Charlie N. Holmberg – The Hanging City
Seven years on the run from her abusive father, and with no hope of sanctuary among the dwindling pockets of human civilization, Lark is out of options. Her only leverage is a cursed power: she can thrust fear onto others, leaving all threats fleeing in terror. It’s a means of survival as she searches for a place to call home. If the campfire myths of her childhood are true, Lark’s sole chance for refuge could lie in Cagmar, the city of trolls―a brutal species and the sworn enemies of humanity.
Valuing combat prowess, the troll high council is intrigued. Lark could be much more useful than the low-caste humans who merely labor in Cagmar. Her gift makes her invaluable as a monster slayer to fight off the unspeakable creatures that torment the trolls’ hanging city, suspended from a bridge over an endless dark canyon.
Lark will do anything to make Cagmar her home, but her new role comes with a caveat: use her power against a troll, and she’ll be killed. Her loyalty is quickly put to the test when she draws the hatred of a powerful troll who loathes humankind. Still, she finds unexpected friendship in the city and, even more surprisingly, love. But if everything else doesn’t undo her, being caught in the arms of a troll surely will. Now in the fight of her life, Lark has a lot to learn―about her past, about trust and hope when all seems lost, and above all, about the extraordinary power of fear itself.