Nov 23 2012 3:00pm
Scarlet, the much-anticipated sequel to Marissa Meyer’s Cinder is coming out on February 5th, and we have an exclusive excerpt for you! The first 1,000 people to pre-order Scarlet in hardcover or ebook will get a free Scarlet-branded lip gloss. More exclusive content on The Lunar Chronicles can also be found here on Facebook.
Like the excerpt? Read a new original story by the author that leads into the sequel, “The Queen’s Army.”
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Scarlet’s thoughts seethed as she hauled the empty crates out of the back of her ship and through the hangar’s yawning doors. She’d found her portscreen on the floor of the ship and it was now in her pocket, the message from the law enforcement office burning against her thigh as she mindlessly traipsed through her evening routine.
She was perhaps most angry with herself now, for being distracted, even for a minute, by nothing more than a handsome face and a veneer of danger, so soon after she’d learned that her grandma’s case had been closed. Her curiosity about the street fighter with the ridiculous name made her feel like a traitor to everything important.
And then there was Roland and Gilles and every other backstabber in Rieux. They all believed her grandma was crazy, and that’s what they’d told the police. Not that she was the most hardworking farmer in the province. Not that she made the best éclairs this side of the Garonne River. Not that she’d served her country as a military spaceship pilot for twenty-eight years, and still wore a medal for honorable service on her favorite checkered kitchen apron.
No. They’d told the police she was crazy.
And now they’d stopped looking for her.
Not for long though. Her grandma was out there somewhere and Scarlet was going to find her if she had to dig up dirt and blackmail every last detective in Europe.
The sun was sinking fast, sending Scarlet’s elongated shadow down the drive. Beyond the gravel, the whispering crops of corn stalks and leafy sugar beets stretched out in every direction, meeting up with the first spray of stars. A cobblestone house disrupted the view to the west, with two windows glowing orange. Their only neighbor for miles.
For more than half her life, this farm had been Scarlet’s paradise. Over the years, she’d fallen in love with it more deeply than she’d known a person could fall in love with land and sky—and she knew her grandma felt the same. Though she didn’t like to think of it, she was aware that someday she would inherit the farm, and she sometimes fantasized about growing old here. Happy and content, with perpetual dirt beneath her fingernails and an old house that was in constant need of repair.
Happy and content—like her grandmother.
She wouldn’t have just left. Scarlet knew it.
She lugged the crates into the barn, stacking them in the corner so the androids could fill them again tomorrow, then grabbed the pail of chicken feed. Scarlet walked while she fed, tossing big handfuls of kitchen scraps in her path as the chickens scurried around her ankles.
Rounding the corner of the hangar, she froze.
A light was on in the house, on the second floor.
In her grandmother’s bedroom.
The pail slipped from her fingers. The chickens squawked and darted away, before clustering back around the spilled feed.
She stepped over them and ran, the gravel skidding beneath her shoes. Her heart was swelling, bursting, the sprint already making her lungs burn as she yanked open the back door. She took the stairs two at a time, the old wood groaning beneath her.
The door to her grandma’s bedroom was open and she froze in the doorway, panting, grasping the jamb.
Scarlet © Marissa Meyer 2012