by V.E. Schwab – Exclusive piece

This Savage Song is about a place called Verity, and Verity is filled with monsters. Following a phenomenon a dozen years ago, violence in this corrupt city began to have very real, very tangible consequences. Instead of leaving behind only shell casings, bodies, or loss, every act of violence in Verity, from the non-lethal, to the lethal, to the catastrophic, began to produce monsters. They coalesced in the wake of pain and tragedy. Made by human hands, feeding on human lives, the monsters of Verity are an aftermath that keeps spreading.

Born from non-lethal acts of violence, the Corsai are shadow and tooth and claw. They live in the dark, move in swarms, have a hive mind, and will devour anything—flesh and bone, alive or dead.

The product of killings, the Malchai are more independent creatures. They vaguely resemble humans, save for their red eyes and nearly translucent skin. They are strongest at night, and feed on blood. Innocent or guilty, it makes no difference. Some believe that the Malchai resemble the men and women whose crimes created them.

The rarest creatures are the Sunai. Born from mass tragedies, there are only three at present in Verity: Ilsa, born from a bombing; Leo, born from a group suicide; August, born from a middle school shooting. The Sunai appear entirely human, unless they “fall”—give into a demonic form through hunger or will. They feed on the souls of sinners, which they call forth using either music or pain. Leo considers the three of them a cosmic clean-up crew because they feed on those whose actions have made monsters, instead of innocent people.

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