Home > Bright of the Moon

Bright of the Moon
Author: Miranda Honfleur



Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Chapter 6


Chapter 7


Chapter 8


Chapter 9


Chapter 10


Chapter 11


Chapter 12


Chapter 13


Chapter 14


Chapter 15


Chapter 16


Chapter 17


Chapter 18


Chapter 19


Chapter 20


Chapter 21


Chapter 22


Chapter 23


Chapter 24


Chapter 25


Chapter 26



Author’s Note


About the Author


About Blade & Rose


Preview of Blade & Rose



To Jessica,

Who worked as tirelessly as I did

To breathe new life into this book

And into this person.






Her breath sharp like knives, Bella raced through the stark forest as fast as her booted feet could take her.

Flashes of immaculate white darted through the grove of chestnut trees, glimpses just barely visible in the distance. Low-hanging branches snatched at her dress like desperate hands, but she dared not slow down. Not if she wanted to catch up to the unicorn.

She weaved through the slender trunks, her steps crunching on frozen twigs. Her cloak pulled at her neck, caught on a snow-shrouded bough, and she unclasped it. No matter. The late-winter chill wouldn’t halt her flight.

All her life, she’d secretly searched for others like her, who believed in the sharpness of ingenuity over that of the blade. At first, they had been only humans. But when untold numbers of immortal creatures had awoken about a year ago, more hope had blinked its eyes open. A war raged between humans and Immortali. And if unicorns were real, then maybe their mythical powers of peace were, too; she’d meet this one face to face. Here. Today. Maybe it could help spare another Bella somewhere from losing the love of her life to war. At the very least, she wouldn’t disappoint Cosimo’s memory.

She leaped over a fallen tree. Her boot slid in the slushy deadfall, but she caught herself with a gloved hand.

Precious time. She was losing precious time.

But the magnificent white coat shone just ahead, in stark relief to the withered foliage and ash-brown bark.

The unicorn had stopped. It was waiting.

She slowed, testing her approaching steps cautiously. Chasing it had been one thing, but running toward it now? She couldn’t risk spooking what she’d admired for so long. Not now. Not when she was so close and her idol so real.

Tarquin, Luciano, and Mamma would never believe her, but it didn’t matter. The only thing the Belmonte family believed in was war. But as “Renato”—her pseudonym and secret political alter ego—she could introduce the kingdom of Silen to an entire society that had renounced war eons before Silen had even crowned its first king. With the help of the unicorns, she could change the course of not only her family but the realm.

As long as she could avoid the assassins chasing the price on Renato’s head. The price on her head.

Now that she’d slowed, her face burned. She struggled to remain upright as she sucked in breath after life-giving breath. With any luck, her wheezing, grunting, and panting like a constipated barbarian wouldn’t frighten it. Writers, perhaps, were not always the best of runners. Or breathers.

But it just watched her, flicking its tail, long, wavy silken hair swaying in the breeze. Although horse-like, calling it—him—a horse wouldn’t have been right. He had a loose, open bearing, and gave a curious tilt of his head. A slight toss as if to say hello. There was a surprisingly human quality to his body language. Had he intended to lead her here?

She straightened. What did unicorns know of human society, anyway? Everything she’d ever read of them had suggested they were reclusive, isolated, kept to themselves, some even preferring solitude entirely. Wouldn’t their communication—verbal or otherwise—reflect that?

Other sources had guessed at telepathic abilities. Had he read her thoughts?

Perhaps the two of them would be able to communicate? All the better. “Hello,” she said shakily, cautiously. “I’m Bella.”

From thirty feet away, she met his eyes. Bright, alluring violet, magical, as if the most coveted, priceless jewels had been given flesh and intention. Then—

The world blurred around her, a sweep of greenery. Her chest tightened as though she were falling, but her feet found the dirt beneath her.

The unicorn stood before her, his face level with hers, his horn a mere inch from her forehead. Violet. Brilliant, breathtaking violet—

She gasped. An arcane shiver trembled through her shoulders and down her spine. Magic. It was magic.

The horn—long, twining, and sharp—would be daunting on any other creature but the father of peace. Still, she dared not move but to breathe, and slowly, his gaze drew her in.

Those eyes were limitless, the boundless skies of another world, where the wind flirted through the endless summer grasses studded with vibrant wildflowers, where a herd of unicorns swept past, manes swaying, horns gleaming, beneath a warm sun…

Warm… and she was like them, her heart filled with quiet, the kind of peace lost on other worlds, except this one… This one was the dream. Where no one fought, no one killed. Where her family’s armies had never killed her only love, Cosimo. Where she’d never been too blind to see it coming. Where battles were waged with words, and victories were bloodless. Where unicorns ventured out of their isolation and met the world with warmth and quiet hearts.

Their dream. Her dream.

If only she could become—

A pinprick heated her forehead. She blinked at deep eyes shrouded with long, dense lashes.

The unicorn stepped back, bowing his head, his gaze never leaving hers.

The tip of his horn was red.

Frowning, she blinked again. Red flowed down the twining horn, a swirl of bright ribbon against pearlescent white.

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