Read Left Hand Magic Online

Authors: Nancy A. Collins

Left Hand Magic

 
Table of Contents
 
 
 
Praise for the Novels of Nancy A. Collins
 
“Imaginative, dynamic, and highly entertaining.”
—Clive Barker
 
“Vampiric, postpunk, metal-fanged, dark-doomed romance at its best.”

Locus
 
 
“Has style, energy, and black humor to spare.”

The New York Review of Science Fiction
 
 
Right Hand Magic
“Golgotham feels real, feels inhabited by real unreal people and places, and the whole book is just a joy to read.”
—Simon R. Green,
New York Times
bestselling author
of
The Bride Wore Black Leather
 
 
“One of the most enjoyable books that I have read all year. . . . Nancy A. Collins has reminded me why I loved [urban fantasy] in the first place. . . . Collins has created a world that makes readers want to explore it and characters that the reader can not just care about but definitely like. . . . I’m most certainly looking forward to more books in the series.”
—BSCreview
 
 
“The danger in the book is all too real. . . . Collins is especially skilled at portraying the sweaty, nervous moments when everything goes wrong and help is too far away. . . . For readers eager to see a very well-done portrayal of a strange neighborhood amid our all too mundane reality, this is the book for you. Recommended.”
—SFRevu
 
 
“Collins’s latest novel should attract fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Tanya Huff, and Laurell K. Hamilton.”

Library Journal
 
 
“The intriguing setting [is] the true star of the series.”

Publishers Weekly
 
 
“Golgotham itself is a fantastically intriguing setting. . . . It inspires a sense of wonder akin to what you might have felt when first discovering J. K. Rowling’s Diagon Alley.... The Golgotham series shows a lot of promise. The setting is fascinating, and it’s peopled with interesting characters.”
—Fantasy Literature
 
 
“[A] great beginning to what appears to be a fantastic new urban fantasy series. I look forward to reading the second story to see what the author does with this incredible and complex neighborhood.”
—Huntress Book Reviews
 
“The hype is well-deserved . . . full of magic, romance, and an epic take on New York City.”
—Bitten by Books
 
 
“An entertaining story that demonstrates an amazing breadth of imagination and introduces a fascinating alternate society. . . . [It’s] an intriguing introduction to an environment peopled with eccentric and memorable characters. Hopefully there will be many additional tales set in this new mind-boggling city named Golgotham.”
—Night Owl Sci-Fi
 
 
“Whenever a series is named after its location, I expect that location to be as much a character as the protagonist. And the new Golgotham urban fantasy series delivers. The fictitious New York City [neighborhood] of Golgotham is a strange and wonderful place.”
—All Things Urban Fantasy
 
 
“Golgotham feels like the sort of neighborhood you can visit more than once, so a sequel or three to
Right Hand Magic
should prove, well, enchanting.”
—StarNews Online
 
 
“[Collins] does an excellent job of bringing Golgotham and its unusual occupants vividly to life, yet grounding the story in reality. Compelling characters and dangerous drama add up to dynamic and exciting fun.”

Romantic Times
 
Also by Nancy A. Collins
 
The Novels of Golgotham
Right Hand Magic
ROC
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, December 2011
 
Copyright © Nancy A. Collins, 2011
All rights reserved
ISBN : 978-1-101-55905-5
 
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

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Dedicated to the memory of Janie Wester Thompson
1940–2010
Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.
—Charles Dickens
 
Chapter 1
 
I
woke up to find a dragon hovering over me.
The great beast’s head was drawn back, its jaws agape as it prepared to spew its burning venom. It was so close I could see the veins running through the membranes of its unfurled wings and the iridescent scales that covered its underbelly. I was about to scream, but then I remembered where I was.
Waking up in my boyfriend’s room can be disorienting at times, especially since there is a monster painted on the ceiling in photographic detail. Although I grew up in an apartment filled with works of art, the ceiling mural was freaking me out. It wasn’t the dragon so much, though, as the chain of Kymeran maidens that danced around the big lizard. I had the strangest feeling that they were watching me when I wasn’t looking.
Then again, that might have been the bedposts.
The carved owls perched atop Hexe’s four-poster were as detailed as the dragon on the ceiling and every morning when I woke up, it seemed as if they were in slightly different positions than when I fell asleep. To be honest, a good many of the furnishings in Hexe’s private quarters seem to move about of their own accord whenever I look away. Being romantically involved with a warlock was taking a bit more adjusting to than I’d first imagined.
Speaking of which—I glanced over at Hexe’s side of the bed. The sheets were rumpled, and his pillow still smelled of his unique personal scent—a masculine mixture of citrus, moss, and leather—but Hexe was already up and about his day. I sighed as I swung my feet onto the floor.
Waking up alone was something else I was having a little trouble adjusting to. It wasn’t that Hexe had grown bored with my company in bed—far from it—it was just that his people don’t need nearly as much sleep as humans do. I guess I can add that to the umpteen things I didn’t know about Kymerans before moving to Golgotham.

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