Preview: Prodigal Prince

As many of you know, I am currently churning through four critiques off the back of October’s Jukepop Reading Party.  I have been so incredibly busy I’ve had to delay posting them until this coming weekend.  In the meantime I wanted to post a quick ‘preview’ of something I’ve been working on.

You may or may not know that I have been working on a fantasy/high fantasy serial called ‘The Prodigal Prince’.  I had hoped to have it submitted to Jukepop by October but I’ve been so swamped lately and things didn’t quite pan out.

I do, however, have a prologue ready and would like to share it with you as a preview of the story which I hope to be able to put on Jukepop soon.

I don’t have a synopsis as yet, but I can give a general gist of the story:

It takes place in a fantasy world called ‘Iscellenie’.  The land has come under siege by a mysterious man with dark and dangerous powers called the ‘Ravengift’.   The only thing that can stop him is one who bears the same ability.  The trouble is, the only man with that skill is a banished Prince – exiled almost ten years ago because he was born with said power.  Empress Laina sends Kerchane and Muri (her trusted friends and loyal vassals) to find her brother before the mysterious stranger reaches the capital.  Thus begins the race against time as Kerchane and Muri travel the land in search of the Prodigal Prince.

The Prodigal Prince by Kathy Joy

Prologue

 

As something between fog and smoke, it coiled off the salted, frothy waves and towards the harbour.

From his perch on the Eastern Watchtower, Tanni stared wide-eyed as the seething mass clambered up the boardwalk and over the outer wall. The coastal city of Danza was heavily fortified and hadn’t been infiltrated in over five hundred years. Until now.

He hauled himself to his feet. He may have been a scrawny fourteen year old, but his people needed him to be strong and capable. His first watch had been two weeks ago, so he knew well enough what to do. Although fear tickled his insides, trying to shackle his arms and legs in its frigid grasp, he fought against it, bursting up the ladder towards the bell. He had to alert the city. Danza was the first line of defence against invaders to the continent. If he failed, it was not just the city at risk.

On legs as giddy as a newborn foal’s, he ascended the ladder until he made it to the top. The bell hammer sat atop a crate in the corner. Grasping it tightly, Tanni whirled, ready to strike the huge, cast iron bell only to freeze when he saw a tall, thin man in his way. His skin was tanned and weather worn, hair dishevelled and dark and his eyes glimmered like frosted chunks of obsidian. A long grey and brown cloak was slipped over his narrow shoulders, the hem billowing as though teased by the wind.

“You would be wise to stop.” The man’s voice, though quiet, carried powerfully to Tanni’s ears.

“Wh-who are you …?” Tanni forced himself to speak.

The man smiled dolefully. “Such information is useless to you. It will not make your passing any easier.”

Tanni didn’t respond. Instead his mind churned, trying to find some way to reach the bell.

The tower seemed to grow dark, the boards groaning as though strained by too much weight. Shadows grew from the gaps in the wood like weeds overtaking an old, crumbling building. Tanni found himself unable to breathe, as if all the air in the world had vanished; he couldn’t even gasp.

Slowly, the boy slumped to his knees. The bell hammer would soon glide from his limp fingers. So he did the only thing he could; He threw it.

Although the hammer hit the bottom of the bell, it made enough of a resounding clang to alert those in other towers. Soon a chorus of sharp peals sang through the streets, rousing the watchmen into action.

The stranger sighed, turning to the shadows pooling about him. “What a pity.” He paused, turning to glance out the window near him. “No matter. It’s more fun when they run.”

 

TO BE CONTINUED

 

 

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