In This Excerpt From A Promise of Peridot, Tensions Of Every Kind Are On the Rise

Books Features Kate Golden
In This Excerpt From A Promise of Peridot, Tensions Of Every Kind Are On the Rise

A Dawn of Onyx was one of 2023’s buzziest romantasy titles, featuring a captivating, extremely slow burn love story set in a world of warring kingdoms and magic. A Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Romantasy of 2023 and a hashtag boasting over 13.3 million views on TikTok, this is a story that left readers everywhere desperate to know what happens next. And now, with its sequel, A Promise of Peridot, set to arrive in April, we’ll finally get the chance to find out. 

The second book in Kate Golden’s Sacred Stone trilogy, A Promise of Peridot picks up right where the series’ first installment left off, as Arwen Valondale attempts to process the many shocking betrayals and revelations its final chapters revealed. Now on the hunt for a legendary weapon, she’ll have to find a way to manage her feelings for a man who betrayed her…but who won’t get out of her head. (And the fact that he’s willing to do anything to keep her safe isn’t exactly helping her keep her perspective.)

Here’s how the publisher describes the story. 

Arwen Valondale is sailing for the mysterious Kingdom of Citrine after the battle of Siren’s Bay. Reeling from shocking revelations and her newfound powers, Arwen directs all of her pain and rage toward the man who betrayed her: King Kane Ravenwood.

Kane’s presence is unavoidable as he travels with Arwen and her friends to seek the Blade of the Sun, a legendary weapon inextricably tied to her fate and the future of the realm. Even an uneasy truce proves difficult as Arwen fights against her unresolved feelings for Kane, who is willing to become darkness itself to protect her.

As Arwen faces creatures, foes, and magic beyond her wildest imaginings, she must discover the secrets of her past to defeat the monstrous Fae king Lazarus. But finding the light within might mean the death of her and everyone she loves.

A Promise of Peridot won’t hit shelves until April 9, but we’ve got an exclusive look at the dramatic Dawn of Onyx sequel right now. 

“I killed Crawford.”

Words lodged in my throat. Was he gloating? Fedrik looked bewildered.

“Told you,” Griffin huffed to Fedrik.

We weaved through a couple of disheveled fishermen making their way home from a tavern after what—given the rich odor of rum that permeated the air as we neared them—must have been a raucous night of heavy drinking.

Jealousy swamped me. I wouldn’t have minded another glass of that orange wine myself.

“For men who could be tried for murder, you both seem quite glib.” Prince Fedrik’s words were coy but his tone was cutting. I stepped closer to him, and Kane studied the movement as if it were a personal insult.

“For someone who just lost a gambling buddy,” Kane said, “you don’t seem all that bereft.”

“He wasn’t my buddy. He was my parents’ friend.”

“I didn’t know there was a difference,” Kane hissed, and then, before Fedrik could defend himself, “You weren’t aware he traded stolen goods?”

“You think petty thieves deserve to be murdered? You really are as ruthless as they say.”

“The trafficking of young Mer girls isn’t petty thievery.”

I shut out the unfathomable images that flooded my mind. Fedrik, too, said nothing, rendered silent by disgust.

Kane only nodded, his eyes cold on the prince. “Some ruler of the kingdom you are. Commander Griffin can escort you back to the castle. I require my healer’s assistance.” Kane lifted his hand to us, knuckles bloody.

Fedrik turned in my direction. “Do you need me to stay?”

“She’s fine,” Kane thundered.

But Fedrik’s eyes stayed on mine, and an incomprehensible giggle nearly burst from me. Maybe at the raw fury Kane would unleash if I said yes. Or maybe at the naive idea that if Kane wanted to hurt me, there was anything at all Fedrik could do to stop him.

“He’s right,” I finally said. “I’m fine, thank you.”

Fedrik lifted my hand to his mouth, pressed a single kiss there, and retreated to the palace without so much as a look to Kane. Griffin watched him go but made no move to follow.

“Pathetic,” Kane spat.

Under flaming turquoise streetlamps, the city was bathed in uneven tones of blue and black and gold that painted him like angry brushstrokes.

I folded my arms against the wind as it sailed through the city streets. “What is? Leaving when I asked? Respecting someone’s wishes? Can you even fathom such a thing?”

“No,” he snarled. “Not when it comes to your safety.” “Clearly the only thing I need to be kept safe from is you.” I gestured to the café and the dead body that was still cooling within its walls.

Kane sighed, drawing a hand over his forehead. “He had to die.”

“Funny, I’ve heard you say that before.” “Probably because it was true.”

“Or because you get off on it. Because you’re sick.”

He prowled toward me, eyes black. Pure poison black. When he was so close I could smell his leather and sweat, he murmured, “I’ll show you what I fucking get off on.”

“All right,” Griffin cut in, jolting me and slicing the tension be‑ tween us. I had forgotten he was standing there. “I think that’s enough for tonight.”

“Go home, Griffin,” Kane snarled, eyes never leaving my pursed lips. “We’re fine.”

“You could have turned Crawford in to the king and queen. Why did you murder him?” I pressed. “Do you like it?”

“He knew who you were. He also traded little Mer girls like candies to his friends. You don’t think a man like that deserves death?”

I spun on my heel with his words and walked away from the narrow courtyard, out into the wider street where I could breathe. “That’s not the point. You will always find the worst men and kill them. Not because they deserve it, but because you want to hurt.”

Kane stepped into pace beside me, Griffin already strides ahead, sick of our bickering. 

I was, too.

“And what?” Kane pressed. “You’ll save every trembling asshole who says please until one of them turns around and slices you clean through?”

“There is nothing wrong with showing people mercy. I shouldn’t have expected a savage like you to understand.”

“You know what? That’s good. Be angry with me. I’m angry with me. About Siren’s Bay. The prophecy. Your mother—” 

I stopped cold. “Don’t you speak of her—”

“I welcome your anger. Relish it, in fact. Much better than watching you walk through life like a corpse. So give me the worst of it. I’ll take anything you’ve got. Just stop putting yourself in situations like that to feel something.”

Shame coated my throat. “Situations like what?”

“Drinking recklessly, taunting Crawford, taking your damned clothes off—you’re going to get yourself killed trying to feel alive.”

“You think I want something to happen to me?”

“I’m starting to think that’s exactly what you want.”

“That’s not— I’m not— You know nothing about me.” I tried to cut around him and nearly toppled into his chest. Looking past him, I realized we were alone. Our only company the distant sound of waves crashing against the shore and crickets chirping in the lush cypress trees.

“Don’t I? I know what you fear. I know what you pray for. I know how you like to be touched, how you taste . . .”

When his eyes lit with something raw, something primal, I raised my hand to hit him. To channel my fury into something palpable and tangible like his smug, male face. But my fist collided with his palm instead of his jaw. He held my hand in midair as he stepped closer, invading my senses.

“I let you do that once, bird,” he murmured. “It won’t happen again.”

We were pressed together now, and I could feel his body against mine, warm from wanting and hard like stone. His thumb stroked softly along my still‑wound fist, and I hummed involuntarily at the sensation.

A Promise of Peridot will be released on April 9, but you can pre-order it right now. 

Lacy Baugher Milas is the Books Editor at Paste Magazine, but loves nerding out about all sorts of pop culture. You can find her on Twitter @LacyMB

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