For those of you who don’t know yet, book 3 of my (Morgan G Farris) series, The Chalam Færytales, is coming out this summer! Right now, it’s with my AMAZING editor and we’re working on fine-tuning it to get it ready for its worldwide debut.
In the meantime…
I’m as impatient as a five year old on Christmas morning so… I just had to release an excerpt. Mind you, this is UNEDITED. Raw. In the buff, if you will. But it’s a little taste of what’s to come in book three.
I hope you love it!
(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. If you have not finished The Purloined Prophecy [book 2 in my series], you DO NOT want to read this. Don’t do it. I’m telling you. You’ll hate me. There. I said it.)
The Chalam Færytales, Book III Excerpt
The snow bit through his gloves, burning his trembling knuckles as they ground into the white expanse. His breath came in shards, puffing clouds around his beloved’s face as she lay trembling beneath him. He kept his head low, below the fray, his body covering hers as best he could as arrow after arrow whizzed over them. The last one had been too close for comfort, the dribble of blood on her cheek already drying on her skin.
“Through the trees!”
“Don’t let them get away!”
The Haravellian soldiers shouted their commands as the king and queen of Navah lay sprawled in the snow, hiding from the sudden attack. Ferryl could feel Adelaide’s heart pounding in time with his. Not the embrace of lovers, the desperate grip of two people dodging the arrows of the enemy.
The icy ground was taking its toll on Ferryl’s hands as he pinned his wife beneath him, though sweat beaded his brow. He dared to lift his head just enough to see exactly what was happening.
“Rebels,” he spat, catching sight of the attackers as they jumped from one tree to the next, hiding behind the fat, snow-covered trunks, firing their arrows with deadly aim.
Beside him, a Haravellian soldier fell with a thud, his eyes frozen in shock, his blood staining the snow, a crimson pool slowly growing beneath his throat. And around him in a pillar of black…those were…
By the hundreds.
His eyes grew wide as he took in the sight of the minuscule beasts that had once plagued him, tormented him. The sunlight glinted off their wings—iridescent despite their sheer blackness. So similar to the moths he had once seen that morning on the mountain in Haravelle, despite their darkness. More than moths. More than insects, they were…
I don’t think they’re really moths, he heard his wife say to his mind. He turned his attention back to her where she was pinned beneath him, only to narrowly dodge another arrow as it whizzed just above his head.
Ferryl gritted his teeth, took the risk and grabbed the fallen soldier’s bow before jumping to his feet, pulling Adelaide into a sprint with him.
This way, he said for only her benefit. She followed without hesitation, letting him shield her with his own body as they sped through the icy forest.
She landed by a fat sycamore, her breast rising and falling rapidly, her back to the fat trunk. Ferryl covered her body with his own, peering around the tree as her hot breaths caressed his neck. Just one shot… if he could just get in one shot…
Ferryl, she said, her words breathless even in her mind. Ten of them. There were ten rebels that he could see. And their black arrows met their targets much too easily. But Ferryl had not trained all his life for nothing. Perhaps these were Midvarish wraith beasts. Or perhaps they were just boys. They moved too rapidly to tell. Either way, Ferryl and Derwin had met one of them in Ramleh only a few months ago. Met and killed him. Today would be no different.
Ferryl, he heard again, turning to meet her eyes. But Adelaide was not looking at her husband. And when he realized her gaze was fixed behind him, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.
Ferryl whirled, facing his enemy whilst simultaneously pressing Adelaide against the sycamore. Hiding her. For as long as he could, Providence save him, he would protect her. Because the world did not yet know that she lived. The world did not yet know that the lost princess had been found.
And Providence help them all when they did.
No, this was just a random rebel attack as they journeyed south to Navah. It had to be.
The world did not yet know Princess Adelaide of Haravelle lived.
“Hiding something, princeling?” said the man. No, not a man. A beast. A wraith. A devil incarnate. A demon made flesh with teeth as black as obsidian and skin as rough as boot hide. He grinned—if you could call it a grin, and his eyes glittered with the promise of a swift death.
“How rude of me,” the man went on, and Ferryl used the moment to press Adelaide more closely behind him. He dropped the soldier’s bow, inching his hand for the hilt of his sword. Adelaide’s breath was a steady constant at his neck. “I suppose you’re not a princeling anymore. Daddy’s dead.”
Ferryl bore his teeth, unsheathing his blade, the metal singing as it extended before him, the steel glinting off of the sun-kissed snow, momentarily blinding them both.
“What is that you’re hiding so fiercely?” the beast asked, cocking his black head to one side. Blood dripped from his thick hands, a shock of crimson against his charred skin. The blood of Haravellian soldiers, no doubt. Ferryl took a moment to thank Providence that King Aaron and Queen Avigail’s carriage was far ahead—hopefully out of danger.
The beast-man bore no weapons. At least not any that Ferryl could see. Ferryl was not sure whether to be relieved or terrified. But he let the bastard speak. Let the bastard buy him some time while he made a plan. While he figured out how in Sheol to keep Adelaide safe while he killed an impossible foe.
“What a pity that you should lose your whore so soon after losing your dear father,” the man purred.
And Ferryl lunged. Whether blind instinct or lustful rage, he couldn’t be sure, but he would be damned if he let this beast get the better of him. And he sure as Sheol wasn’t about to let him take his wife.
So Ferryl lunged. And parried. He whirled and spun. He called on every skill by which he had been trained and every ounce of the strength in his bones.
But it was not enough. Not against a man who was more than a man. Not against a demon.
Ferryl cried out as the beast brandished a sword from his back, slicing through the air with deadly accuracy, aiming right for his heart. It missed, but only just. And when Ferryl whirled to parry, that’s when he realized—
“Adelaide!” he called out, panicking that she was not there. That she was not at the tree. He realized his mistake the moment the beast started laughing.
“Not doing a very good job of hiding your precious princess,” he said. And then he lunged. So fast… the beast moved so fast Ferryl hardly had a split-second to react. He lifted his sword but it was too late.
No, it should have been too late.
The beast should have killed him. Skewered him. Like a stuck pig.
Instead the beast fell, toppling to the ground like a sack of potatoes. And from behind his gargantuan form, Ferryl saw the reason for his foe’s sudden demise.
“I am not a princess,” Adelaide growled, ripping a dagger from the beast’s back. “I am the queen of Navah.”
The beast groaned, clutching his side where the black blood pumped in thick rivers across the snow. Ferryl wasted no time; lifting his sword above his head, the beast’s head was severed with one fell blow.
Black, oily blood sprayed her face, neck, and hands, her breaths heavy but steady, yet Adelaide stood resolute, eye to eye with the king of Navah. Eye to eye with her husband. The tremble of the dagger in her hand the only sign that she had done the unthinkable. The only glimmer of any fear in her veins.
A moth—a butterfly landed on her shoulder, its wings glowing fierce and radiantly ruby against the backdrop of fallen snow. And Ferryl could have sworn it bowed. Bowed. But he couldn’t be sure before it flitted away.
“Where did you learn—”
“Your Majesties!” cried a soldier, cutting Ferryl off. “Here, John! They’re over here!”
Adelaide said not a word as she let the soldiers guide her back to the road and the carriage that awaited them.
© Copyright 2019 Morgan G Farris. All rights reserved. If you want to share any part of this online (websites, social media, etc.), please, credit me (Morgan G Farris) in the description with links to digital stores to let people know where they can purchase the books online.
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