I thought I'd treat you to a free extract from my new novel, Vengeance of Hope.
In this scene, the novel’s main protagonist, Silrith Alfwyn, has just joined her rebel army on the walls of the city of Rildayorda to face their marauding enemy. If you enjoy this scene and want to read more, the book is available to download on the kindle or to buy in paperback from Amazon via the links shown on my home page. Happy reading!
‘The people had flocked to join in defence of their city. As Silrith passed, every soldier turned and got to their knees, lowering their weapons and bowing their heads while uttering ‘My Queen,’ as she walked the length of the wall.
She stopped as she heard a voice that hinted at less conviction then the rest. She turned to see a young spearman. He couldn’t have been more than sixteen years old, with a chin still devoid of even a shadow of stubble. The kneeling boy shuddered as he peered from under his kettle hat.
Feeling a motherly warmth take hold of her heart, Silrith bent down and looked him in the eye. She could sense his heart was racing.
‘What’s your name, boy?’ she asked lightly, gently taking his face in her hands with a kindly expression.
‘Dazyan, my Queen, Dazyan of the Southtown.’
‘And do you fear, Dazyan?’
‘No, my Queen.’
Silrith gave compassionate smile.
‘Nonsense,’ she said, raising her voice so that all around her could hear. ‘But there is nothing dishonourable about fear. We all fear. After all, what is fear really? Fear is what brings value to the things we do in spite of it and there can be no greater honour than that.’ She motioned for the kneeling soldiers to stand. ‘The thing about fear, is that it can always be superseded. There’s always something stronger. Always.’
As she said this, she turned to look over the walls. A flag as black as night was being carried in front of Jostan’s army, meaning that if the city fell, every man, woman and child inside was to be put to the sword. At the same moment, the drums started up again and trumpets sounded in the distance as ladders were brought forward and the enemy prepared for a frontal assault.
‘All of you, ask yourselves,’ Silrith continued. ‘What is it that you fear the most – the one thing above all else? Is it this army that stands outside our gates? I think not. They are nothing. I can see some of you have felt the wrath of many blades before and lived to tell the tale – and some faces the better for it! I’ll wager that any fear you feel is fear on behalf of others. Fear for those who depend on us. Your children, your elderly kin and anyone else who depends on you for their safety. But that is why you are here. You’re here so that you can say one thing; that when fate decreed that you were the only thing that stood between all that is sacred to you and all that is evil, you stood firm. Take your fear and turn it to fire; a fire that burns like a flaming wall from which our enemies will melt away! Some of you served under my father. But he was not simply my father, or my late brother’s. He was as a father to all his people. Yet now he lies dead, slain by the usurper Jostan. Do you intend to let his murder go unavenged?’
‘And do you intend to stand by and watch as the self-same man burns your city and takes your families from you, as he has taken mine from me?’
‘So what shall we do to all who support such a man?’
‘Kill! Kill! Kill!’
‘Then may the Gods be with us!’
Her soldiers exulted into their war cry and Silrith thrust her sword in the air; turning to face her destiny.’