Victory Cry Excerpt

In moments like this, Erven always felt like he stood at the top of the world.

A short detour on his patrol had turned into a longer one, and now he sat with his back to the rocks, overlooking a valley that lay before him in autumn hues of gold, rust, and evergreen. The stream wound between granite boulders at the feet of the valley, its waters turned amber with tannin leached from falling leaves. Distant peaks reared to touch the sky above the tree-covered slopes, some with patches of snow already decorating their jagged edges.

The breeze freshened, tugging the ends of his hair and sending a shower of golden aspen leaves tumbling around his head. Far above, a hawk caught the last thermals of the day on uptilted wings, soaring high before plummeting with a keen hunting cry. Erven leaned his cheek into the hand propped on his knee and followed the bird’s flight with his eyes. A last ray of sunlight caught against its feathers and drew his attention towards the west, where the sun was already slanting down into the embrace of the peaks.

He sighed and bent to pick up his sword from where it’d been lying at his feet. Between new responsibilities and ever-changing schedules, the opportunities for taking solo patrols had been almost nonexistent over the two and a half months since their victory. Today, finally, he’d departed the main Shona base early to take a few quiet moments on the way back to Westhaven. Settling the sword belt over his shoulder with practiced hands, he paused for one last look over the valley. The distant peaks tugged at his heart for a long moment before the hawk’s screech called his attention to the present—and the duty that called him home.

Get the rest of the story on the ‘Books and Where to Find Them’ page!

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