I am so so excited to be able to share with you the next part of a short story set in the world of Bex Hogan’s Isles of Storm and Sorrow series. It’s set between VIPER and VENOM, so does spoil the ending of VIPER a little.
You are in for an absolute treat reading it! Myself and other UKYA bloggers are each releasing one part of the story per day, and I have the second part!
It’s been so much fun talking and planning this treasure hunt with other bloggers (I had SO much fun creating the graphics and teasing it on SM. I loved watching all the wrong guesses!) I love this series, and hopefully this will tide you over until the release of final instalment, VULTURE, releases next spring.
Find part one here!
About the Author
Raised on a healthy diet of fantasy and fairy tales, Bex Hogan has spent much of her life lost in daydreams. Writing her stories down was a natural progression and now she enjoys sharing her time between living in the real world and escaping to her imagination. A Cornish girl at heart, Bex now lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband, two beautiful daughters and crazy cocker spaniel. She might be found riding horses, talking to her plants or eating marzipan. Or not.
VITRIOL, Part Two
The Mouse was furious. As she should be. For all her protests of fairness, things had always been personal between her and Choke. After all, she’d killed Choke’s lover, Briggs.
That was why Shard knew he could trust Choke to help him now.
Back on the Maiden there was hell to pay for the loss of a prisoner, a mistake that Bronn took full responsibility for, absolving Shard of any part in the incident.
Shard watched as the Mouse and Bronn stood at the stern of the ship, arguing fiercely under their breath, and though he could not hear the words, he could imagine them all too well. Creating division between them was as much a part of his plan as anything else.
‘Don’t you have anything better to do?’
Shard turned to see Ren, the quartermaster, watching him.
‘I was just—’
‘I know what you were doing.’ Ren stepped a little closer, coiling a rope around his arms. ‘Word of advice. Don’t spy on the Captain. People have lost limbs for less.’
Maybe Adler, but not her, Shard thought. But he said nothing. Instead he gave Ren something akin to an apologetic shrug, and moved on. It was comfort enough to know things were already unfolding precisely as he wished.
But something he wasn’t expecting was to be joined later that night in the mess hall by Bronn, who pulled out a chair opposite Shard as he drank copious amounts of rum. He almost spat a mouthful out at the first mate, but was relieved he managed not to. Bronn did not look like he was here to drink.
‘Put the jug down,’ Bronn said. ‘I wouldn’t have thought there’d be any cause to celebrate after what happened today.’
Shard did his best impression of someone remorseful. ‘I’m sorry, I looked, I really did, but she vanished into thin air.’
Bronn’s eyes narrowed for the slightest second, but then his face relaxed. ‘Well you can make it up to the Captain. She has an assignment for you and it would be best if you weren’t drunk for it.’
‘Of course,’ Shard said, and the effect of the alcohol was such that he couldn’t entirely hide his delight. This was more than he’d hoped for. He had anticipated there would be a search mounted for Choke, and he would volunteer to be part of it, but this was even better. The Mouse was going to send him to look for Choke alone, and this time he would find her and they would set the wheels of revenge into motion. ‘I am at her service. What is it she wishes me to do?’
Bronn smiled. ‘She wants you to find the location of the bandits. She wants you to find Karn.’
As Shard’s face fell, Bronn took hold of his jug and drained it dry.
‘It would be best not to disappoint her again. Understood?’
Shard wanted to reach across the table and squeeze that lofty look right off Bronn’s face. The Mouse had made hunting bandits her priority, but they were proving elusive. Karn was the most dangerous and wanted of them all and no one had laid eyes on him in months.
This wasn’t an assignment. This was a humiliation. And Shard did not like to be mocked.
He would make the Mouse pay for this. Would make her suffering longer. This unscheduled development wouldn’t stop him – if anything, it motivated him even more. Because Shard had a plan.
Kill the Mouse. Claim the title. Become the Viper.
Want to read the third part? Then tomorrow, you should head over to the blog that is the anagram of:
Aegean elm fight post
Not sure what that’s an anagram for? All the blogs are mentioned on the graphic below.
Read the whole story (links added as parts go live):
Read my reviews of books by Bex Hogan:
The Isles of Storm and Sorrow (this series):