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“There are few things more exciting to discover than a debut novel packed with powerful storytelling and beautiful language. Storm Siren is one of those rarities. I’ll read anything Mary Weber writes. More, please!” —JAY ASHER, New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why “Storm Siren is a riveting tale from start to finish. Between the simmering romance, the rich and inventive fantasy world, and one seriously jaw-dropping finale, readers will clamor for the next book—and I'll be at the front of the line!” —MARISSA MEYER, New York Times bestselling author of the Lunar Chronicles “I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.” As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth—meaning, she shouldn’t even exist. Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym face

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  • Advance Praise for Storm Siren

    There are few things more exciting to discover than a debut novel

    packed with powerful storytelling and beautiful language. Storm Siren

    is one of those rarities. Ill read anything Mary Weber writes. More,

    please!

    Jay Asher, New York Times best-selling

    author of Thirteen Reasons Why

    Intense and intriguing. Fans of high stakes fantasy wont be able to

    put it down.

    CJ Redwine, author of Defiance

    A riveting read! Mary Webers rich world and heartbreaking heroine

    had me from page one. Youre going to fall in love with this love story.

    Josephine Angelini, internationally best-selling

    author of the Starcrossed trilogy

    Elegant prose and intricate world-building twist into a breath-

    less cyclone of a story that will constantly keep you guessing. More,

    please!

    Shannon Messenger, author of the Sky Fall series

    Mary Weber has created a fascinating, twisted world. Storm Siren

    sucked me in from page oneI couldnt stop reading! This is a defi-

    nite must-read, the kind of book that kept me up late into the night

    turning the pages!

    Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex

    Storm Siren.indd 1 5/28/14 2:43 PM

  • Webers debut novel is a tour de force! A story of guts, angst, bol-

    cranes, sword fights, and storms beyond imagining. Her heroine, a

    lightning-wielding young woman of immense power and a soft, ques-

    tioning heart, captures you from word one and holds tight until the

    final line. Unwilling to let the journey go, I eagerly await Webers (and

    Nyms) next adventure.

    Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley

    [F]antasy readers will feel at home in Webers first novel.

    Publishers Weekly

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  • Storm Siren

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  • Storm SirenBook One in the Storm Siren Trilogy

    Mary Weber

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  • 2014 by Mary Christine Weber

    All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meanselectronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or otherexcept 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 HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.

    Author is represented by the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc., 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80920, www.alivecommunications.com

    Map by Tom Gaddis

    Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected]

    Publishers Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the authors 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

    Weber, Mary. Storm siren : book one in the Storm siren trilogy / Mary Weber. pages cm ISBN 978-1-4016-9034-2 (hardback) I. Title. PS3623.E3946S76 2014 813.6dc23 2014006236

    Printed in the United States of America

    14 15 16 17 18 19 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1

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  • For Peter and myone,two,

    three precious Muses.For invading the world with your magic and bringing

    my soul alive on this beautiful adventure.You are the most daring dragon hunters I know.

    And to Lee Hough, for the enormous honor of storming thisbookish castle with you as my agent. Save me a seat

    in the Kingdom, my friend.

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  • For my shield this day I call:

    Heavens might,

    Suns brightness,

    Moons whiteness,

    Fires glory,

    Lightnings swiftness,

    Winds wildness,

    Oceans depth,

    Earths solidity,

    Rocks immobility.

    from Saint Patricks Breastplate

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  • Storm Siren.indd 10 5/28/14 2:43 PM

  • 1Chapter 1

    Fourteen circles for fourteen owners.I shade my eyes to block the suns reflection off the dis-tant mountains currently doused in snow and smoke and flesh-eating birds. The yellow flags above me snap sharp and

    loud in the breeze as if to emphasize my owners words that yes,

    shes quite aware such a high count is utterly ridiculous.

    Waiting for it . . .

    Fourteen? the sweaty merchant says.

    Ha! There it is. Eleven years of repeatedly being sold, and

    its sad, really, how familiar Ive become with this conversation.

    Today, if Brea has her way, I will meet my fifteenth, which I sup-

    pose should actually bother me. But it doesnt.

    Brea nods. Fourteen.

    I smirk and turn to watch a gimpy minstrel roaming through

    the marketplace, which is the closest Ive ever been to Faelens

    High Court. The poor guy is singing so wretchedly off-key, I want

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  • 2to giggle, except he might be newly returned from the war front,

    so I dont. Besides, his odd version of the old ballad The Monster

    and the Sea of Elisedds Sadness reminds me of my home up in

    the Fendres. Have you been there? I want to ask him.

    Instead, I look over as the enormous merchant grunts his

    nervousness and retreats from me, giving the ground a supersti-

    tious spit. He eyes Brea. Fourteen owners says either yer lyin

    or shes got the dark-death disease. Whichever it is, you best get

    her out of my way. I got a money business to run. He makes to

    hurry off toward the selling stand, almost tripping in his fur-

    trimmed shoes.

    I grin. Yes, run away in your too-little boots.

    Wait! Brea grabs his arm. Nym doesnt have the disease.

    Shes just . . .

    The merchant scowls at her grip on his sleeve.

    She releases it, but her roundish face turns stony with deter-

    mination. Shes just too uppity for the poorer folk, thats all.

    Theres only so much a master can take of a servant who thinks

    shes made of better than the rest.

    What in hulls? Is she off her chump? My laugh bubbles up

    and I choke it back, waiting for her to choke on her lie. He creeps

    closer and slides a look of dislike down my partially hooded face,

    my chin, my half-cloaked body. She dont look uppity. She dont

    even look decent enough for the favor houses.

    Whoa. I bite back a prickly remark about his mum birth-

    ing him in one of those dung havens and look away. Neither of

    them deserves a reaction. Using my practiced haughty pose, I

    face the lively crowd gathered like giddy children in front of

    the selling platform. Five, ten, fifty people. Theyre all smiling

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  • 3as if the circus with its panther monkeys and manic dwarves

    were performing instead of a fat guy in little boots exploiting

    children. Seems even decent women are desperate for extra

    hands while the men are off fighting a war weve no hope of

    winning.

    The merchant chews his puffy lip and studies me, like he

    expects me to help coerce him. Is he jesting? I raise an eyebrow

    and glare at him until, finally, he grunts again and pulls up the

    cuff on my right arm.

    I stiffen.

    His gloved fingers run over each thread tattooed around

    my wrist like tiny bracelets. One. Two. Three . . . He numbers

    the circles slowly, fourteen in a row inked into my skin with

    the juice of the black mugplant. I almost feel like I should clap

    for him.

    Good job, I mouth. You know how to count.

    The merchants face twists into a snarl. He gives me a

    vicious pinch below my elbow and pushes my sleeve higher up

    my arm onto my shoulder. I shiver and, narrowing my eyes,

    start to pull away, but Brea leans into me.

    You hold yourself together, she sputters close to my ear.

    And for fools sake, keep your hair covered, or so help me,

    Nymia, Ill break your fingers again.

    I bite my tongue but refuse her the satisfaction of dipping

    my gaze to my slightly misshapen left hand, which Im now

    curling into a fist.

    How old are you? the dealer growls in my face.

    Seventeen, I growl back.

    When was she first sold? This question is for Brea, but I

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  • 4feel his bristly glove squeeze my skin as if he expects me to alert

    him if shes dishonest.

    Age six. Her parents died when she was five and then she

    lived a short time with a midwife who had no use for her.

    She says this last part with a slice of disgust in her voice thats

    directed at me. And as much as I try to force it down, the hateful

    shame swells up to eat holes in my chest. Shes got me on that

    one. Two parents, one midwife, and fourteen owners Ive ruined,

    the latest being Breas own husband. And it doesnt matter that I

    tried to warn every single one of them.

    The merchants eyes constrict. There somethin else wrong

    with her yer not tellin me?

    Nothings wrong with her. Shes perfectly fine. Just give me

    three draghts and shes yours.

    Three draghts?