Burned: A House of Night Novel

Hardcover | April 27, 2010

byP C Cast

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When friends stop trusting each other, Darkness is there to fan the flames..

Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird's soul has shattered. With everything she's ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey's fading fast. It's seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampyre High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only 7 days left.

Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae's hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home but also threatens to explode her whole world.

In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She's always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess's own voice, whether she wants it or not. Aphrodite's loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey's fate hangs in the balance.

Three girls. playing with fire. if they don't watch out, everyone will get Burned.

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From the Publisher

When friends stop trusting each other, Darkness is there to fan the flames..Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird's soul has shattered. With everything she's ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey's fading fast. It's seeming more and more doubtful ...

P.C. Cast is an award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance author, as well as an experienced speaker and teacher. With her daughter Kristin Cast, she is the author of the House of Night novels, including Awakened, Betrayed and Hunted. Cast was born in the Midwest, and as a girl fell in love with mythology. After high school, she joi...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.65 × 5.78 × 1.27 inPublished:April 27, 2010Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312606168

ISBN - 13:9780312606169

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Burned house of night novel Amazing book I recommend this book to other teens... can't wait to read the next one
Date published: 2013-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply the best Anyone who has made it to this book should understand when I say that this vampyre series is beautifully different amd amazing.
Date published: 2013-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious fun! This series just keeps you running with it! Lots of fun!
Date published: 2013-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great instalment! (CONTAINS SPOILERS!) ***SPOILERS ALERT*** I have to admit it: As much as I love the House of Night series, it’s really starting to bug me. First off, the reference to the TV show True Blood on the FIRST PAGE of the 7th installment, Burned, irked me. If you want your work to be timeless, don’t insert current pop culture into it. There were also references to Paris Hilton and Barbie dolls, which was just a filler conversation in the novel, if you ask me. It’s just not necessary – the book should be able to stand on its own. Second, I don’t understand why the Casts’ have to make Damien, Jack, and Zoey seem like such babies when throughout the novel there are people who act like adults – outright swearing and not just being a baby about everything. The weepiness and the lovey-doviness between Jack and Damien is really starting to get to me. And no, it’s not a gay thing, it’s just annoying. Yes, we all know that Jack is shy, but after he speaks out, it’s not necessary to point out how much his day is brightened when he’s encouraged by Damien. Once is fine, but after each time is just a little much. I also don’t get why some characters swear and act like adults and then we see Heath and Zoey saying things like “bullpoopie” to one another. It’s just wrong. I honestly expected more from Zoey in this book – like more “screen time,” so to speak. But after seeing the interaction between her and Heath (who I couldn’t stand since day one, by the way) I was happy that the book focused more on other things. Now that I’ve gotten those things off my chest, I’ll talk about the thing I loved. Rephaim. Oh dear, dear Rephaim. Am I the only girl who has totally fallen in love with this half-bird/half-man? The whole story arc between him and Stevie Rae was great, and that’s not just me being a romantic. I love that they save each other and openly claimed to their elements that the other belongs to them. The part that really had me was when Stevie Rae couldn’t get back to the House of Night, so she stayed at the mansion with Rephaim. However, for Rephaim, the sky is where he feels comfortable, and for Stevie Rae, the underground is where she feels most comfortable. If Stevie Rae isn’t underground, she could die in the daytime. When Rephaim gathered up his nest on the top floor of the mansion to move underground where Stevie Rae was, I was so ready to fall apart. I just love him so much. It’s such a great message to show that you can go against what you’ve been nurtured to be in order to do right – Rephaim went against the Darkness just to be with Stevie Rae. I really hope that Rephaim can find himself worthy of love and come back to Stevie Rae – and that her friends can accept him. And in the end there was one man: Stark. Can I just say how much I’ve loved Stark since he first came into the series? I know that for some crazy reason, the Casts’ will find a way to bring Heath back, but it was like Zoey changed when she healed Stark in the grove – she grew up and took her place as a queen and it was all just so beautiful. Yes, it might have been a very quick 360-degree spin, but to see her grow up in an instant was worth it. And Aphrodite! I couldn’t believe how much her character had grown since meeting her in the first book. She truly is fitting into her roll as Prophetess and I’m happy that she still has a snarky attitude, but only when necessary. She has the makings of a leader and that’s definitely a good thing. Oh, and just a writing thing that’s been bothering me – why is it that when it’s Zoey’s time to speak in the novel, she’s the narrator, but then whenever anyone else is speaking (which bugged me – if the point of view is Stark for one chapter, why have more than one header reading ‘Stark’?), they’re never the narrator? It was a little off-putting, especially considering Zoey wasn’t that prominent a speaker in the novel. Anyway, as ticked off as I was when I finished reading Tempted, the last novel in this series, I was very happy when I finished reading Burned. Even though I know something is bound to happen with Kalona, Rephaim, and Neferet in the future books, it’s nice to have some finality to this book. The next installment (Book #8!), Awakened, isn’t due out until January 2011 – I’ll have to wait that much longer to get my Stevie Rae/Rephaim and Zoey/Stark fix!
Date published: 2012-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Okay, how to put this? I would have to say this is the best book so far (only the way it was written, not the content). I am still MAJORLY annoyed at the length these books go through and I want it to be OVER, but this book was well written. It was filled with lots of emotions. I think she should have killed Kalona and got it over with and left Neferet for the last book, but thats just me. I need to finish the last book so I can be over and done with the House of Night once and for all!
Date published: 2011-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique and well written series Make sure you start at the begining of this series. It is a unique concept for vampires and a very good read. They are classified as teen books but seem to mature with each edition. I am certainly not a teen anymore but have enjoy this set of books thoroughly! I HIGHly recommend them.
Date published: 2011-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Burned This was an ok book to the series. I didnt really like the fact that Zoey was barely in the book, and you knew she was gonna come back from the otherworld. And it was just alot of worrying about Zoey. But it was ok.
Date published: 2010-08-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A whole lot of nothing happened. Soooo after being terribly disappointed with Tempted, I wasn't expecting much from Burned...and sadly I was right to not get my hopes up. The writing style remains consistently immature and I am finding myself growing more and more annoyed with the language used (yes, the book still seems like it was written by a 13 year old girl). The book STILL seems to have a very weak set of characters, none of which succeeded in getting my attention resulting in an "I don't care what happens to who" feeling. Actually, I think Cast may be ruining the few remaining charming points of the series...one of which was Stark, who like Erik in the previous novel, turned into an annoying wimp. What happened to the cool, confident bad ass I grew to love!??!?! And the plot? What plot? NOTHING HAPPENED! I would have imagined that the possibility of the main character biting the dust would have called for an action-packed or at least drama-fueled story but a whole lot of nothing happened. I felt like when I finished the book, they were all back at square one and I could have cared less about whether or not I finished it. Blah. I give up. I'll read the rest of the titles in the series as they are released just because that is what I do with all series, but I will definitely not be running to the store to pick up the next book on release day.
Date published: 2010-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT READ!!! OMG I really liked this book...*kinda SPOILERS*...i soo want Rephaim and Stevie Rae to get togather..and they did...but I WANT MORE FROM THEM. the beginning is good and then it slows down..but it picks up in the last couple of chapter..leaving the reader happy......now i cannot wait to read the next book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!AWAKENED!! :)
Date published: 2010-06-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Burned I was a little hesitant when I picked up Burned because Tempted has disappointed me. Although, the plot is not as evenful as Tempted's, I prefer Burned. I think three days passed in this book so nothing much happen, but we really get to see more of Stevie Rae and Aphrodite wich was refreshing because Zoey was seriously exaspering me with her boy troubles. Stevie Rae had some in this book but it's not all that happen. Also, we see a lot more of Aphrodite, at first she seem like a shallow caracter but she's actually pretty complex and she's one of my favorite caracter. The main downfall of this book is the writting, the last books were better in term of language, they toned down the curses word and their " we are young" language but in this one it was over done and gets on my nerves. Overall, a good book in the serie that makes me impatient for Awakened to see what's going to happen.
Date published: 2010-06-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Burned Me Out Am I the only one who feels like barely anything actually happened in this book?? The writing was terribly redundant and I found myself skipping pages at a time. I don't mind profane language in books but the use of it in Burned was kind of ridiculous. It seemed to me like the authors were trying to use swearing as a way to sound young and "cool". Sorry, didn't work for me. After finishing Burned and Tempted I think I'm probably done with the series. IMO the first 5 books should have been it as the authors don't seem to know how to write a book with substance anymore.
Date published: 2010-06-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Burned and just plain bored **Spoilers for the previous book Tempted.. but no spoilers for Burned** The 7th book in the House of Night series, Burned was a bit of a let down compared to the previous book, Tempted. It felt like Tempted made a big step forward in story and writing style and Burned took two even bigger steps back. Burned begins right where Tempted left off. Zoey`s devoted gang is still in Italy trying to figure out how to get Zoey back from the Otherworld after her soul was shattered as a result of her lifelong friend`s death. Simultaneously, the Vampyre High Council is still in misbelief of Neferet being on the dark side, with the exception of one, Thanatos. Thanatos has an affinity for Death and becomes a guide to the nerd herd, Aphrodite, Darius and Stark to help save shattered and soulless Zoey. Stark goes on a journey to better himself and decide between Light and Darkness for good using ancient and forgotten ways. Back in Tulsa, Stevie Rae has taken over Zoey`s usual boy drama as her own. Stevie Rae is torn between Dallas, one of her red fledglings and Rephaim, the raven mocker who she saved and saved her life in return. The feelings are intensified even more when she becomes imprinted with the half human and half beast. No longer able to deny those feelings, she pulls away from everyone of her usual group and leads on Dallas. Annoying and badly written boy troubles aside, Stevie Rae finds her own earthly ways to help Stark help Zoey save her. There is not much meat to the story line. It felt like it never really hit a true climax. Not even a fake one. There was annoying repetitive parts of the prophecies and poems which just seem like page fillers. Everytime I thought the story was picking up pace it lost steam and switched to another character dialing the story back a couple chapters just through another`s eyes. The forbidden feelings between Stevie Rae and Rephaim was close to good, but Stevie Rae`s mind is highly irritating and made me even miss Zoey`s POV. The real bad part is that Rephaim, the half human and have crow kind of evil being was my favorite character in the book and that really doesn`t say much. I`m not sure how, biologically, they`d even get “romantic” but I guess that would at least lend some entertainment to future books. I hope PC and Kristin Cast regain their footing on the next book and finish the series already. The only real positive note I have is, I`d love to see these books turned into a TV show or movie. Since its not very distinct, it has room for other interpretations, and it has a charm and humor to it that you can`t deny like any guilty pleasure book. The idea of this series is great and as are the lessons behind it, with some meat on its bones it would make me an avid fan. Final words: this book isn`t the worse thing to be in my hands, but I had to push myself to finish it. I’m not giving up on the series. Will stick with it to the end.
Date published: 2010-05-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Didn't Burn The Other Books... Alright, so here we have the seventh installment of The House Of Night series, Burned. Which didn't burn the other books in the series. I still have to say that Betrayed and Untamed were my two favorite. But I have to admit it's really interesting to read where the series has gone to. I mean from basically a high school vampyre to an almost High Priestess. Wow. In Burned, there wasn't really a major plot. {Spoiler?} Just that Zoey's soul has shattered and she is trapped in the Otherworld. Stark her Warrior must try to save her before she actually dies. We still have Stieve Rae, who I used to like, with Rephaim and all. It's kind of like Beauty and The Beast, although the Disney version is and will always be better. I know that Kalona is still the bad guy as well as Neferet, but they were barely in the book, probably the first chapter and somewhere near the end. Anyways, about Zoey, I barely say her point of view as well. But, I know this is going to sound really heartless, I couldn't bring myself to feel bad for her. After all she's done in the previous books, I just didn't like her or the way she acts. Whenever she is in a serious situation she has to think of something immature or stupid. And that really bothered me. Especially the situation with Stark, who happens to be my favorite character now, but I mean Zoey didn't even look or acted like she felt bad for him. The positive about this book was the climax and ending, that's when I couldn't put it down. And it kept me on the edge of my seat. But that doesn't make the book mature, okay there is language (which isn't even used in the right places), but the way the characters think is seriously like a fifth grader. And sometimes, I just know what to expect. And I still think the really cheesy parts are the characters with affinities say "Spirit...Come to me..." It's really weird. I'd recommened this series to Vampire lovers, who love drama, and romance. And immature highschool acts. 3.5 Stars.
Date published: 2010-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome!!!!! i just finish this book and its sooo awesome i could not put the book i was soo into it !!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2010-05-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Even though it could have been better.... I still need to know what happens next Okay so we all know it's pretty much like tempted. I do wish from this book we would see more of the 'nerd herds' perspective, I mean, it's pretty much about stevie rae, aphrodite and zoey,.. and now a little bit more about stark. It would be cool if something similar that has happened to stevie would also happen to one of the twins. The author should at least put that out more, because those characters were really important in the beginning of the series, and now they are barley mentioned. I think the part that (and I admit) made me cry was the part where Heath left. I'm really sad he's off, there was so much about him that you can't explain. He had this undying love for Zoey, and even since we don't want the author to drag on the series, it would be nice to see his reaction as a reborned person to Zoey! It was mentioned in the series that since he died he will be reborn again! I wonder how the author will use that in the next series, or even use it at all. But either the author would have to drag on the series forever, or they show a little 10 years.. 20 years later. That would be a shocker! But zoey would be really old LOL. But other then that, the book wasn't something new, it was continuing from tempted (I know it's suppose to do that but I meant it should still tell a new story). The author should have been a little more creative, but I still need to know what happens next...anyways... sadly... I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT HEATH :(
Date published: 2010-05-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I'm Burned. When the book blurb is that long, it’s a bit redundant for me to reiterate what happened isn’t it? ha. Zoey is trapped in the Otherworld due to her soul shattering when Heath is killed by Kalona. Parts of her soul are scattered & all of her friends must work to first make her give up Heath & two put the pieces of herself back together before her body dies. In the meantime, Neferet has put Kalona in a trance like state to make sure Zoey dies. Then we have Stevie Ray dealing with her feelings for Rephaim in Tulsa & the other red fledglings who are causing all sorts of trouble. I have to tell you all the honest truth, I did not enjoy this book at all. A few times I almost put it down & gave up on it. I found there were too many POV’s & it just didn’t flow properly in my head since they just jumped around. There’s Zoey, but she’s off as her souls shattered, Stark, Stevie Ray, Kalona & sometimes we hear from Heath & Aphrodite. I usually enjoy multiple POV’s & I like the House of Night Series, but this was just too much IMO. It was so choppy, you forgot what the heck that person before POV was, add to that excessive swearing that there was no need for. And if you weren’t already confused by the multiple POV’s, lets throw in Scottland so we can use the dialect. Lovely. The pace? Wait what pace? Snails crawl faster, honestly it was slow going. I read pretty fast, but this took me 5 days to read because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. It was more filler than substance & plot, I get it save Zoey. On top of it, this is a teen series but the language used was more tailored to pre-teens. It’s repetitive & everything is explained over & over again which makes the reader feel uneducated or unable to grasp what the authors were talking about. While the HoN series was always repetitive (the Twins anyone?) this is an all new level of irritation for me. The cake at the end? Nothing was resolved. Either way, I am Burned & done with this series. I really can’t put it any nicer.
Date published: 2010-05-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Lame I was very dissapointed by this book. You could completely tell it was a "buying time" book so the authors could come up with more crap. Honestly, I think they are stretching the series far longer than it should be. There were indeed some interesting twists, but none that are OMFG AWESOME worthy. I personally enjoyed the first 3 books the best, the rest of them are becoming boring and predictable. They need to wrap it up soon.
Date published: 2010-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVED IT! Suspense filled... This book was amazing kept me hooked and wondering what was going to happen. The suspense killed me and i like how after a couple of chapters it was someone elses point of view... this book was fantastic! I cannot wait for the new book AWAKENED!
Date published: 2010-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVED IT! Suspense filled... This book was amazing kept me hooked and wondering what was going to happen. The suspense killed me and i like how after a couple of chapters it was someone elses point of view... this book was fantastic! I cannot wait for the new book AWAKENED!
Date published: 2010-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Team Stark So Burned is book 7 in the HON series and I really liked it, it starts where Tempted left off and the story picks up from there, there was alot of different elements in this book that i thought was really great and Stark was one of them, he is an amazing character one of my favs. I also found the story between Stevie Rae and Raphaim very good as well I want to see more. I still find Kolana an interesting character and I want to see more of him in the next book as well, Nefret is starting to get on my nerves by the way she needs to get staked or something. I will say I was unsure about this book book because I did some skimming when I got it and the story didn't really seem to make sense at first but I was very wrong once you start reading the book everything comes to focus. Overall a great read and a great addition to the HON series, can't wait till the next one. :0)
Date published: 2010-05-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A little dragged out I received the first 5 books in a box set and read them all pretty quickly, but with the ntroduction of Kalona the story took on a new and interesting level. Hoping this might be the last novel in the series I was a bit disappointed as I got near the end to find there would be no conclusion. Though I will continue to follow the series I am concerned about it gettng stale. In reading the previous books in the series I was never that interested in the Stevie Rea character or her struggles, but this book found me aching to skip past the information about Zoey and back to the Red One faster. I would say this book is worth the buy, but the critisims I would give anything in this series stand the same for this installment. The jumps in POV's can be confusing and do not always make sense to me. Why is Zoey the 1st person narrator, but the remaining characters do not tell thier own stories in the same way? My only other issue with this set of books is that often they are hard to get into. I have read them all, and they do not instanly snag you into wanting more. The build up is a bit too slow as it is with most of these novels, but itf you've invested so much to have gotten all the way to the 7th novel you will not be disappointed in what you get. If this is the 1st in ther series you are attempting to read, I would hold off until reading through at least novels 3-6 first. Overall this book follows Stevie Rae and her struggles with her new bond to an immortal and what the consequenses of good and evil choices are. The sections of the storythat involve Zoey and her crew attempting to revive her are not brief enough for me- but they do the job and offer new insight into the vampire world.
Date published: 2010-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! After reading tempted I was so excited to read this book. It wasn't my favourite book but I still enjoyed reading every part. I thought the book was called burned because of Aphrodite's vision, but I was surprised to find out it was something completely different. There were a few twist and turns and it is totally worth it to buy the book. I would read it again.
Date published: 2010-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Can't wait...... I loved the past 6 books i just cant wait until Burned comes out......i just cant please what happened to Heath, and i cant wait to see what happens to Zoey and Stark......Yeah yeah!!!
Date published: 2010-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from omg can't wait! <3 team Stark! omg i can't wait for burned to come out i mite just die waiting... and out of all the guys: erik=jerk heath=rip kalona=fallen angle hahaha your funny if u think im gonna believe that like really HE HAS BLACK WINGS and raven mockers i dont think raping women is very angle like of u. and he's getting in her dreams and he just killed Heath like what did he do to u all he said was: Zoey's my girl,then kalona killed him! :'( i love house of night out of the 9-10 series i read house of night is the best no exceptions! and Stevie Rea on the front cover im confused shouldent Zoey be on there... or did she really die in tempted and she not coming back like Z has to come back she the main character i like Stevie rea and all but Z was always my fav person! and whats up with Nefret likes shes already mean and she killed Loren.. and all the guys she falls for they fall for Zoey so next time she gets a guy dont let him and Zoey meet or somthing u can't just kill people! and i hope Kalona killes Nefret then Zoey,erin,shanee,damein,stevie rea send him back in the earth foever or im gonna get in that book and do it myself! and u know in tempted what was up with Nicole like she mean (and whats really scary my sister is excatly like her) and i dont know why shes trying kill stevie rea what she ever do to you all she wanted to do was help u theres no need for killing her. and Rephaim i think he should have a human face cuz i think if stevie rea likes him like they could star somthing i dont know maybe dont u think they'd be a cute couple! cuz i do but he needs to be cute! anywase cant wait for burned to come out! <3 love u Stark and Zoey!
Date published: 2010-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this series soooo much OMG its coming out on the 27th of April 2010!!!!!!!!!!!! thats the day before my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2010-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO COME OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But when does it come out?! I LOVED this series soooooo much!!!!!!!!!! Burned is going to be sooooooooooooo good. I just don't see how P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast continued the story. P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast, you must be sooooo smart, because your books are sooooooo GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But this is killing me, WHEN IS BURNED COMING OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2010-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How much longer?!?! I CANT WAIT FOR BURNED. read tempted and i loved it . i keep wondering whats going to happen with zoey and her tattoos...AH!!. the stress/wait is killing me.
Date published: 2010-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I CAN'T WAIT!!!!! OMG I loved "Tempted" and I am so excited for this one to come out!! The House of Night Series is my all time FAVOURITE series and i cannot wait. The books get better each time and i have a feeling this one will be amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2010-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG!:D OMG I can't wait to read this book!:) Im sooo excited for it! But I hate the waiting part of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2009-12-11

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Read from the Book

BURNED (Chapter 1)KalonaKalona lifted his hands. He didn't hesitate. There was no doubt whatsoever in his mind about what he had to do. He would not allow anything or anyone to get in his way, and this human boy was standing between him and what he desired. He didn't particularly want to kill the boy; he didn't particularly want the boy alive, either. It was a simple necessity. He didn't feel remorse or regret. As had been the norm during the centuries since he'd fallen, Kalona felt very little. So, indifferently, the winged immortal twisted the boy's neck and put an end to his life."No!"The anguish of that one word froze Kalona's heart. He dropped the boy's lifeless body and whirled around in time to see Zoey racing toward him. Their eyes met. In hers were despair and hatred. In his was an impossible denial. He tried to formulate the words that might make her understand--might make her forgive him. But there was nothing he could say to change what she had seen, and even if he could work the impossible, there was no time.Zoey threw the full power of the element spirit at him.It hit the immortal, striking him with force that was beyond physical. Spirit was his essence--his core--the element that had sustained him for centuries and with which he had always been most comfortable, as well as most powerful. Zoey's attack seared him. It lifted him with such force that he was hurled over the huge stone wall that separated the vampyres' island and the Gulf of Venice. The icy water engulfed him, smothering him. For an instant the pain within Kalona was so deadening that he didn't fight it. Perhaps he should let this terrible struggle for life and its trappings end. Perhaps, once again, he should allow himself to be vanquished by her. But less than a heartbeat after he had the thought, he felt it. Zoey's soul shattered and, as truly as his fall had carried him from one realm to another, her spirit departed this world.The knowledge wounded him worse than had her blow against him.Not Zoey! He'd never meant to cause her harm. Even through all of Neferet's machinations, through all of the Tsi Sgili's manipulations and plans, he'd held tight to the knowledge that, in spite of everything, he would use his vast immortal powers to keep Zoey safe because ultimately she was the closest he could come to Nyx in this realm--and this was the only realm left to him.Fighting to recover from Zoey's attack, Kalona lifted his massive body from the clutching waves and realized the truth. Because of him, Zoey's spirit was gone, which meant she would die. With his first breath of air, he released a wrenching cry of despair, echoing her last word, "No!"Had he really believed since his fall that he didn't truly have feelings? He'd been a fool and wrong, so very wrong. Emotions battered him as he flew raggedly just above the waterline, chipping away at his already wounded spirit, raging against him, weakening him, bleeding his soul. With blurred, blackened vision, he stared across the lagoon, squinting to see the lights that heralded land. He'd never make it there. It would have to be the palace. He had no choice. Using the last reserves of his strength, Kalona's wings beat against the frigid air, lifting him over the wall, where he crumpled to the frozen earth.He didn't know how long he lay there in the cold darkness of the shattered night as emotions overwhelmed his shaken soul. Somewhere in the far reaches of his mind, he understood the familiarity of what had happened to him. He'd fallen again, only this time it was more in spirit than in body--though his body didn't seem his to command any longer either.He felt her presence before she spoke. It had been like that between them from the first, whether he truly wished it or not--they simply sensed one another."You allowed Stark to bear witness to your killing of the boy!" Neferet's voice was more frigid than the winter sea.Kalona turned his head so that he could see more than the toe of her stiletto shoe. He looked up at her, blinking to try to clear his vision."Accident." Finding his voice again he managed a rasping whisper. "Zoey should not have been there.""Accidents are unacceptable, and I care not one bit that she was there. Actually, the result of what she saw is rather convenient.""You know that her soul shattered?" Kalona hated the unnatural weakness in his voice and the strange lethargy in his body almost as much as he hated the effect Neferet's icy beauty had on him."I imagine most of the vampyres on the island know it. Typically for her, Zoey's spirit wasn't exactly quiet in its leave-taking. I wonder, though, how many of the vampyres also felt the blow the chit dealt you just before she departed." Neferet tapped her chin contemplatively with one long, sharp fingernail.Kalona remained silent, struggling to center himself and draw together the ragged edges of his torn spirit, but the earth his body pressed against was too real, and he had not the strength to reach above and feed his soul from the wispy vestiges of the Otherworld that floated there."No, I don't imagine any of them felt it," Neferet continued, in her coldest, most calculating voice. "None of them are connected to Darkness, to you, as I am. Is that not so, my love?""We are uniquely connected," Kalona managed, though he suddenly wished the words were not true."Indeed . . ." she said, still distracted by her thoughts. Then Neferet's eyes widened as a new realization came to her. "I have long wondered how it was that A-ya managed to wound you, such a physically powerful immortal, badly enough that those ridiculous Cherokee hags could entrap you. I believe little Zoey has just provided the answer you've so carefully withheld from me. Your body can be damaged but only through your spirit. Isn't that fascinating?""I will heal." He put as much strength as possible in his voice. "Return me to Capri and the castle there. Take me to the rooft op, as close to the sky as I can be, and I will regain my strength.""I imagine you would--were I so inclined to do that. But I have other plans for you, my love." Neferet lifted her arms, extending them over him. As she continued to speak she began weaving her long fingers through the air, creating intricate patterns, like a spider spinning her web. "I will not allow Zoey to interfere with us ever again.""A shattered soul is a death sentence. Zoey is no longer any threat to us," he said. With knowing eyes, Kalona watched Neferet. She drew to her a sticky blackness he recognized all too well. He'd spent lifetimes battling that Darkness before he embraced its cold power. It pulsed and fluttered familiarly, restlessly under her fingers. She shouldn't be able to command Darkness so tangibly. The thought drifted like the echo of a death knell through his weary mind. A High Priestess shouldn't have such power.But Neferet was no longer merely a High Priestess. She had grown beyond the boundaries of that role some time ago, and she had no trouble controlling the writhing blackness she conjured.She is becoming immortal, Kalona realized, and with the realization, fear joined regret and despair and anger where they already simmered within the fallen Warrior of Nyx."One would think it would be a death sentence," Neferet spoke calmly as she drew more and more of the inky threads to her, "but Zoey has a terribly inconvenient habit of surviving. This time I am going to ensure she dies.""Zoey's soul also has a habit of reincarnating," he said, purposefully baiting Neferet to try to throw off her focus."Then I will destroy her over and over again!" Neferet's concentration only increased with the anger his words evoked. The blackness she spun intensified, writhing with swollen power in the air around her."Neferet." He tried to reach her by using her name. "Do you truly understand what it is you are attempting to command?"Her gaze met his, and, for the first time, Kalona saw the scarlet stain that nested in the darkness of her eyes. "Of course I do. It's what lesser beings call evil.""I am not a lesser being, and I, too, have called it evil.""Ah, not for centuries you haven't." Her laughter was vicious. "But it seems lately you've been living too much with shadows from your past instead of reveling in the lovely dark power of the present. I know who is to blame for that."With a tremendous effort, Kalona pushed himself to a sitting position."No. I don't want you to move." Neferet flicked one finger at him, and a thread of darkness snaked around his neck, tightened, and jerked him down, pinning him to the ground again."What is it you want of me?" he rasped."I want you to follow Zoey's spirit to the Otherworld and be sure none of her friends"--she sneered the word--"manage to find a way to coax her to rejoin her body."Shock jolted through the immortal. "I have been banished by Nyx from the Otherworld. I cannot follow Zoey there.""Oh, but you are wrong, my love. You see, you always think too literally. Nyx ousted you--you fell--you cannot return. So you have believed for centuries that is that. Well, you literally cannot." She sighed dramatically as he stared at her blankly. "Your gorgeous body was banished, that's all. Did Nyx say anything about your immortal soul?""She need not say it. If a soul is separated from a body for too long, the body will die.""But your body isn't mortal, which means it can be separated indefinitely from its soul without dying," she said.Kalona struggled to keep the terror her words filled him with from his expression. "It is true that I cannot die, but that does not mean I will remain undamaged if my spirit leaves my body for too long." I could age . . . go mad . . . become a never dying shell of myself . . . The possibilities swirled through his mind.Neferet shrugged. "Then you will have to be sure you finish your task soon, so that you may return to your lovely immortal body before it is irreparably damaged." She smiled seductively at him. "I would very much dislike it if anything happened to your body, my love.""Neferet, don't do this. You are putting into motion things that will require payment, the consequences of which even you will not want to face.""Do not threaten me! I released you from your imprisonment. I loved you. And then I watched you fawn over that simpering teenager. I want her gone from my life! Consequences? I embrace them! I am not the weak, ineffective High Priestess of a rule-following goddess any longer. Don't you understand that? Had you not been so distracted by that child, you would know it without me telling you. I am an immortal, the same as you, Kalona!" Her voice was eerie, amplified with power. "We are perfectly matched. You used to believe that as well, and that is something you will believe again, when Zoey Redbird is no more."Kalona stared at her, understanding that Neferet was utterly, truly mad, and wondering why that madness only served to feed her power and intensify her beauty."So this is what I have decided to do," she continued, speaking methodically. "I am going to keep your sexy, immortal body safely tucked away underground somewhere while your soul travels to the Otherworld and makes sure Zoey does not return here.""Nyx will never allow it!" The words burst from him before he could stop them."Nyx always allows free will. As her former High Priestess, I know without any doubt that she will allow you to choose to travel in spirit to the Otherworld," Neferet said slyly. "Remember, Kalona, my true love, if you ensure Zoey's death, you will be removing the last impediment to us reigning side by side. You and I will be powerful beyond imagining in this world of modern marvels. Think of it--we will subjugate humans and bring back the reign of vampyres with all the beauty and passion and limitless power that means. The earth will be ours. We will, indeed, give new life to the glorious past!"Kalona knew she was playing on his weaknesses. Silently, he cursed himself for allowing her to have learned too much about his deepest desires. He'd trusted her, so Neferet knew that because he wasn't Erebus he could never truly rule beside Nyx in the Otherworld, and he was driven to re-create as much of what he'd lost here in this modern world."You see, my love, when you consider it logically, it is only right that you follow Zoey and sever the link between her soul and her body. Doing so simply serves your ultimate desires." Neferet spoke nonchalantly, as if the two of them were discussing the choice of material for her latest gown."How am I even to find Zoey's soul?" He tried to match her matter-of-fact tone. "The Otherworld is a realm so vast, only the gods and goddesses can traverse it."Neferet's bland expression tightened, making her cruel beauty terrible to behold. "Do not pretend you don't have a connection to her soul!" The Tsi Sgili immortal drew a deep breath. In a more reasonable tone, she continued, "Admit it, my love; you could find Zoey even if no one else could. What is your choice, Kalona? To rule on earth at my side, or to remain a slave to the past?""I choose to rule. I will always choose to rule," he said without hesitation.As soon as he spoke, Neferet's eyes changed. The green within them became totally engulfed in scarlet. She turned the glowing orbs on him--holding, entrapping, entrancing. "Then hear me, Kalona, Fallen Warrior of Nyx, by my oath I shall keep your body safe. When Zoey Redbird, fledging High Priestess of Nyx, is no more, I swear to you I will remove these dark chains and allow your spirit to return. Then I will take you to the rooftop of our castle on Capri and let the sky breathe life and strength into you so that you will rule this realm as my consort, my protector, my Erebus." As Kalona watched, helpless to stop her, Neferet drew one long, pointed fingernail across the palm of her right hand. Cupping the blood that pooled there, she held her hand up, offering. "By blood I claim this power; by blood I bind this oath." All around her, Darkness stirred and descended on her palm, writhing, shivering, drinking. Kalona could feel the draw of that Darkness. It spoke to his soul with seductive, powerful whispers."Yes!" The word was a moan torn deep from his throat as Kalona yielded himself to the greedy Darkness.When Neferet continued, her voice was magnified, swollen with power. "It is your own choice that I have sealed this oath by blood with Darkness, but should you fail me and break it--""I will not fail."Her smile was unworldly in its beauty; her eyes roiled with blood. "If you, Kalona, Fallen Warrior of Nyx, break this oath and fail in my sworn quest to destroy Zoey Redbird, fledgling High Priestess of Nyx, I shall hold dominion over your spirit for as long as you are an immortal."The answering words came unbidden by him, evoked by the seductive Darkness, which for centuries he'd chosen over Light. "If I fail, you shall hold dominion over my spirit for as long as I am an immortal.""Thus I have sworn." Again Neferet slashed her palm, creating a bloody X in her flesh. The copper scent wafted to Kalona like smoke rising from fire as she again raised her hand to Darkness. "Thus it shall be!" Neferet's face twisted in pain as Darkness drank from her again, but she didn't flinch--didn't move until the air around her pulsed, bloated with her blood and her oath.Only then did she lower her hand. Her tongue snaked out, licking the scarlet line and ending the bleeding. Neferet walked to him, bent, and gently placed her hands on either side of his face, much as he had held the human boy before delivering his deathblow. He could feel Darkness thrumming around and within her, a raging bull waiting eagerly for his mistress's command.Her blood-reddened lips paused just short of touching his. "With the power that rushes through my blood, and by the strength of the lives I have taken, I command you, my delicious threads of Darkness, to pull this Oath Bound immortal's soul from his body and speed him to the Otherworld. Go and do as I order, and I swear I will sacrifice to you the life of an innocent you have been unable to taint. So thee for me, I mote it be!"Neferet drew in a deep breath, and Kalona saw the dark threads she'd summoned slither between her full, red lips. She inhaled Darkness until she was swollen with it, and then she covered his mouth with hers and, with that blackened, blood-tainted kiss, blew Darkness within him with such force that it ripped his already wounded soul from his body. As his soul shrieked in soundless agony, Kalona was forced up, up, and into the realm from which his Goddess had banished him, leaving his body lifeless, chained, Oath Bound by evil, and at the mercy of Neferet.BURNED. Copyright 2010 by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

Editorial Reviews

"Cast and Cast pull out all the stops and take this story to shattering new heights with devastating consequences!" -Romantic Times (4 ½ stars) on Tempted"P. C. And Kristin Cast havef made an absolutely amazing [YA] series. The visuals offered by this fantastic duo are entertaining and imaginative, with nonstop action. This is easily a [YA] series that can entertain adults with action, hot Vampyres, true friendship, budding romance, a loving Goddess, and a twist of the unexpected." -HowlingGoodBooks.com (5 stars) on Tempted"I loved every one of the books in the [House of Night] series. Tempted is my definite favorite.. This book had me ripping through the pages." -Teen review on Flamingnet.com on Tempted"Move over, Stephenie Meyer." -People on Hunted"Zoey Redbird's first-person adventures take on added danger and importance in the latest House of Night release. Forced by circumstance to grow up quickly, Zoey's emotional and spiritual evolution is fascinating. The Cast duo breathes life and vibrancy into the characters and makes each one an integral part of the saga. Awesome and unforgettable as always!" -Romantic Times (4.5 stars) on Hunted"The Cast duo has done it again! These ladies appear to be an unstoppable force within the world of YA literature. Teenage readers will be drawn to Zoey's everyday, angst-riddled life. Not only does she need to save the world, Zoey needs to solve some major vampyre/human boy drama. These stories are surreal, yet shockingly accurate when it comes to teenagers and their lives." -TeensReadToo.com (5 stars) on Hunted"The most masterful part of the writing lies in how the authors take on serious issues sex, peer pressure, bullying, parental alienation, religion, and substance abuse and weave them into the text. It is a refreshing perspective that doesn't feel like preaching." -Tulsa World on Hunted"I absolutely loved this book.. I enjoyed the story line very much and thought that the authors had correctly portrayed the mind of a teenager.. I would recommend this book to vampyre fans and anyone who would enjoy a wondrous fantasy story." -Teen review on Flamingnet.com on Hunted"An exceptional vampire tale. P.C. and Kristin Cast do a phenomenal job." -Darquereviews.com on Hunted"Hunted is an appealing supernatural thriller. The exciting storyline is filled with teenage angst as Zoey struggles with choices that would cause PTSD in most adults.. This fine entry casts a strong spell on readers." -Thebestreviews.com on Hunted"A richly nuanced standout. Even when she's confused, even when she's embroiled in teen-angst, Zoey's choices, delivered in fresh first person, seem believable. Even better? They seem smart.. This series has dark themes and subject matter, but the Cast team delivers them with sparkling dialogue, wry humor, and realistic characters driven by genuine humanity." -Fictionistas.blogspot.com on Hunted"Untamed is a fast moving and adventure filled read, with engaging characters and just a touch of romantic chemistry to keep fans guessing. This is a well-written young adult series that should easily appeal to both teens and adults." -Darque Reviews"Chosen, The House of Night series book 3, is like the cream in an Oreo cookie holding the two ends together. This story is gearing up for the final showdown between Zoey and Nepheret and mother and daughter team, P.C. and Kristen Cast are setting the stage perfectly for this..Again, P.C. Cast is an auto-buy author for me and this series is also on that auto-buy list." -Paranormal Romance Reviews"Betrayed continues the House of Night series in a chilling fashion. PC and Kristin Cast once again prove their talent in telling a tale filled with all the normal teenage angst compounded with becoming a Vampyre..If you liked the first book in the series, you'll love this one!" -Paranormal Romance Reviews"This highly addicting series offers a unique twist on the standard vampyre story and is sure to please a wide variety of readers. Although she is a vampyre, Zoey Redbird's journey is one for every teen. Her voice is genuine and . captures the sincerity and frankness of a teenager in search of a new home and a place where she truly belongs. The emotional portrayal of Zoey's trouble and tribulations enhances the quality of these books. True to life, she struggles with issues of truest, loyalty, love, sexuality, and identity and moves though a myriad of conflicting emotions from happiness to confusion to grief. These books will have the reader laughing hysterically and sobbing unreservedly-sometimes all at once." -VOYA (on both Marked and Betrayed)"Marked is one of the best coming of age stories to come out of Oklahoma since S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders. It teaches about the beauty of being a social outcast, friendship, and finding your own inner spirituality." -The Beltane Papers"From the moment I stuck my face in this book it hooked me! Totally awesome new take on vampires! Marked is hot and dark and funny. It rocks!" -Gena Showalter, author of MTV's Oh My Goth