A CRYSTAL OF TIME, the fifth book of Soman Chainani’s book series The School for Good and Evil has an amazing cover along with a cool little excerpt.
Sure, we’re excited that Soman Chainani had his book series The School for Good and Evil optioned by Universal and it looks like they’re making steps forward to actually develop it into a movie, but we already know that we always look forward the most to the next book, and here we have the cover for the next book, A Crystal of Time.
Along with the cover, an excerpt was given to those needing even just a little taste of what’s to come in book five.
Read it below:
When the new King of Camelot intends to kill your true love, kidnap your best friend, and hunt you down like a dog… you better have a plan. When the new King of Camelot intends to kill your true love, kidnap your best friend, and hunt you down like a dog… you better have a plan.
But Agatha had no plan.
She had no allies.
She had no place to hide.
So she ran.
She ran as far from Camelot as she could with no direction or destination, ripping through the Endless Woods, her black dress catching on nettles and branches as the sun rose and fell… She ran as the bag with a Dean’s crystal ball swung and thumped against her ribs… She ran as WANTED posters with her face began appearing on trees, a warning that news travelled faster than her legs could carry her and that there was nowhere safe for her anymore…
By the second day, her feet blistered; her muscles throbbed, fed only by berries and apples and mushrooms she snatched along the way. She seemed to be going in circles: the smoky riverbanks of Mahadeva, the borders of Gillikin, then back to Mahadeva in the pale dawn. She couldn’t think about a plan or shelter. She couldn’t think about the present at all. Her thoughts were in the past – Tedros in chains… sentenced to die… her friends imprisoned… Merlin dragged away unconscious… an Evil villain wearing Tedros’ crown…
She struggled through an assault of pink fog, searching for the path. Wasn’t Gillikin the kingdom with the pink fog? Hadn’t Yuba the Gnome taught them that at school? But she’d left Gillikin hours ago. How could she be there again? She needed to pay attention… she needed to think forward instead of backward… but now all she could see was pink fog taking the shape of the Snake… that masked, scale-covered boy who she’d been sure was dead… but a boy who she’d just seen alive…
By the time she came out of her thoughts, the fog was gone and it was nighttime. Somehow she’d ended up in the Stymph Forest, with no trace of a path. A storm swept in, slinging lightning through trees. She cowered under an overgrown toadstool.
Where should she go? Who could help her when everyone she trusted was locked in a dungeon? She’d always relied on her intuition, her ability to make a plan on the spot. But how could she think of a plan when she didn’t even know who she was fighting?
I saw the Snake dead.
But then he wasn’t…
And Rhian was still onstage…
So Rhian can’t be the Snake.
The Snake is someone else.
They’re working together.
The Lion and the Snake.
She thought of Sophie, who’d giddily accepted Rhian’s ring, thinking she was marrying Tedros’ knight. Sophie who believed she’d found love – real love that saw the Good in her – only to be taken hostage by a villain far more Evil than she.
At least Rhian wouldn’t hurt Sophie. Not yet. He needed her.
What for, Agatha didn’t know.
But Rhian would hurt Tedros.
Tedros, who’d heard Agatha tell Sophie last night that he’d been a failure as king. Tedros, who now doubted whether his own princess believed in him. Tedros, who’d lost his crown, his kingdom, his people, and was trapped in the hands of his enemy, who just yesterday he’d embraced like a brother. An enemy who now claimed to be his brother.
Agatha’s stomach wrenched. She needed to hold Tedros in her arms and tell him that she loved him. That she would never doubt him again. That she would trade her life for his if she could.
I’ll save you, Agatha thought desperately. Even if I have no plan or no one on my side.
Until then, Tedros had to stay strong, no matter what Rhian and his men did to him. Tedros had to find a way to stay alive.
If he wasn’t dead already.
In a flash, Agatha was running again, strobed by lightning as she slashed through the last of the Stymph Forest and then along Akgul’s haunted beaches with ash for sand. Dovey’s crystal ball weighed her down, pounding the same bruise in her flank again and again. She needed to rest… she hadn’t slept in days… but her mind was spinning like a broken wheel…
Rhian pulled Excalibur from the stone.
That’s why he’s king.
Agatha ran faster.
The Lady of the Lake told Sophie that the Snake was king.
But Excalibur thought Rhian was king.
And Arthur told Tedros that Tedros was king.
Agatha held her breath, lost in a maze of thoughts. She needed help. She needed answers.
Muggy warmth turned to harsh wind and then to snow, the forest opening up to a sweep of tundra. In her sleepless haze, she wondered if she’d run through months and seasons…
But now she could see the shadow of a castle in the distance, spires slicing through low-flying clouds.
After all this, instead of finding someone who could help her, had she run back to danger? Had she wasted all this time?
Tears rising, she backed away, turning to sprint again –
But she couldn’t run anymore.
Her legs buckled and Agatha crumpled into soft snow, her black dress fanned around her like a bat’s wings. Sleep came as hard and swift as a hammer.
She dreamed of a leaning tower stretched high into the clouds, built out of a thousand gold cages. Trapped in every cage was a friend or someone she loved – Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, Professor Dovey, Hester, Anadil, Dot, Kiko, Hort, her mother, Stefan, Professor Sader, Lady Lesso and more – with the cages all teetering one over the other, and Sophie’s and Tedros’ cages at the very top, poised to come crashing down first. As the tower shook and swayed, Agatha threw herself against it to keep it from falling, her scrawny, gangly frame the only thing stopping her friends from dashing to their deaths. But just as she had the soaring column in hand, a shadow emerged atop the highest cage…
One by one, it threw cages off the tower.
Agatha woke with a start, sopped in sweat despite the snow. Raising her head, she saw the storm had passed, the castle ahead now clear in morning sun.
In front of it, two iron gates swung open and shut against the rocks, the entrance to this white fortress that towered over a calm, gray lake.
Agatha’s heart jumped.
Something inside her had steered her here.
To the one person who could give her answers.
Something inside her had a plan all along.
You can read the rest of the excerpt right here.
A Crystal of Time hits store shelves March 5, 2019.