The Blurb on Other People’s Words – My Favourite Bruce

September 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm (fantasy, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

In celebration of the upcoming release of his new epic fantasy series called ‘The Small Gods’, here is a sample of Bruce Blake’s upcoming release (I’d call him my Favourite Blake, but that title goes to one of my characters, Reid Blake.). The main story line revolves around a prophecy found by Prince Teryk and his sister, Danya. It speaks of the rise of the Small Gods—who were banished by the Goddess a long time ago—and the fall of mankind. The story follows the siblings, who think Teryk is the saviour of mankind named in the prophecy, as well as a priestess of the Goddess, a sailor who hates the sea, and a little gray fellow named Thorn.

From WHEN SHADOWS FALL Chapter Two

“Quiet,” Teryk snapped and raised his hand. A hurt expression on her brow, Danya opened her mouth to protest, but didn’t. “Do you hear that?”

A tiny sound—completely unnoticeable when either of them spoke, lost amongst their footsteps when they moved, hardly there compared to their heartbeats—but he heard it. The faintest of hums masquerading as a buzz, pretending to be a breath. He took another step toward the lectern.

The sound emanated from the roll of parchment.

“I don’t hear anything.”

“Sshh.”

Teryk crept closer. The noise didn’t grow any louder, but it became more distinct—not a hum or a buzz or an exhalation, but a susurrant tangle of whispers, each indistinct on their own, but together combining to the softest of murmurs.

“It’s saying something,” he said, near enough now to reach out and touch the scroll if he wanted. He leaned his head closer still, listening, straining to perceive a recognizable word. “You can’t hear that?”

The pad of Danya’s bare feet on the stone floor sounded a cacophony in comparison, assaulting the prince’s ears and making him want to press his hands to the sides of his head, but then she stood beside him and the tumult ended. They both held their breath, the only sounds in the room the beat of their hearts and, hidden beneath, the whispers of the scroll.

Teryk counted twenty heartbeats pass before Danya shook her head and parted her lips, but he raised his finger, stopping her. Ten more beats, the scroll murmuring to him, talking to him. If only he understood it.

Why can’t she hear it?

A feeling easily mistaken for satisfaction settled into the prince at knowing a thing she didn’t, but it disappeared in an instant. Danya understood languages better than he, as she was better at most things. He wished she could tell him what language it spoke, what it said, what it wanted from him. He leaned closer, his sister leaning with him, his ear a handspan away from the edge of the rostrum, and then he understood.

“It wants me to take it with us.”

“What?” Danya straightened and put her hand on his arm. “No, Teryk. We can’t. We don’t even know how to get out of here.”

“I have to.”

He shrugged her off and took the last step to the lectern, raised his hand toward the scroll. Before he stretched his fingers out to touch it, before Danya did or said anything to stop him, the roll of parchment leaped into his hand and the whispering ended.

I was right.

Teryk held it up, staring, sensing his sister’s eyes on it, too. The parchment was rough against his fingers and smelled old—two qualities one might reasonably expect of a ancient paper. A spot of blue wax pressed with an unfamiliar seal held the scroll from unrolling. When the prince rubbed his thumb across it, chunks of the brittle material flaked away.

“We have to find a way out, Teryk,” Danya said.

“What’s your hurry?” He didn’t move his gaze from the roll in his hand.

“Trenan will be looking for us, remember? You have pike training.”

Teryk redirected his gaze from the scroll to his sister, his eyes moving lazily, as though mired in the royal cook’s version of oatmeal. They crossed the void between them, seeing the dust dancing in the light, the gleaming stone floor, the red with white pillars soaring toward the ceiling.

And the battle suits crossing the floor in silence behind her.

What a tasty niblet, eh? Looking forward to sinking my teeth into the whole thing. Bruce has a giveaway planned on Goodreads – enter for your chance to win.

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