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Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts Read Online (FREE)

Of Blood and Bone Read Online

Read Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts full novel online free

PROLOGUE

They said a virus ended the world. But it was magick, black as moonless midnight. The virus was its weapon, a barrage of arrows winging, silenced bullets striking, a jagged blade slicing. And yet the innocent—the touch of a hand, a mother’s good-night kiss—spread the Doom, bringing sudden, painful, ugly death to billions.

Many who survived that first shocking strike died by their own hand or by another’s as the thorny vines of madness, grief, and fear strangled the world. Still others, unable to find shelter, food, clean water, medications, simply withered and died waiting for help and hope that never came.

The spine of technology cracked, bringing the dark, the silence. Governments toppled from their perches of power.

The Doom gave no quarter to democracy, to dictators, to parliaments or kingdoms. It fed on presidents and peasants with equal greed.

Out of the dark, lights dimmed for millennia flickered and woke. The rise of magicks, white and black, sprang from the chaos. Awakened powers offered a choice between good and evil, light and dark.

Some would always choose the dark.

Uncannys shared what was left of the world with man. And those—man and magickals—who embraced the dark struck, turning great cities into rubble, hunting those who hid from them or fought against them to destroy, to enslave, to bask in blood even as bodies littered the ground.

Panicked governments ordered their militaries to sweep up survivors, to “contain” Uncannys. So a child who had discovered her wings might find herself restrained on a table in a lab, in the name of science.

Madmen claimed God in their vicious righteousness, stirring fear and hate to build their own armies to purge what was “other.” Magick, they preached, came from the devil’s hand, and any who possessed it were demons to be sent back to hell.

Raiders cruised the ruined cities, the highways, and the back roads to burn and kill because they enjoyed it. Man would always find ways to wreak cruelty on man.

In a world so broken, who would stop them?

There were murmurs in the light, rumblings in the dark, that reached the ears of men—of a warrior to come. She, daughter of the Tuatha de Danann, would remain hidden until she took up her sword and shield. Until she, The One, led light against the dark.

But months became years, and the world remained broken. Hunts and raids and sweeps continued.

Some hid, skittering out at night to scavenge or steal enough to survive another day. Some chose to take to the roads in an endless migration to nowhere. Others took to the woods to hunt, to the fields to plant. Some formed communities that ebbed and flowed as they struggled to live in a world where a handful of salt was more precious than gold.

And some, like those who found and formed New Hope, rebuilt.

When the world ended, Arlys Reid had reported it from the New York anchor desk she’d inherited. She’d watched the city burn around her, and in the end had chosen to tell the truth to all who could still hear her and escape.