I’ve mentioned my upcoming Dragonprince novella several times now, but I don’t know if I’ve ever called it by name. It’s called A Darkness in the East, and takes place immediately after the events of The Dragonswarm.
Last week I was drafting a work request for my cover artist and he needed a description of Daven’s sword and magic effects. I had just finished a new action scene in the novella, so I carved that out for him.
Just before I sent it off, I was rereading it, and thought, “Man, I’ll bet my readers would like to see this!”
So here you go. It’s a sneak peek at my upcoming release, A Darkness in the East:
No matter their intentions, friend or foe, these men had made themselves an obstacle to Daven’s goal. Daven meant to save the people of this village, and six men with sharp-edged swords were not enough to stop him. He nodded to the door and ancient oak writhed beneath his will. It uncurled, shrinking back from the crafted iron bolt, then of its own accord the door swung wide.
A monster of a man blocked the open doorway. He wore a soldier’s chain and tabard and carried a huge two-handed sword. He fixed his eyes on Daven now without a trace of fear or hesitation. The sentry slung his sword in a vicious arc aimed straight at Daven’s collarbone.
But Daven didn’t flinch. He caught a gust of wind out of the sky. He bundled up a thousand little threads of air within his will and stabbed them past his left shoulder and down into the house. Focused, living wind caught the sentry like a battering ram. It hurled him back and crumpled him upon the floor.
Then, for the first time, Daven had a chance to see within the room. He could not tell at a glance the whole situation, but he saw within the house what he’d expected: one wide open room, a knot of women and children on the far wall, and six strong men arrayed against him.
Well, five now.
Still standing on the threshold, Daven flexed his right hand–borrowing power from the monster high above–and summoned up a sword of living stone. Grains of elemental earth almost too small to see swirled up in an inverted whirlwind, gathering first in his palm, taking the shape of a sword’s hilt, and then rapidly coalescing into the shape of a blade. The sword looked something like a rapier, but it shone the perfect black of obsidian and gleamed along an edge as sharp as starlight.
In the same breath, Daven summoned wild fire into a ball around his left hand, the power of a blacksmith’s forge contained, constrained, but anxious to explode. It glowed the angry red and dull black of a smoldering coal and cast long, flickering shadows into the crowded room.
From his place on the floor, the fallen giant groaned out, “Don’t just stand there. Kill him!” To Daven’s great surprise, the men complied. They surged forward as one. Daven shook his head and went to meet them.