Ethereal Entanglements is the third installment of Lee’s Spirit Knights young adult series. Now a full Knight, with her dagger and dragon, Claire plunges head-first into doing everything she thinks needs to be done while Justin scrambles to clean up the messes left behind in Backyard Dragons, and some new messes he didn’t expect.
Together with Drew, Claire’s possessed best friend, the trio faces lies and confusion, and steps into a millennia-old feud. The stakes are high with the fate of the world in the balance.
Claire wanted to memorize every line, but not that angry mouth. The worst she’d ever done as a child had only made him sigh with disappointment. Once, he’d let his features flicker with true anger. That time, he left the house and went for a ride on his horse rather than shout or punish her and her little brother.
She swallowed past the lump in her throat. “It’s not him,” she whispered. But she wanted it to be him as much as she wanted it not to be him. For one more chance to hug him, she would sacrifice anything. Seeing him like this scraped at the scab she’d built inside since his death, letting the hollow, empty feeling bleed out again.
Her father relaxed his stance and lowered his blade. “You have to prove yourself, Pumpkin, or you’ll never really be a Knight.”
Claire squeezed her eyes shut. Everything else faded away and she was ten years old again, holding his hand. “I don’t know how, Daddy. Every time I try–” Hot tears burned her cheeks. “All the Knights say I’m not good enough. Nothing I do here will ever be good enough.”
“You’re not trying, Pumpkin. Never trying always fails.”
She swiped her sleeve across her face, smearing streaks of damp gray dirt across it. Opening her eyes, she stood before her father, ready to let him stab her through the heart. She saw the loose dirt beneath her feet and the green light. Behind her father, Enion moved in slow motion, taking his time to position himself for a stealthy charge from behind.
This thing was not her father. Claire hung her head, ashamed of herself for letting it torture her. She knew better and Caius still got to her. “The Palace is the worst place ever. It’s supposed to be a sanctuary.”