• The Spine of the World (Paths of Darkness #2) Kushiel's Justice (Imriel's Trilogy #2)

    ‘Peterson, please. You know me. We’re fine, okay?’ He nodded. ‘And thank you for telling me about your sister. I’m so sorry. But you’ve helped me understand stuff. Now, get some sleep.’

    The recent disturbances… Henry began, looking troubled.Already tidied up, the tsar finished. I will find a way to soothe the ruffled feathers.

    A Dirty Job

    I’m certain of it. But what of the treaties?Breaking them came more easily than I might have imagined, with France aiding the revolutionaries, who were misguided in thinking one less monarchy would better the world. It was a simple thing to stand against political assassinations, given the history of my family. Serbia was a sacrifice, but one that kept us from the war.The First World War, Etta thought, straightening. Russia had lost millions of soldiers; the badly managed effort, the poor conditions at home, and the machinations of other governments had all led to the ousting of the tsar, and his own eventual assassination.

    Running Blind (Jack Reacher #4)

    I hated you. Bitterly, I’m afraid, for countless years, the tsar said. I cursed you with every breath. But I trusted you and prayed on each decision. Your family has been the steward of mine for many generations, the caretaker of this land for longer than even the Romanovs.As in…guiding their choices? Etta wondered. Advising them on the right ones to make?

    How was that any different than what the Ironwoods were doing?

    I thought you were against interfering in the timeline? Etta asked Henry, however rude they might think her for interrupting.What job is this, exactly? Etta continued. Have you been reporting back to her on the Thorns? Or did my father send you to watch her, on the off chance she found the astrolabe first?

    To her credit, the girl didn’t retreat into silence to protect herself, as a coward would.I was hired by Hemlock, Li Min said, to take the astrolabe, if either she or Nicholas Carter reached it first. Report back any useful information. She turned, meeting Etta’s gaze. He did not give me explicit orders to keep you apart, only to use my judgment in what would keep you safest. In the end, that was keeping your paths separate.

    The Game Changer (The Perfect Game #2)

    What? The word was so faint as it escaped Sophia, Etta wasn’t sure it could be considered a whisper.You have to understand, Li Min said to her, a small, pleading note in her voice. The Hemlocks found me again, after I escaped the Shadows, after I finished my training with Ching Shih. Her father is the head of my own family’s line, yes, but, more than that, he believed in me. He arranged for jobs that helped to build my reputation. He provided whatever resources I needed to live my life on my terms, and he has never once asked for anything in return. I could never be one of them, not the way he hoped for—I could not tell him the things I told you. I was…afraid. Set in my ways. But I owed him a debt that demanded to be repaid. I offered to do this job for him and would not have committed to it for anything less than that; you must believe me.

    You— Sophia stood, her feet carrying her toward the girl. She reached for the long knife at her side, yanking it from the hilt strapped to her leg. Believe you? After everything else you’ve said and done was a lie?Etta understood that Li Min had perpetuated her father’s lie and inserted herself into Sophia’s life under false pretenses, but…Sophia wasn’t just furious. Etta had seen fury in her before. She was shaking.

    Not everything, Li Min swore. Not everything was a lie.The Thorns—the ones who beat me and left me for dead in the middle of the desert? Sophia continued, stopping just short of the other girl. You must have had a laugh, telling me all of that mystical nonsense about revenge. All the while, you were going to stop me.

    Not stop you, join you, Li Min said, her serene expression finally breaking. I only—it—it all got rather complicated, you see—It’s not complicated at all, Sophia said, drawing the freezing air to her, turning her words to ice. You showed me exactly who you were from the moment we met: a thief and a con artist. You were right. You are not my friend. You are nothing. Get out of my sight. Leave! Otherwise this time I really will kill you.