About FROM BREATH AND RUIN
Available March 19, 2019
In her YA debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan dives into a world with magic and sacrifice with the Elements of Five.
Five hundred years ago, the Maison Realm was shattered, divided into warring kingdoms of elemental Wielders with fate and truth shadowed and uncertain. Now, factions of both the light and dark venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to Wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together.
Lyric has no idea that there’s a realm outside the human one she lives in. When fate and circumstances are pulled from her hands after an accident, and she finds out that nothing is at it seems.
There is a war surrounding her and when Lyric realizes that they are searching for her, she must rely on those she once trusted: a boy who isn’t who she thought, and a new realm of warriors who have come to protect her as she trains.
For the darkness is coming, and the Queen of Obscurité wants to ensure that the King of Lumière can’t get his hands on Lyric. And the only way to ensure that is if Lyric herself is no more…no matter the cost to prophecy.
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I almost tripped over my feet at the sight of three people standing in front of a house I knew, the trio glaring at one another before seeming to realize that they weren’t alone.
I knew them, of course, it was hard not to know the teenagers in my neighborhood since most of us went to the same high school—or rather, had. Those who hadn’t gone there, opting for homeschool or private schools, still ended up in many of the same social clubs that a lot of us were forced into over the years.
Okay, so maybe forced wasn’t the best word for me since I’d tried a bunch of things as a kid, attempting to figure out what fit me best. The fact that nothing had stuck wasn’t something I wanted to dwell on at the moment, however.
Namely, the two girls in front of us, and the guy standing with them. The very tall, very built guy that was a couple of years older than us but who I thought always looked like the most perfect human specimen. Ever.
If I allowed myself to use words like dreamy for a guy, he was beyond dreamy. His light brown skin always looked silken and almost shiny as if he’d just finished a run and was glistening under the sunlight. His brown hair wasn’t just a normal hue, it had what looked to be honey highlights woven in and was longer on the top than on the sides, giving him a disheveled look that made me want to reach out and mess with it myself.
Not that I would ever do that.
Not even in dreams.
I swore I saw a shadow again out of the corner of my eye when I thought the word dreams, but I ignored it and pinned my gaze back on Rhodes as I stopped in place, my friends beside me.
Anytime I was near him, I couldn’t stop staring. It wasn’t just his strong cheekbones. Wasn’t just his beauty.
No, it was his eyes.
They were so light, I swore they were silver. But people didn’t really have silver eyes.
Rhodes, though? He totally could.
He wasn’t alone, so I did my best to pry my eyes from him as I awkwardly waved at the bunch. To his left, Rhodes’ younger sister, Rosamond, smiled brightly, her tunic dress blowing in the wind. I was pretty sure Rosamond had been a hippy in a past life and just hadn’t wanted to stop fitting into the era. It worked for her with her flowing curls and almost luminescent brown skin. She looked like a New Age fairy or something, and the way she spoke and acted fit the description.
She’d graduated with the rest of us a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t seen her since.
On Rhodes’ other side stood another former classmate of mine. Alura.
And if I thought Rosamond was strange, Alura was even more out there. Her long, white-blond hair blew in the breeze that I swore sometimes only affected her—not that that was a thing, though it sure seemed like it. She had the most vivid blue eyes I’d ever seen, like something out of a movie with special contacts, and she rarely spoke.
Honestly, I hadn’t even known that Alura was friends with Rhodes and Rosamond, but the three definitely seemed to know each other.
“Oh, hi!” Rosamond said, skipping toward us. “I was just talking to Rhodes and Alura about a hike tomorrow and was going to come by and see if you wanted to go, Lyric.”
I blinked. I hadn’t really hung out with any of them outside of school, and never with Rhodes. Sure, I had an awkward crush on the guy, but it wasn’t as if I’d truly spoken to him beyond a few short words since he and Rosamond moved to the neighborhood a couple of years ago. He’d already graduated by that point, so we hadn’t gone to school together, and I rarely saw him in the neighborhood since his parents worked a lot and I never saw them.
“A hike? Really?” Emory scoffed.
Rosamond glanced over at Emory, seeming to dismiss her with a single look. “Since we’re going to the same campus, Lyric, I figured it would be nice to hang out a bit. You know? Oh, you guys should come, too,” she said to Braelynn and Emory. “It’s going to be a great day, and this way, I’m not hiking alone with Rhodes, who gets all growly when I’m slow.”
“I don’t growl.”
And yet…he totally just growled.
Was I a puddle of goo just then? Because I felt like I was a puddle of goo.
Emory glanced at me, and I had a feeling I wasn’t hiding my inner thoughts well.
Holding back a curse, I smiled at Rosamond. “I think a hike would be fun. It’s supposed to be good weather. What did you guys have in mind?”
Rhodes shrugged, and I did my best not to stare at his forearms as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. “A place we like to go to. It’s about an hour outside of the city, but not too far. And the hike isn’t that bad since Rosamond here can do it.”
“I can hear you,” she sing-songed.
“I know. I can see you.” He gave me a wink, and I almost looked behind me to make sure it was me he was looking at.
From Braelynn’s subtle nudge and Emory’s almost inaudible growl, I figured it was me he’d been looking at.
“What about you, Alura?” Braelynn asked, always the peacekeeper—and an amazing friend.
The other girl shook her head. “Not this time. It’s not for me.” She met my gaze with those piercing blue eyes and didn’t blink. “But soon, I believe. Soon.”
And with that, she turned and walked away without another word. The Luce siblings didn’t look worried about what had just happened, but Emory rolled her eyes.
“No wonder they call her a witch.”
“Be nice,” I whispered. “Stop being so mean.”
“Whatever. I have a thing with my parents tomorrow, so count me out.” Emory looked over at me as if I should say no, as well.
I truly didn’t understand the girl who had once been my closest friend and my first girlfriend. She wasn’t who she once was. But the thing was, I wasn’t either. Maybe that’s why it was good that things were changing as quickly as they were.
“I’m in,” I said quickly.
“Me, too,” Braelynn added.
“What time and where should we meet you?” I ignored Emory standing at my side, trying to push back the little twinge inside me that indicated that this was just one more symbol of the end of an era.
Rosamond clapped her hands. “Oh, yay! I can’t wait.”
Rhodes looked at me, his eyes flashing that silver I thought had to be contacts. “I can’t wait either.”
I bit my lip as they told me the details, and I did my best not to look too excited. Because this wasn’t a date. It wasn’t something that was a new beginning. Not really. It was just a hike, a day out in the mountains, something all Coloradoans did as much as possible—at least the ones who loved nature.
And yet, even as I told myself that, I wondered if it was the truth.
Because this felt different. It felt important.
And for some reason, I didn’t think it was only about the boy with the silver eyes in front of me.
About the ELEMENTS OF FIVE series
One thousand years ago, there was one realm of magic. The Maison Realm. It held five kingdoms with five kings or queens, who worked together to keep the Maison people safe and ensure the balance of magic. Over the last five hundred years following the Fall, the great war that began the fracture, many of the kingdoms’ inhabitants intermated, and the magics soon became tied to one another in pairs. Except for the Spirit Wielders. The two remaining kingdoms are now converging, and the veil between the two is fading. Only the human realm lies between the two, and no one there knows there is a war surrounding them.
Over time, certain children of the Fall began to leave their respective kingdoms to venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together. For the realms are dying without their sister magics. And soon, there will be no more power left to rule the kingdoms, for there will be no more kingdoms left to rule.