The House of Chalice
By T.T. Escurel
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Vartan is lost. His fiancé has just run off with his mortal enemy and now his mother, the Queen of the House of Rose, has disappeared. Venturing into a land with no magic, no army and no fiancé, will he be able to survive?
Lia is in trouble. Clashpeak has a new king who requires a bride, one who has eyes for the young baker’s daughter. During a violent coup, Lia seizes her chance to escape. With every soldier in the kingdom looking for her, nowhere is safe.
An ancient curse lingers in the air, still working its magic. Madness has seized the blood of the royals of the House of Chalice. A battle for power, the likes of nothing Auronia has ever seen, is about to begin…
Enjoy an excerpt:
Cries of alarm race through the camp as the order to fight goes out. Serena approaches, leading her snow-white mare. She is decked out in leather battle gear with a white fur mantle. A silver dagger hangs from one hip with a swirling purple jewel in the hilt. On the other hip, a rapier.
“You aren’t seriously considering riding to war, Serena,” I growl.
“You couldn’t stop me if you wanted to, Vartan,” she counters, mounting up. “This is my army. I will ride with my men.”
“This is no army, as you stated earlier. These are simple farmers going up against trained soldiers. Without magic, there is little chance we will survive this,” I say, stepping up on my horse.
“My love,” she says, moving her mare to stand beside me, “That is precisely why I must ride with you.” She runs her hand down the fur at her shoulders. “When you ride with me, magic rides with you.”
I frown. “I don’t understand.”
“Feel,” she says, grabbing my hand and running it down the soft fur. I feel a buzz, but I am not really sure if it is from the fur or from the girl. “It is the pelt of an ancient fox, laced with magic older and more powerful than even that of the fairies.”
“Where did you find it?” I ask.
“I killed the fox,” she says, urging her horse forward.
About the Author:
Science Fiction/Fantasy writer in Southern California where the sun shines, the waves roll in and the roads become a backdrop for an apocalypse movie every time the word "precipitation" is mentioned.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a sailboat. That did something odd to my imagination, I think. There is a certain type of surreal serenity that comes with living aboard a boat. That undercurrent seems to run through all my books, even though most of my characters have far more conventional backgrounds. Growing up on a boat helped teach me a stable world evolves not from your environment as much as from your perspective. My books are full of strange worlds and even stranger people, but all my main characters seem to have that grip on reality despite being dropped in the heart of chaos.
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