The Underworld Library: Hellbrary Book One by Laura Bickle
The Underworld Library
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: 4/1/21
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 90,426
Cover Artist: Pretty in Ink Creations
Whoever possesses the Great Library of the Underworld rules Hell itself…and threatens the destiny of both the Heavens and Earth.
The Great Library contains the most deadly magic tomes penned since the beginning of time. This magic is both wondrous and terrible, kept under lock and key by witch-librarians serving the king of the Underworld.
Eve is one of those faithful librarians. She doesn’t recall her life prior to the Hellbrary, and unlike her fellow Hellbrarians, she has very little magic to speak of. When a dangerous book is stolen, she must recover it with the help of a Gorgon librarian, a hellhound, and a mysterious shapeshifting royal envoy. This daemon, Azarr, has a serpent tongue and the heart of a man – can he be trusted?
King Caldrius’s court has fallen under siege. Caldrius’s cruel son, Ral, has returned from exile with an army to assassinate his father. But his father’s crown alone does not guarantee Ral the throne. He needs the library, and he will take it by force. His ambitions don’t end with the Hellbrary – he means to take Earth and the Heavens beyond.
Eve knows there’s only one way to defeat Ral: they must use the recovered book to awaken the Queen of the Witches. Caldrius imprisoned Viridia millennia ago when she grew too powerful to control. Then, he offered the witches a choice: serve him or die. They served, until now…but will awakening Viridia summon an evil greater than Ral?
Time is running out, and all the forces the Underworld must unite to wage war for the library and control of all of existence.
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Excerpt 1. Azarr was a daemon who enjoyed puzzles. And Eve puzzled him. Eve was enchanting in a way that he hadn’t seen in a very long time, and he had allowed himself the pleasure of being a little bit distracted. He watched the way her sharp, dark eyes absorbed this land, missing nothing, and wondered at the keen mind that rested behind them. Was she a jack of all trades, a reference librarian? Or did she indulge more academic interests, perhaps astronomy? She scanned the skies often enough; perhaps she was an astronomer. Or maybe a botanist, the way she examined the trees sprouting junk… Her mind certainly worked behind an attractive face. Her lashes were dark and thick, sometimes obscuring where she gazed. Her resting expression was one of wonder, her full lips curving up at the corners, and that charmed him. Mortals rarely smiled in the Underworld, and he marveled that she didn’t seem miserable, and no one was doing anything to correct that. He shook his head away from his speculations and admirations. He knew better than to allow his imagination to tangle around women who were inappropriate to pursue. She was not the only human woman he’d ever met. Azarr had been around for a very long time, and had met many mortal and immortal women more objectively beautiful than she was. He’d bedded a few of them, fallen in love once every hundred years or so, but thought of himself fairly self-possessed where women were concerned. He had long thought that being a reptile at heart, that this was simply the way it would go for him, his natural cold-blooded state. But there was something about her that fascinated him. He didn’t want to admit it to himself, but he was enchanted. And that was a very dangerous state for a daemon to be in.