. But the voice belonged to a slender man who had crossed the reading room far too stealthily, a stack of books pressing up against his chin as he cradled the tomes in his arms.
Eska sighed and pushed a strand of hair out of her face. “You are far too—”
“Quiet for my own good, yes, you’ve made me aware of that,” the young man said. “Unfortunately, I have yet to discover my stampeding abilities.”
Eska rolled her eyes. “I should fit you with an obnoxious bell, like a goat. Whenever you enter a room, it would warn the occupants that an insufferable know-it-all is in their midst.”
“Good thing this know-it-all also happens to know that you need to be gentler with the toe. You’ll never find the right spot if you bash it around like that.”
Eska laughed. “What woman hasn’t had to tell a man that at least once.”
Blushing furiously, much to Eska’s delight, the young man brushed past her, left his books on a desk, and, with a well-practiced flick of a finger, set the lever in place. The door swung open.
“Don’t smirk, Albus.”
“I never smirk.” The young man performed the tiniest of bows before scooping the stack of books up once more. “After you, my Lady de Caraval.”