Monday, February 16, 2015

"Sacrificed" by Emily Wibberley

(The Last Oracle Book 1)
by Emily Wibberley

Sacrificed is the first book in Emily Wibberley's new The Last Oracle series. This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by Itching for Books. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.

Fifteen-year-old Clio should have never been the Oracle of Sheehan. That power is passed from mother to eldest daughter, and Clio is the youngest of four sisters. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king's adviser, Clio is left all alone and heir to a power she never wanted and doesn't understand.
Hunted by Mannix, Clio seeks refuge in a foreign city where oracles are absolutely forbidden. If she's found out, she will be sacrificed atop its great pyramid.
Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the growing feelings between them, Clio knows that if he finds out who she really is, he won't hesitate to kill her.
Clio tries to hide her budding powers, but the visions she has of Mannix bringing a barbarian army into Sheehan torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

The temple wasn’t empty, however. She stopped when she saw a man standing on the edge of the pool. He wore long sweeping robes of deepest red.
Clio shivered. Something about Mannix had always unnerved her. He came to Sheehan not five years ago, and already he had somehow gotten himself a position as the King’s prized adviser. She knew he had played an instrumental role in brokering a peace with Morek.
A thin-lipped grin spread across his pale face as his eyes fell on Clio. His head and face were completely hairless. In the place of eyebrows, Mannix wore a multitude of ruby piercings. He turned to her, his red eyes lighting up as she approached.
She barely spared him a glance. She was racking her brain for ideas of where Ali could be. “You shouldn’t be here.”
“Is that so? Tell me, why is it that men cannot come in here unattended?” His gaze fell on her like flames.
“Not my temple, not my rules.”
“Ah, but it may be your temple one day.” He walked around the pool to get a better look at her.
“Not likely. Youngest of four, remember?”
“I do. And yet you really are…flowering.” His grin ripped itself higher into those hollow cheekbones, giving light to those red, empty eyes.
“It’s probably comments like that why men aren’t allowed in here.” Ali could be anywhere, doing anything by now, and Clio was stuck dealing with Mannix in an empty temple.
She could still feel his eyes moving over her body. He wasn’t like the other men who came to see the Oracle. Their stares seemed to strip Clio of her clothes. Mannix looked like he was stripping the very skin off her bones. Rage flickered up in her chest, but the best way out of this was to move him along as quickly as possible. She had to find Ali.
“Can I help you with something, or are you just here to bother me?”
He ignored her and bent down at the pool’s edge, skimming his fingers along its surface.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” she warned.
“The sacrificial waters, yes? I wondered if the lore was true. They say it carries the power of the Oracle. That she cannot be the servant to the Deities without it. Have you ever gone in?”
“I don’t know about all that, but yes, once. I fell. Came out covered in blisters. Truly, you are ugly enough already.” The water was another of her mother’s flashy tricks, poisoned in a way to seem like it held power from the Deities.
“Interesting. So only the Oracle herself can touch it?” he wondered to himself, his fingers curling around his chin. “But Clio, that mouth of yours will get you into trouble one day. Learn to guard yourself in the presence of powerful men.”
“Is that what you are now? You serve the King — the servant of men. I serve the Oracle — the servant of the Deities. Whatever power you have stops at the doors of this temple.”
They glared into each other’s eyes until —
“Clio, escort Mannix out of the temple and help him with the offerings.” Her mother’s voice broke their eye contact.
Unnoticed by Clio, her mother had entered the room. She stood at the top of the steps, a vision in her white robe and headdress made of pure white pearls almost indistinguishable from the striking white of her hair. While all of her daughters had hair the color of darkest night, hers was whiter than sunlight reflected on a snowy field. She stood at the vestibule to her private chamber that attached to the temple. Clio didn’t know what was in there, and she never would. It was for the Oracle’s eyes only.
Mannix lowered himself into an obsequious bow. Clio couldn’t help but snicker. The Oracle looked down on her. “Clio, I won’t ask you twice.”

Praise for the Book
"The story is fast paced but knows when to offer up some light and shade, and is filled with unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing the whole way through." ~ Charlotte Jain
"Wow I'm positively pleased. Nowadays finding a creative original plot in YA is hard. Surely there are clichés I love, but I don't really like too much repetition. This book was a breath of fresh air. The world the author created reminded me of ancient Mayans and a little bit of alternate Egypt and I had fun imagining it. [...] This was an amazing read and If you love a good story about enemies becoming lovers and unique settings you definitely should try this one!" ~ Anabela Gervásio
"Great YA fantasy book, hard to believe it's from a first-time author. I raced through it, ignoring my friends and family for two days, and can't wait for the next book. Hurry up, Emily Wibberley! Write more! Write faster!" ~ Wendy O'Connor
"Oh my. I don’t even know where to begin with this review. I read the entire book in less than twenty-four hours. Oh, the feels. I just could not stop reading. [...].The story is amazing. I love it so, so much. The ending was not what I was expecting at all. I just couldn’t put this book down. Again I repeat, amazing." ~ Amanda Marie
"I really enjoyed this story. The plot is original, exciting, and intense. Clio is very likable, and I liked the way she handle her situation. Also likable is Riece, the unlikely pair become good friends and build a camaraderie. There is a bit of romance which adds some spice to the story. Well written the story flows with enough action, drama, romance, friendship, heart felt decisions and sacrifice. Overall I find that Young Adult as well as Adult lovers of fantasy will enjoy Sacrificed." ~ Sheri A. Wilkinson

From the Author
Seven things about me:
1. I graduated from Princeton University in June 2014 with a bunch of people who are a lot smarter than I am.
2. I’m just starting out so I’m not “the best-selling author” of anything, but…
3. I did once stand in line to meet Joss Whedon at a comic book signing when I was in middle school and got him to autograph a Buffy the Vampire Slayer poster for me.
4. I was the flute section leader in my high school’s marching band.
5. Besides YA, some of my favorite reading material comes from Jane Austen and the Preacher comic book series. I also like to spend my free time playing video games like The Last of Us.
6. I have two rescue German Shepherds. One is really sweet and the other thinks he’s a NAVY SEAL and that every cat, skateboarder and motorcyclist is a terrorist.
7. L + R = J.

Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of Sacrificed or a $5 Amazon gift card (open internationally).