May 28 2013 8:30am
Styxx: Exclusive Excerpt
Just when you thought doomsday was over . . .
Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.
As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.
The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now.
She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her. But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.
Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?
Get a sneak peek of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Styxx (available September 3, 2013) with an excerpt of a specially selected scene.
“Acheron?” Styxx whispered, nudging his sleeping brother awake.
Slowly, Acheron blinked his eyes open. Rubbing them with his fist, Acheron sat up in bed. Styxx shoved the loaf of sweet bread in his face, making Acheron smile the moment he saw it.
“I didn’t bring the honey, sorry. But...” Styxx opened his small cloth bag to show the sugared figs he’d taken. “I managed to pilfer your favorite.”
Acheron’s silver eyes lit up. “Thank you! But you shouldn’t have. You could have been caught.”
Styxx shrugged. “I wouldn’t have been hurt over this.” At least not physically- those beatings were reserved for other offenses. Though there were times when he’d prefer being hit to listening to them call him worthless or other names.
Glad he’d helped his brother, Styxx watched as Acheron tore into the bread. Since they’d sent them both to bed with no supper, Acheron was starving. But as usual, Styxx had been unable to sleep and so once the palace quieted down, he’d snuck to the pantry.
“What did you eat?” Acheron asked.
“Bread... with your honey.” He grinned wide with his guilt.
Acheron laughed. “That was wrong of you.”
Styxx indicated the small bag. “I thought you’d rather have the figs.”
“You could have given me the choice.”
“And I would have had my belly not been cramping. It smelled so good, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to eat some on my way here. Sorry.”
“Then I shall forgive you.” Acheron held the bread out. “Would you like more?”
He shook his head, declining it. Even though he was still hungry, he knew Acheron was even more so.
Frowning while he ate, Acheron cocked his head. “Can you not sleep again?”
“I tried.” Morpheus held a grudge against him for reasons only the gods knew. No matter how hard Styxx tried, sleep forever eluded him.
Acheron scooted back on his pallet, making more room.
Grateful beyond measure, Styxx accepted his unspoken invitation and laid down by Acheron’s side.
Within a few minutes, he was sound asleep.
Acheron finished his food, then tucked the bag into Styxx’s chiton. Licking the last of the sugar from his fingers, he curled up behind Styxx, back to back, and placed the bottoms of his feet flush to his brother’s. As far back as he could remember, they had slept like this whenever they could. Neither of them liked to be alone or apart, and yet their family seemed determined for them to be so. It was something neither of them understood.
How they both wished they could be left alone together.
And Styxx was the one he loved best.
His brother was the only one who treated him like he was normal. Styxx didn’t hate him like their parents did, nor dote on him like he was a god incarnate as Ryssa was prone to do.
They were brothers. They played. They laughed. And they fought for everything they were worth. But whenever the fighting was done, they would dust off and be friends again.
Always and forever.
Closing his eyes, Acheron heard the voices that were always in his head. Styxx heard them, too. But while Acheron only heard those of the gods, Styxx heard those and many, many more. It was one of the reasons his brother had such difficulty sleeping. Whenever they were together, the voices in Styxx’s head stopped shouting at him and left him free to rest. Styxx could only hear Acheron’s thoughts then and Acheron was very careful of them.
But the moment they were apart, the voices returned to Styxx with a vengeance. The constant lack of sleep made his twin irritable most days and gave him terrible headaches. Headaches so ferocious that at times his nose bled from them, and he was often sick to his stomach.
No one else understood that. They accused Styxx of faking the pain. And both of them were terrified of telling others what they heard. Everyone but Styxx hated him enough already. Acheron had no desire to give them another cause.
When Styxx had tried to tell others about the voices, he’d been ridiculed and punished for lying. Even Ryssa had accused him of making it up for attention. So both of them had learned to keep the secret and tell no one. Ever.
There were many secrets the two of them shared.
And they had promised each other that one day, when they were grown and no one could stop them, they would leave this place and go somewhere else where people didn’t treat them so badly.
Like his twin brother, Acheron couldn’t wait for that day to come.
Copyright © 2013 by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Find out more about the history of the two brothers in Lucy Dosch's post, Bad Bromance: The History of Styxx and Acheron.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon before its September 3 release:
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes. With more than 30 million copies of her books in print in more than one hundred countries, her current series include The Dark-Hunters, The League, and Chronicles of Nick. Her Chronicles of Nick series is soon to be a major motion picture. And the Dark-Hunters will soon be gracing both the big and little screens.