The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.
Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.
Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.
When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.
Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.
Look for all of Karen Marie Moning’s sensational Fever novels:
DARKFEVER | BLOODFEVER | FAEFEVER | DREAMFEVER | SHADOWFEVER | ICED | BURNED | FEVERBORN | FEVERSONG
Praise for Iced
“Moning returns to the heady world of her Fever series, and the results are addictive and consistently surprising. . . . The best elements of Moning’s sensual, shadowy epic are still here, from the sensual and enigmatic Fae to the super-alpha heroes and the breathless pace of their escalating conflicts. At its heart is a heroine whose development is likely to become the stuff of legends as this unforgettable, haunting series continues to evolve.”—RT Book Reviews
“This is one of my favorite 2012 reads . . . It’s engaging, hilarious, amazing and Dani is going to be one heck of a woman.”—USA Today
“A gripping story that combines excellent storytelling with believable characters that are rendered both superhuman and superbly human, with emotional fragility and psychological vulnerability in an unstable world fraught with danger . . . Fast-paced, with nonstop action set in a fascinating urban fantasy world of Dublin under siege, this is a smart, bold and textured success.”─Kirkus Reviews
“Moning is a master storyteller. I don’t know how she does it, but she begs me to get on my knees and pay worship to the woman who has brought me the best, most labyrinthine stories and characters I’ve ever had the privilege to get to know. She weaves brilliantly, unapologetically, and without exception, and she has threaded the needle into me and I’ve been pulled, over and over, into her tapestry, and I don’t think I’m ever getting out. Iced is no exception.”—The Bawdy Book Blog (five-starred review)
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"Ding-dong! The witch is dead": subtitled Rowena who?
"I say we take Mac's suggestion and pump the room full of concrete," Val says.
I wince. Just hearing her name makes my stomach hurt. Me and Mac used to be two peas in the Mega pod, close as sisters. She'd kill me in a heartbeat now.
Well, she'd try.
"Exactly how do you expect us to get concrete trucks down into the catacombs beneath the abbey?" Kat demands. "To say nothing of how much it would take to seal that chamber. It's three times the size of Inspector Jayne's training green, with a ceiling as high as any cathedral!"
I shift position, tucking my knees up, careful to be real quiet. My legs are cramped from sitting with them crossed beneath me. I'm in the cafeteria at the abbey, high up on a beam in the ceiling rafters where nobody can see me, munching a Snickers bar and eavesdropping. It's one of my favorite perches for scoping out the details. I'm a good climber, fast and agile. Since I'm still just a kid in most people's opinions, folks rarely let me in on the scoop. No worries there. I became a pro at letting myself in years ago.
"What are you suggesting we do, then, Kat?" Margery says. "Leave the most powerful Unseelie prince ever created frozen in a little ice cube beneath our home? That's crazy!" The cafeteria is full of sidhe-seers. Most of them murmur agreement but they're like that. Whoever's talking loudest at the moment is the person they agree with. Sheep. Half the time I'm spying, it's all I can do not to jump down there, waggle my ass and say Baaaa, see if any of them catch my drift.
I've been at the abbey most of the night, waiting for people to wake up and wander in for breakfast, impatient for those who've been up all night like me to tell everyone else the news and start discussing it. I don't need as much sleep as other people, but when I do finally crash, I'm as good as dead. It's dangerous to lose consciousness as hard as I do, so I'm always careful about where I sleep--behind a lot of locked doors, with booby traps in place. I know how to take care of myself. I've been on my own since I was eight.
"It's hardly an ice cube," Kat says. "The Unseelie king himself imprisoned Cruce. You saw the bars shoot up from the floor around him."
I've got no family. When my mom was killed, Ro made me move into the abbey with the other sidhe-seers--those of us who can see the Fae, and could even before the walls fell. Some of us have unique gifts, too. We used to think of ourselves in terms of us and them, humans and Fae, until we learned that the Unseelie King tampered with us way back, mixing his blood with the bloodlines of six ancient Irish houses. Some say we're tainted, that we have the enemy within. I say anything that makes you stronger, duh, makes you stronger.
"The alarm's not set," Margery counters. "And none of us can figure out how to arm the grid that keeps people from getting in. Worse, we can't even get the door closed. Mac tried for hours."
I don't puke the bite of chocolate and peanuts I'm trying to swallow but it's close. I got to get over my reaction to her name. Every time I hear it, I see the look on her face when she learned the truth about me.
Feck that! I knew what would happen if she found out I killed her sister. Got no business being mopey about it. If you know what's coming and don't do anything to stop it, you got no right to act all surprised and pissy when the crap hits the fan. Rule #1 in the Universe: the crap always hits the fan. It's the nature of crap. It's a fan magnet.
"She said it won't respond to her," Margery says. "She thinks the king did something to it. Barrons and his men tried to muscle it closed, but no luck. It's stuck open."
"Just anyone can wander in," says Colleen. "We found the Meehan twins standing down there this morning, hands around the bars, staring up at him like he was some kind of angel!"
"And what were you doing down there this morning?" Kat says to Colleen. Colleen looks away.
Tainted blood or not, I've got no complaints about being a sidhe-seer. I got the best gifts of all. None of the other sidhe-seers know how to deal with me. I'm superfast, superstrong, have super-hearing, supersmell, and wicked sharp eyesight. I don't know if I taste better or not. Since I can't taste with anyone else's tongue, I guess I'll never know. The superfast part is the best. I can whiz through a room without people even seeing me. If they feel the breeze of me passing, they usually blame it on an open window. I open windows everywhere I go. It's my camo. If you walk into a room with a lot of open windows, look sharp at breezes that seem contrary to what's coming in from the outside.
"That's because he looks like an angel," Tara says.
"Tara Lynn, don't you go there for even a second," Kat says sharply. "Cruce would have destroyed us all if he'd thought he had something to gain by it, and that was before he read the Book and absorbed its power. Now, he is the Sinsar Dubh--the darkest, most twisted magic of the Fae race. Have you forgotten what it did to Barb? Don't you remember how many people the Book massacred when it didn't have a body? Now it has one. And it's beneath our abbey. And you think it looks like an angel? That it's pretty? Have you lost your mind?"
I wasn't beneath the catacombs last night so I didn't get to see what happened with my own eyes. I'd been keeping a distance from that person whose name I'm not saying. I heard what happened, though. It's all anyone's talking about.
Dude, V'lane is Cruce!
He isn't even Seelie. He's the worst of all the Unseelie princes.
I can hardly believe it. I had the wickedest crush on him! I thought he was the one who was going to save us all, fighting the good fight, on the human side of the war. Turns out he was war--literally, as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse's War, riding alongside his three Unseelie prince brothers: Death, Pestilence, and Famine. Sure enough our myths were right. When they rode our world again everything went straight to hell. Nobody even knew he was alive. Cruce was supposed to have been killed three-quarters of a million years ago. Instead he was masquerading as V'lane all that time, disguising himself with glamour, infiltrating the Seelie court, manipulating events, orchestrating the prime opportunity to take what he wanted--dominion over both races.
Fae have patience like beaches have sand. 'Course, I guess patient is easy to be when you live, like, for-fecking-ever.
I also heard he was one of the four who raped M--that person whose name I'm not thinking--that day at the church when the Lord Master turned the princes loose on her.
And I'd told him I was going to give him my virginity one day! He'd brought me chocolates, been all flirty-flirty!
V'lane is Cruce. Dude. Sometimes that's all you can say.
Tara holds Kat's glare defiantly. "That doesn't mean I want to set him free. I'm just saying he's beautiful. Nobody can argue with that. He has wings like an angel."
He is beautiful. And we have big, big problems. I went down to the catacombs last night, the instant everyone finally cleared out. I made my way through the underground maze until I found the chamber that once held the Sinsar Dubh. And still holds it--just in another skin.
V'lane doesn't look like V'lane anymore. He's sealed in the center of a block of ice, surrounded by a cage of glowing bars. His head is back, his eyes are iridescent fire, he's roaring, and his enormous black-velvet wings are spread wide. Brilliant tattoos snake beneath skin that shimmers like gold dust. And he's naked. If I hadn't seen other penises in movies, I'd be worried about losing my virginity.
"Black wings, Tara," Kat says. "As in black magic, as in 'deadly.' He was dangerous before. He's a thousand times worse now. The King never should have let him read the whole Book. He should have stopped him."
"Mac said the King didn't want to leave the Sinsar Dubh split up," says Colleen. "He was worried we wouldn't be able to keep it locked down in two places."
I dig around in a pocket of the backpack I always got over a shoulder--you never know what you might need when, and I'm always on the go--and pull out another Snickers bar. There's that fecking name again. Eating soothes the bruise I'm getting from repeated sucker-punches to my belly.