It’s coming. Seafire left us on the edge of our seats. Steel Tide left us with questions that NEED answers. And now, Natalie C. Parker is bringing it home with the epic finale to Caledonia’s journey in Stormbreak. In the thrilling conclusion to the Seafire trilogy, Caledonia Styx will risk everything–her heart, her crew, and even her life–to defeat Lir and take back the Bullet Seas once and for all.
Scroll down to see the cover AND read an excerpt for a taste of what’s next for Caledonia and the crew of the Mors Navis!
News of Caledonia’s victory at Cloudbreak had spread quickly. Rogue ships looking to join the fight had arrived in a near constant stream, adding ships to their growing fleet and willing hands to their ranks. Even a few Bullets had defected, which presented a very specific set of problems, but Caledonia wasn’t in the business of turning people away. Sledge and Ares had created a system for supporting Bullets as they slowly squeezed the Silt from their veins. It didn’t always go smoothly; no matter how willing a Bullet seemed, or how well they came through their withdrawals, it was difficult to trust them enough to put a gun back in their hand. For his part, Hesperus had a small, dedicated team working on soiltech, while his sister Kae partnered with Far to keep everyone fed, watered, and organized.
Oran, as always, was Caledonia’s eyes and ears whenever she was away from the city. He was her proxy in spite of Hesperus’s copious, unbridled objections.
Their efforts kept Caledonia free to do what she did best: hunt.
Caledonia narrowed her eyes against the wind and swept her gaze along the horizon. They’d been en route to the Braids to meet with the Hands of the River when her scouts unexpectedly spotted the AgriFleet barge just south of their location. They’d changed their plans, radioed to Cloudbreak for additional support, and held position until Silver Fleet arrived.
“Sledge was right,” Pisces added. “Looks like Fiveson Decker’s fleet is escorting them. Ships are all marked with green.”
Caledonia smiled hungrily. She’d been waiting for an opportunity like this for moons. The shock of Aric’s death had ripped through the Bullet Seas like an electric current, igniting small pockets of rebellion from the Colonies to Slipmark. In response, Lir had recalled nearly all his ships to the Holster, which he’d claimed as his seat of power like Aric before him. The infamous city was entrenched in the southern peninsula, protected by a devastating crown of guntowers. But well-fortified as he was, he still had to provide food and Silt for his Bullets, and that meant eventually the AgriFleet barges had to sail. Barges that Caledonia could steal or destroy.
“Silver Fleet is on standby?” Caledonia asked.
“Holding back and awaiting our signal,” Pisces confirmed.
The first blush of orange appeared against the brilliant blue sky as the towering barge came into view. Caledonia felt an answering spike of adrenaline in her blood. The barge stretched a quarter mile in each direction, its long platform deck covered in bale flowers reaching for the early morning sun with their mouths open wide like baby birds.
Caledonia turned to Pisces. “Looks like trouble,” she said, invoking the words their fallen friend Redtooth had said so often. ‘Trouble’ was code for a fight, for an opportunity, for a chance to strike back instead of turn tail and run.
One side of Pisces’s mouth tipped up at the memory of their friend. “There’ll be more on the other side,” she warned.
“I hope so,” Caledonia said, offering her sister a mischievous smile before sliding down the ladder to the command deck. “Drive us in, Nettle!” Caledonia called, striding onto the bridge. “Harwell, alert the Blade and Piston that we’re sailing for gold.”
Harwell’s voice rose softly from his station at the radio. It had taken some convincing for Caledonia to go along with using the thing, but it turned out coordinating with ships was a lot easier if you could just talk to them. The Blades had set up a system that allowed them to communicate on open frequencies without broadcasting their plans to their targets. ‘Gold’ was code for driving in together and hitting the target like a spear.
“Amina’s silencers are ready for a test run, Captain,” Pisces reported from the hatchway. “As long as Nettle can get us close enough to launch them.”
“I’ll get you close enough to spit on that barge if you want,” Nettle said, never moving her eyes from the searoad ahead. She’d grown an entire foot and every part of her body had stretched thin but for her cheeks, which were as round as the scrolling scars upon them.
“Shouting distance will do,” Pisces responded with a smile.
“Ready for Gold, Captain,” Harwell announced.
“Good. Engines to full!”
Caledonia’s eyes landed on the furious orange of the baleflowers ahead. Above, two purple flares unfurled spidery petals, signaling to whoever was near that they were under attack. They would have a few precious moments to prepare before Caledonia and her flagships were within range. All she had to do was be faster than the rest of Decker’s fleet.
Pisces leaned in close and whispered, “Lir won’t like us taking down his brothers.”
Anger pooled in Caledonia’s gut, leaving her might with a cool kind of clarity as the seas rushed by. “If Lir didn’t want us coming after his brothers,” she said savoring the dark edge of her rage. “He should have left ours alone.”