Arellia and Alasdair ran towards the screams. She wasn’t sure what her heart sped up for, the nightmare of what she might find? Or the run…?
When they reached the spot the girl was in the air, thrashing at the shadow. Her screams ripping from her throat were pure terror. The beautiful girls features widened, and her eyes rolled back so only the whites can be seen.
“Wait! Stop!”, Arellia cried to the shadow. It had protected her, maybe it would listen as well. She heard Alasdair curse and jump for a tree. As he ascended Arellia continued to speak to it. The shadow began to slowly eat away at the girls flesh around her toes, fingers, and hair. “Please! Release her!”, Arellia tried again but the shadow wasn’t changing. “She’s not dangerous!”, Arellia screeched. Alasdair at that moment dived from one of the trees close by and snatched the girl from the shadows binds. It gave a high-pitched scream in protest. Sparks prickled the air around it where the girl had been.
Alasdair landed hard against the floor, the girl cradled and bleeding above him. Before he could recover from the jump the shadow swirled and darted towards him. Arellia did the only thing she could think of next. She blocked the shadow from its target. It paused an inch away from her. “Stop, they mean you no harm”, Arellia murmured. She prayed that she sounded calmer than her heart was feeling. Sweat ran cold down her back. It took a large portion of concentration not to shiver. The shadow hissed, brushed against Arellia’s cheek. The cold sliced through her flesh before the shadow backed away. Fading into the darkness.
Asheal Rising by Shona Kinsella
* Opinion *
I bought this book as a passing fancy. I had just received a gift card from a group of amazing friends for Waterstones. I saw this on their online store and thought it sounded interesting I’ll add it to my list.
I wasn’t disappointed.
It was very interesting and there was never a moment that something wasn’t happening. It is a fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and adventure story. With magic on other planets, alien invaders come to suck the life out of the planet. Think pocahontas Disney but there isn’t going to be peace at the end of this.
And as the title suggests it is about Asheal (One of the main point of views of the story) rising into her power to save her world from an evil called Zanthar.
The book doesn’t finish the story, there is definitely another book coming. It was written well and every action was clear even when there was a scene with multiple people in it.
My only critiques, and it’s just me being picky if I’m honest. But names, the use of names in the dialogue seemed a little excessive. Also given the fact that people, on average, are generally bad with names. That would be my only negative point.
However, on a whole I enjoyed the story so far. The author was clearly unafraid to maim the characters (spoiler alert) especially since the main character lost an eye. There was no graphic content, but some subjects visited are for an age range of teens at the very youngest.
I would rate this as 4 out of 5 stars.
“You refused a guard from the group that I had hand selected for you, and then you end up out here…”, Charles had never sounded so cold. Then again, Arellia had never stepped out of line before. She was the Queen however.
“Release him now”, before giving him a chance to reply she drew her stone and held it to his throat. “Or I will find a new Chamberlain”. Charles gritted his teeth, he needed her more than she needed him. He nodded to his guards. “Now, take me back, I wish to call a meeting”, she relaxed her stone hand. Charles took one glance at it and groaned.
“Damn it your majesty, I’m just trying to help you”, he complained. Arellia rolled her eyes at him. She took a second to glance at Alasdair, who was now free, she had expected him to run. But he remained. “We apprehended the criminals who attacked you, and the man they had bribed, they are set to be punished upon your return”.
It was a relief but she had a creeping feeling that they should be moving. That shadow may come for them… It had disappeared after it had guided her back to the wall.
“How did you track me?”, she asked as the started their trek back.
“You left the trail”, Charles pointed at the trees she had marked. Just as she was about to say more. A scream ripped their attention in the direction that the girl had gone.
This one is not going to have an image today.
The first step in all mistakes.
Forgiveness sometimes follows.
Confession is sometimes the only step.
And that’s not good enough.
It can turn into easy habit.
To appease wounded audience.
Confusion strikes if not accepted.
More is needed.
The first step in all mistakes.
Repent is to earn true relief.
The weights of the burden lifts away.
History may haunt with side secret glances.
Offended victim may never recover.
If admission is the only goal.
(Image was found on Google – not mine)
Like an interrogator in a war camp the mind stands as your accuser. Questioning all things done the false answers it had already won.
But it likes the game not the plea.
Feel the choke in the chest. Squeeze the heart. Show the weakness in the blood.
Torture the body don’t leave a mark. Secret agony riddles with no doubts.
Suffer alone with a favourite saying not because it feels right but because no other words come to mind.
Even when fault has no place to lie. The words fall out.
Even when the fake sentiment has ran out. The words fall out.
Circle back repeating nightmares. The words fall out.
Arellia hesitated, why would he help her? They clearly had no love for the royalty.
“Why won’t you just leave me?”, she asked first. The branch in her back was swiftly removed now that she wasn’t exactly hiding.
“Now you sound like the others”, his reply sounded almost amused. He still didn’t turn to face her, if someone was watching they probably thought he’d gone insane. “Just come with me, I’ll take you back to the wall and we can find a way back in”, he added.
“If you have been here for years I’m going to assume there isn’t one or you’d have found it”, Arellia heard the snot tone, and she regretted it instantly. “I’m sorry”, she murmured.
“What for?”, he asked.
“My tone was rude and unhelpful”, Arellia sighed, then cambered out from her hiding space. A couple of the branches snatched at her. Creating small cuts that would probably nip worse than any serious injury.
Just as he turned to face her. A stick snapped in the distance and royal guards burst into their space. They grappled and bound Alasdair to his knees while shielding Arellia. “What are you doing!? Fools he was helping me, release him at once!”, Arellia shouted.
“I’m afraid not my Queen”, Charles stepped out of the shadows.
I stopped exploring this story for a little while as I ended up becoming really busy. Life just decided to pile on the crap so I stopped a lot of things. So, I’m back exploring the idea of writing a story on the spot when I’m waiting for something, or if I’m travelling. I don’t know where this story will go, until the post is written.
She walked until she found the wall that surrounded her home. From here she headed back towards the trees. Using a stone she had found she scored a mark against the bark of the first tree to her reach. The deeper she walked the more trees she marked.
The sun was setting yet she knew she no longer had any fear for the shadow crawling within the forests darkness. Arellia searched for signs that others apart from the children lived here. Or at least had been here recently… The only things she found were ghosts of disturbances that she could tell had not been here in a long time. Or if they had, they were dead.
Animals caught her attention but otherwise left her be. A rustle in the trees and small high pitched voices set her guard up. Arellia dived into a small brush that consealled her snuggly within its branches.
The children had gone on the hunt for her. Did they hate her that much? One of the branches caught at the skin on her back. Just as Alasdair stepped out from behind on of the trees. He furrowed his eyes at one of the trees. It was the last tree she had marked. Arellia cursed, the branch pointing in her back was making it difficult to stay still, but he was lingering longer than she liked.
“Alasdair why don’t we leave her? She’s a royal”, a young woman about Alasdair’s age stepped out from where he had come. He looked back at the beautiful girl with mattered red hair and a pale complexion.
“She might need our help”, his voice was soft and it warmed Arellia to hear. But that alone was not going to bring her out to him. His eyes searched the ground next, his tracking skills guiding him to her… She cursed to herself.
“If you bring her back she’s dead anyway, then that thing will come for us”, the girl hissed. She gripped the cloth at his shoulder and spun him around. It wasn’t fast enough to stop the brief eye contact that Arellia and Alasdair shared, but it was enough to distract him. “Leave her”.
“Let me go, take the others and go back on your own”, his voice deepened. This was the opposite to his happier disposition earlier. The girl pressed her lips in a tight line before releasing him and leaving. Arellia held her breath. He stood in silence for a moment before he spoke.
“Are you going to come out?”, his question didn’t shock her. But her mind was still playing with what would be more appropriate. “I don’t really want to drag you”, he sighed. No, neither did she. The stick in her back was growing more uncomfortable. Her only dignified option was to come out herself.