THE ORDER OF THE CRYSTAL DAGGERS
Everyone Lies. Everyone has Secrets. Everyone has Regrets.
In an age of political unrest and racial divide, one girl's search for truth will determine the future of her kingdom.
KINGDOM OF ASH AND SOOT (BOOK 1)
“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.
“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”
I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.
For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother's household, dreaming of the day she will be free to live life on her own terms.
But when her estranged grandmother, Lady Penelope, comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria, everything changes. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup, and Lady Penelope, as the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, is determined to discover the perpetrators. When she offers Eleanora the chance to help her prevent the kingdom from falling apart, she is hesitant to trust her. And while joining means freedom from her stepmother and protecting the people of Prague, Eleanora knows her life will never be the same--or her own.
Can she find a way to be free and still do the right thing? Or will joining the Order only lead to disaster?
With castle intrigue, true love, and family dysfunction, Cinderella meets Mission Impossible in this historical fiction spy adventure series by C. S. Johnson.
In a time of chaos and confusion, one girl has chosen her fate -- and disaster has sealed it.
PRINCE OF SECRETS AND SHADOWS (BOOK 2)
“How do I know you’re telling me the truth?” The last thing I wanted to do was hurt him, but if I did not find a way to break free of him, I would risk doing even more harm.
Ferdy met my gaze with his. “I promise you this, Ella, that as of now, I will never lie to you again.” He leaned forward and kissed me again, and I stood there, letting him, desperately debating whether I could trust him or not. His promise burned through me, his words scorched into my being. It was so tempting to believe him, more tempting than anything else I had ever faced in all my life.
Freedom was only freedom if I could trust it to be true.
After joining the Order of the Crystal Daggers, led by her dauntless grandmother, Lady Penelope, Eleanora Svobodová set out to save her kingdom from oncoming devastation.
And she failed.
Following the attack on Prague Castle, Eleanora is determined to redeem herself. She sets out to win Karl’s trust while distancing herself from Ferdy, whose secrets and lies have done nothing to stop her from falling in love with him. As she struggles to let him go, questions about the mission and her mother’s past cause a rift between Amir and Lady Penelope and add to the growing discord between Eleanora and her brother.
But when a cunning provocateur arrives in Prague, Eleanora discovers there is an even more deadly game afoot, one that reaches into Amir's past and threatens Lady Penelope's future. Now, the members of the Order must work together if they are to uncover the true enemy hiding in Bohemia.
Can they work together despite their divisions? Or will their division lead to even more destruction?
With spies, secrets, and suspense, Prince of Secrets and Shadows is the second book in The Order of the Crystal Daggers, a spy adventure series from C. S. Johnson.
In a moment of desperation and desire, one girl takes a risk that changes everything.
HEART OF HOPE AND FEAR (BOOK 3)
“What about the Order?” I hesitated to ask, knowing Amir had painful memories of his own. “I wanted to be free before. Lady Penelope pointed out that this is the opposite of what I wanted. I can’t help but feel she is right.”
“Wanting to be free is not a sin in itself,” Amir told me softly. “Only when that is everything and held to the highest priority is it so. We are loyal to the truth, Eleanora, but the truth is complicated, and freedom can be painful.”
Despite the many demands that come with being a member of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, Eleanora Svobodová has plenty of reasons to celebrate. With Lumiere’s capture and Lady Penelope’s reluctant acceptance of Ferdy, not even Ben’s painful ire can completely diminish her joy.
But just as the future begins to look bright, the past catches up to Eleanora and the other members of the Order.
For as they investigate Karl’s disappearance, Eleanora learns the shocking secret about her mother’s final mission—and Lady Penelope’s treachery—just as the Emperor heads to Bohemia to conduct a special tripartite council, despite the threat to his life.
Can Eleanora and the Order find a way to save the kingdom? And even if they do, will they be able to survive a new betrayal from among their ranks?
Full of surprising twists and turns, Heart of Hope and Fear is the final book in The Order of the Crystal Daggers, a romantic spy trilogy from C. S. Johnson.
Now Available from C. S. Johnson
NIGHT OF BLOOD AND BEAUTY: A COMPANION NOVELLA TO THE ORDER OF THE CRYSTAL DAGGERS
Years before Amir Qureshi taught Eleanora about the harder truths of life, he had to learn them himself -- starting when he fell in love with her mother.
Amir Qureshi knew his life would never be the same the day he met Naděžda Ollerton-Cerná, much to his chagrin. With her sharp wit and brazen charm, Naděžda is as infuriating as she is irresistible, and Amir cannot stop himself from falling in love with her--even though they can never be together.
As an ally to the Order of the Crystal Daggers, under the command of Naděžda's indominable mother, Amir knows there is no place for love in the life of a spy.
When they are sent to Constantinople to investigate a missing shipment of weapons, Naděžda's life is endangered, and Amir races to save her, knowing he cannot deny his heart any longer. But Amir is not the only one who is keeping secrets ...
Night of Blood and Beauty is a companion novella to The Order of the Crystal Daggers, a historical spy romance series from C. S. Johnson.