As you may or may not know, Light and Dark, the fifth instalment in my Ambeth series, will be coming out soon.
If you subscribe to my newsletter (and if you don’t, maybe check it out – it’s mostly dog photos, kindness, exclusive first-look book news and the occasional giveaway), you’ll have already read the following excerpt (as that’s what my subscribers get – sneak peeks before anyone else 🙂 )
And if you haven’t read it yet, well, please enjoy…
‘Nice necklace, pretty boy.’
Deryck turned, frowning. He was near to the pillars that ran down the side of the Great Hall, the alcoves filled with people laughing and drinking. Something landed with a thud at his feet. He looked down to see a gauntlet of dark chain mail, jewelled with deep red stones. His frown deepened. He bent and picked it up, taking it to a nearby table and dropping it among the glasses and half-empty plates.
‘I think you dropped this?’ He kept his face deliberately tight; no smile, no fear, nothing to betray him. He had no desire to become prey.
‘Maybe I did, maybe it just fell.’ Simeon. Leader of the Dark Hunt. He sat, one arm along the back of the padded seat, his long dark hair around his face, half sneering, half smiling. His armour was jewelled and silvery black, like the gauntlet. ‘And I asked you about your necklace.’
‘What about it?’ All at once Deryck didn’t care what they did to him. Besides, they knew who he was. He might be younger than they were, but his father would destroy them all if they harmed him. His sister had ridden with them, once, although the circumstances had been different. He tried not to think about that day, about Alma, a bright figure against dark green, running across the fields. Yes. Kill him, hunt him, whatever. He didn’t care anymore.
Simeon laughed. ‘You just don’t see many of them, that’s all.’ When he smiled his face lit up, became friendly. ‘So tell me, son of Denoris, do you ride? Do you hunt? Will you follow the moon with us?’
Deryck’s breath caught, his heart pounding, even against the stupor of his stone. These were the ritual words. They were asking him to join the Hunt. Once he was in there would be no turning back. The Hunt rode for the Dark if required, doling out punishment, as they’d tried to do that terrible day at the tournament. The rest of the time they rode for their own pleasure, dangerous and wild, flashing across the hills in pursuit of those unfortunate enough to be marked as prey. He still for the life of him had no idea how Alma had escaped them. He was glad she had. But to join them? Membership was for life, however long that might be. He raised an eyebrow.
Simeon laughed, as did the others at the table, all of them, men and women, similarly garbed in dark silver and red jewels, like smoke and blood. One of the young women, her dark hair in two long braids, leaned forward, her cleavage pressing against the deep V-neck of her top. ‘Maybe we like pretty golden boys,’ she said, her voice husky. Deryck swallowed.
‘Or maybe that’s just you, Floria.’ Simeon shot her a glance and she sat back, pouting. He returned his focus to Deryck. ‘I hear you’re a good rider, and we know you’re a vicious fighter. So, if you’re interested, come ride with us. No commitment necessary. Yet.’ He drew out the last word. ‘What do you say? Shall we take you and your magic stone on a journey?’
Light and Dark – Volume Five of The Ambeth Chronicles
‘So you are… the Child of Darkness?’
‘It looks that way,’ he said, ‘and, as you are the Child of Light, it kind of makes sense that we do this together.’
Returning to Ambeth was always going to be difficult. Alma had brought them the Sword, and the Cup, but at what cost? There had been so much death, so much sorrow. But there was also love, her ties to Ambeth running deeper than she could have ever imagined. And now the skies were showing a dark star, his path coming to intercept hers as they moved towards the Crown.
The board is set, the pieces in play, as the final game between Light and Dark begins.
But who will prevail?
COVER REVEAL AND LAUNCH DETAILS COMING SOON – WATCH THIS SPACE (OR SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER )
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