Filed under: Excerpts Jun 15, 2016
Witch King by T.A. Creech is now available, and here’s an exclusive excerpt from the story that you won’t find anywhere else!
King Solna Nalion is tired of war. Standing in the aftermath of yet another battle over an ancient insult, he longs for the possibility of ending the wars at last — and finds it in Vius Tylele, a wounded warrior who is not what he seems. In light of Tylele’s charm and intelligence, Nalion schemes to unite their countries for a lasting peace, one that might even bring love.
Nothing is as it seems and Vius Tylele knows that all too well. But King Nalion’s marriage proposal, while ridiculous, has merit. Between petulant generals, tainted magic, and falling unexpectedly in love, Vius discovers he has more to lose than he thought. His country, his magic, and even his heart.
All of a sudden, Vius shouted a wordless cry. The ground shifted underneath Solna’s bare feet like a horse about to buck and then a gargantuan mouth rose out of the forest floor a few hundred steps before them, maw darker than the night. Vius gasped in his ear “Go!”
In less than a minute, Solna skidded through the hole in the enchanted hillside, Vius still breathless. At the last moment Solna turned and crashed hard against the back of the impromptu cave with his husband braced tight to his chest. It knocked what little breath he had out of his lungs.
Vius sucked in a deep breath, whole body expanding in Solna’s arms with the size of it, and shouted something else. Just that fast, the opening collapsed. Solna slid to the ground and curled around Vius as the entire chamber vibrated like a live thing, sure the walls were going to fall in on them. The bottom of his stomach dropped out as the chamber they were in did the same.
Solna was too frightened to even scream. He could only clutch Vius harder and bury his face in his husband’s tangled hair and pray this was Vius’ doing.
An age came and went, Solna was positive, before the grinding, sinking feeling slowed to silent stillness in the perfect dark. Cold earth pressed in around them, but didn’t seem to be in danger of collapse. Jagged breaths made his husband twitch in his arms and clench small hands into Solna’s tunic in spasmodic motions. It took Solna a couple of hard swallows to clear the dryness enough to speak.
“Vius, is this your doing?” His voice came out in a cracked whisper, too loud in their bubble of dirt. Solna shuddered. At least they were not in a tomb.
Vius hummed a too soft noise in answer. A tiny shiver of dread raced down his spine. Solna wished he could see.
“Vius, please,” Solna tried again, a little louder. “Did you do this?”
For a long time, Solna could only hunch over his too quiet husband in the blackness, only Vius’ constant tremors against his chest any comfort that the elf was still among the living. Eventually Vius eased his hold on Solna and he almost panicked until a spark ignited in the dark, cupped reverently in his husband’s hands.