The hero of Resurrected Darkly has always been a favorite of mine. Crank is an ancient fey warrior who has lost everything; his king, honor, and name. When the reader and Ena first meet Crank in the fifth book, his mind is broken. This book is all recovery, redemption, and risking your heart once more.
An excerpt from Chapter 10:
Crank followed Ena up the winding flight of stairs that led to the House of Caw’s private rooms. A lifetime had passed since he’d last seen these quarters, and like so much gathered dust, memories stirred as he strolled slowly through the rooms he’d once known so well. Much had changed—and yet, he decided, much had not.
He had relinquished his post as Gwenhwyfar’s captain not long after the birth of Caw’s last son. And, if Crank remembered correctly, Neb had been still crawling at his mother’s feet the last time he’d seen Caw. They’d had naught but angry words for each other on that dark day.
Whether out of respect or laziness, Bran had not changed the placement of the booty his father had collected over the centuries. The family room remained cluttered with artifacts from a distant age. History lined the walls and lay upon every available flat surface. Everywhere Crank looked, he saw fragments of a shared past, a past where he and others had served Arthur. There, on the far wall, hung a cracked shield, the result of a dispute between himself and Caw. And there…there, in an honored spot upon the fireplace mantel, sat a gold chalice, a gift from Arthur after the birth of Caw’s first son. Crank stopped dead when he spied the portrait of the unseelie whose name the house still bore. From the paint-covered canvas, Caw stared back, his image dusty and full of unspoken censure.
Coming to a halt as well, Ena followed Crank’s gaze. “I hate that picture,” she declared.
“It does give one pause,” he replied, averting his gaze.
Crank smiled when his eyes happened to fall on the charmed harp he’d helped Caw steal from a rival. As a personal favor to Arthur, Crank had tagged along that day to keep Caw from getting himself killed. As it turned out, the harp wasn’t the only thing they’d stolen from Drest. During the harp theft, Caw met and abducted his future mate, mother to the horde of young warriors Caw later sired. Crank found himself chuckling at the pleasant memory of his friend, the formidable Caw, attempting to instill some semblance of discipline among his wayward and headstrong lads.
“What’s so funny?” Ena asked, turning her lavender eyes on him.
“’Tis nothing, lass,” he replied. He’d followed her through the larger family room into a smaller antechamber. This room had once been Caw’s training area. It now looked similar to the room they’d just left but was more austere in its seating arrangement. Despite the change, Crank felt very much at home inside the House of Caw.
“Father uses this room when he is in negotiations or dealing with business that doesn’t have to do with the den. Court obligations,” she clarified.
Crank just nodded. He was still seeing the room the way it used to be. “Your grandfather trained in this room.”
“You knew Caw?”
“Aye. We often sharpened our skills by sparring against one another. Your grandfather was a fine swordsman.” Glancing at her, Crank smiled. The look on her pretty face was one of utter shock. “Remember, lass, I be as old as dirt.” Again he found himself grinning at her reaction.
“My father has never mentioned you,” she replied, a ring of challenge in her tone.
Crank simply shrugged off her doubt and walked farther into the room. If Caw had regaled his offspring with their adventures, he would not have used Crank’s current name. “Your father was a babe at the time. He would not remember me,” Crank lied. Pulling his gaze away from the dead coals resting in the fireplace, he studied all four walls. Although the rest of the room had been transformed, the hard, gray stone wall remained. The individual stones had been neither polished nor painted, nor had any tapestries been hung.
“Why has Bran not adorned the walls?” he asked, changing the subject.
“He likes to say that his father hoarded people and objects but preferred the latter. I guess my father is just the opposite.”
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