All three books of the SAGE trilogy are out for Kindle and in paper. Here’s an excerpt from Book 3, SILVER AND IRON.
Rhu and Andrin (excerpt from SILVER AND IRON)
by Marian Allen
The Chamberlain had altered. When Andrin last saw him, he had been dressed for the chase, with his long black hair in a hunting braid. Now, he wore a light woolen tunic of blue over linen hose and a cape of red, fastened with a brooch shaped and painted like the shield of Sarpa. His hair was cropped to barely below his ears.
More than that: Andrin was overcome by an impression of evil. A deadly luster enveloped the Chamberlain. Rhu was steeped in wrongful death; he exuded poison.
“Andrin! How do you come to be here?”
Andrin’s heart sickened. “Rhu beren Robia, what have they done? What have they done to you?”
“What do you….” Rhu touched his hair self-consciously. “I did it myself. Childish.” His attempted laugh was awkward. “My Lady Oliva suggested I style it as the Swords do, but I didn’t cut my hair to be mistaken for a Sword.”
Andrin probed the haze that all but hid the Chamberlain and saw him through it, saw him standing clear and guiltless. The aura wasn’t his; he wore that foul atmosphere as a clean man might wear a dirty suit of clothes. “You cut your hair because you would not be mistaken for a proud man of Sarpa.”
“My Lady approved; she thinks I did it out of shame for failing in the quest she set me.”
“You did it out of shame for accepting her quest.”
“Ah,” said Rhu, and his manner added, “yes.”
“Now I bear letters from His Grace and his mother to Sorcha and Hayward and Audre beren Oda.”
“Letters…. Of course. Full of sweet words and secret venom.”
“So I believe,” said Rhu. “And so I will advise.”
Andrin was not surprised to hear of Sarpa’s perfidy – or of Rhu’s rejection of it.
“The House of Sarpa and I have parted ways,” Rhu said. “I can’t hide that when I deliver these letters. I can’t just pass along these messages and let Oakwood make of them what they will. Honest words are the only weapons I have.” Rhu was not a born warrior – his eyes showed fear, but less fear than fortitude. He held out a hand for Andrin’s clasp. “You and I may never meet again, outside the heart of the Way.”
“Here or there,” said Andrin. “It’s all the same. What matters is how we walk the path.”
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A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Someone is given a letter to deliver.