Changed by Trust - Ebook#7

Changed by Trust - Ebook#7

Regular price$6.99
Shipping calculated at checkout.

The final book in the Razor's Edge Chronicles!

How did I wind up chained with silver and pumped full of drugs to keep me unconscious?

I was under the impression that there was no crisis on the horizon, and that Sarroch and I were therefore free to go on our first proper date. Except that I’m clearly a glutton for punishment, because I decide that I should talk to Yue, to clear the air. So even though it goes against every survival instinct, I set up a meeting with her.

Surprisingly, Yue doesn’t end up being the biggest problem I face, despite her very clear desire to rid the world of me. The masked kidnappers who inject us both with drugs and silver are clearly far more dangerous.

Which is how I find myself groggy, chained up, with no idea of where I am, or who kidnapped us and why. Now, not only do I need to find a way to get out of this mess, but I need to do it while collaborating with Yue.

Which is a bit like trying to hug a rabid dog while hoping not to get bitten.

Grab Changed by Trust today and complete the Razor's Edge Chronicles series!

🔥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.


Oh, how I have missed this. I have missed this like people miss their lovers or their families. Or to quote the band Everything But The Girl, I have missed this like the deserts miss the rain.

I feel at home at the barbershop. Working here fulfils me and makes my soul sing. I know it's a bit ridiculous to think about my work as a barber this way—it's not like I'm Mother Teresa or a rocket scientist, or like I’m doing something big for society, and yet trimming magical creatures' hair and beards completes something inside me. It's only now that I've come back after an extended period away that I'm seeing it.

I touch everything as I set up for the night, luxuriating in the smoothness of my razors’ handle, the buttery softness of the Paidar chairs’ leather, the slippery slickness of the lather. My first client for the night is an ornery temple dog, but he doesn’t faze me. I enjoy every moment of our interaction, even his unpleasant, borderline insulting comments about ‘people like me’—meaning humans with magic, even though technically I’m not human. He can be as difficult as he likes, I’m just happy to be here as I trim the thick ruff of hair around his throat—he’s in true form. Leave a temple dog’s hair unattended and it turns into a real matted mane.

As I wait for my second appointment, I sweep the black and white tiled floor until it’s gleaming, just because I can. Then I strop my cutthroat razor, even though it's already sharp enough and ready to shave—I just love the fluid wrist motions needed, and the 'whip, whip, whip' whisper of the steel blade against the leather. This razor is beautiful but simple, with a classic, carved horn handle.

Over in the lounge area, the temple dog has donned his human glamour once again to catch up with Jemabalang Tanah, a powerful earth spirit who has come in for a haircut for his human glamour. He arrived ahead of his scheduled appointment in an hour’s time to catch up with the temple dog, and they’re both sitting in the art déco black leather club chairs, chatting and drinking, large round ice cubes clinking in their glasses. The lounge area is all done up with pieces that Mr Sangong brought back from prohibition-era Chicago. A cream velvet art déco sofa with a black varnished frame, a low glass coffee table on brass legs, and a magnificent antique black and gold Louis Süe armchair—truly a gem and the finest piece in the entire barbershop.

So, of course, Tim is curled up on it. I don't think I've ever seen a client enjoy the chair. Tim is dozing, his black fur blending in perfectly with the black of the chair. I've reached zen levels to rival the Dalai Lama since I am now able to allow Tim to sleep on the chair without having kittens at the thought of cat hair on such a gorgeous piece of furniture.

Every so often, Tim cracks open a green eye to look at the two customers, probably to check on how much alcohol is left in their glasses, since he's responsible for making sure the honesty bar stays honest.

Louis Jordan is crooning over the gramophone—I used my magic to improve the sound quality further. Now that I have a better handle on my magic, I might as well use it to improve the things in my life. I do a couple of Lindy Hop steps as I finish stropping the razor, humming to myself.

My second client materialises on the metal shutter that serves as a front door. He’s a door guardian. At first he appears like a beautiful but 2D painting on the metal.

He’s huge enough to occupy most of the shutter. His helmet is tall and black with a spike at the top, his long, sleek black hair flowing down in straight wings from beneath it. His cheeks are perfectly smooth except for a long goatee, which is plaited all the way down to his chest.

He's wearing bright red silk robes imprinted with gold dragons on a background of shimmering scales and clouds. The robe reaches his feet, the sleeves tumbling nearly to the ground. Scaled shoulder and chest armour match the helmet, and the spikes on the shoulders are nasty looking.

Then he steps out of the shutter, shifting from 2D to a very towering 3D at nearly seven feet tall.

Door guardians don’t have glamours since their true forms are human, anyway. And since they can get around using doors, they don’t actually need to blend into the Mundane world very often.

Which is a good thing, because the idea of a door guardian in jeans and a t-shirt is utterly absurd.

“This way.” I smile and gesture at a Paidar chair that looks ludicrously small as the door guardian approaches it. The chair is magic, though, and as the guardian lowers himself into it, it stretches easily to accommodate his bulk.

Without a word, he hands me his flame-bladed sword. The blade undulates like a flame, hence the name. The steel gleams, a long string of symbols engraved along the centre of the blade. I place it carefully on the counter and then shake out a hot towel, wrapping his face in it.

Normally I can get a good sense of how a client feels about me from how they interact with me. Those who don’t like me make no bones about making it abundantly clear, while others are relaxed and chatty with me, which does make the whole process a lot more pleasant for everyone.

This door guardian, though, has never said a word to me. Not a word. Mr Sangong told me his shaving requirements, and since then he simply shows up, gets his shave, and leaves in total silence. Even his requests for appointments simply appear as letters painted on the shutter that disappear once I’ve read them.

I check all is ready, including the razors I’ll need to use for him. One is regular, with a typically sharp blade. The other is so dull it would struggle to cut through butter. That’s because a sharp blade would only be able to cut his hair in the three-dimensional plane, but his beard would still look straggly in the two-dimensional plane of the doors he guards. The blunt, magical razor takes care of the two-dimensional plane.

Once the heat from the towel has opened his pores, I remove it, get some lather on, and start with the normal razor. That shave is pretty straightforward, and I scrape the sharp blade against the guardian’s skin, doing my best to ignore his dark stare. He glares at me no matter what I do, so I found it best to just ignore him.

That done, it’s time for the magical razor. I open a jar of liquid specially prepared for this particular guardian—each one gets their own concoction, tailored to their skin. I dip the blunt, magical razor into the jar.

Then, being even more careful than I was with the real blade, I very slowly wipe the dull metal against his cheeks, starting from the top where there is no hair and sliding down. The lotion will take the colour and texture of the hairless skin at first contact and apply it for the duration of the movement.

It’s invisible to the naked eye, but it’s like a kind of magical paint that will remove the stubble in the two-dimensional plane. Kind of like painting over it in Photoshop.

If I so much as touch any other part of his face, though, I run the risk of ‘painting’ skin in the wrong place, such as in his hair. And this isn’t like getting lather on his hair—I can’t just wipe it off with a towel. The process of fixing that kind of mistake is lengthy and a real pain in the ass.

The guardian’s black eyes never leave me, as if daring me to fudge one of my strokes.

But I’m well practiced in the art of shaving door guardians, and I execute it flawlessly.

“There you go,” I tell him with more than a hint of smugness.

He glances at the mirror, seeing more than I can with my human eyes, all the way into the two-dimensional plane.
“You work precisely,” he says as he gets up, his voice so deep its rumble echoes in my ribcage.

Wow, high praise. High praise indeed. I’m in danger of blushing. I beam at him instead, but he’s back to his usual surly self, thrusting out a hand for his sword.

I hand it to him and then watch him return to the metal shutter, where he once again becomes a beautiful painting before disappearing.

I smile to myself. This is, honestly, the perfect way to spend a night.
* * *
Once dawn threatens and my shift is finished, I get to my favourite part of the evening—cleaning up. I put on some Bob Dylan and sing along as I crack open the floor cleaner and take a deep sniff. Yes, I realise it makes me sound like a glue sniffer, but it’s one hundred per cent natural, so no getting high here. Just some sharp, lemony goodness.
“You're very chirpy,” Tim comments from his chair.

“I'm just so happy to be back. Everything is good. There is no crisis on the horizon, everything is normal—I can just enjoy the simple pleasures of my old routines.”

“Yes, I can see that. Since your role in life as a human is to cater to us superior creatures, it must have been deeply unsettling for you to not be in that position for a time.” He yawns and stretches, displaying his pink tongue and spreading out his toes. “You have permission to come pet me, by the way. My ears could do with scratching, as could my chin.”

“I'm so glad you gave me permission. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known what to do with myself.”

“You're welcome.”

“You are aware of the concept of sarcasm, right?”

“The lowest form of wit for the lowest of life forms. It's only fitting.” He raises his chin. “So? I'm waiting.”

“Well, you just keep on waiting. Right now, I'm busy cleaning.”

“One day, I’m going to exchange you for a less deficient model,” Tim mutters. “One that doesn’t come with built-in flaws.”

I turn so I'm showing him my back as I keep mopping up the floor—I don't want him to see me smile. Exchanging barbs with Tim at the end of the night has become as much a part of my routine over the years as stropping my razors, and it feels really good to be doing that once more.

Not that I would ever want him to know that, or I wouldn't hear the end of it.

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