Read Creatures of Charm and Hunger: Chapter 1

Chapter 1.
Chapter 1.
Image: John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books

Two years ago, io9 shared author Molly Tanzer’s Victorian fantasy novel Creatures of Will & Temper in serialized excerpts. And now we’ve got good news for fans of the author, not to mention fans of free books: We’re doing it again, with her newest title! Check out chapter one today.


Here’s the link to the prologue in case you missed it, all following chapters can be easily found here. The summary of the tale before you dig in:

Two young witches, once inseparable, are set at odds by secrets and wildly dangerous magic.

In the waning days of World War II, tucked into the sleepy Cumbrian countryside in the north of England, lies the Library: the repository of all occult knowledge for the Société des Éclairées, an international organization of diabolists. There, with a victory for the Allies hanging in the balance, best friends Jane Blackwood and Miriam Cantor begin to contemplate their futures as diabolists.

But when Miriam learns her missing parents are suspected of betraying the Société to the Nazis, she embarks upon a desperate, dangerous gambit to clear their names. Meanwhile Jane, fearing her life might be at stake, embraces a forbidden use of the Art that puts everyone she loves in danger.

As their friendship buckles under the stress of too many secrets, Jane and Miriam will come face to face with unexpected truths that change everything they know about the war, the world, and most of all themselves. After all, some choices cannot be unmade—and a sacrifice done with the most noble of intentions might end up creating a monster.

Enjoy and reminder, we’ll be posting one chapter a day through June but as of July 7 the last half of the chapters will be removed. If you can’t wait to read the rest, Creatures of Charm and Hunger is currently available in paperback and e-book.

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Betty Cross

In my novels I’m usual careful not to fall into the book title formula of “X of Y and Z.” But even I succumbed to the temptation when I named my third novel “Mistress of Land and Sea.”