The Queen’s Game
By R. J. Hore
Champagne Books: http://goo.gl/NJZuCc
Harow, now a respected duke, longs for a quiet life, however duels, battles and monsters find him at every turn. Can a poor farm boy ever find peace?
Harow was standing outside in the dark staring up at the river of stars and wondering if there was a way to hide among them when Annabelle appeared through the doorway.
“There you are.” She pointed at him and he backed against the cold stones of the hall. Her finger poked him hard, mid-belly. “We have been looking for you.” Her chin came halfway up his chest.
“You’ve found me.” He shivered, not necessarily from the cool night air. She was a strange one. “How is your mistress?”
“She will survive, no thanks to you.” The words fell out short and clipped.
His neck began to ache from having to look down at her. He wondered if she had cursed him. He could barely make out the grim line of her jaw and narrowed eyes in the dim light.
“Our princess has decided that when she returns to High Vale she will tell the duke she is prepared to entertain suitors for her hand in marriage.”
“Is that all you have to say? By the black beard of Saint Satore, you can be wooden-headed sometimes,” she hissed between clenched teeth. “Listen, you great lump, as soon as you can safely get away, ride to High Vale Castle. You have to save our sweet princess from herself, and there are other, darker matters, to consider.”
“Other matters?” He wondered at the changes happening to this once gentle girl, or maybe she truly was connected to the ghost he met back at Grey Crag. Perhaps her new life in the duke’s castle, or more likely the royal princess herself, were bad influences on her.
“Yes. Prince Regnar has a black magician who searches for his sister the queen, or her daughter, from the safety of his den at Castle Wurthi. We have sensed his vague presence in the halls but he flees when we approach. There are others who seek to do our ladies harm. We especially fear for her safety. Her mother is less likely to take foolish chances. We want you there to protect them both.” She glared. Her finger stabbed him hard in the ribs. “And, we want you to beg forgiveness and worm your way back into our princess’ favor even if you have to do so on your hands and knees.”
Thursday, August 4, 2016
The Queen’s Game