First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
Sometimes she smelled like blood. It stained her, worming into her pores and spreading out under her skin. I pretended not to notice, but each time someone came close, I flinched. Worried that they’d discover her. That they’d take her away from me.
Do you recognize the lines?
Hint: It’s a new YA fantasy.
Still not sure? Here’s another hint:
It’s written by Cyla Panin.
The First Lines Friday book is:
Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin
About the Book:
Title: Stalking Shadows
Author: Cyla Panin
Publication Date: Sept. 14, 2021
Publisher: Amulet Books
Synopsis: A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister’s curse and stop the killing in her small French town
Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small eighteenth-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living in the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately—not with poison but with a hint of honeysuckle she’s trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks. But she doesn’t attack as a girl. She kills as a beast.
Marking Ama’s victims controls the damage to keep suspicion at bay. But when a young boy turns up dead one morning, Marie is forced to acknowledge she might be losing control of Ama. And if she can’t control her, she’ll have to cure her. Marie knows the only place she’ll find the cure is in the mansion where Ama was cursed in the first place, home of Lord Sebastien LeClaire. But once she gets into the mansion, she discovers dark secrets hidden away—secrets of the curse, of Lord Sebastien . . . and of herself.
Have you read Stalking Shadows? What do you think of the first lines? Comment below!