Work on The Secret of Kilara’s Keep has been slow, mainly because I have more of the middle and end of the book thoroughly planned than the beginning. So I do expect the writing to pick up speed once I’m out of the first chapter and have the basic tempo, mood, and conflicts of the story rolling. Please be kindly to me, as these posts will consists of rough draft snippets which will of course need a good deal of editing and re-writing before I can muster the nerve to publish it. In this book, the sci-fi elements of this fantasy tale will begin to emerge in a more obvious way, and Katarina’s relationship with the dragons of the Covenant will continue to develop as she gets on with her training. Anyhow, here is a little chunk of the first chapter. I hope you enjoy it.

1

Gatherings and Goings-on

Siawn was a nervous fellow, but no one knew that. To the people of Amaru at least, he was the picture of confidence and respectability, and he was always invited to all the best parties when there were any to be had. He’d done rather well for himself as an apothecary and married one of the prettiest elven ladies of the town some thirty years ago, settling into a quiet and seemingly contented life riddled with all the silent agonies of a guilty conscience. He and his pretty wife even had the considerably good fortune to have been on holiday a year ago when the city had been attacked by a dragon. This, of course, was taken by Siawn as a sure sign that he’d been perhaps too fortunate, and that his luck was about to run out.

Siawn had made his fair share of mistakes, and to this he was willing to admit, though a more honest assessment would determine that most of his mistakes had occurred quite on purpose and were, in fact, not mistakes at all. He had spent his youth traveling the East, and he had been drawn to Farad in particular, where the quick and nimble hands of a Melloren elf can easily find employment in all manner of mischief. The most common, and perhaps the easiest kind, was petty theft. While he hadn’t been above such shenanigans, he was in his last few years in Farad persuaded to engage in a number of more ambitious acts of larceny.

It can be said with some certainty that most of the incidents in which he was responsible for the disappearance of certain magical artifacts gave him ample reason to make a habit of looking over his shoulder. However, it was one particular artifact, and several connected murders, which gave him a predisposition to heartburn and the inexorable feeling that he was being watched, and not by the kindest of eyes.