KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
THE DARK TIDE: GIFTED BLOOD ACADEMY
Sophomore Year (Ytherynia Book 2)
BY MARIA VERMISOGLOU
They said the academy was safe.
Now I’m wondering if it’s my job to keep it that way.
Oh, I haven’t introduced myself? I’m Yuri Finn, Prince of Liquiris (and humble sophomore student at Gifted Blood Academy) at your service.
All I want is to get through the school year at Gifted Blood unscathed, but when magic mysteriously disappears, we get stuck in our human forms. And if that wasn’t enough, Mavuto, a freshman shifter, has his mind set on making everyone miserable this year.
If I lose control of my powers, the spirit will awaken. Then it’s game over.
Can’t a prince get a break?
Now I’m supposed to band together with the shifters who made my life hell and all the other species who obviously have their own agenda.
Yup, I’m probably going to die.
Readers who love magic academies and mystery will love this epic adventure!
★The Dark Tide is the second book in this YA magic academy series. Get ready for slow burn romance, magical mysteries and chaos!★
Chapter I: The Return
Yuri gave his underwater bedroom one last sweep before he headed out, backpack in hand and courage wrapped up in his chest.
Living with a family who hated him made him grow a second shell around him, suspicious and secluded until last year, when he received a letter inviting him to the Gifted Blood Academy. He faced challenges but also made friends who stood by him in the good and the bad. Now he was ready to go back.
“Do you have everything you need?” Lana fussed over him, her ice blue hair twirling around her as she swam into the room. “Books? Shirts? Forks?”
“Yes, yes, and what? Forks? What would I do with forks?” Yuri gave the petite mermaid an incredulous look.
“You never know.” Lana shrugged, securing the lock on his backpack. “I’ve sent all your heavy stuff to the school, so you should find them when you arrive.” Lana cast her gaze on him, her eyes twinkling with a strange light, and grinned. “I can’t believe how much you’ve grown.”
Yuri rolled his eyes. “Lana, be thankful there’s nobody here, so you can’t embarrass me.” He looked at the high windows reflecting the sunlight and smiled. “I have to get going.”
Yuri glanced at the mermen who carried stones, tools, and building material, conversing about the collapsed part of the wall. He averted his gaze before the memories of the attack seeped into his brain. Yuri swam over the tall green vases in the shape of waves containing sea quills, anemones, and sea lilies that had survived the attack, whose purpose was to distract the visitor from the seashell door behind them.
“Darling, the door is that way.” Lana smirked and pointed to the gate where the dolphin ornaments firmly stood as guards between him and the city. “That’s the servants’ entrance.”
“Lana, I was born in this palace, so I’m aware of where everything is, thank you. The shark was enough. I can’t handle my brothers’ malice right now.” Having grown with their sick humor, which resulted in multiple injuries and constant terror every time they were in the same space, Yuri expected the worst from them. However, he no longer had the same fear of them, but still would rather be trapped with a lionfish and endure its stings, than share a meal with his brothers.
“I wouldn’t worry about them.” Lana snorted, swimming alongside with him to the personnel entrance which led outside the palace, hidden behind a seashell door. “Iri is holed up in his room and Irvin is in the weapons’ room. Not that he knows how to use them.” She clapped Yuri on the shoulder. “Have a good year, dear, and if you need anything, you write to me, you hear?”
Yuri nodded and gave a hug to the weird mermaid who had been taking care of him ever since his mother had passed away. A servant she might be, but she was one of the few people in the palace who respected and loved him as opposed to how his family treated him.
“Thank you, Lana. I’ll see you in the summer.” Yuri waved and pressed the pink seashell on the side, which made the wall part, revealing an opening.
Slipping past the guards, he hid behind a pair of dolphins heading to the city. Yuri glanced at the palace and imagined Lana’s reaction when she learned of it. The presence of guards watching his every move suffocated him. Given the recent circumstances, it was understandable, but Yuri, who loved exploring and getting lost, couldn’t handle it.
Once Yuri reached the suburbia, he swam to the ocean, relishing on the silk touch of the salt water against his fins.
Being a child of the ocean, Yuri held more power than the rest of his family, who were from the river but also caused frictions between them.
Yuri took a left turn when the Anemone Forest unfolded before him and nodded at the school of neon fish who crossed his path but forced his fins to surpass them. They were so chatty they could put a whale to sleep. Yuri avoided looking at the fluorescent colors of the anemones of the forest where predators often lurked, stalking their next victim, and entered through the narrow opening of a cave, which would take him to the last stop.
The merpeople had as many enemies in the water as they did on the shore. Yuri’s eyes flickered between intricate stones and pieces of marble engraved with markings that lay at the bottom of the cave, gleaming in the darkness. How tempted he was to stop and examine each of them. However, he didn’t want to stray off his path on the first day of his sophomore year. Meeting his friends was much more adventurous than a piece of marble he could find a year later still waiting for him.
A light beamed at the far end of the cave, and he clicked his tongue. Yuri fumbled in his backpack for the key and passed it around his neck.
“I hope it’s better than last year.” Yuri rubbed the key between his fingers and viciously chewed his lip. His gaze lingered on the sprouts that struggled to grow, hesitant to make another move. Bubbles formed around his mouth, and he glared at them, slapping them away. “For crying out loud! It’s just a portal.” Ashamed of his weakness, Yuri plunged head on, his heart bouncing on his chest, his focus at the blinking blue light.
I was wrong. This is worse. The portal enveloped him in a blue light, compressing his internal organs, and Yuri could do nothing but think of the vast ocean while he winced in agony.
The waves washed Yuri on the shore and he oscillated between gasps and coughs while his gills made room for the lungs. The sand underneath him was wet and annoyed him and he couldn’t understand why humans dipped their feet in it with no purpose. Yuri waited until he shifted into his human form and cast his gaze to the sun.
With his hand anchored on his shoulder, he tried to find the strength to rise. “I hate portals.”
Maria Vermisoglou is an International Bestselling author of fantasy and paranormal with an obsession for witches. She loves throwing her heroes into impossible situations. Maria draws inspiration from books, travel, and…the ceiling. (So blame the ceiling!)
Maria started writing when the stories she read became too boring and the voices in her mind too loud.
When she’s not writing, she loves a good riding on the fantasy dragon, but a book can also be exciting, along with a cup of tea.
Nowadays, you can find her in Athens, exploring the mysteries of the ancient world.
Links to Maria’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Thanks, Maria, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!