#SPFBO 6 – Saturday Snapshots : Excerpt from The Five Furies of Heaven by Ashley Capes

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The 1st of June marked the start of the sixth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (details here.)  Whilst the competition is taking part I’d like to post excerpts from some of the books that have entered the contest.  If you’d like to make use of this space to post a teaser to entice readers then let me know in the comments.

The first teaser that I’ll be posting is from one of the books from my own batch: The Five Furies of Heaven (The Five Furies #1) by Ashley Capes.  This book is one of my next reads as it was drawn in the first batch of books and this teaser has certainly made me very curious.  Please find below, generously provided by the author, an excerpt from The Five Furies:

** Excerpt **

Here, moss covered the earth, spreading between clumps of grass like an expensive velvet blanket – like the one Father Bastiem kept hidden away in his old chest. It climbed the fallen logs and surviving, broad trunks, darkening in the shade. Leaves of blue-green had fallen yet did not seem to be decomposing and little white blooms filled the hilltop with a sweet scent.

“Look,” Alira said.

In the centre of the hilltop glade something shimmered in the air.

A silvery cloud, quite large… indistinct yet clearly present in the world too, as though it resisted the eye, as though it had a purpose and that was to remain hidden.

“What is it?” Kilek asked.

“I believe what the Goddess wanted us to see,” she said as she approached, stretching out her hand. “We just have to remove the cloak.”

She pulled.

The shimmering disturbance spun away beneath her grip but Kilek did not see where or if the fluttering shape landed.

An enormous skull now sat upon the earth.

Moss covered the base but the open jaws and their forearm-length fangs were white and smooth, as though they had been well cared for. Heavy brows covered the eye-sockets; these were dark despite bone visible within. How large had the creature once been? He could have stood within the mouth and not reached the roof at a stretch.

A dragon.

An actual dragon-skull, here, concealed within the very hill. Kilek shivered, his voice disappeared in the awe that held him but he was smiling too.

“Is this…” Tyar trailed off as he stepped forward.

Mathi’s eyes were a little wide. “I thought dragons had been gone a long time – centuries.”

“Me too,” Tyar said.

“So who’s been cleaning the teeth? Who hid it?”

“The Goddess, surely,” Alira said, but she did not seem sure as she crept forward.

Kilek finally joined her with Mathi and Pax too, neither of whom seemed willing to draw too near but by their expressions, it seemed a similar awe urged them forward, almost against a certain tension in their bodies.

Up close, runes covered the bone. Somehow, they did not seem man or magic made. More… a rightness about the symbols implied they were a natural part of the dragon’s skull. Which hardly made sense, yet who was a mere villager to argue with the evidence? Simply because he’d never read anything like it in all the stories about dragons didn’t mean much. Most of the symbols bore a purposeful look, as though the swirls, slashes and dots held some clear meaning.

“What are they for?” he asked.

Alira shook her head, tears in her eyes. “I do not know.”

Silence fell across the glade.

A sense of vast age, of centuries-old power and majesty now both lost and still somehow lingering, fell over them; it was enough to give everyone pause. For Kilek, it seemed his entire body was trembling ever-so-slightly, in anticipation, in reverence of even such a beautiful creature’s memory.

Finally, Paxoph spoke. “As wonderful as this moment is, I cannot help but worry. How will the skull of a dragon aid us?”

“There must be a message, must be something,” Alira said as she wiped at her eyes. “Why would she send us here otherwise?”

“At last, I have found you all,” said a new voice.

Kilek whirled.

A tall man stood at the top of the stair. A sword hung from his belt, his dark leather pants and boots seeming to suck in the fading afternoon light; yet more unusual, the man wore no shirt or tunic, leaving a muscled torso bare. A white collar covered his neck and Kilek noticed fingerless leather gloves when the man drew his weapon.

** Ends **

 

Fighting the insect hordes of a malevolent God isn’t easy when you’re a young man with no special talents.

And it’s even harder when a Goddess makes your friends older and stronger – but gives you nothing.

Are you not entertained?  Intrigued aplenty?

For more information about the book and the author click on this link.  And for the cover lovers amongst you here’s something to whet your appetite further:

The Five

 

5 Responses to “#SPFBO 6 – Saturday Snapshots : Excerpt from The Five Furies of Heaven by Ashley Capes”

  1. Patrick Samphire (@patricksamphire)

    Thanks for sharing this, Lynn and Ashley. It’s very intriguing.

    Lynn: I would love to take you up on the offer of posting a teaser from SPFBO book.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Hi Patrick – I’m so sorry but I’ve just found your comment when I was going through my pending comments and I’m not sure if I responded or not? If you are still interested in posting a teaser that would be fantastic – my email is lynnsbooks@gmail.com. Drop me a line with your text and I’ll sort out a post either this Saturday or next. Lynn 😀

  2. Stephanie Barr

    My book is among those you’re reading. It wasn’t clear to me. Did you want us to give you an excerpt to post or were you going to select among your books and add more excerpts from other books as they sent them to you? If you want one from Curse of the Jenri, I’ll include it below and you can use it or pick your own.

    ——————–

    ” Everything points to you having unnoticed, but apparently significant, magical abilities, as yet untapped.”
    “Significant? Does it have to be significant? Couldn’t I just have a smidge, a tiny-tiny taste? And we don’t have to tap it, do we?”
    “I fear your talents must be great. The greatest magic wielders tend to be somewhat resistant to others’ spells, but rarely to the extent you are. Still, there are select bloodlines without talent who are naturally difficult to ensorcel. I knew nothing of your home province, so I had just assumed you to be of one of these bloodlines.”
    Put me on your shoulder, please. I like to be up high, asked the only totally black kitten, pawing at his leg.
    Absently, Tander complied. “Well, that must be it. Magic resistance must just run in my family.”
    “Magical talent also runs in bloodlines, which is why the Jenri are universally gifted, although to varying degrees.”
    “The people in my family were always warriors. There are no spell-slingers in my family, none, I tell you. There aren’t but a handful in the whole of Amerland.”
    “How far back in your family have you history?”
    “Well, we’ve held kingship of Amerland for three gen—well, it doesn’t matter how far back we go. What I’m telling you is that no one in our family is magical.”
    Glendana smiled indulgently as a silver tabby kitten peeked out from Tander’s tunic. “How do you know? You didn’t know you were talented.”
    “I’m not! Weren’t you listening? I can’t weave spells. Never could.” Tander grabbed a fluffy gray kitten that was crawling up his leg, underneath his tunic. “Will you be still? Why don’t you all take a catnap or something?”
    “Ever try?” Glendana asked calmly as Wanting sleepily curled up on her own shoulder.
    The purring black kitten on his shoulder said, I’m sleepy, but I’m cold. Bring someone else to sleep up here.
    “Ever try what?” Tander demanded, distracted, as he dumped the gray kitten next to the black.
    “Casting spells,” Glendana continued patiently, not letting her amusement touch more than her eyes.
    Put me up there, too, demanded a tan-and-black striped kitten.
    Tander picked the striped kitten up and regarded it sternly. “I don’t need a bunch of kittens giving me orders. Besides, you can’t all fit up there.” With that, Tander tossed the kitten onto his wide shoulder, where it immediately curled up with its two siblings and began purring.
    I can sleep right here. It’s warm, said the kitten in his tunic, purring against his chest.
    “Oh, well, if you’re comfortable, I am overjoyed,” Tander said. “Where are the last two?”
    Asleep in the pouch, the tortoiseshell thought sleepily.
    “Well, that’s something, anyway. Now, if you all don’t mind, I’m trying to talk to Glendana.” Tander took a deep breath. “Now, Glendana, what were you asking?”
    “Have you ever tried to use magic?”
    “No! Alright? No! I’m a warrior. All I ever wanted to be was a warrior, and not a warrior like you Jenri, a swordsman, plain and simple. You ever seen me with a sword?”
    “Yes. You are a gifted swordsman.”
    “Thank Bastor for small favors! That’s what I do, all I want to do. I don’t have magic blood. I don’t want magic blood. I just want to kill people with my sword. Is that so wrong?”

  3. waytoofantasy

    Seems like it could be interesting!

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