Every Friday on my author Facebook page I will be featuring a sneak peek from one of my books. Read it on my blog to get a longer version! This week’s excerpt is from Ancient Voices: Into the Depths, which was just released in November.
Morganne took Glak’s invitation as a positive sign. The nervous feeling in her stomach began to fade as she unwrapped the tome and laid it on the table. With growing excitement, she started to tell Glak what was written in it and showed him some of the illuminations. Reading the tome for the second time, in the presence of Minhaven’s greatest protector, was far less frightening than reading it in the empty tavern had been. She noticed more, allowing her eyes to linger on the beautifully detailed illuminations in the margins.
Morganne became so absorbed by the tome itself, she did not notice, as Elowyn did, that Glak was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. He fidgeted. His breaths came shorter, and his cheeks flushed. His eyes darted hungrily across each new page as Morganne revealed it. Perhaps it bothered him that he could not make sense of the written words himself, but Elowyn didn’t think so. She had been carefully observing him for weeks now as he interacted with the men at the granary, trying to figure out who he was beneath what she had come to realize was a carefully practiced exterior. For the first time ever, Elowyn sensed that Glak was afraid. This man who had faced countless horrors, and battles more brutal than Elowyn could ever imagine, was afraid of the tome laid out before him.
Glak seemed to be frantically searching the illuminations for something specific as Morganne carefully translated portions of the text for him. Elowyn could sense anger and frustration welling up within him, and she nudged Morganne to warn her. But Morganne was also lost within the tome’s gripping pages and Elowyn could not seem to draw her focus away from it.
When Morganne came to the page with the drawing of the Chest of Sorrows, Glak stared at it aghast as though he could hardly believe what he was seeing. He instinctively cowered from it, holding up his hands in a protective gesture as though he were a child, weakly attempting to fend off a blow from someone bigger and stronger than himself. But he quickly recovered his wits, slamming the book shut then shoving it away so forcefully that it teetered on the far edge of the table. The tome’s grip on them was finally broken. Morganne leaped up from her seat to grab the fragile book before it could fall to the floor. She turned toward Glak, waiting indignantly for an explanation. She received none.
“Remove it from my sight or I will cast it into the fire,” Glak said gruffly. With a bewildered look, Morganne wrapped the rejected tome back in its cloth.
“I brought you this book to warn you that the prophecy within it has already come to pass—destroying it changes nothing.”