Just a teaser from Book Three of the Woodmyst Chronicles
Slinking as low to the ground as she could, keeping as quiet as was ever possible, she moved rapidly, stealthily through the undergrowth in an attempt to avoid the enemy. Her thick white robe was starting to weigh heavy from the moisture collected from the snow as she passed beneath a low limb or through a thick brush.
Turning, she saw her lair, her provisional home, billowing smoke through its roof. All of her supplies were there. The materials she needed to create her warriors were burning away to ash.
Hastily, she made her way towards the coast, hugging the ground where the mountain met the forest floor. The steep incline to the left was a guide towards the sea. Her only chance, her only option, was to clamber over the outstretched arm of the mountain that bordered these lands from the realm where the Sovereign dwelt.
As she breached the tree line, she saw a fire burning in the distance to her right. Two men sat by the flickering light, staring into the hearth as they talked.
They were too far away for her to hear their words.
She felt too weak to try to manipulate them, to destroy them.
Besides, she had what she needed.
Ivo had given her that.
Staying as close as she could to the steep rocky face of the elevation, adorned with snow, she moved silently towards the east. Leaving the men by the fire behind her, she noticed something else to her right.
A camp site.
Several tents had been erected, forming a circle around a smouldering hearth. Grouped together in a tight mob were a number of horses.
She paused to consider whether to venture over and slay the beasts. It would slow the travellers’ pursuit and give her the advantage again. Pulling her dagger from her belt, twisting it in her grasp, she wrestled with the idea.
No, she thought. She returned her energy to fleeing.
The northern lands are full of strange creatures. If the weather doesn’t slow them, the inhabitants will.
She moved to a place where the land almost met the sea. Large waves crashed against the jagged rocks at the end of the point, sending a fine spray into the air and over her face.
The wind was stronger here, colder.
She wrapped her cloak around her tightly as she scrambled over the rocks. They were slippery in places and her hand needed to leave the warmth of her clothing to steady her climbing.
It took some time, more time than she had planned for. Arduous climbing and careful navigation was needed to reach the far side of the rocky protrusion.
Upon reaching the level ground on the other side of the rocky mound, she fixed her coverings before moving onwards. Her footfalls were clearly marking the snow behind her, but her concern was elsewhere.
With her eyes darting to the left and scanning the forest at the foot of the range, she kept watch for movement. She moved her hood to listen for sounds, training her hearing to focus past the whistling wind.
A glance towards the sky revealed the clouds parting ways to expose the bright stars that dotted the expanse like countless fires in the far distance. The moon sent a silver glow across the open ground blanketed in white.
She blended in, camouflaged to her environment.
Her clothing and her surroundings matched well and apart from her footprints, she was difficult to see at a distance. She believed she would be safe from her enemy.
The creatures of these lands, however, were another problem altogether.
They hunted by scent, not sight.
One on its own would be easy for her to handle. She would have power over it.
But, they hunted in packs and were extremely territorial.
People from these lands only ever travelled in large, well-armed groups, in case they happened upon such creatures. Usually large numbers and loud noise was enough to deter an attack. However, there was no guarantee that this was always the case. During winter, when game was low and hunger was rife, the creatures became more daring.
Her eyes scanned the dark shadows beneath the trees. She willed herself to move faster, keeping close to the shore.
Her journey, she gauged, would be at least two days.
Two days of watching the west, fleeing the south and moving to the north.
She gave thought to the horses back in the camp on the other side of the encroaching mountain behind her. Her first thought was to destroy them to slow her enemy down, but she didn’t consider taking one for herself.
Not until now.
It was too late to turn back.
They are probably gathering now, she thought. They may be on their way to find me.
She returned her thoughts to the path ahead.
If she could get to the river by the end of the next day, she would have made substantial ground.
Get to the river and you’re halfway home.
Raising her hands to her mouth, she breathed upon them in an attempt to heat her fingers a little before returning them beneath her cloak and wrapping her arms around herself tightly.
She walked on, briskly, swiftly across the snow.
Get to the river.
The Heir of Woodmyst is a book that makes your heart beat faster. Kreig’s unique voice rings out very clearly through each page of this beautiful story. The prose is delightfully beautiful, with vivid descriptions that transport readers into strange places. The book is fast-paced, with sub-plots that bring in the element of suspense, which is biting. The characters are drawn from a world that readers may find a bit strange, but can still identify with. Kreig has that uncanny ability to combine fantasy with reality to create a story and a world that readers can easily step inside and enjoy.