Castelon
Alyssa Roat
(The Wraithwood Trilogy, #3)
Publication date: March 15th 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Fifteen hundred years of Arthurian legend come to a head in the final installment of The Wraithwood Trilogy.

The sword of legend, ancient magic, and a dead man’s secrets-together they could save Brinnie’s world or end it forever.

Brinnie barely escaped Mordizan with her life. Battered and broken in body and soul, she knows she’s running out of time. And though she has discovered the identity of Mordred’s bane, no one knows where to find the legendary weapon.

To discover the truth, she and Marcus must journey to Castelon and seek the aid of the Council. However, their actions at Mordizan brand them as enemies and war criminals. Between Mordred’s armies engaged in full-scale war and the political machinations of the Council, Brinnie struggles to balance the battlefield and the courtroom while estates fall before Mordred’s wrath.

As magic ravages her own body, threatening her survival, the allure of ancient, forbidden power grows brighter. And only one man holds the knowledge of the weapon that could destroy Mordred once and for all-a man they buried in the gardens of Wraithwood.

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EXCERPT:

“A portal. Anything. I’ll take a bicycle at this point.”

Dad frowned, leaning on his hands on the oval table, and barely looked up from the maps. “You’re not ready.”

She clenched her fists and resisted the urge to lean against the opposite side of the table. That would just prove his point.

A few wizards circled the work surface along with Dad, moving pieces, making notes. Most likely advisors or military leaders—probably not people she should be questioning his judgment in front of, but what choice did she have?

“I’m walking, I’m standing—”

“You’re hobbling and wobbling.” He straightened and waved a hand at a young man standing at attention along the wall of the office-like space. “Take her back to her room, please.” He gave her a stern look, accentuating the dark circles under his eyes, no doubt caused by the weight of bad news no one would tell her. “I’ll come see you in an hour. Where’s Marcus?”

“I don’t know.” Her tongue took over with more impertinence than she’d ever leveled at him before. “I imagine he has better things to do in the middle of this war than make sure I don’t leave my room.”

A few of the wizards shot each other uncomfortable looks. Dad sighed. “One hour, Brin. You can survive that long.”

She followed the stiff young man back to her room, trying not to pant too much from the simple exertion of walking through the halls.

Two days of consciousness had made for two days of monotonous pain heightened by the urgency stirring in her gut. She had to get back to Wraithwood. She had to find Excalibur. She had to stop this war, this slaughter, the destruction she had caused.

When Marcus wasn’t hovering over her like an anxious mother hen, he’d been spending every moment in Dirklon’s—admittedly limited—library. Finding nothing. But Dad banned her from accompanying Marcus even there.

“You go book crazy,” Dad had said. “I’ll find you climbing some shelf or forgetting to eat for a whole day in a research frenzy.”

She wanted to protest that she didn’t do that. Except that she definitely did, and had, done that. More than once.

So instead of book crazy, she went stir crazy, with nothing to think about but pain.

Sometimes the magic in her veins ran hot, sometimes cold. Sometimes it seemed to push against her skin, threatening to explode. She dared not explore the deep, roiling mass within her like an acidic sea.

“Here you are, my lady.” The young man gave a jerky bow.

She focused, only now realizing they had stopped. “Thank you.” She pushed open the wooden door and shut it behind her, slumping against the surface, her scant muscles feeling like gelatin.

“I thought we agreed you wouldn’t wander.”

She scowled at Marcus where he leaned against the bedpost, arms crossed.

He pushed to his feet and scanned her face. Unlike Dad’s, his expression was soft. “Brinnie. Please. There’s nothing we can do right now.”

“So much for agreeing to a road trip.” She winced at her own sharp tone.

“I’m still on board.” His tone remained even, unaffected by hers. “After you take time to rest and heal.”

Tears formed in the corners of her eyes. She blinked them away. “I need to do something. Something to keep my mind—” She didn’t finish. To keep my mind out of that dark place. To keep it from returning to the dungeon, the battlefields, the screams…

He placed gentle hands on her shoulders. “I know.”

She took a shuddering breath. His unexplained voice in her mind, another mystery, should have concerned her, but it soothed her thoughts. She sighed and leaned against him for support.

“Should I tell her?”

Her head snapped up, almost knocking him in the chin. “Tell me what?”

“Whoa.” He steadied her, expression sheepish. “You weren’t supposed to hear that. How about you sit down first?”

She eased herself into the bedside chair. If she sat on the bed, she would be sucked into sleep. And she didn’t have time for that. “What do you know?”

He sighed. “Things aren’t…great at Wraithwood.”


Author Bio:

Alyssa Roat has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry as an agent, editor, writer, and publicist. She is the managing editor at Mountain Brook Fire. She has held positions as the publicity manager for publisher Mountain Brook Ink, an associate literary agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, an editor with Sherpa Editing Services, and a freelance writer with hundreds of bylines in local, national, and international publications. She holds a B.S. in Professional Writing from Taylor University. She would love to connect on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well @alyssawrote.

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