She has no name.
She has her knives, her training, and her halo.
The first and second give her the ability to defeat the opponents she is pitted against each month. The third frees her from pain and fear. From any kind of emotion at all. Everything is as it should be. Everything is as it should be, until…
Fear… Pain… Anger… Happiness… Desire… Guilt… Love. When a newly named Kit escapes the Sanctuary after killing her best friend, the last thing she needs is another knife in her hand. Or Ryka, the damaged, beautiful blond boy, whom she refuses to let save her. The sights and sounds of Freetown are new, yet one thing is familiar: the matches. The only difference? Where the blood in the Sanctuary landed only on the Colosseum floor, Kit will quickly learn that a river of red runs through Freetown’s very streets.
Without her halo, the inhabitants of Kit’s new home consider her saved, but is that really the case? Would she be better off free of the guilt associated with all the blood on her hands, or is the love of one boy worth living through all the pain? Raksha is the call of the dead. It is the rumbling chant for fresh blood from the other side, the demand for sacrifice. The Colosseum is behind Kit. The fighting pits await.
Frankie Rose is a British expat, who is currently enjoying the perks of living in
awesome husband, sunshine, and vitamin D. She spends her time creating
fictional universes in which the guy sometimes gets the girl, the heroes
occasionally die, and the endings aren't always happy. But they usually are. Australia-
I mmm doubtfully, scratching Jada behind her ears. She seems to like that. Cai’s face is gone now, although who knows how long the reprieve will be. When I look up, Ryka is watching me pet Jada.
“She likes you,” he says.
“You sound surprised.”
“I’m not. My sister’s a good judge of character. If Liv likes you that pretty much means everyone else will. Including my fickle dog.” He whistles softly and Jada pricks her ears at the sound.
“And you?” I ask.
He smiles. “Seriously?”
I nod, and Ryka’s mouth pulls up to one side in a way that makes my heart race. He looks wicked.
“Well, we’re friends. In that weird way where you’re eternally mad at me, and I’m eternally imagining what you look like naked.”
“What!” I go to slap his arm but he ducks out of reach, grinning. From the way my insides react to his words, it feels like I’ve swallowed something entirely too hot. Is this normal? Is this what liking someone feels like? It’s confusing and frustrating and frankly—okay, I’ll admit it—kind of wonderful. But what the hell am I supposed to do with that? How do I change who I am, sixteen years of fighting, a life of blood? How do I trade in all that confrontation for something a little sweeter? I think it’s probably too late.
“I really didn’t do myself any favours when I met you, did I? You still don’t trust me?” Ryka tips his head forward, smiling ruefully at his feet when I shake my head. “In that case I suppose it’s pointless asking if you’ve fallen in love with me yet?”
The boy is determined to make me die a death this evening. It’s all I can do not to choke as I shake my head. “Sadly, no. I don’t think I want to kill you anymore, though. So there’s that.”
In the moonlight, Ryka’s eyes bow as he smiles broadly. “There is that. We’ll have to see what we can do to change your mind, though. I’ve never been very good at waiting for anything I want.” He shoves me gently with his shoulder and my heart stumbles.
“You want me?”
Ryka’s smile is devastatingly sharp. “You own me, remember. And now, after the other night…well, I guess I kinda own you, too.”