Friday, December 15, 2017

Blog Tour: Firestorm


Firestorm the final book in Lucy Housom's Worldmaker trilogy will be published this December. If you are looking for a series set in an epic fantasy world with a fierce female protagonist, dragons and time-traveling assassins then this trilogy might be worth exploring.  Below you'll find an excerpt of Firestorm to give you a little taste of what to expect. (Don't worry, it doesn't contain any spoilers!)



‘What are you smiling about?’

She’d been staring into the night. The valley below them was utterly dark; the only light coming from their fire and the stars that shone crisp and clear above. She felt them in her blood. Sometimes she longed to join them, wrapping herself in isolation, removing herself from the world.

‘Kyndra?’

She looked back at the dragon. Char’s yellow eyes met hers unflinchingly and she felt some warmth return. Maybe it was hearing that name – the name her mother had given her, the one she had worn through childhood. Or maybe it was realizing that she couldn’t – and shouldn’t – solve Acre’s problems alone.

‘I think the goat is done,’ she said.


The black dreams began that night.


She stands upon a precipice, a glittering spire. Solinaris, the fortress of the sun, just as it looked before the first ever Breaking– in the days before Kierik’s mind shattered the world. She is not alone. Medavle is there, feet planted on the treacherous glass, his ageless face impossibly aged. And at his back, a figure, one claw-like hand grasping at the last Yadin. When the eldest sees her, a rasping, choking sound escapes his lips. It takes her a moment to realize it is laughter.


Kyndra woke, that laughter in her ears. For once, the stars and the night were equally silent and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up in an echo of fear. She hadn’t seen Medavle since he’d fled their battle, but his parting words were seared into her memory.

‘The last five hundred years were a mistake. They should never have been.’

Now, with Khronostian help, Medavle had the power to erase those years. Kyndra suspected his reason for doing so was very different to the eldest’s.

‘You don’t care about the world.’ Her own response echoed back to her. ‘You’re doing this for the woman you loved. For Isla.’

‘What would a Starborn know of love?’

Kyndra turned her face away from their dying fire. Reasons didn’t matter. All that mattered was stopping Medavle before he and the eldest ruined them all.

As they flew further north, the air became colder. The pattern of foliage below them shifted gradually from orange to brown to bare, skeletal branches. Low cloud hid them most of the time, but occasionally they’d emerge into clear blue, where the clouds were wispy and scudding high over narrow valleys. Mountain goat became a staple, though Char once managed to flush out a deer. Despite his huge wingspan, he was getting better at navigating the rocky gorges.

Every evening, Kyndra would ignite solid stone with a touch and they would sit around the flames, discussing what they might encounter when they reached Magtharda. That the eldest would send du-alakat to stop them was a given, but they could only guess at their numbers. Then there was the time prison itself; Kyndra envisioned it as a vast bubble, its walls invisible to the naked eye.

She caught her first glimpse with the first snow. They’d been flying steadily north-west until the land had pushed itself into peaks around them. Now, wherever Kyndra looked, she saw mountains. Steel-clad, white-capped, they were a line of silent priests, oddly menacing in their stillness. The sky was flat, reducing their world to a palette of greys – they’d left the colourful autumn valleys behind. Char was the only one who looked at home here; his dusky scales could have been sculpted out of the mountains’ hide. Kyndra’s hair was an alien streak of fire on the wind.

Magtharda appeared between one blink and the next. At first, Kyndra thought its towers were merely spires of rock thrusting free of the mountains, but, looking closer, she saw windows cut into them; dark, eye-shaped portals that marched around the outside of each soaring barbican. There were half a dozen, guarding the buildings beyond.

Char made a strange sound in his throat; perhaps he’d attempted to whistle. They flew beneath a great arch, a portal carved from solid rock. No gate or portcullis hung from its frame; it was unnecessary, Kyndra thought, when only those with wings could reach it. The ground was lost to view.

Magtharda lay on the other side. A tiered city, vast courtyards open to the sky, it rose in levels, keeping pace with the mountains that cradled it. Everything was built of the same greyish rock, left rough to echo the landscape. Waterfalls spilled over stone, falling hundreds of feet into deep channels that bisected the streets. The water was the only thing that moved.

With two quick beats of his wings, Char landed on one of the wider thoroughfares and lowered his head to drink.

‘Stop,’ Ma said sharply. Both she and Kyndra slid off the dragon’s back, scanning the empty streets. ‘Can you tell if it’s safe?’ the mercenary asked Kyndra. She was frowning at the water, rushing opaque under the dull sky.

Kyndra bent down and scooped up a handful, calling on Lagus. Clean, the star told her. ‘If there was poison in the water, there’s no trace of it now,’ she said.

Char gave a huff of relief and plunged most of his head in. Ma’s profile was rigid. She watched the streets, as if expecting an ambush, but nothing leapt out to break the city’s stillness. Kyndra, too, stood tensed; something was out of place here, out of step.

‘You feel it,’ Ma said. Her eyes travelled over the high buildings, the large, graceful arches, searching. ‘They are here, the Lleu-yelin, all around us.’

‘What?’ Char shook out his mane, showering them. He scanned the courtyard too. ‘Then where are they?’

‘Frozen,’ Ma said. ‘They are being held.’ She briefly closed her eyes. ‘I can feel the strands of it linking them together.’

‘The strands of what?’ Kyndra asked.

‘A focus.’

Char’s brow bunched. ‘What does it look like?’

‘It might not be an it, but a who,’ Ma said, a touch evasively. Char took a few clawed steps towards the centre of the city.

‘You mean a Khronostian?’

Ma shook her head. ‘I don’t know. We need to go further in.’

***


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