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Shifter’s Shadow (Legion of Angels #5)
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Next to the powers of heaven and hell, we are nothing.
“So this was just one gigantic, cosmic war between light and dark magic. And we were only a small part of it, a tiny dot in the gods’ empire. It was no wonder that they saw us as insignificant.”
Tested by the gods, Leda and her angelic mate Nero venture into the City of Ashes, a fallen fortress in the Western Wilderness where nightmarish monsters reign supreme and an ancient secret is buried. To survive the Gods’ Trials, they will have to save the city—and they will have to do it without their magic.
Their victory, however, comes at a heavy price. And the secret they uncover will upset the balance of power between Earth and heaven.
Shifter’s Shadow is the fifth book in the Legion of Angels series.
The Legion of Angels series Vampire’s Kiss Witch’s Cauldron Siren’s Song Dragon’s Storm Shifter’s Shadow Book 6 [coming soon]
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The New Angel
Everyone had gathered in the center of the canteen, where the tables had been cleared away to make room for a platform. High above this spot, the points of the gigantic star in the glass ceiling slid apart. Warm, golden light spilled inside. A black and blond shape shot down, landing on the platform in a crouch. Slowly, his dark wings spread open, black with bright brilliant blue accents.
My heart sank when I realized it wasn’t Nero at all. The angel rose from the ground. Shock trailed surprise when I saw his face. It was Harker, the soldier who had been my friend, the soldier who had betrayed me. Harker was an angel now.
“Legion soldiers of New York,” he said. “By order of the First Angel, I am taking command of this facility.”
His words hung in the room for a few seconds, like a music note in an opera hall. Every person in the canteen was staring at him, but no one spoke. The room was as quiet as a graveyard.
Harker’s gaze panned across his captive audience, his blue eyes sparkling with magic. Angel magic. They burned like an electric storm—sizzling, popping, building up for an explosion. His dark wings, the ink-dipped tips as glossy as obsidian, spread wider. They seemed to drink in all the light in the room.
Standing there on that platform, his wings extended to the heavens, he looked larger than life.
He met my eyes, the silence stretching into eternity. And when he finally spoke again, he seemed to be speaking to me directly.
“The demons are on the move,” he said, his voice filling the empty silence. “They have been striking out from the shadows for years, but recently, they’ve grown bolder. It is only a matter of time before they attack us outright. The First Angel has charged me with preparing you for the great battle to come. We will need more soldiers, stronger soldiers. We will need angels.”
His eyes bored into me like a diamond drill. Electric sparks sizzled across his blue irises, his magic so intense that my eyes watered. Still, I didn’t look away. This was a game.
“Things here will be different than they were under Colonel Fireswift’s warm embrace,” Harker said.
A few people laughed.
“The massacres will end,” Harker continued, his eyes panning across the crowd. “A promotion ceremony is not a culling. Only those soldiers who are ready to drink the gods’ next gift will participate. Your lives are too precious to us to waste.”
The soldiers around me noticeably relaxed. Colonel Fireswift was a sadistic man who would sacrifice a hundred soldiers to gain the Legion a single angel. No one missed him.
Harker turned, and the sunlight streaming through the windows twinkled off the silver symbol pinned onto his black leather uniform. The small metal emblem depicted a pair of wings. It was the mark of a Legion soldier of the eighth level, of his distinguished rank as an angel. And below the pin, stitched in a clear, no-nonsense font were the words ‘Lt. Colonel Sunstorm’. So that was his new name.
When a Legion soldier became an angel, he or she was bestowed with a new surname—an angelic surname—to celebrate their elevated status. Angels passed on that name to any children they sired. Legion brats, a nickname for the offspring of an angel, inherited more advantages than just a high magical potential. Their name opened doors for them, showing them with privileges the rest of us could only dream of.
Harker’s voice filled the room once more. “I won’t lie to you. I won’t ever lie to you.” He met my eyes again. “The easy days are behind us. A new era dawns. Now, more than ever, you need to grow your magic, to make yourself strong for the days to come.”
Be strong for the days to come. That was the Legion of Angels in a nutshell. We had to always train, always grow our magic, for that day the demons returned to wage war on the Earth.
“We will recruit new soldiers, more than ever before,” said Harker. His words wove a spell around the crowd, drawing them in. Mesmerizing them. “You will all need to train and level up your magic. And when the demons come, we will be ready for them.”
His feathers rustled lightly, as though caught in a breeze. But that was no natural breeze cutting through the room. It was magic—a soft, silky magic that slid against my senses, embracing me, inviting me to let go and allow the angel to save me from the horrors of this world. I need only follow his lead. Everything would be just fine.
The smirk on his face snapped me out of the trance. He had brought the whole room under the spell of his siren’s song. His magic had grown enormously since becoming an angel, and he wasn’t shy about showing it. He was trying to exert some influence over me, trying to make me have warm feelings for him. He’d always wanted to be an angel, so it came as no surprise to me that he was diving right into the angel games.