Table of Contents
Praise for the Novels of Rachel Caine
“A kick-ass heroine ... ready to sacrifice anything. ...
is high-octane from the first page, weaving a tantalizing mix of mystery, romance, and paranormal power. Fans of Rachel Caine will not be disappointed.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“‘Nail-biting’ doesn’t even begin to cover how intense these books are. ...
is a white-knuckle thrill ride from opening sentence to bittersweet end, and it’s addictive as hell. ... As per Ms. Caine’s usual, the characters are made of awesome.”
—The Book Smugglers
“A light fantasy novel, with just a hint of smoldering romance; perfect for anyone who wants something new instead of the same old paranormal themes.”
—Night Owl Reviews
“Full of passion, action, and memorable characters.”
“Fast-paced ... plenty of excitement. ... A cliff-hanger ending will keep fans eager for the next installment.”
“This is a good read, full of nail-biting action, some really creepy kids, and a final chilling revelation.”
“A lot of action and a fast-paced plot. The cliff-hanger ending will make you want to find out what happens next.”
“Ms. Caine takes readers on a fabulous new journey and introduces us to a powerful new heroine who’s been forced into a reality she’s not equipped to handle. ...
well exceeded my expectations, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where the series will go from here.”
“A fantastic start to another auto-buy series. Whether a newbie to the world of the Wardens and Djinn or a veteran of the series,
will capture and thrill you.”
—The Book Smugglers
—Genre Go Round Reviews
The Weather Warden Series
“You’ll never watch the Weather Channel the same way again. ... The forecast calls for ... a fun read.”
New York Times
bestselling author Jim Butcher
“[As] swift, sassy, and sexy as Laurell K. Hamilton ... Rachel Caine takes the Weather Wardens to places the Weather Channel never imagined!”
—Mary Jo Putney
“A fast-paced thrill ride [that] brings new meaning to stormy weather.”
“An appealing heroine with a wry sense of humor that enlivens even the darkest encounters.”
“Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher are going to love this fast-paced, action-packed romantic urban fantasy.”
Midwest Book Review
“A kick-butt heroine who will appeal strongly to fans of Tanya Huff, Kelley Armstrong, and Charlaine Harris.”
“A neat, stylish, and very witty addition to the genre, all wrapped up in a narrative voice to die for. Hugely entertaining.”
“Chaos has never been so intriguing as when Rachel Caine shapes it into the setting of a story. Each book in this series has built in intensity and fascination. Secondary characters blossom as Joanne meets them anew, and twists are revealed that will leave you gasping.”
—Huntress Book Reviews
“The Weather Warden series is fun reading ... more engaging than most TV.”
“If for some absurd reason you haven’t tucked into this series, now’s a good time. Get cracking.”
“I dare you to put this book down.”
University City Review
“Overall, the fast pace, intense emotion, cool magics, and a sense of hurtling momentum toward some planet-sized conclusion to the overarching story are keeping me a fan of the Weather Warden series. I continue to enjoy Joanne’s girly-girl yet kick-ass nature.”
—Romantic SF & Fantasy Novels
Books by Rachel Caine
THE MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES
The Dead Girls’ Dance
Feast of Fools
Lord of Misrule
Kiss of Death
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eISBN : 978-1-101-47720-5
First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, February 2011
Copyright © Roxanne Conrad Longstreet, 2011
All rights reserved
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To my friends A.J. and Wendy, who found each other.
To my friends Claire and Gareth, who held on to each
other for as long as possible. Be at peace.
To Jason L. Dawson, who just held on, despite the odds.
Also, to the astonishing Jackie Kessler.
You go, girl. Go far.
The Stone Coyotes (thanks, Barbara!)
As always ... Cat, without whom ... well, you know
WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE
MY NAME IS CASSIEL,
and I was once a Djinn—a being as old as the Earth herself, rooted in her power. I cared little for the small, scurrying human creatures who busied themselves with their tiny lives.
Things have changed. Now I
a small, scurrying human creature. In form, at any rate. Thanks to a disagreement with Ashan, the leader of the True Djinn, I can sustain my life only through the charity of the Wardens—humans who control aspects of the powers that surround us, such as wind and fire. The Warden I’m partnered with, Luis Rocha, commands the powers of the living Earth.
I find myself caring too much about Luis, and his niece Isabel, and others who never would have mattered before. The leader of the Old Djinn tells me that I must destroy humanity to save the Djinn, and all other life on Earth. I do not believe that. I cannot.
I have become too ... human.
Before, that would have seemed like a curse.
Now I believe it may be a blessing.
FIRE IS A LIVING,
malevolent thing. It eats, it breathes, it moves with fluid grace and eerie, destructive beauty.
I could still appreciate the astonishing power of it, even as my hair crisped at the ends and the heat seared across my fragile human skin. Flames poured like liquid down the walls of the office, rippling and twisting out onto the floor, devouring the furniture. Everything seemed trapped in its own frozen moment of destruction, as if the fire had become amber. I couldn’t focus my stinging eyes for more than a few seconds; everything seemed too bright, too hot, and in the next instant smoke billowed black and choking around me.
I fell to my knees and crawled, breathing oven-hot toxic fumes until my searching hand fell on something soft. Skin—a woman’s hand. It wasn’t moving. I grabbed hold and pulled her back toward me; her black suit had caught fire, and I batted the blaze out as coughing fits threatened to rip my lungs from my body.
The woman I had found was unconscious but still breathing shallowly. Smoke had made her face a grimy mask.