Master of the Highlands (Highlands #1) by Veronica Wolff

Prologue The teacup slipped from her knotted fingers and landed in the saucer with a sharp clink. Sighing, the old woman massaged her aching knuckles. There had been a day long ago when the thrill of youth had infused her like a flame burning bright, and though she was never what one would call beautiful, her head of shining honey- colored curls had framed an easy, irreverent smile and perpetually flushed cheeks. And now she was no more than an old mystery, the subject of children’s fireside tales. Kindlier folk recognized her as wise or, at worst, benignly eccentric, wielding the wisdom of her many years through the prism of an otherworldly insight. Others called her witch, made warding signs with their fingers, and covered their children’s heads at the mere mention of her name. Her name. She didn’t recall the last time she ’d heard her Christian name. She doubted anyone but herself even remembered it. She speculated that she had been known only as Gormshuil for generations now. Perhaps as long as it would’ve taken for the children who were robbed from her to see babes of their own grown into men. Gormshuil, such an ugly word. G
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