Monday, 6 January 2014

Monday Morsel: Exile – Excerpt from In the Company of the Dead

Welcome to the very first of the Monday Morsels feature on Flight of the Dragon.

Each Monday I will be sharing a brief snippet from the first draft of my work-in-progress, In the Company of the Dead, what will be a full-length adult epic fantasy novel. Bear in mind this is a first draft. I’m sharing it with you to bring you along on the journey, and the finished product may be quite different, nor do I pretend my grammar is perfect without the intervention of my editor. I’ll be aiming for ten lines, but may cut short or go long if there is a natural place to break in the action.

This snippet comes from the first chapter, from the first six hundred words in fact.

* * *

The memory still burned; his summary dismissal by the king occurred before the entire assembled court. My king did not dismiss me. Prince Drault is behind this. He pulled a flask from his belt as he shunted the memory aside, and took a draught. The liquor burned hot down to his belly as Maddok’s report rolled to a close.
‘Two thousand men?’
‘Near enough.’ Maddok coughed, and red flecked his lips. ‘Near as I could count. Mostly foot. A hundred cavalry, perhaps.’
Lyram’s gaze caught on the blood staining his scout’s lips. It’s not the first time I’ve lost men in battle. No, it wasn’t. Just the first time since Alharne.

* * *

So, that’s it for today. I hope I’ve intrigued you enough to see you back here next Monday for another morsel – no, I’m sorry, I won’t be continuing where I’ve left off today. That’s not the point of this feature! But 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.

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.


Chris Mentzer said...

Good start! Looking forward to reading more!!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Thanks Chris!

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