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READ THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS: Unleashed by Celia McMahon

I will claim my victory with claws and teeth and steel.

In the wake of her battle to protect the Den, Izzy has crossed back into Stormwall to enact her plan with the former prince, Ashe, to retake the kingdom from within. Only weeks go by with no word from the prince and Izzy is faced once again with Ashe’s betrayal. She is forced to make alternate plans with a group of rebels to kill both king and prince.

But the world has always bent at odd angles for the wolf-princess. On the day of their battle, things don’t go as planned and Izzy finds herself once again fighting for her life and friends. In the chaos that follows, Izzy and her rebels lose Stormwall into the hands of the Gwylis.

Read the first two chapters to get a sneak peak into Celia McMahon’s riviteting third chapter of the Unspoken Series, Unleashed—out Tuesday, November seventeenth!

You can preorder your copy TODAY!



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Parliament House Press

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I could almost taste his blood on my tongue. 

I rose to my knees and peered over the roof of the Old Hen tavern. He was walking away—or rather, stumbling away, most likely wasted from ale and exhaustion. The sight of him elicited a growl from deep in my throat. 

I’ve been waiting for you. 

The sky was blue-black: a full moon with a light shower that plas tered my short hair to my forehead. I wiped the water drops from my eyelashes and stood. I found level footing and leapt onto the roof of the next building, landing feather soft. When the man turned to look my way, I crouched and pinned my hood closed across my face, hoping for the cover of night. I heard him cough, and spit something thick onto the street. I dared a look to be sure. 

Archibald Grayson Apatimi looked more pathetic now than he had been a few months ago, his pock-marked face even more cavernous with eyes so unfocused, it was on my luck alone that he now walked in the right direction. He had been Ashe’s captain of his personal guard and a traitor to Mirosa. He was thinner and sickly. And yet, despite the man’s fragile state, I felt no pity. Branch, the older wolf from the Den who taught me to fight, was a voice in the back of my head. Don’t be fooled. Even injured or sick wolves can bite. 

The sight of the traitor dragged me into memories I’d rather have forgotten. If I could, I’d have chalked them up to nothing but a long and horrible dream. But being here in Stormwall made that impossi ble. Not only was I forced to remember, but also see with my own eyes what I’d done to my kingdom. 

I could feel the pain coming off the city, like a sentient thing gath ering under my skin. A sudden, ferocious pain made me struggle for breath. The loss of life during Dal Paratheon’s invasion swirled around like a blackened cloud. How many more had died since? It was difficult to discern, with every one of Stormwall’s people moving through the destruction of their home. 

Every one of my people. 

Their fear was a palpable thing, invading every inch of space in this city. If not for the storm of Peek Island soldiers and Gwylis, but for the shockingly large amount of missing children; posters begging for their return nailed to buildings and walls all around the city. This terror permeated the air, the earth, in the very breath of the lungs of the people I should have protected. 

This regret panged in every rise and fall of my chest. My people deserved a better ruler. 

I drew in a long breath and leapt to the next roof, following Archibald’s solitary path through the city. He turned down an alley and stopped to piss. I cringed against the scent of urine. I could kill him now, though this close to the main square, it would be entirely too reckless. All my killings were lured from the city and, sometimes, to the privacy of a bedroom. 

But before I could stop myself, I crouched and sprang from the rooftop. 

I didn’t land as softly as I intended. Archibald finished pissing and looked over his shoulder, seemingly unconcerned of the woman standing behind him, watching him soil the brick of the wall. The rest of his body followed until he faced me, a grin spreading across his gruesome face. “The whore returns, after all.” 

In my former life, I’d be distracted by the insult. Often, it would send my temper flaring and soaring with reckless abandon, doing anything and everything to defend myself. But now, I had demon magic inside of me. It flared there now, in the hollow of my stomach like an inextinguishable fire. 

I met the former guard’s eyes and matched his grin. “You know who I am.” 

He held my gaze. “Don’t think for one moment, the shadows of my past do not come calling at one point or another.” 

I ground my teeth together. “I am no shadow.” 

“Could have fooled me.” 

I drew in a sharp breath. No time for arguing. “Where is Prince Ashe?” 

Archibald threw his head back and laughed. “No wonder you’re covering the city in red.” He casually anchored a hand on his hip. “I don’t know anything about the prince. As far I know, he’s dead.” 

My eyes widened. For weeks, I’d lured and tortured soldiers and guards alike for information from behind the palace walls. I’d taken a knife to my face, healing, and then repeating it every evening. For weeks, I’d sunk into a blood-red fury only the threat of daylight could stop. If Dal Paratheon’s own traitorous fiend didn’t know where Ashe was, what hope was there in finding him? 

Ashe should have sent word. A crow. Anything. But I waited for days before donning the hood and stalking the city under the cover of night. I hunted men as they came out of taverns, loose and drunk. I tempted them into inns, I took them beyond the city boundaries, and for what? I didn’t know how many I’d killed, or which ones still churned around in my belly. I did not regret the killing, because the demons did not allow me to feel shame or guilt. I only regretted the time wasted. 

But I refused to believe him, gritting out the words, “You’re lying.”

“Are you sure?” Archibald asked. “I’ve been in the palace, and there’s been no one-armed prince strutting the halls. As far as everyone knows, he died during the Battle for Stormwall.”

I scoffed at the ridiculous name. It sounded like my father and his forces even had a chance at keeping the throne. They didn’t. “So, you wish to die for your lies.” 

“I’m going to die either way, Princess. Best by your claws than the king’s noose.” 

He was right. If he went back and reported me, Dal would certainly kill him for not taking me back there with him. Dead or alive. He was better off dead, and better for my conscience. 

Wargave would tell me how I was wasting my time and effort. No news would come from the palace, especially not anything useful and convenient for myself. He’d said those exact words just days ago when I’d come crashing into his little shop bucking like a wild horse, angry that I could not find what I needed. The world doesn’t bend for you, Isabelle Rowan. Stop thinking it will. 

Suspicious shopkeepers with fake eyes shouldn’t speak like wizened old men. There was nothing more unnerving. “You ruined everything for me, bringing your traitor king to my kingdom,” I said. He blinked at the last word, clearly misinterpreting my absence. As much as I thought I’d left the New Kingdom behind, it was always there waiting for me, very much mine by blood and rights. “It didn’t have to happen the way it did.” 

Before I finished speaking, I moved. Changing into a wolf here would only attract attention, as it did in a bedroom for example, but my strength as a human matched the bite of my teeth. I grabbed Archibald’s arm and slammed him against the opposite wall. He went for his weapon—a dagger, perhaps—but I knocked it away too quickly. He tried to drive a fist into my belly, but I sidestepped, knocking him off-balance. I drove a fist into his neck and a knee into his midsection, sending the older man crashing onto his knees. 

This cat and mouse game was fun, and only for the truly sadistic. I was playing with my food. 

Archibald heaved. “Your mother wasn’t quite so feisty. Where did you get such fire?” 

I drew my dagger. “You slept with her, didn’t you?” Images of their shameful flirting across the table flashed before me. I’d first spoken to Ashe that night. Lulu had been gushing the entire night. 

“Like mother, like daughter, slumming with the palace scum,” Archibald spat. “Some likeness after all.” 

My pulse kicked up a violent rhythm as the darkness pressed on me, my fire lashing out from beneath my skin, sizzling the very air between me and the guard. 

“What was the boy’s name? Fray Castor?” 

I thought hearing his name would freeze me to the spot and flood with my mind with all the things I’d done to him—the things he never deserved. The full weight of it should have subdued me, but the demons reacted with a hiss and a whisper: Forget about him. You never needed him. 

“Shut up,” I snapped, addressing both the Uncanny and Archibald. “You don’t know him, and you don’t know me.” 

This only made the man smile wider. “Oh, I know women like you. The sick kind of females who lust after monsters because it reflects what they are deep down inside.” 

My hand trembled. Don’t think about him. Don’t. “I said, shut up!” “They talk about you, you know. They call you a monster.” I lunged for him, but blinding anger made me careless. He grabbed 

hold of the necklace holding the jewels and ripping it from my neck. I barely heard them fall to the ground, back against the alleyway, before my vision flashed with shadows. 

My throat went bone-dry, my tongue leaden in my mouth. The feeling of being filled up like a wave and then like a deluge. I swear the ground tipped beneath my feet. My hands curled into a fist around my dagger hilt. My control over my magic slowly shattered. 

I am not a monster. 

A burning sensation swamped me. Flames licked my fingertips. Embers sprouted from every hair on my body. But I did not burn. This magic was from demons, born of choice and desperation. Yes, you are. 

An inky black figure came into view to my left. I knew what it was, I did not have to ask. And I was too weak to fight against it. Fire, wrath, and hatred. 

Shadows drank up the enormity of the scene, and in one swift motion, I drew a straight line across Archibald’s neck. The scent of blood soaked the air; a familiar scent, and a good one at that. Archibald’s head rolled to the side, his eyes still wide, as if death came as a surprise. 

I picked up my necklace and tucked it into my pants pocket. The demons shrank away, but not entirely. They danced in my peripheral, awaiting the next call. 

Another smell hit me right away. Not Voiceless, but not the typical Gwylis scent either. Something earthy, like a kindling fire and cheap bracelets. The sound of jewelry clacked and bounced off the light of the moon as she approached and dipped her head to the guard’s body. “I see you couldn’t stay away long. What mess have you dredged up now?”