Bane of Hounds
Book #3 in the College Fae YA fantasy book series
College Life: Mothers spell trouble.
This exciting YA fantasy book continues the adventures of Brigit and Logan at Leopold Otto University!
When a Black Dog is dumped, Brigit and Logan rescue him without a thought. But the fae creature is more than he seems. Does he bring danger to those Brigit loves? Or is he their savior?
Queen Elixia, Brigit’s mother, attends a symposium held at the university, while Logan’s parents decides to visit her son. What is worse? The disappearance of Brigit’s home in the Perilous Realm, or the meeting of their mothers?
A storm sweeps through that could spell the destruction of Brigit’s home in fairy.
CLICK TO READ A SAMPLE OF THIS YA FANTASY
Brigit Cullen was cold. She should be home studying for a test, not hunkered down in a hedge waiting for a wailing wraith to scream an omen of death.
“You’d think the banshee would adhere to some sort of schedule. It’s a full moon. Can’t she come out and scream an omen so we can get back home instead of freezing to death?” Brigit grumbled to her companion, Logan Dannon.
As a dryad, the fall and winter seasons of the Human Lands made Brigit feel sluggish. Her home in the Perilous Realm had a more temperate climate than the city of Geheimetür.
Bewachterberg was south of Germany and Switzerland. Surrounded by mountains, it could get chilly even in the fall. Dealing with the cold was one of the many adjustments she had to make these last two years as a student at Leopold-Ottos-Universität Geheimetür.
She gave a sulky sideways glare at her Logan. His human metabolism made him better at handling the frosty climate of mid-October. Or maybe it was the heavier coat?
When Logan didn’t respond, she muttered again, her breath making fog clouds in front of her nose, “After all, it’s not like we’re being paid by the chancellor to solve his little problems.”
“Chancellor Bandemer is good at delegating things that annoy him,” agreed Logan, squatting beside her.
After the events taking place at the library last school year, Chancellor Bandemer of Leopold Otto awarded Logan and Brigit the title of Student Liaisons. They were tasked to mediate complaints between the fae and humans. After the initial elation, they both learned that dealing with difficulties between students from two vastly different cultures was a big headache.
Thinking upon their most recent adventure, Brigit’s complaint turned into a rant.
“Last month, I cut my weekend plans short to trudge through the Geheimetür sewage system to bargain with a knocker. Did we get any thanks for passing along the warning from the fae bucca to the chancellor? No! All I got was a stench that took a week to get out of my hair!”
“The knocker told us that bridge was going to collapse,” Logan reminded her. “That saved lives, Brigit. We might not get much thanks from Bandemer, but never doubt it – we are doing good work.”
Logan’s calm reply stirred up her torpid blood.
“Frost on the pumpkin, Logan! Do you like being Bandemer’s unpaid lackey?”
“We do get one credit hour of coursework for it,” he reminded her.
Brigit exploded. She listed every colorful fae curse and swear word she could think of until she saw the smile her companion was trying to hide behind the upturned collar of his coat.
“You did that on purpose!”
“You feel warmer now, don’t you?” Before she could answer, Logan pulled off his gloves, and handed the to her. “You’ll be able to wait if you weren’t so cold. Try these. They’re thermal.”
Brigit pulled them on with stiff fingers. She preferred wearing organic material, so she could talk to her clothes, but the relief they gave made her sigh.
Logan threw his arm over her shoulders, drawing her tight against his side. The maneuver was awkward because they were sitting on their heels behind the bushes, but his solid body blocked more of the wind. She put her head on his shoulder and burrowed deeper.
“Look, I also have a test tomorrow, so I don’t like this either. If the banshee doesn’t appear in the next hour, we call it a night, okay?”
“Agreed,” she mumbled against his coat.
After a moment’s silence, Logan asked, “What do we know about the banshee?”
“The appearance of a banshee heralds the death of someone. She seems to be focusing on the third floor of the dormitory. Most of the students have pretty ordinary bloodlines but there’s a human, O’Conner, who I think is her target. His family history fit best. This banshee comes from a Gaelic fae court. Fae folk from that region seem especially attached to family bloodlines.”
Huddled like a chick tucked under a hen’s wing, Brigit gave him a sly smile as she added, “Something you would know about, Logan.”
Logan didn’t take the bait about his grandmother, the Celtic goddess, the Morrighan. Last year, their meeting with Bandemer exposed Brigit as a fae princess and Logan’s family tree.
Brigit had not allowed him to forget it.
He deflected, “Like the brownie?”
The brownie, who managed their housekeeping, had initially been attached to Brigit’s ex-roommate, a troll from Scotland. Somehow, the dryad had convinced her to come live with them.
“Kinda. But the brownie was able to break her Bond of Servitude because Sam’s behavior was bringing out her boggart side. If she had stayed, she would have transformed. A lawyer told her it was a repudiatory breach so it gave her the legal right to terminate the contract. Banshees, however,” she shook her head, her tight black curls bouncing, “tend to stick to blood ties. Silly old-fashioned creatures.”
“If she won’t leave, would the chancellor force O’Connor to withdraw from the university?”
“Maybe if she would show herself, we could find out!”
As if Brigit’s words had summoned her, a strange cry started in the air above their heads. Even though she was fae, Brigit felt a cold shiver of fear up the back of her neck.
Logan bent closer and whispered in her pointed ear, “My flight response is really kicking in.”
“It’s the banshee. Her purpose is to unnerve you.”
“It’s working,” Logan’s reply was terse.
Sometimes she forgot Logan wasn’t fae. It was a disconcerting noise even for someone like herself, used to the ugly natures of the fae. For humans targeted by their bloodcurdling screams, it was probably horrifying. Brigit reached over and gave his gloved hand a reassuring squeeze.
The shrieking was piercingly shrill. It started low, and built in intensity until the glass windows in the dormitory vibrated in their frames. The screaming woke students in the dorm. Faces, appearing as shadows, lit from behind, peeked out from behind drapes.
This was the reason why they were there. Students were threatening to stop paying dorm fees if the banshee situation wasn’t sorted out soon. No one felt safe. In typical fashion, Bandemer shoved the problem onto someone else.
Logan and Brigit stood up, but she had to take a moment to stomp feeling back into her feet which had fallen asleep. Standing there, they could both see the ghostly apparition of the banshee.
She was suspended in mid-air, hovering outside the third floor of the dormitory hall. Since the banshee’s face was towards the building, they only saw the back of her form. It some ways, she was similar to the ghosts they had met at the library for she was as substantial as a spectral vapor.
Brigit estimated her to be at least seven feet. If her height didn’t betray her as fae, her torso would have, for it was not of human dimensions. Instead, she was long and thin, like a tree trunk, and her arms were branch-like, almost as long as her torso.
The banshee wore a long white dress. The skirt and its train billowed away from her body like the tail of a wispy cloud. Her thick red hair fell past her ankles. The snake-strands whipped around as if being torn by a strong wind. Except the chilly night air was still.
Recovered from their first fright, Logan and Brigit could now understand the words she was screaming.
“Tomorrow, you will have a pop quiz in biology!”
Brigit and Logan stared at each other in surprise.
“Your roommate ate the last cookie from the tin.”
At this, Logan raised his eyebrows and Brigit rolled her eyes.
“Professor Steingard doesn’t like you. Your face reminds him of his nephew, who he hates.”
Brigit cupped her hands around her mouth. She shouted up at the banshee floating above them.
“By the authority vested in me by the chancellor of Leopold-Ottos-Universität Geheimetür, Bewachterberg, I command that you to float down here and explain yourself!”