Welcome to my top on the Caged Queen blog tour! The highly anticipated sequel to The Last Namsara is coming out in the UK on 27 September. Can’t wait that long? I don’t blame you. I’m so thrilled to share an extract of this fast-paced political fantasy novel here on the blog!
The Skyweaver’s Knife
Once there lived a man named Sunder who loved everything about his life. He rose every day with the dawn and walked out into his fields. He marveled at the rain that nourished his crops and the sun that made them grow. He cherished the strength of his own two hands—hands that planted and threshed and built his house. Hands that rocked his child to sleep.
He loved his life so much that when Death came for him, Sunder hid.
Death searched Sunder’s house and did not find him.
Death called out over his fields, but Sunder did not come.
So, giving up, Death took someone else instead.
When Sunder came out of his hiding place, he smiled at his own cleverness. He strode down the dirt roads toward home, whistling happily. But as he approached the door of his house, a sound made him pause.
Someone was wailing.
Sunder opened the door and found his wife kneeling on the kitchen floor, clutching their child to her breast. When Sunder fell to his knees beside her, he found his small daughter’s eyes lifeless. Her body cold.
Sunder cursed his cleverness. He wept and gnashed his teeth.
After that day, Sunder no longer rose with the dawn. No longer marveled at the rain or the sun. And when he looked around the house he built, he saw only what he’d lost.
He begged Death to give his daughter back. But Death could do no such thing. Her soul was with the Skyweaver.
So Sunder set out to make it right.
He found the goddess of souls at her loom. Skyweaver’s warp was fashioned from the dreams of the living, her weft from the memories of the dead. At the sound of Sunder’s intrusion, her shuttle stopped. She put down her threads.
Sunder fell at her feet and he begged.
“There is a price for what you’re asking,” she said.
“Whatever it is, I’ll pay it.”
Skyweaver rose from her loom. “It’s your soul that is owed. Your death that was cheated.”
Sunder closed his eyes, thinking of the rain that nourished his crops and the sun that made them grow and the strength of his own two hands.
“I can give back your daughter’s soul. I can restore her life.” Skyweaver picked up her weaving knife. “But only you can pay the price.”
On his knees, Sunder looked up at the faceless god and said, “Take it, then.”
So Skyweaver lifted her knife . . .
and cut his soul loose from its mooring.
About The Caged Queen
Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. When they were angry, mirrors shattered, and when they were happy, flowers bloomed. It was a magic they cherished – until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.
Dax – the heir to Firgaard’s throne – was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered. Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen.
Together with Dax and his sister, Asha, Roa and her people waged war and deposed a tyrant. But now Asha is on the run, hiding from the price on her head. And Roa is an outlander queen, far from home and married to her enemy. Worst of all: Dax’s promises go unfulfilled. Roa’s people continue to suffer.
Then a chance to right every wrong arises – an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa can reclaim her sister for good.
All she has to do is kill the king.
I hope you enjoyed this taste of The Caged Queen! Don’t forget to check out the other stops on this blog tour. You’ll be able to pick up your copy of the book on 27 September in the UK!
Have you read The Caged Queen yet? What did you think? Have you read The Last Namsara? Let me know!