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Welcome to Even the Darkest Stars blog tour! This is the first book is Heather Fawcett’s YA fantasy series and doesn’t this book seriously look gorgeous! Scroll on down to check out the book, see some of my favourite quotes from the book and enter to win a copy for yourself and pretty necklack too!
Even the Darkest Stars (Even the Darkest Stars #1) by Heather Fawcett
Series: Even the Darkest Stars #1
Published by HarperCollins on September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Set in a fictional Himalayan kingdom, this is the story of a girl enlisted by a legendary explorer to help him climb the kingdom’s deadliest mountain – only to discover that his true mission may threaten her whole world.
Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.
But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer every known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means cimbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.
The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.
A yak trampled it on my last expedition. Snapped it in two. Did you hear what I said about choosing your yak carefully?
“I never said I would go with you.”
He stopped and turned slowly to face me. In the breeze, his cloak floated behind him like a rippling shadow. “You never said you wouldn’t.”
“There is the matter of the fire demon.”
I froze. “The what?”
“You will meet a fire demon on your journey. I advise you not to befriend it.”
“Why would I befriend a fire demon?”
River looked into his pack, letting a cry of dismay. He lifted what looked like a handful of ribbon. “That rabid beast shredded my spare shirt.”
“Sorry,” I said. Ragtooth made a sound that was almost a snort.
(I seriously love Ragtooth the fox!)
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“Of course I knew River was coming,” Liusha said. “He sets out for the North in two days. I’m going with him.”
I stared at my sister. She ignored me, calmly tapping the excess ink from her brush. She bowed her head again over the star chart, which was so long and wide it needed eight stones to pin it to the table. I glared at the side of Liusha’s head, contemplating grabbing one of the ink sticks and grinding it into her careful drawings. Biter, one of Liusha’s ravens, gave me a warning crrrk from his perch on the windowsill.
“You’re going with him,” I repeated.
Liusha made no reply. The paper rustled as she shifted position.
“You didn’t say a word to me.” I kept my tone even through sheer force of will.
“There was no reason to.”
I shot Tem a look, but he only shook his head. He was hovering by the open door frame of the observatory, as if ready to dart away at a moment’s notice.
My sister glanced at me, her large eyes narrowing, as if she couldn’t comprehend what I was still doing here. Liusha wasn’t beautiful in the traditional sense, or even particularly pretty, with her thin face and ears that stuck out like the handles of a jar. But she was tall, with limbs like willow boughs, and eyes that flashed when she smiled. Her thick hair swirled to her shoulders like liquid night, appearing to be in motion even when there was no wind to stir it. Every week it seemed there was a new man falling tragically in love with her. Tragic for them—Liusha never seemed to take much notice of anything apart from astronomy. Plotting the courses of the moon and stars, tracking the constellations, and predicting future events based on their movements—it
was a rare gift, more intuition than power. She had been even more obsessive about it lately, sometimes staying up all night and appearing late at the breakfast table with shadowed eyes and ink-stained hands. Whenever I remarked on her behavior, I was just met with a blank look, or, more commonly, a pointed comment about my own indulgent sleeping habits.
I wrapped my arms around my body, chilled even in my heavy chuba. The seer’s observatory, perched high above the village, beyond even the goatherds’ huts, was lined with windows with neither curtains nor shutters. There was a large square hole at the highest point in the roof, through which the wind whistled perpetually. The salt candleholders lining the table somehow only increased the feeling of cold as their small flames shivered in the breeze, permeating the air with a sharp, briny taste.
“Why would he need you?” The question just slipped out, harsher than I meant it. For a moment, I felt guilty.
Liusha gave me a stern look. She was only two years older than me, but she often acted more like my mother than my sister. My guilt faded completely.
“Because I can help him,” she said.
She seemed not to hear me. “I was honored that he would seek my assistance. We should all be honored. If the expedition goes well, Azmiri will win favor with the emperor.”
“Well, you will, anyway,” I muttered. It was typical of Liusha to assume that her own triumphs would somehow improve the world. Perhaps knowing from birth that you were destined to become an elder had something to do with it.
I edged closer, trying to get a glimpse of her worktable. But I saw no maps there, nothing that could give me a clue about this mysterious expedition. Only endless star charts—piles and piles
of them. There were more scattered around the observatory, furled and leaning against walls, or hanging from nails hammered between the stonework.
“What are you doing?” I said. “Counting every star in the sky?”
Liusha’s brow furrowed as she traced a constellation with an inky finger. “I’m trying to work something out,” she muttered into the table.
I blew out my breath. I was used to my sister’s vagueness, but this was too much. “Liusha, why is River here? What does he want with you?”
She was quiet for so long I thought she was not going to answer. “I’m going to lead him to Mount Raksha.”
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