Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, Twylla isn't exactly a member of the court. She's the executioner. As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla's fatal touch, avoids her company.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla's been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?
About the Author
Melinda Salisbury was born in the 1980s in a landlocked city, before escaping to live by the sea. As a child, she genuinely thought Roald Dahl's Matilda was her biography. When she's not trying to unlock the hidden avenues of her mind, she's reading, writing, or travelling. She lives in the UK and can be found on Twitter as @AHintofMystery, though be warned she tweets often.
Read an Excerpt
When I first came to the castle, many, many moons ago, I was awed by it, by the decor and the beauty and the richness of it all. Everything is faultless and pristine; everything is kept ordered and beautiful. The roses in the tall crystal vases are all cut to the same length, all the exact same color and. There is no room in the castle for things that are not perfect. My mother used to say that gold is not all that glitters. She was right, sometimes other things do glitter. Eyes glitter, at least until the life leaves them. My guards walk carefully at my sides, holding their bodies rigid and keeping a good distance between me and them. If I raised an arm to reach for one of them, they would recoil in horror. If I tripped, or fainted, if reflex sabotaged them and made them reach to save me, it would be a death sentence for them. They would find themselves with their throats slit where they stood as an act of mercy. Compared to a slow death by my poisonous skin, a slit throat would be lucky.“Are you ready, my lady?” Dorin, the elder of my guards, asks, his face eerily pale in the torchlight. I nod and we walk to the stairwell, Dorin at my right and the second guard, Rivak, to my left. And then we descend to the dungeons where the prisoners wait. For me.