To give you all a taste of what’s coming, here’s the prologue for Soul of Light: Book 4 of The Hidden Wizard. I hope you enjoy it.
(PS there may be a few typos, this isn’t the final product)
SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED BOOK 3
Alyx was lost in a haze of grey and black mist. Her diminishing eyesight had gone to an extreme she never thought possible. She felt her body moving and doing things, but she had no idea how it was happening.
There were flashes of images. She saw the missing Tracker. Alive then dead. She felt somehow involved in that, but it was such a strange and distant memory. Like it was in a previous life. Or something not yet done.
What’s happening to me? she thought. The more she tried to wrestle some sort of control back, the more pain she felt and the more she drifted away. Something terrible had happened, but she wasn’t sure what it was.
Suddenly she felt drawn to something. The landscape started to clear up, and she recognised the terrain. She had somehow travelled a long way from the scene of the battle. The last thing she remembered properly.
There was a figure standing before her. She had trouble making out any features. But she could tell from the silhouette that he was armed. A sword and shield, and possibly armour as well.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?” the figure said. It sounded like a man. But it was not a normal voice. There was something wrong with it. Alyx tried to speak, but nothing happened. Just silence.
“Perhaps that was cruel of me, pausing. I know you can’t respond. In fact, the only reason you can even hear my words is because I am allowing it. So, I guess that does make me cruel. Not that it would be a surprise to anyone.” The man paused again. Alyx wanted to scream something, but she couldn’t move or do anything else. She was just aware of him and his voice.
“You’re not who I came for. It was that meddlesome wizard. He had outlived his usefulness, but I’m not one to let that stop me. I would have enjoyed turning him to some lesser purpose. But you, you’re a better prize.” The man walked closer and reached out. Alyx had to assume he was touching her head, but she felt nothing.
“We have never met, so I should introduce myself. My name is Darvin. I go by other names, but that will do for now. I’ve been so preoccupied that I never thought to look for you. And had you not been infected, I probably wouldn’t have found you. But that fool Wraith did one good thing for me in the end. Yes, this is too perfect.” The man stepped back and looked her over.
“When you killed my brother, it was a dagger through my heart. That’s how I felt it. The sharp, sudden loss. The unexpected nature of it is what hurt me so badly. I thought he was invincible, undefeatable. But he made a crucial error. He underestimated you. I won’t make that same mistake.”
Alyx, even in her haze, had started to piece things together. No doubt her mental faculties were available to her on his whim, which made it all the worse. But she knew who he was now. And it scared her.
“I felt that. The tremor of fear. Good, you know me. You should be afraid.” Darvin started pacing around.
“I’ve had this feeling within me for some time now, and I didn’t know what it was. It was a burning desire for revenge, to hurt you for what you did to us. But I hadn’t identified it and acknowledged it. But now it’s all rushing out. And I have the answer. I know what will fill the void I’ve been feeling.” Darvin stopped right on front of her. She had trouble making out his features. But she couldn’t miss the wicked smile.
“You are a Shade now, which is nice, but not enough. I won’t underestimate you. You have a strong will, and maybe you would find a way out. No, I’ve got something special in store for you. I can bring you into the fold. I can transform you into one of us, and you can sit at our table.” Darvin paused, watching her. Alyx had no idea what he was getting at, but it sounded bad.
“If only you could respond. Oh well, in time. But I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. To right the wrongs that you did to us, you can serve us. You can fill the gaping hole in our number. You will become the Skull Queen and serve in place of the one you so cruelly stole from us.” Darvin clapped his hands, the excitement so obvious.
Alyx understood the words and felt complete and utter horror.
“Noooooo!” she screamed. Some part of it must have gotten through, because Darvin took a step back.
“Interesting. I didn’t expect that. Never mind, come with me. We have a lot of preparations to make.” Darvin turned and left, and Alyx felt herself moving with him.
I can’t let this happen, she thought, steeling her resolve. But the fog was coming back, and she was soon lost within it.
Want to read more? Soul of Light will be out soon. To be the first to find out, please join my mailing list.
I’ll be back soon to confirm the release date.