It’s been a while since I gave you a sample from my fantasy trilogy, so here’s a bit from SAGE. This is from Book 1, The Fall of Onagros. In it, the kinninger (ruler) of the realm, Karol, escapes from the men her husband has sent to kill her. She takes refuge with Moder Zglaria, on an island in the woods.
Karol In Hiding
excerpt from The Fall of Onagros, Book 1 of SAGE
by Marian Allen
Karol sat on the stone floor; warm, here, from the fire’s heat.
She felt she should fear the crafty, fierce old woman, but she didn’t fear her. From the moment she had stepped into the clearing, she had felt… not “safe”… not quite “befriended”… At any rate, she felt she hadn’t made an error in coming to the island. After all that had come before, and all that must follow from it, having made not-an-error should count as a victory of some kind.
Karol took a spoonful of the stew, a small one, so it would cool faster, and broke off a corner of the bread. She was starving. She was ravenous. She was dead, and she wanted to be dead, but the life inside her wouldn’t let her die. It was hungry, and the Kinninger ate to feed it, sitting on the stones before the fire.
There was movement behind her as she ate her stew and took out more; movement, sound, and a passing chill. As a sign of her trust, she didn’t look around.
A cup was held before her.
“Fresh milk from the cold room,” said Moder, shaking the cup impatiently. “Hasn’t quite cooled yet. Hasn’t separated. I ate all the butter. You have this.”
Karol took it, feeling she had passed some sort of test, wishing she could care.
She drank the thick milk and, while she waited for her second bowl of food to cool, turned the cup in her hands. It was fired pottery, made of green-gray clay. Copper filigree was fixed around the stem and half-way up the bowl, the copper forming figures. Figures of….
“Where did you come by this, Moder?” she asked.
“Don’t remember. I’ve had it this many a year. Why?”
“I’ve seen this pattern before.” Birds spiraled around the cup, the head of each half-lost in the flowing tail of the one before it. “No, not this pattern, but something like it. On a bracelet from Kozabir.”
“Not surprising. All sorts of things find their ways here, Cinnie beren Moder. All sorts of things find themselves all sorts of places, and the tales of how they got there would be mad. Use the cup while you’re here, if you fancy it.”
“While I’m here….” The words were bleak. “When must I leave? Tomorrow?”
“Do as you please,” said the old woman, lighting an after-dinner pipe, and settling herself on a stool across the hearth from Karol. “But if I was a lone woman, I wouldn’t walk about while the land was full of men hunting a woman alone. They might mistake you for the Kinninger, and hurt you when they found out they were wrong.”
~ * ~
All three books of the trilogy are available in print and for Kindle. Visit my SAGE page for links to all of them and to free chapters.
Book 1 – The Fall of Onagros
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character finds something in an unexpected place.