Truth. Senth faces it square in the face in this excerpt from the opening of Bro. Does he like what he finds?
Read an excerpt of the new book and see.
Senth Antonello had attended classes at the Thieves' Guild Academy every day since he was what? Three? Yet here he stood before the exclusive Advanced Level entrance he'd more than earned, while he skulked in the shadows like he hadn't.
Plunging through that door always felt like he was flying into a beehive while sporting hornet wings. He ought to zip up there and let idBot scan him.
But did he?
No. Of course not.
And why was that?
Truth was, there were times being the best got you nothing but hated and looking like a kid got you nothing but disrespect. Being the adopted son of a former grand master had distinct perks, true. It got him in ahead of others, but then that was part of the problem, wasn't it?
Daddy had clout. Daddy belonged. People feared Daddy, for good reason.
Nobody feared a clawless halfbreed who looked twelve when he was eighteen.
"Come on, Senth," he told himself. "You can do this. You will do this. The time to act is now." He stepped up and let the automated idBot system scan him.
"Welcome, Blue Shadow," idBot's smooth robotic voice cooed. "Cleared for Advanced Level." The door unsealed.
Why couldn't people treat him like that?
Maybe today would be different.
Maybe undergrads would respect him for his level.
Maybe his dad would ask him how he was doing instead of going behind his back to the Grand Master.
Maybe nobody'd meow when he entered the room.
Maybe nobody'd go, "Here, kitty, kitty!"
Oh, and maybe the Empress would eliminate taxes, and while she was at it, free all the slaves. Because, sure. That could happen.
Inside, down the first hallway, monolithic carved wooden doors of the Great Hall stood open. The pickup line for upgraded cloaks wound down the stairs and then back and forth across the cavernous hall like one of those rides at Planet Fun.
Voices. Noise. Din. A hive of thieves anxious to score.
No sound suppression in the empire could mute the hum careening off these stone walls. Not today. Not with the first cloak upgrade in ten years minutes from release.
He took one last, sole-dragging step, entered the hall, and made straight for the grand staircase.
The entire queue of lower-level thieves craned their necks at whoever had entered. Their low buzz faded from front to back, and what do you know? Right on cue, a chorus of meows rose from the anonymous safety of the back row.
Senth halted and snapped his head in that direction, but the sound cut off.
No one in view so much as cracked a smile.
When Senth turned back toward the stairs, the conversational drone kicked right back in. After all, no one important had entered. Just the halfbreed.
This book's planned release is April 5th. Want advance notice?
The Antonello Brothers Series
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