It’s always a joy to know your writing has ‘spoken’ to a reader, and they have become involved with characters who live, breathe and walk through your imagination’s landscapes. So it was a treat to read a new review from Melinda Stephens at her blog Momsical, for Daughter of Hope, opening novel of The Siaris Quartet.
From Melinda’s review:
I got really invested in this story, and couldn’t wait to get to the end and find out what happened with Revetia and her siblings. The ending had a good conclusion that didn’t leave me hanging, but did have me looking forward to the next book so I can find out what happens next. I’ve already added the next book to the very top of my to-read pile…
Here’s a short excerpt from Daughter of Hope:
A hand closed over Revetia’s wing. She smacked it away, stepping back on icy cobblestones.
“Don’t touch me,” she hissed.
Tieren looked back at her with calm eyes, not breaking from her hostile glare. She shivered in the cruel wind circling around the courtyard, concentrating on her shields. Her spellsheen hadn’t yet recovered fully from shock, and tiny threads of ice stabbed between their layers.
“I can help you with the cold, Ree,” Tieren offered.
Revetia lifted her chin, and set it in deliberate stubbornness. “I’ll do it myself.”
Running her hands over her arms, she unleashed a string of commands to close the fracture-lines – again. She tried not to delve under the shock that kept dismantling her defences. She couldn’t remember anything of the time immediately after her blooding – not until waking from the numb, comatose ‘sleep’ she’d fallen into. And she didn’t want to, ever.
She grimaced. The first thing she’d heard on waking was the clatter of smashing crockery – the new nurse standing in the middle of the floor, her mouth a startled ‘o’. The sound of a cup dropping from nerveless fingers ricocheted through Revetia’s head. Nerves jarring, she’d reminded herself to make more noise next time.
“Ree?” Tieren’s quiet voice broke into her thoughts. “Shall we continue?”
Revetia wasn’t going to grace him with a reply, but she wouldn’t leave either. She wanted to hone her flight-skills, and Tieren was a good teacher even if she hated him beyond measure.
Why do you persevere? she screamed in silence. Probably only because you’ve been told to – by your precious masters!
Tieren didn’t react to the words she flung at him, beyond a faint tightening around his eyes. He never did.
He spread a wing before her, and directed her attention to his longest flight feathers. “When you shift into spell-flight, you need to extend and retract – like this. Then the spells built into your body will take over.”
Midnight-blue pinions splayed and snapped back into line in a blurred fraction of a second. “You’ll get used to it fast…the shift will become automatic in a few sessions.” He held out his hand. “Try it, Ree.”
She arched her wings and followed him up through the spiralling gale. She wobbled and rocked on a sharp gust, but held her course with grim purpose.
Ready? Flick, and flatten. Now.
Revetia did as he ordered. Her body floated on the silken curve of her own will. Elation pushed her higher on the cold air. Her body no longer responded to the buffeting weather; it was hers to command as she wished. Inside, warmth streamed though her. Outside, the cool of the spell-void unfurled in her wake. She swung right and spun in slow circles. Tieren hovered below, scrutinizing her and giving a pleased nod.
Very good. You’ve got it now, Ree.
Revetia didn’t answer. She looked up through the swirl of dark clouds above. I could fly away!
Tieren’s voice ran through her head. Don’t try it, Ree. Hit the masters’ border-spells and you’ll wish you hadn’t.
She looked down at him. Anger whipped up through a black pit in her gut. The taste of Erren’s blood ran over her tongue, boiled again in her stomach.
She flicked her wings, cut an arc on the wind, flattened them and slipped into spell-flight. Her wings were light as snow. She could arch them out, or tuck them down for comfort if she wanted. Darkness closed in. She sliced through it, tasting a second of freedom.
No you don’t.
Tieren’s arms closed around her waist, dragging her back down, her spellsheen disabled by a tight command before she could attack him. She began to cry in huge, gulping sobs.
“I h-hate you. I hate you s-so much,” she stammered.
A hint of exasperation gleamed in Tieren’s eyes, but his voice still remained even. “You won’t keep yourself safe, Ree. So I’m doing it for you.”
“Why?” she cried. “Why do you even bother?”
Tieren made no reply. The courtyard’s grey walls closed in again, and her feet touched stone. Revetia pushed herself away from her brother’s grasp and walked away without a backward glance.
Thank you to Melinda Stephens, whose 5 Star review can be read here.
Daughter of Hope: The Siaris Quartet Book One is available as an ebook here.