Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short extracts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead. Today we’ve got a longer extract than usual. Enjoy!
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Everard seized his waving arm. ‘You still can’t go! What if it’s a trap? What if she’s a spy? You said yourself the enemy will suspect it – what fools would we be to discount the chance? And a Tembran, at that? If what you tell me is true….’ He lowered his voice, even though his words were circumspect. ‘If it’s true, what better way to lure you out?’
Lyram spread his hands. ‘I cannot stand here and watch them take her. I cannot lie awake at night, wondering what fate might await her. I must at least try.’
‘Then send someone else!’
Lyram thrust a foot into the stirrup, and swung into the saddle. He pulled the plumed helm from his head, and thrust it at a solder. ‘Your helm, man.’
The horse danced under him, sensing the nervous excitement, and for a moment they juggled helmets until Lyram had the man’s unadorned one upon his head. He looked over his shoulder at the castellan. ‘Have the longbowmen form up on the battlements, my lord. In case I need cover.’
Everard almost danced on his toes. ‘In love with death, I said. You’ll be the death of us all!’
Lyram turned the horse, the clatter of hooves drowned out by the rattle of the portcullis. Galdron burst from a door at the far end of the courtyard. The soldiers ran the portable bridge out, placing it atop the burnt timbers and shoving it to the other side of the moat. Lyram clapped his heels to the horse’s flanks. ‘I couldn’t save her!’
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Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I aim to have the first draft finished by the end of March. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out my novella Confronting the Demon.
If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.
More about In the Company of the Dead:
Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.
Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.
As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.
Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.