Authors: Shannon Dittemore
Tags: #ebook, #book
Advance Acclaim for
“A gut-wrenching plunge into the supernatural,
reveals Dittemore’s skilled, elegant prose and her prowess with compelling characters! Tangible fear and violent beauty collide in this page-turning sequel in the Angel Eyes Trilogy. Simply unputdownable! Tear the veils from your eyes—
is one of the best YA novels out there!”
AUTHOR OF THE
“This is one of my favorite series! Dittemore has accomplished a rare feat with
she’s written a sequel that’s as good as or better than book one. Beautiful, romantic, and fascinating. I couldn’t stop reading this enthralling page-turner. I’ll be the first one in line for book three.”
ILLIAMSON, AUTHOR OF
“Powerful, honest, and emotionally gripping. I read it in one sitting!”
has everything I look for in a novel—gorgeous prose, a compelling heroine, humor, and an intriguing plot—and two things I dream of finding—permission for brokenness and the promise of hope.”
is a fine debut. A touching and exciting romance with celestial implications.”
“Stunning. A captivating read with all the intensity necessary to keep me turning pages well into the night.”
URCH, AUTHOR OF THE
“Shannon Dittemore gives us a classic tale of good versus evil with an authentically contemporary feel—and the assurance that beautiful writing is back.”
Book Two in the
ANGEL EYES TRILOGY
© 2013 by Shannon Dittemore
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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Scripture quotations are taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION. © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.
Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Broken wings / Shannon Dittemore.
pages cm. -- (Angel eyes trilogy ; book 2)
Summary: “When the Prince of Darkness pulls the demon Damien from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for the ultimate battle of good versus evil”-- Provided by publisher.
ISBN 978-1-4016-8637-6 (trade paper)
[1. Supernatural--Fiction. 2. Angels--Fiction. 3. Demonology--Fiction. 4. Fate and fatalism--Fiction.] I. Title.
Printed in the United States of America
13 14 15 16 17 18 QG 6 5 4 3 2 1
For Mom and Dad,
who taught me that broken doesn’t mean alone
“The light has come into the world, and men loved
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
OHN, THE APOSTLE
ell is loud.
Talons scratch at the stone floor and clack against the pillars circling the chamber as the great hall fills. Hisses and snarls sound all around, but the noise doesn’t unsettle the Cherub.
She’s been here before.
Carved into the earth, deep against its core—in a realm undetectable by human technology—lies the stronghold of Satan. A massive structure formed out of darkness, molded and hardened into stone, Abaddon sits at the very center of the Prince’s domain.
Pearla’s velvety black skin goes unnoticed as she slides behind a chunky pillar, pressing against the outer wall.
But the cherubic spy isn’t deceived by the darkness that surrounds her. This place was created for the Prince, given to him by the Creator. And while the light of the Celestial won’t permeate these walls, even here the Father cannot be escaped. Unlike the demonic crowd scratching and biting at one another, this created one experiences peace.
Her celestial feet are silent against the icy floor, her wings
folded tight against her back. She keeps her white eyes pinched tight. Nothing draws attention like shards of light piercing the darkness.
And darkness is everywhere.
Pearla slinks from pillar to pillar, feeling the rough rock with her hands, searching for a familiar crevice. When at last she reaches it, she slides inside, deep into the rock wall. Facing away from the chamber, she opens her eyes just wide enough to guide her climb. She’s nimble and fast, scaling the wall with precision. Pearla locates a crag high above the pillars circling the room, high above the crowd of demons pushing and shoving and jockeying for position, and wedges herself far into the wall. The silky black wings—characteristic of cherubic spies—whisper against rock as she unfurls them and covers herself. Her gaze penetrates her wings and she watches.
And she waits.
The circular hall is ringed by rows and rows of demons. She’s seen some of their grotesque faces before. As members of the Prince’s guard they rarely leave Abaddon without the Prince; if they do, they do so in small numbers. His guard is made up of the most loyal, the most trusted demons. But there are others here: fallen angels with smaller, less important roles in the devil’s stronghold. With so many in attendance, Pearla wonders if the Prince himself will preside over this assembly, a task he normally delegates.
Rumors lend credence to this idea—reports that indicate the entire Palatine legion is on the move. Sources insist they’ve returned to Abaddon to receive new orders. But it defies logic. Why return thousands and thousands of the Prince’s best warriors to their fortress when a small council would suffice? But the
rumors persist, and as the commander of the Creator’s forces, Michael is giving them due consideration. If they’re true, a movement like this indicates an attack of ambitious proportion.
With a victory in Uganda imminent, the legion of light will be ready to move. And there’s no Warrior better suited for a war against the Palatine than Michael, the Commander himself.
Pearla closes her eyes against the chaos below and imagines herself back in the Throne Room of the Father. Magnificent in its beauty with everything in good order. The Father glowing bright, a river of gold flowing from His throne. The Thrones—wisest of the angels—wrapped head to toe in feathers of white, hovering about the Father, singing His praises, echoing one another back and forth. Pearla fights to control her lips as memories of the Creator’s goodness well up in her soul.
Worthy! Worthy! No one else is worthy!
And then another sound, a terrifying sound, pulls her back to hell. It’s the sound of bondage. Of slavery. She wills herself to remain steady as the hiss and spit of fiery chains against the cold, moist floor draws excitement from the Fallen crowded about.
A lone demon is led into the hall by a small band. They prod and poke at him like a wayward cow. When they reach the center of the room, they latch his chains to the floor. With little ceremony they leave him to stand alone before a pathetic replica of the Father’s throne.
The Prince’s seat of power is not without grandeur, but where the Father’s throne is constructed of the purest gold and gemstones, here an extravagant dais has been carved out of rock. Behind it, a slab rises high with strange symbols and designs cut into the stone. Chief among them is a dragon, his teeth menacing,
his scales polished to a shine. His tail wraps around the platform, and clutched in his serpentine coils are thousands of brightly jeweled stars. The image, a symbol of the great dragon’s rebellion, has always disturbed Pearla.
And with the prisoner chained before the throne, it seems Pearla was right.
Lucifer himself is expected.
The room is full of people, but I don’t see them. Not clearly. They’re a blur of summer colors and shadowed faces as my legs push me across the stage. My arms bow and curve, matching my inhales and exhales. Flutes, clarinets, and instruments I can’t even name trill from the speakers, the music telling a story. The dance sharing a journey.
Getting back to the stage was not an easy path, and my mind is full of the circumstances and the players that brought me here. I rise to my toes and I think of Ali, my closest friend. I think of the life that was taken from her. I think of her boyfriend, Marco, and the case built against him: smoke and mirrors to hide what really happened.
But truth is stronger than lies, and as the music slows, my black skirt whispers against my knees and I remember the first time I saw the Celestial. Light and life everywhere, and on every surface colors that never stop moving.