THE DREAMING HUNT Excerpt (Tor Publishing, release TBD)
Raina sighed and followed her gypsy friend, Rosana, outside to the courtyard behind the Heart building for some target practice. Although her range was not exceptional, her accuracy was excellent when it came to casting magic. Her friend was the exact opposite. The gypsy could throw a mile, but she tended to flub incants or fail to draw any magical power at all if she was panicked. Rosana had been doing better since their return to Dupree, though. Both her aim and her nerve were steadying with time and practice.
Eventually, they clumped inside to clean up for supper, and Raina reflected on how much she missed the spirited discussions she’d had with Leland Hyland about the White Heart. Her own understanding of history and political theory outstripped that of almost everyone else in the Heart hierarchy of Dupree, but not so, the landsgrave. Grief tugged at her, and she fought back tears as she headed down to the common room.
She did get the feeling from time to time that High Matriarch Lenora was holding out on her, not sharing sensitive information or her own analysis of local political matters. Whether the woman was merely guarding secrets or guarding political turf was anyone’s guess. In the meantime, Raina was left merely to observe and make mental notes about everything that went on around her.
Her early education with her older sister had done a remarkable job of preparing her to see and understand the complex goings on in a big city like Dupree. Still, she resented owing the Mages of Alchizzadon a debt of gratitude for that education. The Mages had, for thousands of years, bred the women of her family to be ever more powerful mages. In turn, her family had educated the women as if they would one day be queens.
Her desire to break the tradition led her to seek a great mage of old said to be locked in a sleeping stasis. He had not been the one she and Will had found, eventually, however. Funny how the fates worked. She started with one goal in mind, but now had moved on to a much more challenging goal. Now, she worked for the good of all the people of Dupree and not just for her sister and future daughters. Of course, the risks were commensurately higher, as well.
No one could tell her what would happen to a White Heart member who worked against Koth. Traditionally, her order was immune to any and all interference from the Empire. But what if a White Heart member engaged in outright rebellion? Then what? Raina’s guess was that even White Heart colors would not protect her from treason charges.
They’d just sat down at the long trestle table with the other healers to eat when a great sound of horns blowing erupted outside the building. The older healers leaped up with cries of dismay while the younger ones looked around in confusion, asking what was amiss.
Squire Hrothgar burst into the kitchen breathing hard. His face was red as if he’d been running.
“What is amiss?” Lenora asked sharply. “Why are the Haelan legion’s battle horns blowing?”
“Prepare for battle,” he declared between gusts of air. “All healers are called to the aid of the Imperial army by order of Lord Justinius of the Royal Order of the Sun. The Boki are attacking Dupree.”
Future Dragon Crest Novels
THE WANDERING WAR (release TBD)
THE DARKENING STORM (release TBD)
NIGHTMARE UNLEASHED (release TBD)
REBELLION AWAKENS (release TBD)
Categories: Sneak Peeks