From the author of the highly acclaimed science fiction/fantasy Shadow Series (SHADOW OVER AVALON, SWORD OF SHADOWS) comes the much anticipated sequel to her dark fantasy novel, DARKSPIRE REACHES,
SERPENT OF THE SHANGROVE!
Given one chance to find the fate of a crèche mate, Copper grasps the challenge to save her and to prove himself worthy to the other Drakkens, who look down on him as a half-breed, despite his full array of magic abilities. The other world is not as he expected and the races living there don’t seem to have honor. Then he finds the Serpent, a creature of pure evil.
Who will live? Who will die? One of them will not walk away.
It is anticipated that SERPENT OF THE SHANGROVE will be released in early 2016, but, in the meantime, check out the video trailer:
“Who let the half-breed in?”
Conversation trailed to an end. Faces at the long trencher table turned in one direction. All looked at Copper, his fork hanging, halfway to his mouth, frozen by one word. The celebration ended for him. Here he sat at a feast for a hand-fasting, an invited guest and yet an outsider in this now festive main cavern. His friend, Strallen, newly joined to a lovely Drakken girl, sat red-faced with temper and yet said nothing.
Copper was grateful his parents were both absent, for this insult touched them closely. He didn’t think his mother would have let the moment pass, but he must for Strallen’s sake. He brought the lump of now cold meat to his mouth and chewed as if nothing had happened.
All the eyes switched to Rosilla, an exquisite girl with long blonde curls sitting next to Lorien, the hand-fasted girl.
She giggled, waving her hand in an artful little gesture. “Well he is a half-breed. Why is he invited to such an occasion? It is not as if any of us would consider him for a mate.” She pulled her arm from Lorien’s sudden grip. “No, I will have my say. Copper is a nobody without pure blood. He has done nothing and he will never amount to anything.”
Strallen half stood as he leaned over his new mate. “What do you suggest a person can do to change his standing in a world where we have no threats? How a person conducts themselves in company is more important than how pure their blood is. I am sure we will all remember this when you cast about for a mate, Rosilla.”
The girl’s rosy blush of temper paled to milk white. She pushed away from the table, marching towards the passage to the outside with a couple of her cronies in tow. Fitful conversation started amid nervous laughter. Eyes turned to Copper again.
He stood, bowing towards Lorien and Strallen with the intention of getting some fresh air himself. Two of the older Drakken males moved to block his path. The denial hurt more than the insult. How could they think he would go after that wretched girl? They did, so he turned to take a tunnel deeper into the heart of the aerie. His star sense kicked in, taking him off-guard. All the girls and most of them men felt the same. They didn’t mind his company as long as there was no chance of him joining their family. Wherever he went was better than here.
A whir of wings, followed by a heavy thud on his shoulder pad announced the arrival of Kryling, the little firedrake. Trust that one to be lurking in the rafters. Now he couldn’t keep the ill-tidings from his parents. As fond as he was of Kryling, there was no denying the drake was a snitch.
“This is going to hurt mother. Can you at least keep it from her?”
Angry thoughts slammed into his mind. Kryling was in a fine fury and had every intention of telling Raven precisely who said what. The drake considered it would come best from him and not someone mean-spirited. Tendrils of sympathy began to seep from Kryling, along with a tail wrapped gently around Copper’s neck.
“Don’t worry about the girl. I wasn’t that interested in her,” Connor said, not a lie anymore as he found the thought of her made his guts churn in a sickly way. No, if he found a mate, it would be someone who cared for him as a person.
Kryling sent pictures of hunting with an image of Copper bringing back three bucks for the table and the girls crowding around.
Turning right at a junction, Copper headed for a lower exit, hoping he wouldn’t meet another Drakken on the way. “No, not everything revolves around who is the best hunter when it comes to getting mates.”
The drake puffed a smug smoke ring and countered with an image of his harem. Strangely, his mates seemed to glare in an angry fashion.
“Having a problem keeping peace amongst all those females?” Copper knew the little drake was trying to cheer him up, but this harem discord hadn’t been part of the plan.
Kryling snapped his wings shut and hissed.
(NOTE: The novel is currently in its final editing stages and the section above may be subject to change before publication).
If you’ve already read DARKSPIRE REACHES, be sure to follow C.N. Lesley on Twitter (@darkspires) and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/C.N.Lesley/) to learn the exact date of release.
If you haven’t and are intrigued, be sure to check the novel out on Amazon (DARKSPIRE REACHES).