Title: Uprising (Outliers Saga, 2)
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: May 21st, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2FQl4m1
Just as I had expected, Saffron was sitting behind her desk when I stepped into her office, waiting for me. Her eyes, which were the same steely gray as her hair, swept over me when I stopped in front of her, and her lips twitched as if she were working to hold in a smile. In front of her sat the electroprod, menacing even in its silence.
“I’m glad you decided to return,” she said after only a beat of silence.
I lowered my head, but not nearly as low as it used to be. My eyes, however, were not focused on the wood floors gleaming beneath my feet, but instead on the woman in front of me. Her skin appeared twice as pale in the dim light of the room, and I was once again struck by how smooth it was despite having lived more than a half a century.
“Thank you for the opportunity.” I intentionally left off the word mistress.
If Saffron noticed, she made no mention of it. Instead, she stood from her chair and crossed to the front of the desk, her eyes on me the whole time. I watched as she did it, my gaze focused and steady. Not once did it waiver from her face, and not once did I consider lowering it to the ground.
She frowned, pulling her waxy skin down as her eyes swept over me again. Saffron had put on weight over the last six months, although she was still nowhere near as plump as most of the Sovereign, and her face was rounder than it had been. It made her look more like her son, which should have scared me, but instead made my back stiffen even more as my determination to stand up to this woman grew in intensity. She and I were the same height, short by the standards of both the Fortis and the Outliers, but average among the Sovereign.
I had always been the shortest among my people, though, and it suddenly made sense why that was. Outliers tended to be tall and wiry, while the Sovereign were short and much rounder. Their thickness stemmed from their gluttonous lifestyles, but the height was something that had come about over centuries, perhaps due to the lack of variety in their bloodlines, and it explained why I was such a small person. Only last night, right after Mira had returned to the city and told me Saffron wanted me to return to my post, I discovered I had been born within these very walls. That I was Sovereign by birth but had been smuggled out of the city and raised as an Outlier.
Saffron stood in front of me, her emotionless eyes silently taking me in for another moment before saying, “Six months? That’s how long it’s been?” She paused so I could nod. “I thought you would need the time to not only recover, but to think about how you would proceed once you were back in my good graces. I take it you now understand that defiance of any kind will not be tolerated?”
“I now know that Outliers are expected to bend to the will of the Sovereign no matter what the circumstances are.”
Saffron’s left eyebrow lifted just a tad, and I could tell that she was trying to decide if my words meant I agreed with her, or if I was making a point.
After a moment she said, “Very well, then. You may return to your post.”
I bowed my head slightly as I took a step back. “Thank you.”
This time when I left mistress off, Saffron’s eyes did narrow. She said nothing, but her gaze followed me as I turned away and dug into my back like the claws of a lygan. I kept my head high, though, and my spine straight as I left her office, and I had no intention of changing that, no matter what I faced today or any other day. From now on, I would be stronger than even the strongest of the Fortis guards.