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Clanless (Nameless #2) by Jennifer Jenkins
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Happy Book Birthday, Jennifer!
Striker Gryphon has lost his position of honor among the Ram, and is now a hunted man. A traitor.Zo, the object of his affection, was murdered by members of his former clan. To honor her memory, he journeys to the highly secretive Raven “Nest” to warn strangers of their impending demise—though it could cost him more than just his pride. He doesn’t know that Zo is very much alive and in another part of the region assisting Nameless refugees over a mountain swarming with wild men known as “Clanless.” As each struggle to make sense of what their lives have become, they fight and claw to reach the Allied Camp, their last hope in bringing peace to the region. But the road back to one another is treacherous and uncertain. And freedom will come with a price.
Clanless (Nameless #2) by Jennifer Jenkins Publication Date: October 4, 2016 Publisher: Month9Books
One small dagger that would hardly scratch a rabbit.
It didn’t take long to inventory Gryphon’s gear as he trudged through the night. The list of things he didn’t have was much longer and—though it did him no good—occupied the majority of his thoughts.
Shield and spear.
Joshua’s million questions.
A map to the Raven Nest
With every step away from the Gate, his spirits drooped lower and lower until he wasn’t sure if his footsteps carried him toward his goal or away from it. He’d never traveled outside the Gate without a mess unit. His whole life until now was spent advancing in the hierarchy of his clan. Every goal that once drove him to improve, every day spent training to become the warrior he was today, meant nothing now.
If he wasn’t a Ram, what was he? What was a man without a clan?
Joshua groaned and pushed up to rest on his elbows. “What happened? Where am I?” His wiry chest was bare. The scar on his abdomen was still crusted over, but the skin around the wound bragged a healthy peach hue. “Where are Gryphon and Gabe?” He looked at Eva then over to Zo. “What is Eva doing here?”
Zo and Tess didn’t bother answering any of his questions before wrapping him into a hug. Tess openly wept, and Zo found herself jealous for the chance to express her relief without falling apart.
She pressed her forehead into Joshua’s and held it there as she looked into his eyes. “I see you, Joshua.”
“Umm.” Joshua grinned. “I see you too. Quite well, actually.”
Tess rolled around in a fit of giggles.
“What am I missing?” said Joshua.
Zo pulled away and tapped the end of the boy’s nose with the tip of her finger. “Sorry. It’s an old Wolf custom. Eyes are the windows to the soul. I was greeting your inner light. Acknowledging your spirit.” Zo shook her head and smiled. “It has been so long since I’ve been able to be a Wolf. I couldn’t help myself.”
“I am Talon and this is my twin sister, Raca. We are traveling home to the Raven after a long journey south.”
Zo wondered if they came from the Allied Camp but didn’t want to reveal too much about her knowledge of Commander Laden and the Allies. Enemies of the cause would kill for that kind of information—especially the Ram.
The Raven girl called Raca hitched up her pack and smiled. “We usually avoid smoking fires, but I made Talon stop when I saw your group. It isn’t every day you find other women outside of the protection of a clan.”
Talon took another step forward. “We mostly just wanted to make sure you were all right.”
Zo looked to Eva, who shook her head from right to left. “No,” she mouthed, while keeping a firm hold on both of her knives. Joshua was more relaxed, looking to Zo for his cue to attack. His confidence in her was terrifying. No matter their talks of assets and liabilities; in that moment it was clear that they all saw her as their leader.
A poor decision.
Zo had no other choice but to follow her gut instinct. If these people were Raven then they needed to know about the Ram’s plans to attack their clan. “You are welcome at our fire.”
Talon and Raca relaxed and walked over to their circle.
“Tell me,” said Talon in his slow-paced Raven accent, “how do two young women, a boy, and a child find themselves outside of clan protection only a day’s journey from Ram’s Gate?”
Eva waved her knife in front of Talon’s nose. “This is our fire, Bird. You have no business asking questions.”
At hearing Eva’s harsh Ram words, Talon immediately drew his own blade, with Raca and Joshua following suit.
Zo’s hands shot out to calm the circle. “Enough. Eva, put that away. Joshua.”
One by one, the circle rested their weapons in their laps, though none went so far as to sheath them. “You’re a Ram,” said Raca to Eva. “I’ve never met a Ram woman before. For some reason, I always imagined they grew beards and had thighs the size of tree trunks. You’re actually kind of pretty.”
“A compliment? Charming.” Eva twisted the knife in her hand.
Joshua snorted, and the dying coals of the fire crackled.
Talon studied Zo. “We don’t mean to be rude, Ram. It’s not every day you see a pair of Ram and a pair of Wolves enjoying the same fire.”
Joshua said, “How did you know that Zo was a—”
“Wolf?” finished Talon. “Well, look at her. Long neck, elegant lines, the feminine curve of her jaw. It’s easy to spot.”
“You can stop staring,” said Joshua in a hard tone at odds with his usual affable nature. “She is not yours to look at.”
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).Visit her online at jajenkins.com
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