Sometimes we see things from the corners of our eyes…but when we look, nothing’s there. Find out why in Julie Kagawa’s upcoming book The Iron Warrior, the epic conclusion to the New York Times and internationally bestselling Iron Fey series, on shelves October 27. And meanwhile, please enjoy this exclusive excerpt from the book!
“Guro,” I said, as he glanced at me sharply, “the Forgotten are here. Er, faeries that are after Kenzie and me. Do you have a back door? If we leave now, we might be able to lead them away.” His eyes narrowed. “How many?” he asked in a lethal voice. “Uh…” I glanced at the window. Three Forgotten pressed against the glass, now, and another two scuttled past the window beside it. “I don’t know, exactly. At least five, maybe more.” A high-pitched screech interrupted us, setting my teeth on edge. A Forgotten glaring in the window raked its claws down the glass, leaving four long, thin gashes behind. Razor screeched in return, baring his fangs, and Kenzie cringed back in fear. Guro shot a look at the window, at the white scratches made by invisible claws, and whirled from the room. “This way,” he ordered. “Follow me.” We followed Guro through the kitchen and paused as he opened a single wooden door on the opposite wall. A set of stairs led down into what I assumed was a basement, and Guro motioned us through. “In here, quickly.” I went down the steps, Kenzie close behind. The bottom of the stairwell opened into a large room with cement walls and floors. It was dark down here, the shadows clinging to the walls and hiding everything from view, until Guro flipped on the light. My eyes widened. The space in the center of the floor was clear, but the walls were covered with weapons. Crossed swords, knives, clubs, wooden rattan sticks, a couple machetes and tomahawks, all hung in pairs around the room, glimmering wickedly in the florescent lights. A tire dummy sat in one corner of the room, a heavy bag in the other, and a couple wooden stands with padded coats and helmets stood at the back. One entire wall had pairs of traditional Filipino short swords—the kris, gayang and kalis were a few I knew by name—hanging beneath a crest that read Weapons of Moroland. “Okay,” I almost gasped, “I’ll admit it. I’m a little terrified.” Guro stalked to the back wall, where a pair of swords hung, isolated from everything else. I recognized them as his personal blades, his family’s swords, passed down from his father and grandfather before him. They were shorter than mine but no less lethal, a pair of razor-edged barong that were probably several decades older than I was. “Ethan!” Kenzie’s frightened cry rang behind me. I whirled to see a solid flood of Forgotten stream through the door and scuttle down the stairs, climbing along the walls and ceiling like huge black spiders. “Guro!” I called, as one spindly shadow dropped from the ceiling and lunged at me. “They’re here!” I dodged back as the faery’s long, thin claws barely missed my shirt, and lashed out with one of my blades. It struck the thing’s neck, biting deep, and the Forgotten didn’t make a sound as it writhed into tendrils of darkness and disappeared. Another leaped in, slashing at me, and I hacked through its arm before backing away. The Forgotten hissed and drew back, melting into a crowd of its brethren. As I raised my swords, a chill crawled up my spine. The Forgotten had surrounded three sides of the room. Guro, Kenzie and I stood near the back wall, a semicircle of solid black glaring at us with baleful yellow eyes. “Kenzie,” I panted, “get back. Try to stay between me and Guro.” Though I didn’t know how my mentor was going to fight them. There were an awful lot of Forgotten down here, and they were invisible to normal eyes. Unless Guro had somehow gotten the Sight, which I doubted, most of the fighting was going to be up to me. “If you see an opening,” I continued, not daring to look back at the girl, “run. Get out however you can, and don’t wait for me. I’ll catch up.” “Screw that,” Kenzie snapped, and I heard the frantic zip of her bag opening. “I’m sure as hell not leaving you, Ethan. you should know that by now. Just keep them back for a few seconds.” The Forgotten edged forward, silent and deadly, preparing to attack. Guro stood next to me, the barongs held loosely at his sides. I snuck a glance at him and saw that his eyes were closed. Like a flood of black water, the Forgotten surged forward.
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