Bound by Silver - Ebook #2

Bound by Silver - Ebook #2

Regular price$6.99
Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • What you'll find in this book: quirky characters, found family, Asian mythological creatures, a heroine with unusual magic, magical politics, humour, snappy banter
  • And also a sarcastic cat

I’m still only a barber to the supernatural, and I still have super weak magic, but I’ve somehow been tasked with essentially preventing war between humans and the Mayak supernatural.

Yeah, I know, you couldn’t find a person less qualified for the job. I have no clout with the former, and the latter consider me as little more than slightly smart cattle. Oh, and the closest thing I have to an assistant is a sarcastic, pain-in-the-ass cat who's no help whatsoever.

If I don’t deliver, it’s my neck on the line. And so far it’s not going so well, especially when it turns out some humans have figured a way to enter hidden Mayak spaces.

In short I'm up the proverbial creek and lacking the proverbial paddle.

🔥Grab Bound by Silver to find out if I manage to produce that pesky paddle and live to shave another day.

🔥Ebooks are delivered instantly via Bookfunnel email to the email address provided at checkout.

Ebooks are delivered instantly via Bookfunnel email to the email address provided at checkout.

Print books are printed in our facilites in the UK and in the US, this takes 3-5 days after which they are expedited. Shipping times will then depend on your location.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Chapter 1

Imagine if someone gave you a completely, ridiculously impossible task. Like, you know, stop global warming. Or end world hunger. And then didn’t give you any resources or any kind of powers to achieve it.

That's pretty much where I’m at right now, having been tasked with making sure the Mundanes and the Mayak coexist peacefully. The Mundanes are relentlessly destroying Mayak habitat by tearing down old buildings and ancient forests. So now the Mayak are seriously considering going to war with the Mundanes to cull their population until they’re no longer a threat. ‘Cull the population’ isn’t my wording, by the way, it’s a Mayak thing. They don’t have a very high opinion of us humans, even those of us Touched by magic.

Anyway, I’m supposed to make sure this war doesn’t happen, somehow. As a Touched, I have less than no sway with the Mayak, and I have precisely zero clout with the Mundanes. You can see why I got picked for the task, right? I’m so utterly inadequate to take this on, it would be funny if it wasn’t my head on the chopping block if I fail. I haven’t been threatened as such, but Mucalinda and the rest of the Mayak aren’t really the kind to say that ‘so long as you did your best, that’s all that counts’.

I’ve been given a year to deliver, and I have absolutely no idea where to start. In short, hello rock, hello hard place, I’ll be settling here for a while.

It’s late afternoon and I’m riding over to Chai's for one of our brainstorming sessions. Even his impressive powers with metal aren’t enough to cut the mustard on this, largely because we can’t be doing anything that will reveal magic, the Touched, or the Mayak to humans. Oh yeah, that’s another complication to contend with.

Chai and I have been coming up with various harebrained plans, which all sound like the plots of bad B-movies. You know, get a mind controller near China’s president, so we can get him to influence the governments in the rest of Asia. Hypnotise people through their TVs. That kind of thing.

That last idea came to me from remembering an old batman movie, so it actually is a bad movie plot.

Mr Sangong seems to have taken this as his cue to be even less available than before, turning all mystic on me. Every question I put to him gets some cryptic answer that’s always some version of ‘if you were chosen for this task, then you must have what it takes to achieve it’.

The slight flaw in that reasoning is that he is the one who volunteered me for this task. I wasn’t chosen by some mystical, higher power. Unless Mr Sangong is a mystical higher power, which would make him annoyingly right. But in that case, I’d appreciate it if he’d pull his finger out and give me some help already.

So far, though, no luck.

And he also knows more about my magic than he’s telling me, but isn’t sharing. He’s holding all the cards, in short, and I can’t win. I stew on this fact as I ride towards Chai’s converted warehouse loft.

The traffic in Old Town is heavy at this time of day, the streets glutted with cars while scooters weave their way through, going as far as to climb onto the pavement if it means they can get past. In Panong, the driving laws are seen more as suggestions than actual rules. But since people don’t drive very fast or very aggressively, we don’t have as many accidents as you might expect.

I follow suit, manoeuvring my motorbike onto the pavement, mostly because I want to get to Chai's before the heavy clouds on the horizon get here and dump their rain on me.

Chai is based in an industrial area close to the edge of Old Town. The streets are wider there, so the traffic tends to flow more easily. In Old Town, however, with its lovely old buildings (when they're not derelict and falling apart, that is) and its narrow streets, traffic is a bit of a nightmare.
Although it's not normally this bad. It has been slow for a while, and now it has completely stopped. I see a gap between two cars and move my bike down from the pavement and back on the road.

But not long after, I’m forced to come to a stop along with all the other scooters and motorbikes. I sigh. Sometimes this happens when some idiot tries to do an illegal U-turn. That’s fine in a wide road, but in a narrow street a three-point turn easily becomes a three hundred and fifty point turn, forcing all traffic to come to a standstill. I'm stopped alongside a car with a chihuahua in the back. It's going crazy, barking at everything. If I can hear it through the car window and my helmet, it must be loud. I don't know how the woman in the front of the car can put up with it.

I crane my neck to see if the traffic ahead has started moving already, but all I see is a barrage of red brake lights. Whatever manoeuvre the idiot blocking the traffic is doing, he’s taking his time about it. We're so close to the edge of Old Town, too—a little further and there'd have been enough space for motorbikes to weave through. As it is, even the scooters are stuck, the pavements already full, so nothing can get past, not even pedestrians.

I could probably go a bit further forward, but my bike’s a 1960s Triumph Bonneville, and I definitely don’t want to risk scratching it by wiggling through narrow spaces.

The buildings around me are newer and taller than in the rest of Old Town. The shops here are all part of chains—pharmacies, 7-11 convenience stores, that kind of thing. Because apparently this part of Old Town is becoming ‘gentrified’, whatever that means. The result is that the rent has become too expensive for the calligraphy artists, potters, and other specialised craftspeople who instead go for the charming but run down traditional shophouses back in the heart of Old Town.

I stand on my tiptoes, balancing my bike with both hands to see what's going on ahead—still no change. The chihuahua continues to bark at me. Engines idle all around me.

I'm getting fed up with breathing in the fumes of everyone's exhausts, and I glance up to my left where the volcanic hills at the centre of the island rise up. I could take quite a big detour, riding up to the more quiet roads higher up the hills, then go across before coming back down to Chai's area. I'd double the distance covered, but at least I wouldn't be in danger of choking on carbon monoxide, and I wouldn’t have to deal with the frustration of still traffic.

I'm about to manoeuvre my bike to turn off into a narrow side street on the left, when I hear screaming.

I frown, looking up ahead at the blocked street.

Cars are opening their doors, the drivers stepping out into the streets. People are putting their scooters on kickstands. Everyone is looking up, many taking out their phones.

I follow their gaze. A person is stepping up right onto the edge of the roof of one of the taller buildings, peering down. Five storeys—definitely high enough to kill if they fall.

It's a woman—maybe even a girl. Long, straight black hair, an oversized hoodie, jeans. The uniform of an angsty teenager. I too find myself turning off my bike's engine and putting it on the kickstand. I walk over towards the building, squeezing between the cars. People are shouting, telling the girl to get back from the ledge.

Somewhere in the distance, a siren wails. But of course it'll be impossible for them to get here, not unless they get out and walk.

I stop when I see that the crowd and vehicles are too densely packed to continue walking forward easily.

“There are people from the building up on the roof, now,” a woman next to me says, pointing before zooming in on her phone to get a better video of the girl.

As distasteful as she is, she's right. Two men in suits can just be made out behind the girl, making big, pacifying gestures. The girl doesn't look at them though. She's shaking her head, and then she makes a weird gesture with her hand.

As if there is someone next to her. My stomach sinks. A Mayak?

I reach out with my senses, trying to see if I can pick up on a magical signature.

I get the sudden frightening feeling of something cold slicing into my consciousness, bringing a sick fear with it. I wasn’t prepared for it, and it’s like I’ve been pushed to the side so this cold entity can reach inside me. I feel it through my head, down my throat, all the way to my stomach, filling me with icy terror. I gasp, shoving whatever it is away.
It doesn’t resist, letting go easily.

I stare up at the building, open-mouthed, heart hammering. I've never felt an invasion like that before, and I find myself backing away, all of my instincts yelling at me to get out of here. I look around me to see if anyone else seems to have felt something similar, when screaming rings out. The girl jumped.

Police and paramedics are shouting and pushing their way through the people, scooters, and cars. They're far too late.
Going against all my survival instincts, I reach out again. But this time I don’t feel anything. The presence, whatever it was, has gone.

I turn away, feeling awful and sad. There's absolutely nothing I could do to help, and I'm certainly not going to go gawk at the poor girl. That would be far too disrespectful. I've never understood that morbid tendency the Mundanes have of pulling out their phones and taking pictures of the most terrible things.

I wonder what the girl’s life was like. Would she still have committed suicide if not for the presence I detected? Did she have family? Loved ones who will mourn her? A coil of guilt unfurls in my stomach. Could I have done something to stop this from happening? Did I make things worse by pushing the cold presence away?

I shake my head. The whole thing only lasted a few minutes. There’s no way I could have known what to do when confronted by an unknown magical entity, especially one that’s able to enter my consciousness. But while that’s reasonable and logical, I can’t help but wish I could have done something.

Before I leave, I reach out a final time—still nothing. There’s nothing to be gained by hanging around—the area will be a zoo for a while, and I won’t be able to get access to the building or anything like that. On top of which I have no idea what I’m dealing with. At the very least, I need backup.
I return to my bike slowly, rev it to life, and carefully weave my way to the little back street on the left. I shoot one last glance at the building. The terror at the invasion I felt lingers on, like a bitter aftertaste. The wind picks up, and I shudder, even though it’s actually quite warm and I’m in my black riding leathers.

You may also like

Hi! I'm Celine

I write different flavours of fantasy with a twist, but always with one uniting thread: quirky, flawed characters and heart-warming found families.

My books span the sub-genres of steampunk (but set in a secondary, tropical world) urban fantasy (set in Asia and London) and gothic gaslamp fantasy.

I'm French, grew up in the UK, and for the last few years I've been living a life of nomadic adventure, exploring the world with my laptop as my constant companion. My adventures have been a great source of inspiration for my stories.

These days I'm trying to figure out where in the world I might stop and setup some bookshelves.

I love to hear from readers, so feel free to contact me at

Recently viewed