Dust jacket by Xaviere Daumarie
Mallt-y-Nos. Matilda of the Hunt. The lone woman who rides with the Wild Hunt, tasked with finding killers who’ve escaped justice and letting the hounds reap their souls. For Olivia Taylor-Jones, Matilda isn’t just a legendary figure from Welsh lore. She is Olivia’s past, and her future, one she’s finally embraced.
Having accepted her role as Matilda, Olivia must now lead her first Hunt. Seems simple enough. But when she questions their target’s guilt, the Hunt is halted, her mission failed. Still, it’s just a matter of getting Gabriel’s help and investigating the man’s past to reassure herself that he’s guilty. He must be. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a target. But the deeper she digs, the more problems she finds, until she must question everything she knows about the Hunt and the choice she’s made.
With Rough Justice, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.
From Publishers Weekly:
“This swift, smoothly written supernatural mystery, told from Gabriel and Olivia’s alternating perspectives, employs a clever twist, expands on Olivia and Gabriel’s relationship and Olivia’s new powers, and poses intelligent questions about the nature of justice. Cainsville fans will enjoy this bite-size treat, which is enhanced by illustrations by Xavière Daumarie.”
That night, I dreamed of a Hunt. Of racing across the moor on a roan mare. Hooves thundered behind me as hounds bayed up ahead.
I am Matilda.
Matilda of the Hunt.
A stallion rode up beside mine, but I flung out a hand to ward it back. Calum’s laughter rang before the wind snatched it away.
Not Calum. Arawn. Lord of the Otherworld.
My grin broadened.
It still felt like a dream. Like someone would wake me and hand me a pretty gown and tell me I was late dressing for the ball. For some girls, that would be the dream. A life of gowns and balls and dukes eyeing me like a brood mare in heat. A brood mare with land and a title.
I hated that life. Despised it with all my being. This was what I wanted. To ride. To hunt. To be with Calum, a boy from the village brought to work on the estate, my dearest friend from the moment we met and then…and then more than a friend. Much more.
An impossible situation. Resolved in a spray of magic, like something from a fairy tale.
A real life fairy tale, with real life fairies.
The Cŵn Annwn. The Welsh Wild Hunt. They found me, and they told me who I was, and they proved it when I’d laughed at them.
Matilda of the Hunt, with Calum as my Arawn. Fated to be together.
“Do you want to ride with us?” the Huntsmen had asked.
What a foolish question. Of course I did.
“So you choose us?”
Choose them over what? Over the life I had by birth, a life of titles and castles and endlessly boring lessons in how to be a proper wife? Never. I chose the life I had before birth. The life I had when I lived in Wales, as Matilda.
Calum fell back to let me take the lead. That was my place now, and that was as glorious as the ride itself.
Ahead, I could see the hounds pursuing our quarry. A terrible killer who had slaughtered a fae-blood girl. Violated and then murdered her. For that, he would die. For that, he must die.
When the hounds pinned their prey, the leader of the Cŵn Annwn rode up beside me. This was my first Hunt, and so he would render judgment while I bore witness. We continued riding until we neared the hounds.
“Hamish Stewart,” the Huntsman said. “You are guilty of the murder of Agnes Fletcher.”
“Hamish?” I said, my gut freezing as I struggled to see the man the hounds had captured. “That—that is . . . No, there’s been some mistake.”
My voice came out oddly, and I tried to push the hood back but found that I could not.
“That is my cousin,” I said.
“He is guilty,” said the Huntsman.
“He cannot be. I have known him since we were children.”
“He is. Judgment has been rendered, and so he shall—”
“No!” Callum leapt off his horse and ran forward. “If she says this is a mistake, then we cannot do this.” He stood in front of Hamish, arms wide to shield him. “We’ll send him to trial. If he is found guilty, then he will be subject to the Hunt’s justice. I’ll speak to the magistrate myself. Tell me what evidence I can give them and—”
Hamish lunged at Callum. I shouted a warning just as my cousin struck my lover in the back. I drove my mare forward, and Hamish stumbled away. I saw the dagger in his hands. I saw blood on the blade. Then the lead hound pounced, and Hamish went down beneath it. I wheeled my horse to see Callum facedown on the moor, blood pumping from his back, and I began to scream.
- Xaviere Daumarie
- Kelley Armstrong
- eBook Edition