I'm the biggest fan of Zoe Marriott's Name of the Blade trilogy so I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour today to celebrate the release of the final book Frail Human Heart. This is an absolutely stunning finale to the series and I loved every minute of it, I'll be posting my full review later today but in the meantime I have a fab extract to share with you now.
But she has no choice. With the final battle in the war between gods drawing closer and all hell literally breaking loose in London, the only things standing between the mortal world and an apocalypse are Mio and her sword.
Don't miss the final instalment in The Name of the Blade series.
The Name of the Blade Trilogy:
(links will take you to my reviews)
The Night Itself
Frail Human Heart
This is the third extract from Frail Human Heart and follows on from part 1 (posted on The Pewter Wolf) and part 2 (posted on Kit Kats Can Read). Part 4 will be available tomorrow on Teens on Moon Lane.
Extract 3 from Frail Human Heart,
book 3 in the Name of the Blade trilogy by Zoe Marriott
“She wasn’t down there, was she?” Jack said as I straightened up. “Do you think you were wrong about what you saw – dreamed – whatever?”
“No.” The deep white claw marks gouged in the grubby cement of the walls proved that my mental image of poor Rachel’s desperate struggle down there, the way she had lashed out in her pain as she fought against the transformation, was real. But I couldn’t exactly share that with Jack.
“She must have got herself out and away before we arrived. She didn’t know we were coming to look for her.”
“Why was she down there in the first place?” Jack asked, pacing away and then back again. “What was wrong with her? What happened while I was in that hospital?”
“All right, there are a lot of questions to be answered, but the best thing we can do is head home…” my father began in his usual commanding tone.
Jack was too worked up to listen. She spun back to face me. “Are we in, like, immediate danger from anything horrible right this minute?”
I cast an apprehensive look at the royal-blue sky. It wasn’t full dark yet, but the harsh orange glow of the streetlights behind the hospital made the shadows seem more intense, and my instincts were urging me to head for sanctuary. My parents’ house, warded against supernatural attack by the London Kitsune, was the only truly safe place for us – the one safe place left in the city, probably.
But we’d already seen, on multiple occasions, that darkness was no more dangerous than daylight. Plenty of creatures from the Underworld hunted equally well in either. And Izanami had just suffered a devastating defeat. She was surely going to need some time to recover from seeing her plans turn to dust.
Reluctantly, I shook my head. The bones in my neck creaked. My dad made an exasperated face and folded his arms.
“All right then, tell me what is going on with my sister,” Jack demanded. “I know it’s bad. She came to the hospital. She was talking with someone else’s voice – it said it was the Nekomata’s mistress – and her eyes were all black.”
Well, shit. I rubbed my hand over my face wearily. “I didn’t know that.”
“Rachel was supposed to be with you, Mio. You were supposed to be keeping each other safe.” The words were edged with an accusation that cut me more painfully than a knife in the gut.
“I tried my best. I did, Jack. She wasn’t … herself. The bite – the Nekomata bite – changed her.”
“Changed her? What? How? Did you know that could happen?”
“Of course I didn’t. When we left the hospital, she told us that she felt wrong. Different. She couldn’t control her temper. Kept snapping for no reason. The tooth marks on her neck disappeared. She got fast and really strong. Stronger than me. Right after you called us she lost it. She attacked me and…” No. Can’t say his name yet. “Then she ran off.”
At her sides, Jack’s hands trembled, then slowly curled into fists. “You let her go?”
Sometimes the only thing you can do is let go…
I flinched from the memory of his voice. “I couldn’t stop her.”
“You let her go and you didn’t tell me. You didn’t call me. I can’t believe this. She’s my sister. I had the right to know she’s turning into some kind of monster!”
“She isn’t turning into a monster,” I said flatly. I could see that my lack of emotion was riling Jack up even more, but I didn’t have anything else to offer her. I was so bloody tired. “That explosion of power that healed you and banished the Shikome? It fixed Rachel, too. She’s OK now.”
At least, as OK as anyone could be when their soul had been invaded by darkness and they only just escaped before the point of no return.
Relief and gratitude passed fleetingly over Jack’s face. Then the anger was back. She took a step into my space, poking my shoulder. “Then where is she? Why should I believe anything you say when you’ve been keeping all this shit a secret from me the whole time?”
“Jack,” Hikaru, his face chalky and drawn with tiredness, interrupted firmly. “I can tell you’re upset but this isn’t—”
“You stay out of it. You, too, Mr Yamato!” Jack snapped at my father as he opened his mouth. “This is between me and her. And you’d better not try to bullshit me, Mio, because I know you and I can see right through it. What the hell were you thinking?”
Next Stop for Zoë is Teens on Moon Lane. Click here to check it out and, if you haven’t already, pick up your copy of Zoë’s The Name of the Blade series at your local bookshop or online at Amazon, Book Depository, Waterstones.com and WHSmith.
Zoë Marriott is the author of many critically acclaimed and beloved books, including The Swan Kingdom, which was long-listed for the Branford Boase award, and Shadows on the Moon, which won the prestigious Sasakawa Prize and was an American Junior Library Guild Selection. Zoë lives in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Visit Zoë’s blog at thezoe-trope.blogspot.co.uk or her website at ZoeMarriott.com. Follow her on Twitter (@ZMarriott).
Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops on the Frail Human Heart blog tour for more extracts, deleted scenes and interviews with Zoe!