One more for good measure

If you’ve kept tabs around here while I’ve posted excerpts from my upcoming book Echoes of Light, you’ve seen three snippets that center around very different subject matter from one another. The first was an action sequence; a duel between the main character, Alamor, and a winged monster. The second was a showcase of the story’s villain, namely his overwhelming power and evil. The third was a look into the life and culture of the one of the unique races I created which populate the world that the story takes place in.

This will be the last excerpt that I post, as the book’s release is just about here. I can’t set a date in stone at this moment, as there will surely be a waiting period between when I submit it to Amazon and when it’s actually on sale for the public, but we’re looking at sometime in the first week or so of July.

This excerpt handles a new subject, arguably the highlight of the three-book trilogy – the relationship between the main character, Alamor, and his good friend, Princess Raissa Hokara. Friendship, and especially, the appreciation of it, is arguably the most pivotal theme throughout the story, and I think that you’ll get a sense of it from this excerpt.

Tiroku paused, as if to let his advice sink in before speaking again. “Do you have any concerns about all of this, Alamor?”

Alamor shook his head. “No, I’ll just be sure I’m ready for tomorrow.”

“Be sure that you are ready for long beyond that,” Tiroku advised sternly.  

Alamor nodded wordlessly. Tiroku then stood from his seat. Rawner, Dayneth and Joth all did the same. “There are several other preparations we must see to before the day’s end,” Tiroku said. “We will all be somewhere around Geldiar, so if you need anything from us, do not hesitate to ask.”

Tiroku stared at Alamor for a moment, as if offering the young one final opportunity to question anything about their mission. Alamor simply nodded once more. Tiroku and the others stepped away from where the group sat together, each going off to their own business.

Alamor remained in his seat, his eyes staring blankly ahead of him and his mind wandering. In truth, he still had many questions for Tiroku, but he did not want to ask them with everyone else around, and he did not want to appear afraid of their task before them. It was so much for him to consume at once: all of what Tiroku told him about Baldaron’s magic, the Radiant Gems, and especially the realization that, in less than a day’s time, he would embark on a journey across the continent that would determine the fate of Tordale itself.

It was too much for him to consume at once, Alamor decided. He needed something to clear his head, and he immediately decided on a place he could go to for that to happen. He stood and looked over to Raissa, the only one of the others who had stayed behind with him. “I’ll be back in a little bit; there’s something I have to take care of, and I’d like to do it now while I have the chance,” he told her.

She stood up as soon as he finished. “Can I come with you?”

“Sure, just follow me.”

“Where are you going?”

“You’ll see when we get there.”

Alamor led them out of the academy and over the front lawn. They went down the white steps that ran along the bluffs, veering off onto a path that ran beneath the ridges and away from the rest of the town. He was glad to have Raissa with him even though where he was headed may not have been the ideal spot to sit and enjoy time with a friend, but having said very little to her in two days now, he appreciated her company, especially because they may not have many private instances like this once they started on their quest for the Radiant Gems.

The path eventually led them to Geldiar’s graveyard. It was a fairly spacious lawn that was partially encircled by the town’s tall stone walls on one side, and then surrounded by the bluffs on the other. Raissa immediately showed a confused expression as they calmly and reverently strode through the maze of gravestones, eventually coming to a large, particularly well-polished one toward the center.

It did not seem to take Raissa very long to recognize the names “Marania” and “Bathon” upon it. “Oh…if you want to be alone, Alamor, I’ll leave,” she said, seemingly thinking that she did not belong in the presence of his parents’ grave while Alamor was there.

Alamor looked back at her with a warm smile before she could even take two steps. “No, it’s fine,” he said.

“Why didn’t you say that this was where you were going?” Raissa asked.

“Because you would have tried to walk away before like you are now,” Alamor answered with a smirk.

Alamor never saw it, but Raissa was unable to withhold a smile as he turned and knelt before the gravestone. It wasn’t long before she joined him by his side.

They knelt together, staring at the gravestone’s smooth, glistening surface and the names etched into it.

“I really wish that they could have met you,” Alamor eventually said, still smiling despite the heavy subject he spoke about. “I told them so many stories about us. They loved to hear about you, and they were so happy that I had you as a friend.” He turned and looked at Raissa, a proud glow coming over his face. “I like to think that they’re watching over you just as they are for me.”

Raissa’s eyes showed how appreciative and how honored she was to hear him say that. She reached out and took Alamor by the hand, who promptly returned the loving clasp.

They looked to the gravestone once again. 

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