Today we have a sneak peek from author Yvonne Hertzberger’s fantasy novel, Through Kestrel’s Eyes.
Seventeen years of peace are shattered when the lords of Gharn and Lieth are toppled by traitors, throwing the land into chaos.
Liannis, the goddess’ seer, her training interrupted by the death of her mentor, must help restore the Balance. Until then Earth’s power is weakened, bringing drought, and famine. Liannis battles self-doubt and the lure of forbidden romance as she faces tests and loss. But Earth sends a vain horse and a kestrel, both with mind-speak to assist her. Time is short. The people will starve if Liannis fails to help Earth heal.
And now, an excerpt from Through Kestrel’s Eyes…
I felt no pain now, not the weariness from my headlong flight, not the burning of the pain in my fingers, nor the bone deep chill in my limbs. The cold brought peace and the desire to sleep. If this was what Earth wished for me, I resigned myself. This sleep would be my last.
As if from far away I became aware of the sound of voices. Almost unconscious, I had not the strength to move and so could not indicate to them that I lived. Truth be told, I knew I hovered near death. Perhaps Earth had no further need of me and would allow me to sink back into her eternal embrace. Is that what I wanted, to be free from my duties to Earth, released from my gifts? I had not had a choice in receiving them.
Perhaps rescue would be no more than a wishful dream. But no, this was real. I had been found. The voices above me penetrated dimly through the foggy haze of my awareness.
“Ho, what is this?” I heard one mumble as he stumbled over my cocoon of branches, leaves and snow, and his boot uncovered a patch of my red cloak. With my seer’s sight I sensed him scrabble the remaining cover of snow, leaves and branches away with his hands.
“Farsh! Merrist! Over here!”
“Hey, watch out! That branch almost took my eye out,” one complained as he emerged out of the trees to stand behind the one who had discovered me.
“Not so loud!” cautioned the other as he joined his companions. “Do you want to be heard? Corrin will not thank you if we are taken.”
“What have you there? A woman? Is she dead? What is a woman doing in the snow here?”
My discoverer stopped trying to tug me out of my burrow, put me back down and checked. “She breathes, barely. Help me get her to the cabin, or she may yet die.”
“I do not know if that is a good idea. She will learn our location. Corrin will be furious! Best to let her stay where she is.”
“What? That is murder! Have you no honour, Farsh? Corrin may not be pleased but he would not expect us to let her die.” I could hear eagerness in my finder’s voice. “Merrist, run ahead and stoke up the fire. Put the blankets close to heat them. We need to warm her up if she is to live, though I fear it may be too late already.” He grunted with effort to lift my lax form from its cocoon. “Come on, Farsh, give me a hand!”
Farsh bent to help, grumbling half-heartedly, “I like this not, Larn.” Then, curiosity overcoming reluctance, he added, “How came she here, do you think?”
“Mayhap she will tell us when she wakes. Get ahead and put a kettle on. She will need hot tea when she does … if she does.”