Hello everyone! I hope you all are good and happy! Today I am here to share with you an excerpt of a very interesting book (with some intriguing characters!) thanks to Angry Robot Books, so let’s get right to it!
Title: The Last Blade Priest
Author: W.P. Wiles
Expected Publication Date: July 12th, 2022 (happy b-day, book!!!)
An absorbing and original epic fantasy with rich world-building and a wry take on genre conventions from a Betty Trask Award-winning author
Inar is Master Builder for the Kingdom of Mishig-Tenh. Life is hard after the Kingdom lost the war against the League of Free Cities. Doubly so since his father betrayed the King and paid the ultimate price. And now the King’s terrifying chancellor and torturer in chief has arrived and instructed Inar to go and work for the League. And to spy for him. And any builder knows you don’t put yourself between a rock and a hard place.
Far away Anton, Blade Priest for Craithe, the God Mountain, is about to be caught up in a vicious internal war that will tear his religion apart. Chosen from infancy to conduct human sacrifice, he is secretly relieved that the practice has been abruptly stopped. But an ancient enemy has returned, an occult conspiracy is unfolding, and he will struggle to keep his hands clean in a world engulfed by bloodshed.
In a series of constantly surprising twists and turns that take the reader through a vividly imagined and original world full of familiar tensions and surprising perspectives on old tropes, Inar and Anton find that others in their story may have more influence on their lives, on the future of the League and on their whole world than they, or the reader imagined.
File Under: Fantasy [ Nightmare Crows Scarred Altars Broken Stone Unlikely Elves ]
Stone was not alive, he knew. But it had moods, it had needs, it had desires. And it often wanted to kill him.
This morning, it was a corbel that had murder in mind. It resembled a heavy stone beam, almost as tall as a man but only a couple of hand-breadths wide. Laid across the top of the wall with many others like it, it would help support a platform from where defenders could drop heavy objects and unpleasant substances on assaulting soldiers. This morning, it was the heavy object that dropped, and Inar was playing the part of the unlucky soldier beneath.
The work team had been winching corbels to the top of the rebuilt wall since first light, and Inar’s heart had never stopped pounding. The equipment was inadequate and the men would rather throw away their lives than listen to a simple instruction. Twice, someone had nearly fallen from the wall; it was the Mountain’s work that they had not seen a dozen broken feet and two dozen smashed hands. What good is a mason whose hand is a bleeding bag of splinters? And men were so scarce.
Only half of these bastards could wield hammer and chisel with skill. But none of them, it appeared, could tie a straight knot. Long and heavy, the corbels needed to be lashed at both ends to avoid swinging dangerously on the rope or slipping from its grasp altogether. Halfway up the wall, one of the bindings on this corbel had slipped towards the middle of the stone, and it had begun to sag and swing. Inar ordered the man at the pulley-rope to raise his pace; he had to order Lott, standing atop the tower, to hold back, not to lean out into space to try to grab the swaying weight. Cursing had followed. The pulley creaked and groaned – a certain looseness had come into its actions over the course of the morning, and Inar now feared for its security.
Kneeling on the unfinished top of the wall thirty feet above Inar, Lott had managed to get his hand on one of the corbel’s bindings and was guiding it closer to the wall. The pulley block shuddered. Inar shouted at him, again, that he should leave it alone until it was above the top of the wall. As he did so, unthinking, he moved closer to the bottom of the wall, beneath the winch arm. And then he realised that, if the pulley really was weakening, the last thing Lott should do was let go – that would cause the corbel to swing out, away from the wall, greatly adding to the stress on the ropes and wooden wheels that were allowing it to temporarily defy gravity.
Lott let go.
Don’t you think this is an amazing incipit?? It really drew me in, and I immediately wanted to know more about Inar. (Little spoiler here: keep an eye on him and Lott, because they are quite the characters!!!).
And if you are curious and want to know more about the book, you just have to follow the online tour, easy peasy! (Or even easier, you can go and read the book!).
And what do you think of this incipit? And have you read this book?? Let me know!!