I'm super excited to be taking part in the Empyreal Fate blog tour and I'm stoked to share with you this great excerpt. Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!
Scene from Empyreal Fate - Part One of Rachel Hunter’s Llathalan Annal series
Quiet they stood: ghostly silhouette and motionless royal - their troubled thoughts deepening against the heavy air. As time stretched, the bounding chill of stark recollection permeated as a scathing echo; it would not cease.
“So be it, wise elf.” Freiysuira’s youthful features darkened as she broke the silence; the diamond sheath she housed fell a shade coarser. “You choose your path well... If you listen close, all will thus be revealed.”
Amarya nodded, though a stitch pierced her heart.
“There is one whom you know – a mortal, by name of Darrion. He rests well in your eyes – well acquainted, no?”
Amarya shifted, her caution pulsing as a weathered storm. “How do you know this?” she breathed.
“What’s he got to..?” She paused, eyes widening at a stirred thought. “No. Do not burden in him any way. Lend him no troubles of my own. I will not see him harmed!”
The child smirked at Amarya’s concern. “Fear not, Lady Amarya. He comes to no harm by your fated choice. No… He has trial enough that will toy with his soul. You need not be the cause… Though – I come to relay your own personal charge.”
Amarya frowned. “If this meeting is to pose me burden, then why bring him up? What purpose does he hold that would cause his mention?”
Freiysuira smiled grim. “Only thus, Child of Life: He is the key to Llathala’s continual wake - the essence by which all shall thrive… and with hope, retain. Without his presence upon the land - though a child of man he is – all shall fare a hideous doom to sweep. None shall see light; none shall breathe else but pain. No… Without his slim thread of being, the might of endurance will fall. Llathala will cease as a residing land.”
“Speak no more of riddles, cursed Fate!” Amarya wielded her ire, growing sore of dampened speech.
“Tell me now in a clear tongue or not at all! What is the due I am destined – and what is Darrion’s own? Tell me now! You tamper with patience I can no longer spare!”
“You - Amarya Duravyn-wren - are a pawn of writhing darkness. Fair mountains, behold! You think I come to you now for mere pleasure? You think I come for idle speak? Spite upon your family name! I come to warn of your hindrance - to warn of your darkened stain. You’ve a black mark upon you, Amarya. Spare the creation of man; spare Darrion the ills of your heart! See him unpossessed to your presence. See him revel not in your shadow. You wish him no burden? Then remove of your distraction! He cannot be what he must with mortal love to bind.”
Amarya touched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. “I still do not understand your riddling tongue! No more of dancing words. Speak true! What is this darkness you say that holds me?”
“Of such I cannot speak direct. Though as you wish to know of your immanent design, do well to heed what words I breathe. I shan’t repeat myself a second time.” Floating in her yellow mist, Freiysuira’s childlike chin rose high. “You must give yourself to faulty Laervyen; tie with him your bond. Not only just - let him stake his claim on your temple, as you say. Seek his council ere this night! And dare you not flee at the last… lest all tune end in the wood. But grant him his claim before Darrion has first, and see the mortal’s heart broken of your hold. For if he remains consumed in lust, the land you know as Llathala shan’t longer thrive.”
|Author Rachel Hunter|
The child clasped thin fingers to her lips. Swirling upside down in her diamond, she lowered her gaze. “I covet no ill. What I breathe is what you must. You swore to it on blood of your own. All depends on your rule… beside Laervyen as queen. Though he may love more his own name than your heart, he must claim the throne … for a time. Only until the darkness of the land has passed. For the royal who leads now will fall if such is not so. Though indeed, the corpses of your vision spoke true… You can end it all; you can dispel the brutal deaths the future seeks to bestow. Do you wish to see the fall of nations - so that you may cherish the desires you so crave? If not, Darrion must stray from your eye. You cannot lead with him at your side.”
“No! Foul upon your scorched tongue that you should direct me so!”
“You seek to defy? You mean to ridicule the task beset by Fate?”
“Defy?” Amarya gnashed her teeth. “I mean to expose your false claim! You are not of nature’s whim - nor the idol of the Fates. No… You are the blackness that threatens my soul!”
The hallway echoed as a thundering crack resounded; a flash of sharp light split the air. With maddened eyes, the child growled fierce, and her golden halo whipped about her, churning as a rampant sea. Streaks of purple merged with gold, penetrating deeper by swirling black. Bolts of silver flecked the surging mesh of cloud.
A bitter wind lifted in the darkness and thrust Amarya from her feet, tearing her from the wall she leaned. Tossing her to the side, it beat her with ethereal censure, and stole her breath with windswept cruelty.
Flung in a ruthless whirl, Amarya slammed against the marble, scraping her shoulder against uneven stone. Her head spun as the wind’s command abandoned her body, and she wilted lightly to her knees before collapsing to the ground. With weak movements, she clasped her wrists around her neck, shielding her head as though to ward Freiysuira’s presence. Exhausted, she lay with her brow against the tile and sobbed into the darkness.
There you go! Be sure to check out Empyreal Fate on Goodreads and check out Rachel's website and follow her on twitter!