~ EXCERPT ~
Shae landed in Flecht’s saddle with a thump as Kai deposited her with more speed than grace. He bent and then straightened, and she caught the glint of metal. Kai pressed something into her palm, and her fingers curled around a knife’s hilt. “They’ll need to dismount to attack with swords. I’ll defend you, but if things go badly, take Flecht and follow the weild to the inn. You’ll see it just back from the banks. You can trust the innkeeper.” Kai strode from her before she could point out that she had no idea how to fly a wingabeast. His sword rasped as he drew it from its sheath. Just overhead, the riders split from one another. As they neared, Shae could see their eyes gleaming through cutouts in their hoods. Their wingabeasts’ hooves touched ground, and they jumped from the saddle and onto the rock shelf with swords pointed at Kai. The first rider advanced, a hair’s breadth ahead of his companion, and as Kai met his lunge, swords clashed. Kai parried the second rider’s thrust and spun to deflect the first rider’s sword, which clanged against his armshield. Over and over, steel rang out. Flecht snorted and laid his ears back, dancing beneath Shae. She patted the wingabeast’s neck in an attempt to soothe him, but she felt less than calm herself. Although Kai fought well, how could he defend for long against two swordsmen? His knife weighted her hand, but she had no idea what to do with it. As a raena of Whellein, her training had included protocol and decorum, not fighting. The riders closed in on Kai yet again, and the swordplay moved nearer. Flecht shrilled, and stones scattered beneath his churning hooves. One rider turned to point his sword toward Shae, but Kai’s blade intercepted him. “Go now!” Kai called, and then whirled to stop another attack. His words kicked her in the stomach, for they told her he didn’t expect to survive.
Janalyn Voigt is a writer and professional speaker with a photography habit and a passion for travel. Her unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. Tales of Faeraven, her epic fantasy series beginning with DawnSinger, carries readers into a land only imagined in dreams. She is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.
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