Novel Excerpt: The Mirror of Life

I’m thrilled to announce that the official title of book two in The Word and the Sword series is The Mirror of Life, and will pick up a week or two after the events of The Book of Secrets. It will be fairly different from book one in that the principle plot does not take place at the Paideia, though we will be with a number of familiar characters. We’ll also be introduced to some new characters, and the story will further unfold a number of things hinted at in The Book of Secrets.

You can stay up-to-date by checking in on the blog over the next few months as we gear up into the release (I’m aiming at August). I’ll be sharing the description and periodic excerpts for reading, as well as the cover later on.

And now, a short bit from The Mirror of Life:

“My apologies,” said the amused voice of Methuseld from behind him. “I did not intend to startle you.”

Relief washed through Finian, and he slumped back against the wall, clutching at his chest. As he watched, Methuseld’s lined face emerged from the shadows beyond the light, and he realized the source of the glow was the old mage’s staff, which shone brightly. In the silver light cast the staff, Methuseld’s belt-length beard seemed far less gray, and almost a brilliant, gleaming white.

“What are you doing down here?” Finian asked, as his racing heart began to slow.

“Looking for you. I saw you head for the lower levels from the entrance hall. And I must now ask you the same thing. What are you doing down here?”

Finian sighed, looking wistfully at the sealed passageway, and then back to Methuseld. “I wish there was another daemon to fight,” he said simply.

“To acquire yet more glory for yourself?” Methuseld asked quietly.

“No,” Finian said firmly, feeling a little insulted at Methuseld’s assumption. Didn’t the old mage know him better than that?

“Forgive me,” Methuseld said, with an apologetic smile. “I needed to be sure.”

“Not for more glory,” Finian said, shaking his head. “I wish there was another daemon to fight because you know where you stand with a daemon. The sides are clear. They want to kill you and you need to kill them. It’s simple.”

To Finian’s surprise, Methuseld’s warm eyes crinkled up, his mouth curled beneath his beard, and he began to chuckle.

“I do understand,” he said, still smiling. “More than you know.”

“I cannot see the path ahead,” Finian said softly, shaking his head.

“That,” said Methuseld, “is because you need more light.”

The glowing orb at the top of his staff grew suddenly brighter, and the shadows of the dark cell melted away and were gone.

Finian smiled wryly. “I didn’t mean the path back to the Great Hall.”

“I know,” Methuseld said, his eyes shining.


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