I really enjoyed Cat Patrick’s Just Like Fate when I read it a year ago, so I’m excited to be a part of her sneak peek tour today where you can get a glimpse at her newest novel, Court, as well as enter to win!
For more than 400 years, a secret monarchy has survived and thrived within the borders of the US, hiding in plain sight as the state known as Wyoming. But when the king is shot and his seventeen-year-old son, Haakon McHale, is told he will take the throne, becoming the eleventh ruler of the Kingdom of Eurus, the community that's survived for centuries is pushed to the limit. Told through four perspectives, Court transplants us to a world that looks like ours, but isn't. Gwendolyn Rose, daughter of the Duke of Coal, is grudgingly betrothed to Haakon -- and just wants a way out. Alexander Oxendine, son of the Duke of Wind and Haakon's lifelong best friend, already grapples with external struggles when he's assigned to guard Haakon after the king dies. And commoner Mary Doyle finds whispers in the woods that may solve -- or destroy -- everything, depending on your bloodline.
Money. Love. Power. Community. What's your motivation?
No matter how much money was in their family bank, every kid in Eurus had a place at the in-Realm college. It was in the bylaws. Of course, most of the courtiers bought their way out to better schools in the Democracy and beyond.
“Giddap,” Mary said firmly as she drove the heels of her boots into Carrot’s burnt-orange sides. Her faithful friend dove headfirst into the wind and somehow gained speed, forcing tears from Mary’s light green eyes and stealing her breath for a moment.
The faster Carrot went, the smoother the ride, and at this speed, Mary felt like she was flying. They soared across the wide expanse, then hit the bottom of the hill, where Mary pulled back on the reins and slowed Carrot to a walk. She leaned forward in her saddle to help with the ascent.
“Hey, now,” Mary said, pulling back hard when Carrot started to trot. “You know you can’t do hills like you used to. Nice and easy, remember?”
Carrot snorted but kept his pace in check. Mary was soothed by the clap-clop, clap-clop of Carrot’s climb, his steady breaths, and the gentle swing of his low-hanging head. The sounds and movements of Carrot’s body were as familiar to Mary as if she were hiking the terrain herself.
“Whoa,” Mary said gently at the crest of the hill. Carrot stopped and waited, panting and flicking his ears in interest toward the landscape ahead of them. Mary looked over the expanse: it was without buildings or development of any kind—just earth and sky—and seemed as massive as the universe itself.
She and Carrot had an unobstructed view of the entirety of Corby, and to call the place a town was being generous. The speck of a dot on the map was on the fringe of the county and housed the Realm’s maximum-security prison, many of the county’s natural gas wells, and nothing much else. Those who lived here either worked at the prison or the wells, and prisoners outnumbered average Joes and Janes. Occasionally those prisoners escaped; occasionally the drills caught on fire.
In general, the land out here at the edge of the Realm wasn’t as safe as, say, being tucked cozily into the middle of the bustling kingdom. With not a highway in sight, it was virtually impossible to stumble upon, and if something bad were to happen, there’d be no one around to see, and to help.
And its woods were home to the homeless. A former neighbor of Mary’s had spent his entire family bank on a leave tax to gamble in the Democracy. He’d wanted to move to Brambrough, and you need money to do that. Instead, he’d lost everything. His farm failed, so he wasn’t contributing to the Realm—meaning nothing was added to his bank. Eventually penniless, he took to the woods. Mary had seen him one time. She hoped she never did again.
Corby and its thick forest were, to many, the hell of Eurus. But Mary had always seen the good in the land.
So had her mother.
Twelve years ago, her mother had left the Realm. Mary had only been four and a half years old, but she remembered the last moments she spent with her vividly. That day, they’d walked to this very hill and had a picnic lunch of turkey sandwiches, pretzels, and lemonade. After they’d eaten, her mother had braided wildflowers into Mary’s hair, humming.
“Close your eyes,” Mom had said gently. Mary had done it without question: She’d loved games and this had seemed like one. Mary had felt the soft brush of her mom’s lips on her left, then her right eyelid. “Okay, Mary, you can open them now.”
“What did you did?”
Her mom had laughed softly. “I kissed your eyelids, silly.”
“But why?” Mary’s favorite word back then had been why. Come to think of it, it might have been now, too.
“I’m going on a trip tonight,” Mom had said. “I could be gone a long time.” She’d paused, looking away, wiping her eyes. When she’d faced Mary again, her nose was red and she was smiling hugely—Mary knew now it was the kind of smile you force your face into lest you lose it completely. “I kissed your eyelids so everything you see, I’ll see it, too. I’ll always be with you, Mary. Don’t ever forget that.”
“I won’t,” Mary had promised, not understanding what words like long time and always had meant, but liking the day and the food and the pretty hair with wildflowers and the explanation. And mostly liking time spent with her mom.
About the Author
Raised in a house that was struck by lightning–twice–Cat Patrick is the author of young adult books Forgotten, Revived, and The Originals, and the co-author of Just Like Fate.
As a child, Cat could be found making up stories like her first book, Dolly the Purple Spotted Dolphin; growing corn in the backyard; or performing with a traveling sign-language troupe. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree from Boston University, and worked in public relations for fifteen years. She lives outside of Seattle with her husband and twin daughters, and is on Twitter @seecatwrite, or Facebook at authorcatpatrick.
Cat Patrick has generously offered up 2 sets of signed copies of ALL of her previous books (4 in all!) for giveaway!
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter:
Open to US entries only. International entries will receive a gift card instead.