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.
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Men appeared in the gaping gate of the old ruined wall, a mere dozen or so, with bows slung over their shoulders. Lyram pulled the eyeglass from his belt, goosebumps prickling his skin. Not bows; crossbows. And there, in the trees behind the crossbowmen, the horses they must have used to arrive so quickly. They began pulling the weapons from their shoulders and winding winches.
The messengers scattered at sight of the crossbowmen. Speed was their one hope, their mail useless against a quarrel, but crossbows were slow to load. Lyram leaned forward, clenching the battlements with his free hand, and the eyeglass pressed almost painfully into his eye socket as he willed the horses away.
One of the riders jerked, the impact of a quarrel throwing him out of his saddle. The horse shied violently, but the man’s foot caught in the stirrup, and the horse dragged him out of sight.
A murmur of dismay rose from the watching soldiers. Lyram clutched the eyeglass tighter, sweeping the scene to try and find the other two riders.
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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.