Heart of the Kingdom (eBook)

$0.99
27 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 09/19/2014
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-04-8
  • Model: 5760 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 1 Flames

 

"You were a creature of water, and I was a servant of fire. There should be enmity between us."

Heart of the kingdom is a story of a king who has lost his kingdom and a knight who has lost his memory.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-release title.

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'Heart of the Kingdom' by Sarah Ann Watts is a beautiful love story written more like poetry than prose. I was intrigued not only by Watts's lyrical writing style, but also by the writing techniques she employed, such as Elynas telling the story to Melior as if it had happened in the past, then jumping into the present with dialogue, intermingling it with past and present tenses. The magical realm Watts created was the perfect setting for a tale involving serpents, dragons, fire stealing, and bewitchment. Watts blended these fantastical elements with great finesse, creating a very intense, poignant story of undying devotion.

Rainbow Book Reviews

Read the full review at this link.

 

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When I heard the horse coming up the valley I came out to meet you, my hands empty. The sun was in my eyes so I couldn't see your face, but I saw that you were armed and no casual traveller.

My own clothes had grown ragged-- I knew I looked like a peasant.

You drew rein and asked me for water. Then I saw you were hurt. I fetched water in an earthenware cup. You took it and drank deeply, and then the cup fell from your hand and I caught you, staggering a little with my useless arm, and laid you on the grass. I tethered your horse so she wouldn't stray. Then I took your shield and sword from you and half carried, half dragged you into my cave.

There I tended you. The hem of your cloak was wet like your hair. I stripped the cloak and your shirt and saw the jagged wound on your shoulder where the claws of the beast had torn you. I laid my hand over the marks and sighed. Then I heated water at the fire and crushed herbs to make a poultice to draw out the poison. Even then, the fever held you for three days before it broke. I thought you would die, young and strong though you were. More beautiful than memory. Your dark hair was forever wet, though I did my best to sponge the heat of the fever from your brow. I watched over you for three nights, bringing you cool water to drink and feeding the fire to keep you warm. Finally I rolled myself in your cloak and slept -- worn out -- knowing I had done all I could and you would live or die. After some hesitation, I laid your sword and shield at your side.

 

 

When I woke there was light in the cave. The fire had gone out, and you stood over me with the point of your sword at my throat. I'd expected no less, though you were unsteady on your feet and I could, I think, have overpowered you. Having chosen to save your life, I wasn't going to kill you now, so I asked you instead if you were hungry. You withdrew the blade a little and watched me as I rekindled the fire, taking care to use flint and tinder and disguise the breath I used. I'd turned my back to you, a sign of good faith, as I measured oats and made porridge. Humble fare for a knight, but you took the bowl I gave you eagerly enough and ate. I thought you might finish it all and leave me hungry. Although you were famished, you handed the bowl back before it was empty.

"My horse?"

I shrugged. "She is tethered outside. There is plenty of grass, and I brought her water."

You nodded in curt acknowledgement. "I owe you thanks for your care of her and your care of me." I could tell it cost you something to thank me. You were a knight and you had your pride. Then you pulled yourself awkwardly to your feet, leaning on your sword, and limped towards the entrance of the cave. I let you go.

After a few minutes while I considered what I should do and came to no conclusion, I followed you out into the sunlight. The horse raised her head and whinnied softly, so I fetched her some oats from my store and then went down to the stream to bring her water. You were kneeling there with the ends of your hair trailing in the water. As I watched, you raised your hands and water ran through them, catching the light in rainbow colours. Reflections patterned the metal of your sword. You were a creature of water, and I was a servant of fire. There should be enmity between us.

I watched you as you drank from the stream. After a while I went back to the cave and kindled a small flame on the hearthstone, stretching my hands out to warm them. I used no art and felt only a small glow that was too weak to renew my strength. I had already failed to kill you and defend my territory. I was half hoping you might leave and I could forget you, but I knew there was history between us.

After a while the sun clouded over and there was rain. I kept to the shelter of my cave, and after what felt like hours you came in. I gave up my seat by the fire, thinking you were cold, but you shook your head, water falling from your hair like rain, and laughed. The fire hissed and went out. You smiled at me and said, "My name is Melior."

I took your dripping hand and held it. Raindrops sizzled as they touched my skin and dried. Like the spark that burns, my skin was liquid fire. You felt the shock. I think you would have pulled away, but I held you and said, "Elynas," waiting for recognition in your eyes that never came. When I let you go, I saw the scorch marks where my grip had touched your arm. They smudged like ink and ran away in dark rivulets.

"That is a name of ill omen."

"Nevertheless, it is mine."

"I came looking for a monster, not a man."

"You found me." I was curious to know what you wanted.

"I serve the queen."

This came as no surprise.

Authors:

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Allison Cassatta- COVER ARTIST:

About Sarah Ann Watts:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Sarah Ann Watts is a UK writer of science fiction, fantasy and historical romance.

She lives in the north of England with her family and is partial to chocolate and red wine.

A perfect day for her might include a stroll along the beach in the morning and the afternoon in the garden in the sunshine curled up with a good book. The evening would feature good food, good company and wine.

She thinks she may well have been a cat in a previous life. Bookshops, libraries and theatres are her natural habitat.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.a.watts.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/S_AWatts

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Sarah Ann Watts:

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This book was added to our catalog on Monday 25 August, 2014.

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