Print Book Appreciation Month continues with this 15% off coupon for New Religion: Rys Rising Book III paperback plus an excerpt. Buy the 446 page 6x9 inch trade paperback at Createspace and use coupon code EHJ77M8M to take 15 percent off the list price.
(Also available as an ebook for $4.95)
I've selected this scene to share from New Religion: Rys Rising Book II because it illustrates how I chose to show most of the holy war that takes place in this fantasy novel. The scene opens with Loxane who is the woman on the book cover (and this blog's header because she's so good looking). She is the Shamaness of the Kelsur Tribe and now the High Priestess of Onja, the powerful rys that is in the process of convincing humanity she is their Goddess. Throughout the saga Loxane is a character kept at arm's length. Her mystique never fully allowed me to get to know her, yet she is an important player throughout the epic. She is primitive, powerful, and lives beyond the normal restrictions of human societies.
After her appearance, the rest of the scene focuses on Khage, a boy soldier abducted from his village and forced to serve Onja's swelling army. He's about to participate in the assault of a major fortified city.
Excerpt from New Religion: Rys Rising Book III by Tracy Falbe
Loxane raised her sickle and the wind billowed in her cape as she rode along the front of the massing army. Khage was in the front row and watched breathlessly as she came closer. Men and boys cheered her wildly, and Khage added his voice when she flowed past him. She was a vision of female beauty wrapped in male aggression. The dichotomy ignited Khage’s courage because he could follow her example of bravery while still hoping to impress her.
After Loxane moved on, Khage looked at Telop. Dawn was breaking over the city, silhouetting its walls and towers that cast long shadows toward the army about to assault it. Along the walls Nurati warriors yelled insults at the invaders. Priests held two sacrificed lambs over the walls and the bright red blood spilled down. The ritual sacrifice encouraged the city defenders and they yelled even louder and banged their weapons on the walls, but the attackers were not intimidated. Attempts to appease old and failed Gods were futile, and every fighter in the service of Onja believed in her supremacy.
Khage rested his hand on his battle axe. He had no doubt that he was going to be among the first to show his faith to the Goddess. Late last night, rysmavda had moved through the camps promising eternal paradise to those who fell fighting for Onja. The Goddess would escort the souls of her fighters to a new world of plenty, but Khage was more interested in earning the rewards she would give the living.
The army had been buzzing with the news that Onja’s power was going to be unleashed in this battle. Khage had heard the stories about what had been done at Dengar Nor and Chadenedra. He could not imagine how to prepare himself to witness such wonders.
Behind Khage the siege towers were advancing. They creaked at a slow crawl as multiple teams of horses or oxen hauled them forward. Ranks of infantry parted for the dozen towers and men reformed their lines to follow them.
Crews also ran forward with many ladders. The scene fascinated Khage. His view of previous battles had always been myopic. He had simply run with his fellows into a village and started killing. But out here on the open ground before the large city, he saw the assembled faithful and watched them move with careful orchestration.
He eventually had to move aside as one of the siege towers rumbled close. His heart hammered as it went by him. Horns blared, signaling orders among those much more important than himself.
All manner of wood and metal scraps had been hastily patched together to form the walls of the rolling tower. Khage thought they looked like they would offer good protection from the furious Nurati. But then he watched Temulanka warriors line up behind the towers and realized that they would get to use them. With less enthusiasm Khage assumed he would have to make do with one of the spindly ladders.
Kezanada on horses moved in front of the boy soldiers. Khage recognized the usual men who directed them in battle. They addressed their young fighters and Khage listened to the man closest to him.
“Children of Onja, you were born for this great day. Today you will become heroes to your people. They will sing your names and praise how you spread the word of your Goddess to stupid unbelievers. Now is the time to show your faith like never before. If Onja is impressed with your bravery, she will give us this city. Then you can fill your bellies and take treasure to make your families rich!”
Many boys cheered, Khage included. He could believe that this walled city with its royal palace, schools, temples, and theaters had many riches that the villages had lacked.
The Kezanada continued, “And you will be granted another great reward for fighting today. One you have never been allowed before. When the Goddess grants our victory, you may celebrate with battle wives!”
Excitement shook the boys’ juvenile bodies. While rampaging through the villages, the Kezanada, Kelsurs, and Temulanka had always taken the women for themselves. Sometimes they let the boys watch, but they had always told the boys they did not deserve women until they were real warriors.
The Kezanada continued, “This is a real city and if you take it then you will be real warriors. Find yourself a woman and do what you’ve always wanted to do. These Nurati women need men who serve the Goddess. Teach them well.” The Kezanada concluded with a laugh as he surveyed the gaping mouths and wide eyes of the boy soldiers.
Lust engulfed the fear inside Khage. He wanted a battle wife. He wanted one more than he had even realized until that moment. His whole life women were something that he was not even allowed to see. Now he could see them, and, if he could just get over those walls, then he could touch them.
“Onja is great!” he shouted and the other boys quickly took up the call.
New Religion: Rys Rising Book III by Tracy Falbe
Buy the 446 page 6x9 inch trade paperback at Createspace and use coupon code EHJ77M8M to take 15 percent off the list price.
(Also available as an ebook for $4.95)
January is Print Book Appreciation Month. Follow Her Ladyship's Quest to get all the paperback coupons and excerpts offered this month.