Excerpt from “Starscape”

In the next two weeks or so, I should have the cover art for Starscape to share with you. Meanwhile, here’s a third teaser from the book. (If you haven’t yet seen the other two, you can find them here.)

From Chapter Eight

King Leftar sat hunched over a table with his face dropped into his hands. He ignored all who came begging him to eat or drink, for he had taken neither meat nor wine, neither moved from this position nor spoken, for an entire day. His wife now sat across the table from him, saying nothing, but watching her husband with an unwavering stare. Knowing him well, the Queen moved not even when tears began to squeeze through his fingers.

At last the King moved. He looked up at Lalethiel and smiled, but his eyes were wet with tears, and grief and despair stared out of them.

“I think this is the end, my love.”

A silent question was in the Queen’s eyes that did not drop.

“Fortaer will attack Jalavak.”

Still Lalethiel showed no sign of shock or fear. “And do you go with the men?”

“I am the King. I do not leave my people to meet alone what I fear to meet.”

“Then I go also. I would not leave you. What you face, I will face. If you fall, I fall at your side.” She rose with a rustle of skirts. “I will summon our son to you”

Leftar nodded. Queen Lalethiel went slowly from the room, her husband’s gaze following her. Her stature was that of a queen: tall and straight and slender, and the beauty of girlhood had never diminished in her face. But now for the first time her back was bowed and she walked with a slight stoop that had not been there ten minutes earlier. And the stoop told of all the burden of dread and sorrow that she would not show to her husband.

A few moments passed before Prince Kedýran entered the chamber, a tall handsome youth of eighteen summers. His cheeks were bronzed from an outdoor life, and his reddish-brown hair fell in a characteristic mess just past his shoulders. Upon seeing his father’s distress he immediately rounded the table to kneel at his side.

“What is going on, dẃnhl?”

Leftar leaned his head on his son’s shoulder. “Begin the muster of the army, sularh amh. We ride for Evilka three dawns from now.”

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