Today, I'm one of the lucky bloggers participating in the cover reveal for Beth Wangler's amazing fantasy novel, Child of the Kaites. This is a captivating book with a richly-textured setting, and the cover definitely lives up to the standards set by the story. The book will be released on July 28th, but you can purchase the prequel story, The Lake of Living Water today for just $0.99!
Raiballeon once thought she would rescue her people from Izyphor, where they're trapped in brutal slavery, toiling under the relentless sun, forced to watch their infants die. Now, Rai's an exile, and she's abandoned her dreams of grandeur for a quiet life of recording the world's history.Reuniting with a childhood love and meeting an enigmatic stranger forces Rai to reexamine her calling. Can she rise up against her own fears, the most powerful nation in the world, and the evil spirits bent on annihilating any opposition? Is she destined to be a great warrior or an historian–or are those the same thing?
After slowly changing into dry clothes, I select some yellow thread. Yellow dye, the most difficult to make, is reserved for the most special occasions, such as weddings or births. Armed with thread and a crochet hook, I slip back into the parlor and settle into my rocking chair. Thankfully, I do not catch Tatanda’s attention. He hates it when his children or I disturb his conversation with guests.
I missed the first part of Saviayr’s interrogation but am in time to hear Tatanda ask, “What precisely is your task in the employ of the royals?”
I loop a crochet hook through the yellow thread. The first stitch is hard to make, not because of inexperience. I have crocheted long enough that even making lace will not encroach on my listening. The difficulty comes from what I am making: Maylani’s bridal shawl. I don’t want to do this, but there is no one else. Her mother is dead, so the task falls to me. Straightening my shoulders, I pull thread through the loop, completing the first stitch.
“I am a specialist for the royal Yrin,” Saviayr answers.
He works for an Izyphorn royal? How did the son of two slave laborers become attached to such a powerful man? How did it happen in just three years?
“Usually I provide him with historical information concerning Maraiah and the nations she has encountered. He considers me as a sort of personal historian.” Saviayr squirms slightly. “I also work as a mediator between him and the Maraian elders.”
Tatanda crosses his arms and leans back. “And how well are you compensated for your knowledge and skills?”
“Well enough to buy freedom for myself and my parents after two years of work,” Saviayr answers. “And I should be able to buy my sister’s freedom in a couple months.”
My pulse quickens at his casual reference to my sister. My parents adopted Yorchan after they had to give me to the river. When I returned on my tenth birthday, Yori was hesitant to trust me. That changed when she became ill and I fed her my portion of our meager rations. We were inseparable after that. Saviayr’s parents took both of us in when our parents died.
My throat tightens. I miss her.
“And what will you do with this money once that happens?”
None of us hear his answer. A breeze wafts through the open window. My lungs expand, and my eyes fly wide open. “A storm is coming,” I blurt out.
Everyone turns to stare at me. My adopted cousins are shocked at my outburst, but not Saviayr, Nihae, and Elesekk. They remember about the kaites. Elesekk hunches forward and frowns. “A battle?” he asks.
“What?” Tatanda’s voice cuts through the room. “What battle?”
I do not answer. It has been three years since I last felt this shift in the air, this charge in the breeze. My crocheting falls to the floor. My legs carry me over to the window as the room dims.
“What’s happening?” Mayli asks, voice rising in pitch.
A minute ago, the sky was cloudless with the heavy sun burning the red ground. Now, dark thunderheads roll toward each other. Lightning splits the sky. A boom echoes off the three hills of Ira. The flash of light reveals dark and light animalian shapes in the clouds, constantly shifting forms.
This is a battle of the kaites.
Follow this link and enter the password storm to read more. And don't forget to buy your copy of Child of the Kaites on July 28!