It’s Tuesday! Time for an excerpt from Quest of the Dreamwalker.
Foresthaven is a dangerous place, especially for those who don’t belong there.
In the last few years, he’d found a sense of stability as Khoury’s second. But, Khoury was changing. Archer paused, wrapping his large hand around a sapling as he brooded. He could say the Keep had changed Khoury, but it had started before that. Why else would they be in that dingy inn alone instead of with the Swords? Then again, Archer thought, maybe it’s just the threat of Sidonius.
His blood boiled with a vengeful longing to meet Sidonius head on with a blade. But Khoury was in a cautious mood. Archer knew he wouldn’t move on the sorcerer until they had more information. They needed to get to Iolair and talk with Wallace’s sorcerer. But at this rate Archer feared they’d never get there.
He shook the sapling with angry futility, staring at the way his hand wrapped around it. Then he had an idea. What Bradan and Cara needed was help with fatigue. He looked around, this time actually seeing his surroundings, and found himself standing in a grove of a dozen slender saplings, all of them the perfect size for walking sticks. Selecting his first target, straight and slender enough for Cara’s tiny hand, the Northerner drew his sword. It was large even for a man his size and would make short work of the young plant. Winding up, he swung with all his pent up frustration and felt the metal edge bite into the woody flesh.
A banshee shriek erupted in the glade, rising to a painful wail that lanced his ears. Looking for the source, he saw nothing. The pain of the noise hurried his next chop, sending a sliver of wood into the air. The tree was tougher than it looked.
The wailing reverberated through his bones and rattled his teeth. Resting his sword against his leg, he covered both ears with his hands and scanned the glade again but there was nothing. A headache throbbed behind his eyes and he bent over with the pain. That’s when he saw the blood-red sap oozing from the cut. Only then did he remember Falin’s warning.
Dread cramped his insides as the eerie ululation reverberated inside his skull. The glade seemed darker than a few minutes before. He could have sworn the branches were closing ranks as he watched. With the piercing screech sawing at his mind and one hand over an ear, he gripped his sword and tried to push through the foliage. Something had hold of his feet. He looked down to see slender tendrils of ivy arising from the earth, closing about his boots, his ankles, his calves. He heaved his leg up to take a step, ripping the vines from the ground. One foot, then the other. Skeletal branches plucked at his arms. Every leaf, every branch, every root was trying to stop him.
“Khoury!” he called though he couldn’t even hear himself.
“Bíar tsíozhán en.” The lilting words carried through the ringing in Archer’s ears as Falin materialized in front of him, one hand latching onto his shoulder as she kicked the sword from his hand.
She took his face in her hands, forcing him to look at her. There were wads of moss stuffed in her ears and she was shouting something, but he couldn’t hear it beyond the wailing of the woods. Guilty eyes darted to the wounded sapling, and she paled as her eyes followed his glance. She hurried to the sapling, dragging him along. Then she pushed him to his knees before it. For a moment, he feared her sword would find his throat.
Like what you’re reading? Quest of the Dreamwalker is available for preorder now at a reduced price on Amazon. Trade paperbacks and ebooks will release on October 8th.