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The Emerald Eclipse

The Emerald Eclipse

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Pandora and her Drops clanmates discover an elixir for perfect faez crystal attunement, potentially shifting the balance of power in the Undercity. As the Razor clan allies with the Crows and the smaller clans form the Alliance, tensions rise, pushing the Undercity to the brink of war with everyone poised to strike first.


The clans are on the verge of war.

Pandora and her Drops clanmates discover the existence of an elixir that allows for perfect faez crystal attunement—which will give imbibers a way to match the best stones with the best warriors—signaling the balance of power in the Undercity is about to change. While Razor clan, desperate to keep up with the escalations allies with the Crows, a gang from the city who can supply much needed manpower in exchange for faez crystals and training their members in the ways of the waku.

Both clans have a new foe to worry about, as the smaller clans that they'd previously ignored, come together to form the Alliance. Together with the attunement elixir and their superior numbers, this third clan has pushed the Undercity to the brink of war. The only question is who will strike first.

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter One

The grand emptiness above Kuma threatened to crush him. It was night in the city. The skyscrapers glittered like jewels, extending impossible distances above, as if they were crystals grown from the earth. He gaped at the sky from the comfort of the shadows.
"Too much for you, grounder?"
The guy speaking to Kuma wore an oversized puffy orange jacket with the tip of an automatic weapon sticking from the front. He wore a few pounds of silver around his neck, and his eyebrows had vertical lines shaved into them.
Kuma girded himself. Walking in the city was no different than being in Big Dave's Town or the Terreno. The only variation was that there was no protective layer of rock above his head. He had to remind himself that he wouldn't go flinging into the air, untethered from gravity if he stepped out of the archway.
"Been a while is all."
Two members of his clan came out behind him, stumbling into the street, laughing about some private joke.
"Little Bear," said Xylos, jutting his chin.
"Hey, Xylos. Adrena."
They both wore black clothes like him, but Adrenalynne wore a dark skullcap as well to hide the neon tattoos she'd gotten on the side of her shaved head. They glowed like miniature theater marquees. She could change the color or words by typing into her phone, a techno-enchantment she'd bought from a failed member of Cybermagics.
"What are we waiting for, Deacon?"
The guy in the puffy orange coat nodded towards the street. "For our ride to arrive."
As soon as he finished speaking, two black SUVs showed up. The three Razor clan members climbed into the back of the second. Deacon jumped into the passenger seat next to the driver and plugged his phone into the stereo. Moments later a thumping bass was followed by noises that sounded vaguely like screams and EDM beats.
Being in the back of the car was more comforting than standing outside. Kuma hoped that he wouldn't have to be in the open too much. He gestured to Adrenalynne in the silent speech of the Undercity, a place that rewarded silence with a longer life.
Can we trust them?
Adrenalynne rolled her eyes. She tapped on her tragus implant where her faez crystal was located. Kuma took the hint and tuned his amber to hear. When she spoke subvocally, the words barely coming out as a whisper, he heard her as if they were speaking normally.
"Does it matter? Your father sent us," said Adrenalynne.
"I thought you were in the city all the time?" he asked.
"Never run with the Black Crows before. They've given us intel, and we run goods through them sometimes, but never a joint mission."
Kuma frowned. "They don't look honorable."
"They're not, but if your father wants allies, they're one of the bigger gangs in the city. It's not like we have a lot of options right now."
The rebuke from Adrenalynne hurt, but he couldn't argue. The balance of power in the Undercity had shifted towards the upstart alliance clans in the northwest since they'd been finding unique stones like the black diamond that provided steelskin. If Razor couldn't find their own new stones, they could easily get overrun. The potential alliance with Black Crows was meant to provide much-needed manpower in exchange for faez crystals. His father had agreed to provide them with half a dozen ambers, an emerald, and an opal in exchange for their support. Kuma hated the idea that they were giving up stones to non-clan members, but his father had explained that these were extra. Nearly everyone that could have attuned to them had already been given a chance, and once they had the manpower, they'd be able to find new and more interesting stones. This job was meant as a gift to their new partnership.
Kuma caught Deacon watching them through the rearview mirror. The signal for "being watched" ended their conversation. Kuma spent the time staring out the window at the lights. It felt like the first time he'd used his amber, when the world was so overwhelming he was lost to the sensations. He was so busy focusing on the lights of the passing cars that when an enormous demon with a sword made of flame rose over a building, he exclaimed and shoved himself into the back seat.
Deacon immediately busted up laughing, slapping his leg and hitting the driver as he pointed above the nearby apartment buildings.
"I knew you'd never been in the city before," said Deacon, laughing as he looked over his shoulder.
Neither Xylos nor Adrenalynne had reacted to the appearance, and Kuma realized it was a trick.
"We're passing the second ward," said Deacon. "They make all sorts of crazy illusions near the Glitterdome. Fucking rich, man, seeing your face. You looked almost as bad as when you first stepped outside."
Kuma started to reach forward to grab Deacon by the throat, but Adrenalynne stopped his hand. She shook her head covertly.
"It has been a long time," said Kuma, grinding his teeth. It'd been years. Since his mother was alive. They'd come up to the city during a rainy night on a whim when they'd been in Big Dave's Town. The storm had made it seem less expansive and they'd stayed under the awnings along the street, splashing through puddles and marveling at the cars speeding past.
A few times as they drove, Deacon rolled down the window and brandished his automatic weapon at groups of women on the sidewalk. He whistled and asked them if they wanted to suck on his metal dick.
Kuma was regretting asking to be involved with the raid. He'd wanted to show the clan that he could be useful. Since the duel last year when he'd offered to let Pandora yield rather than killing her, they'd treated him distantly. Second-year Academy waku usually didn't go on city jobs, but since he had two stones and the clan was stretched thin, they'd accepted his offer.
About a half hour after they left the Goblin's Romp, Deacon turned down the music. His dirty blond hair and gaunt pale skin made him seem like a ghoul as he grinned into the back seat.
"We near the eleventh. A warehouse we're gonna hit. It's got a small army of plastic badges on site, but that shouldn't be a problem for you wonderkin."
"It's waku," said Kuma. "What are plastic badges?"
"Rent-a-cops. Hired security. Good for keeping skater kids from pissing on your brick wall, but they won't stop us. 'Specially not with you three."
Adrenalynne leaned forward. "I thought we were hitting an unguarded warehouse."
Deacon sucked on his teeth with a bored look. "What would be the fun of that? We don't need waku for hitting a place like that, and our boss wanted to know this stone shit ain't no trick."
"Are you saying we're lying about our stones?" asked Kuma as he made himself Heavy. The SUV groaned as the shocks sunk down with the added three tons. The driver made an exclamation and glanced over his shoulder. Kuma switched back to his normal weight.
"Look," said Deacon. "I believe you and all that, but people be selling fakes for big jack. The boss gotta know what Razor is offering is real."
"But this isn't the job we agreed on," said Adrenalynne.
Deacon shot them a wink. "I'm sure you'll do fine."
The SUV pulled into a gravel lot behind a convenience store. Between the two vehicles, they had five Black Crows and the three Razor. The drivers would stay and monitor the streets and the police channels. One of the Black Crows was carrying a heavy duffle bag that sagged under its own weight.
"Once we start we got nine minutes to do the job before we'll have to shoot our way out."
"How do you know that?"
Deacon leaned away with a smirk. "You think we runnin' blind up here? We triggered the alarms a few weeks ago just to see how long it take."
Without waiting to see if they had further questions, Deacon headed the opposite way, behind the row of businesses. He reached a fire scaffold and started climbing. As more Black Crows went up, the entire structure rattled and a few lights came on in the apartment building.
"I don't like this," said Kuma.
"Neither do I," said Adrenalynne as she put her foot on the bottom rung. "But unless you're calling it, I think we gotta keep going forward."
Xylos shrugged as he went after Adrenalynne. "I've been on worse jobs."
After reaching the roof, they made their way until they reached the end of the apartment buildings. A gap of ten feet between them and the warehouse was blocked by a barbed wire fence at the top on the opposite side.
"You can see why we need you," said Deacon, gesturing at the fence. He scrunched up his face as he looked at them. "Which one of you is the emerald? You can make it over, right?"
Kuma sighed. "What do I do when I'm over there?"
Deacon handed him wire snips. "You'll understand once you've cut a hole in the fence." He shifted his mouth to the side. "Probably want to make sure it's not electrified first."
"You can jump that?" asked Xylos with an eyebrow raised.
Kuma moved back a ways, checking his blades to make sure they were safely tucked away. He had a small pistol inside his jacket, but he was hoping he wouldn’t have to use it. As he readied himself for the jump, he remembered the endless sky above him. The idea that he was about to make himself light as a puff of air brought a wave of fear that he would make the leap and rather than arc over the fence, soar up and outward, until he was swept into the clouds. Forever lost to the night sky.
"What are you waiting for?" yelled Deacon with his arms raised.
Spurred by the comment, Kuma sprinted forward, cycling himself to Lightness as he hit the edge of the roof. He slammed his foot down, propelling himself upward. In the caverns of the Undercity, jumps like this made him feel powerful, but crossing the gap that went down four stories to the street level had him feeling powerless. He cycled his feet as if that would help him move faster. The soles of his shoes barely drifted over the barbed wire fence. He landed softly, not a sound generated, waiting until after he'd hit to cycle to Heavy.
Using the back of his hand, he brushed the fence to find that it wasn't electrified. Then he used the snips to cut a hole through the fence. Once he was finished, he saw what the Black Crows had in the duffle bag. It was a portable aluminum bridge. They threw him a rope, and once he had it, he pulled one end to his side and everyone crossed on their hands and knees.
Deacon slapped him on the back. "That was some fade-ass flying you did back there. Wasn't sure you'd ever come down."
"Me neither," said Kuma.
Deacon led them to an exit building at the center of the warehouse roof.
"Once we blow through this door, we're on a timer. Most of security is on the perimeter. That'll give us time to reach the goods."
"What are we even trying to get?" asked Xylos.
Deacon flashed a grin. "You'll see."
One of the Black Crows pulled out a small charge of explosives, but Adrenalynne waved him off. She gripped the door handle and gave it a tug, using her topaz strength to snap the inner locks. The door swung open at the same time alarms blared into existence.
"Nice," said Deacon as he ran past Adrenalynne, headed into the stairwell.
Xylos shrugged and followed. Adrenalynne pushed Kuma forward, touching her tragus as a reminder to tune his amber. As soon as he did he grimaced at the clatter of the alarms. It sounded like a bell was being rung directly in his ear. About the time he was halfway down the stairs, the pulse of an automatic weapon sounded at the bottom. Kuma found the reason for the gunfire when he passed a dead security guard surrounded by a pool of blood.
It wasn't that his clan hadn't killed their fair share of people over the years, but it was usually a last resort when things went wrong, not a main facet to their jobs. Violence begets violence, his father had always instructed. The more of it you put out there, the more that comes back. The last thing they wanted to do was rouse the Invictus PD to investigate the clan. And once you've moved to strike, it left you vulnerable to counterattacks. Kuma was feeling mightily exposed as they ran across the packed warehouse.
The space was filled with shipping boxes and barrels, wrapped and stacked on pallets for easy transport. A worker on a fork truck dove off his vehicle, letting it crash into a steel girder when Deacon squeezed a round over his head.
They reached an inner building that had a G&T logo on the door. Deacon gestured towards Adrenalynne. She stepped forward and kicked the door open. The rest of the Black Crows and Xylos stayed on the outside, while Kuma and Adrenalynne followed Deacon into the building. He moved through the narrow, zigzagging hallways as if he knew the place. They passed shuttered offices that would probably be filled with workers during the day.
Deacon stopped at a door with no windows that had a security panel on the outside. When Adrenalynne moved up to open it, he waved her off and pulled a round puck from an inner pocket and set it next to the electronics. His arrogant demeanor turned reticent as he placed the puck near the security panel and pressed a button on the outside. A pair of crossed fingers told Kuma that they might have come all this way for nothing.
"How long is this gonna take?" asked Adrenalynne.
"A minute tops. It's the best cracker hardware money can't buy," said Deacon.
While they waited for the door to be opened, Kuma walked to the next corner to have eyes on the cross-hallway. The constant alarms had meant he'd kept his amber off, so he didn't hear the guard coming around the corner until he nearly ran into him.
Kuma kicked the barrel of the guard's gun, sending bullets into the concrete wall. He stepped past the length of the weapon, bringing a stiffened hand into the guard's throat, which made him drop the rifle. An open-hand slap to his forehead with a touch of Heavy knocked him out. Kuma slid the weapon back towards the other two, and Deacon mimed clapping.
"Impressive. So it's more than the stones."
Kuma straightened his jacket and came back to the door as the puck lit up green.
"Let's party," said Deacon, pushing into the room.
The interior was no bigger than a bank vault. The cooled interior was lined with smaller refrigerators. Each one glowed with inner lighting. Labels with strange names like "Lion Heart Basilisk" or "Purple People Eater" were affixed to the front.
Deacon yanked a duffle bag out of his puffy orange jacket. He searched for a particular name and opened the refrigerators, pulling out small boxes of vials and shoving them into the bag.
"Take some if you want," he said with a wink.
"What are these?"
"Special brews that you can't find anywhere else. The latest and greatest of alchemical genius, even better than what you can get in the D'Agastine labs with a fistful of cash. Time to blow!"
They followed Deacon out of the room to the sounds of gunfire. The rest of the Black Crows were trading fire with the security team. Xylos had his hands on the shoulder of one of the Black Crows, healing a gunshot wound while the guy grimaced.
Deacon pulled three pucks from his jacket, winked at Kuma, and flung the first two across the smooth concrete. White gases emanated from the pucks, obfuscating their retreat path. He lobbed the third one a moment later and motioned to cover ears.
A concussive blow sent the white smoke swirling, giving them an opportunity to run across the warehouse to the stairwell. As they hurried up, Deacon said, "Six minutes, doing great."

Main Tropes

  • Urban Fantasy
  • Magical Academy
  • Found Family
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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Alicia Manolas
The Emerald Eclipse intrigues...

I was really drawn in by this series, and this - Book Two, The Emerald Eclipse, was an amazing read! Thomas Carpenters amazing world building skills strike again, the characters have depth, the story intrigue, and the book is one you can really get into, gripping from start to finish! The magic system is a fascinating one with the stones involved, unusually magic within reach of the common person... and of course, be prepared to love the Hundred Halls and all its environs!!!

Leanne Pert
Epic read

Thomas k carpenter has done it again. Another epic instalment of one of the series of books I’ve read ( I’ve read a lot, lol ). I eagerly await what comes next

lana turner
Another thrilling episode in the undercity!

I really think that Thomas Carpenter has outdone himself with this thrilling edge of the seat book. Niran was the solrei of the razor clan in the undercity and he would do anything to keep his clan safe, so he had made a peace agreement with the drops their rival clan, and was now forging an alliance with the black crows a gang from the upperside. However his brother Brazio was not trusting any of these people and would have rather had a battle and raided the antimagus. Seems that both were not prepared for the betrayals they would face as others were pulling the strings of the black crows and actions were being taken to throw doubt on either clan about the peace agreement being respected. Presently a shadow war was being fought but a full blown war was imminent. The young waku from both sides though were wiser than their elders, in that they investigated and found clues pointing to their deception and knew they were being set up. Pandora and Kuma most especially trusted one another even though they were supposed to be enemies and together with Kuma’s friends Camina and Tick they went all out to stop the war from happening. No one was prepared for the outcome! This book is so full of tension, it is also full of betrayal but also full of courage and the ending is surprising but one which was well deserved. I cannot get enough of this very thrilling series and cannot wait to read book 3!

What an adventure!

Go on an unpredictable adventure with your favorite members from the clans and gangs as the power from the crystals grows. Who will survive?