Rebel Queen (Lost Fae #3) - May Dawson Page 0,1

knocking him backward.

I managed to get my hand on his sword before he grabbed me. His fingers dug into my wrist and he pulled back his arm to slap me.

Herrick scolded, “Don’t hurt him!”

Another guard grabbed me around the waist. The guard, with gritted teeth, peeled my fingers off his sword. But as the second guard yanked me off the first one, I threw my weight back, then slammed my heels into the face of the first guard.

He cursed, glowered at me like he would’ve hit me, but didn’t dare…yet. He shot me a look that promised revenge as e wiped his bloodied nose with the back of his sleeve, then grabbed my legs.

The guards carried me toward the castle, slung between them. “It’s like wrestling a sack of angry cats,” one of them panted.

In the distance, Herrick said, “Release them.”

My heart jumped. Now they could fight back. I fought to look over my shoulder, although the world seemed to windmill around me.

The cold, crisp scent of winter magic hung in the air. My parents must be fighting back.

I kicked loose of the guard and as soon as they dropped me onto the cobblestones, I scrambled to my feet, ready to help my parents fight.

But they weren’t fighting.

Their faces were etched with fear and they seemed frozen in place. My father jumped in front of my mother, his arms outstretched as if he could raise his magic. My mother locked eyes with me over his shoulder, and her gaze softened as she saw me; her lips started to move in a last message, then froze.

Color bled from their skin and clothes. Finally, but they were nothing but a pair of statues, caught in a moment of sheer terror.

My mother was still staring at me, with eyes of marble.

I screamed, rushing back toward them, but the guards caught me and dragged me through the gardens toward the castle, past elaborate topiaries and a wishing well with a statue of a man picking apples. Now I knew the truth about the summer statues.

I fought, and they cursed, but I couldn’t break away.

My feet slammed into the marble floor as they carried me into a long hallway, open to the sea on the other side, a distant rumble. The shining of the sun on the sea seemed like it made a joke of what had just happened. The sun shouldn’t shine like that when my parents were gone.

Tears rolled down my cheeks. The guards gripped my arms, their hands punishingly tight, so that I couldn’t brush the tears away.

I didn’t want the summer court to see me crying, but I couldn’t catch my breath.

Someday, I’d burn this castle to the ground.

Nothing matters but the winter court.

Chapter One


Once our marriage vows were said, the world went mad.

Tiron’s hold on the room fell away, his hands dropping to his sides. The look on his handsome face was stunned. I looked down on him from the dais, the vast length of the throne room between us, but the two of us locked eyes for a long second.

His handsome face was icy, as if I’d wronged him, even though he’d bent the magic to force me to marry him. My jaw tightened as I stared back at him, and for a moment, it felt as if we were the only two in the room.

Then the chaos of the court broke the spell. As Tiron’s spell faded and the assembled High Fae regained control of their limbs, they rushed for the doors. Nobility pushed and shoved and trampled each other in their desperation to flee. I lost sight of Tiron in the chaos; one moment he was there, then he was gone.

I finally found Duncan out in the crowd. His jaw was tight as he pushed his way through, headed toward me.

I couldn’t find Tiron again. He had vanished, and so had the bloodied sword he’d dropped when he interrupted the wedding. The sword could be my weapon, if only I could reach it.

“Seize them!” Faer shouted, backing away from Raile and me. The three of us still stood on the dais, so I could see everything in the ballroom clearly.

I was between Faer and his guards, and that was not ideal for him. I grabbed him, looping my arm around his throat and slamming my knee into the back of his as I yanked him backwards, pulling him off balance. He let out a grunt of pain, then a gasp as he realized he couldn’t breathe when