Authors: Fiona Paul
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Coming in March 2014 from Philomel Books
an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group
ass and Luca are fugitives, on the run from the law and
the deadly Order of the Eternal Rose. As they separate
to pursue the only evidence that could save them, their
worlds—and their romance—are torn apart by spiteful
friends and murderous enemies.
When Cass finds herself ensnared in the Order’s twisted plot,
Falco emerges once again as her only hope for freedom. But it turns
out Luca has a shocking scheme of his own.
From ancient mercenaries to sly magicians, from clever courtesans to vengeful killers, no one can be trusted. In the breathtaking
conclusion to the Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy, Cass must confront the Order and once and for all decide her destiny. Who will fly
beside her when she finally finds her wings?
an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
Manufactured in the USA
is a writer, wanderer, and free spirit, with degrees
in psychology and secondary education. She’s traveled all over the
world, and many of the scenes in
were inspired by real-life experiences (though she won’t tell you which ones).
She now makes her home in St. Louis, Missouri. Her future goals
include diving with great white sharks and writing more books, but
not necessarily in that order.
You can visit Fiona Paul at
and read her blog at
An imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Published by The Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
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Copyright © 2014 by Paper Lantern Lit LLC.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Starling / Fiona Paul.
pages cm—(Secrets of the Eternal Rose ; 3)
Summary: “Cass and Luca are back in Venice, trying to
find the Book of the Eternal Rose to clear Luca’s name and keep them both out of prison”—Provided
[1. Mystery and detective stories. 2. Adventure and adventurers—Fiction.
3. Secret societies—Fiction. 4. Social classes—Fiction. 5. Love—Fiction. 6. Venice (Italy)—
History—1508–1797—Fiction. 7. Italy—History—1559–1789—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.P278345St 2014 [Fic]—dc23 2013012455
Published simultaneously in Canada. Printed in the United States of America.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
hen the last drop of light drained from the sky,
Cass and Luca crept out of the shed where they
had been hiding. Cass took a moment to
stretch, her muscles grateful to be free of the
cramped enclosure. After Luca had torn open his shoulder escaping
from the Doge’s dungeons, the wound had festered, leaving him feverish and incapacitated for nearly a week. Cass knew each day that
passed meant fewer people would be searching for them, but the
waiting had been agony. She was desperate to resume her quest to
destroy the Order of the Eternal Rose.
There was only one way to do that—find the Book of the Eternal
Rose and pray it contained enough evidence of wrongdoing to bring
the Order’s members to justice. Hatred coiled inside of Cass like a
tangle of serpents. She embraced it, channeled it toward the task at
hand. “The shore is this way,” she said.
Luca squeezed her fingers as they turned off the path, and she
relaxed slightly. The whispering tide ebbed and flowed just out of
sight. The wind was warm but brisk, whipping the fabric of her dress
up around her legs. Luca walked stiffly, his injured arm cradled
against his torso. They traveled east along the water until Cass found
what she was looking for—an old
tied to a wooden dock. She
glanced around. A handful of cottages—all dark—stood nearby. The
boat might belong to any of them.
Walking boldly out onto the dock, Cass knelt down and loosened
the rope that moored the small rowboat. “Get in,” she told Luca.
He paused. “Is there no other way than to steal from peasants?”
“Our alleged crimes have gone beyond mere theft,” Cass said.
She didn’t remind him that they were heading to Villa Querini so
they could steal from her beloved aunt. There was no other way.
Cass and Luca would need money to return to Florence and seek out
the book. It was safer for Agnese if she believed they were dead. “Besides, someone will probably find the craft and return it.” Nimbly,
Cass’s fingers worked through the knots while Luca watched with a
mixture of surprise and admiration.
“I had no idea your talents were so . . . varied,” he said.
Cass smiled. It felt like the first smile in days. “Wait until you see
And row she did. Wood ground against metal as she pulled the
oars, leaning into each stroke, her muscles burning in protest as the
boat moved slowly and steadily through the lagoon. She scanned
the water as she rowed, looking for other craft, for boats that held
soldiers, for anything out of the ordinary. But the night was a curtain
of blackness, with nothing but a hazy moon to guide her. If they suddenly came upon another boat, there very well might be a crash.
Luca took in each of her movements, the expression on his face
suddenly making Cass feel shy.