20 September 2022

Stolen City by Elisa A. Bonnin Blog Tour and Giveaway! #XpressoTours @XpressoTours⁣⁣⁣ ⁣@eabwrites elisa.a.bonnin

 

Stolen City
Elisa A. Bonnin


Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: September 20th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Twin thieves attempt to pull off a daring heist in Stolen City, the sophomore fantasy novel from Dauntless author Elisa A. Bonnin.

The city of Leithon is under Imperial occupation and Arian Athensor has made it her playground.

In stealing magical artifacts for the Resistance, bounding over rooftops to evade Imperial soldiers, and establishing herself as the darling thief of the underground, Arian lives a life wrapped in danger and trained towards survival. She’ll steal anything for the right price, and if she runs fast enough, she can almost escape the fact that her mother is dead, her father is missing, and her brother, Liam, is tamping down a wealth of power in a city that has outlawed magic.

But then the mysterious Cavar comes to town with a job for the twins: to steal an artifact capable of ripping the souls from the living–the same artifact that used to hang around the neck of Arian’s mother. Suddenly, her past is no longer buried under adrenaline but intimately tied to the mission at hand, and Arian must face her guilt and pain head-on in order to pull off the heist.

As Arian and Cavar infiltrate the strongest fortress in Leithon and Liam joins the Resistance as their resident mage, the twins find themselves embroiled in court politics and family secrets, and the mission becomes more than just another artifact theft. The target is now the Imperial rule, and Arian will go to any length necessary to steal her city back.

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Read an Excerpt

"Friends, this is Liam. He’s an Arcanum- trained mage and, if we all play our cards right, our way into Blackstone Deep.”

Heads turned in their seats, swiveling to focus on him. Liam swallowed, uncomfortable with the scrutiny. His mind was already working. As soon as Reid hinted that they needed Liam to help Resistance members who had gotten into trouble, he’d suspected their destination. Blackstone Deep had been Leithon’s prison prior to the invasion, and the Aelrian Empire was notorious for co- opting existing structures in its conquered territories. It was still being used as a prison now, with Imperial guards instead of Leithonian ones.

The problem was that the Deep had, like the Bastion and all other Leithonian institutions, magical protections. With Leithon’s reputation as the center for magical learning, and the Deep’s location— woven into the cliffs of Halfstone Bay, not exactly close to the Arcanum, but closer than most other institutions in the city— its magical protections had been . . .  thorough. Various Speakers had held different views on crime and punishment, but most thought that any prison from which escapees had a chance of running onto Arcanum grounds needed to be especially well guarded. There was also the possibility— one that had come to fruition several times over the centuries— that one of the Arcanum’s own would be found guilty of a crime and need to be imprisoned.

And so, the result was that Blackstone Deep was more secure than most prisons of its kind, equipped with doors that opened only if registered persons touched the doorknobs, passages that would change direction seemingly of their own accord, and mage-hold cells, which had been built specifically to detain mages and suppress their magic. He had a feeling that the simple nullification spell cast on the amulet that he had taken from the Imperial Bank had been derived, in part, from those that guarded magehold cells.

It was not a place where one went lightly. And while it didn’t have the Bastion’s reputation for being totally unbreachable, breaking in was not an easy thing to consider.

But if Lyndon thought Liam’s help was worth their assistance, then he already knew that. Because the Imperial Bank, which had once been the Bank of Leithon, was also one of those buildings that had magical protections. And he and Arian had been able to slip past those.

It was a simple equation in the end. In every case but the Bastion’s, whose wards had been put into place by the First Speaker and responded to some magic that only the Arcanum’s Speakers and Candidates could parse, the wards were locks, and the Arcanum had the keys. And Liam was the last member of the Arcanum alive and working in Leithon.

They were all watching him. He could feel their scrutiny. It was the same, and yet different from, the way people had looked at him when he had been younger. An expectant look, like they were all waiting to see something amazing.

It would be harder to get into Blackstone Deep than it had been to slip into the Imperial Bank. It was entirely possible that the same sort of wards that protected the Deep also protected the Bastion, that those spells would be just as impossible to break with-out the power of the Speaker behind him. He doubted they were on the same level— the Deep wasn’t as old as the Bastion, and the First Speaker hadn’t been involved in its construction— but it was always possible that it was beyond him.

Beyond him like the Speaker’s door was beyond him.

He looked around the room. No one had looked at him like that in a very long time.

He swallowed past his nerves and said, “I’m sure I can find a way.”


Elisa A. Bonnin was born and raised in the Philippines, after which she moved to the United States to study chemistry and later oceanography. After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany to work as a postdoctoral scientist. A lifelong learner, Elisa is always convinced that she should “maybe take a class in something” and as a result, has amassed an eclectic collection of hobbies. But writing will always be her true love. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. Dauntless is her first novel.

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