I just started on the rewrites of The Dragonprince’s Heir, and I already found an excerpt I want to share with you.
Well, I say it’s an excerpt. I should probably call it an excision. It’s three or four paragraphs describing Caleb Drake from the point of view of Daven’s son, Taryn, fifteen years after the events in The Dragonswarm.
It’s also heavy-handed exposition that slammed the story to a crawl, so I’m cutting it. I was planning to save it in a Google Doc somewhere just in case I later decided to refer back to it or maybe work it in at a more appropriate point later in the story.
But it’s solid characterization in a pretty compact form, and it’ll give you a glimpse at two of the main characters (and their relationship) in the upcoming novel. So I decided to share. Hope you enjoy!
Caleb followed behind me like a terrible shadow.
I hated him. I had not always hated him, but I had feared him all my life. Father loved him. Mother loved him. She certainly needed him. But long after the desperate fear of imminent destruction had passed from this place, Caleb remained the shadow of death in my Father’s bright halls. I remembered happy feasts. I remembered storytelling and ballads sung. I remembered joy in the Tower of Drakes, but I had never seen it in Caleb.
Caleb had taught me to fight when I was four. He had given me my first knife when I was six, and taught me how to use it to maim or kill. I was ten when he taught me the mace, and twelve when he taught me to use a crossbow. But he had never taught me to use a sword–my father’s weapon. He had refused me every time I asked.
He was severe and casually cruel. And he was powerful. He commanded more respect within these walls than anyone but my mother. Even she deferred to him, I sometimes thought, though I was likely the only one who knew. And I alone within the fortress did not scrape and bow. I alone did not love our warrior hero. He resented me for it.
Now he would go to meet the king. He would stand by my mother’s side, tall and scary with my father’s blade slung on his back. Forty-thousand men gathered outside the fortress gates, a king and four wizards and six noblemen there in the Great Hall, and Mother would put Caleb forth in balance. And we would win. No frail king of a broken land could challenge the name my father had made.
I’ll probably resist the urge to do more of these, because within a chapter or two I’d be treading close to spoilers, and there are people who care about such things.
Still, this one seemed harmless enough. It’s from the third or fourth page.