Frost by Kate Avery Ellison
Expected Publication Date:April 3rd 2012
In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person might end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing weather and threat of monster attacks, or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and treachery just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest, a young man from beyond the Frost named Gabe, Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.
She saves his life.
Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in serious trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel, and her village has nothing to do with them. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.
But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle her farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but each move she makes puts her in greater danger. Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?
Frost Excerpt #4
I could just make out the crumpled form, but I saw only isolated details in my anxiety. A thin, wet shirt, a pair of shoulders, a face almost hidden by the snow. I took a step forward, trying to place the face... and then I saw the sharp features, the dark hair, the slightly tanned tone of the skin. I halted as my blood turned stone-cold. Time became protracted and dense, like swimming underwater. Sound was muffled. My chest felt tight.
You must be strong, Lia. My mother’s voice rang in my head. I remembered her wind-weathered face, her chapped hands gripping mine, her earnest eyes as they scoured my face for weakness. There could be no weakness here in the Frost, where we clung to life between the mountains as desperately as a drowning man clings to a stone.
“He’s not one of ours,” I said, turning to her with sudden fierceness. “Ivy...”
“He’s hurt,” she said.
“Don’t you understand?”
She just looked at me. I drew in a deep breath.
“That is a Farther.”
Ivy’s eyes widened a fraction at my harsh words. The wind blew between us, spraying ice against our faces. She blinked. I didn’t.
Of course she knew what that was—every person in our village knew who the Farthers were, even those who’d never caught a glimpse of them across the river. We barely ever spoke of them, but they inhabited everyone’s nightmares all the same.
I nodded curtly.
Ivy struggled to understand what I was implying. “But he’s hurt,” she managed, as if that was the only concern. “And it’s getting dark.”
“We must protect ourselves,” I said.
Ivy swallowed hard.
I glared at her. “No.”
She looked back at the figure lying in the snow. I glanced at the sky again, trying to calculate how much time we had left before the sun sunk completely behind the trees, and we were no longer safe from the things that prowled in the darkness. The Watchers never moved across our yards or around the town perimeter during the sunlight hours, but some had reported seeing them during the narrow span of twilight that joined the day and the night, and it was rumored that they wandered freely in the deep of the forests even during the day.
The wind howled through the trees and tugged at my cloak. Snow fell sideways.
“But he’s hurt,” Ivy whispered again, breaking into my thoughts.
I closed my eyes briefly. My sister was the kind of person who brought home baby birds who’d fallen from their nests and raccoons with thorns in their paws. But we couldn’t simply take a Farther and bandage him up like a lost puppy. “The Elders say—”
“I know they’re dangerous. I know what the Elders say.” Ivy’s voice was as brittle as ice. “But are you telling me you’re going to leave him out here to die? After what happened to Ma and Da?”
I bit my lip so hard I tasted blood. Ivy looked at me with her big brown eyes and the fear in my gut snarled. What would the villagers say? This is dangerous, my mind screamed at me. This will endanger the family!
The figure in the snow stirred. “Please,” he whispered, his voice just a hiss.
I stepped to his side, crouching down to touch his face. His eyes opened a crack, and then...
He looked at me.
I felt hollowed out and filled up again as our gazes collided—mine and this Farther from beyond the edge of my world—and then his eyes shut as he passed out again, and I was released from the spell of them. I stepped back quickly, but the damage was already done. There was already an ache in my chest from the knowledge of what we were about to do.
“Lia?” My sister looked from the Farther’s still form to my face.
“All right,” I said, angry at my own weakness. “Fine. But we have to hurry. It’s almost dark.”
She dragged in a quick, relieved breath.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kate Avery Ellison loves long walks, late night phone calls, and reading while it rains. She thinks ice cream cake is the perfect combination and she has a love/hate relationship with the sultry climate of her hometown, Atlanta. FROST, her third book, is a YA fantasy/dystopian tale of love, sacrifice, and suspense.
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