Today I’m participating in a blog tour for Wing, the fifth book in Tara Maya’s The Unfinished Song series. Earlier excerpts from the first chapter can be found at Once Upon a Time, Anna Kashina, and E-Reading and Ray Tracing. I’m currently reading the first book in the series, Initiate, and hope to share my thoughts on it and the other books soon. Until then, enjoy the exciting excerpt below!
Vessia found a clear spot and landed. Vio held ready his weapon, a hardwood club spiked with lion teeth, and she half-expected him to run bellowing out into the crowd, but he did not move for a few minutes. Although he was monitoring the fight, his focus was turned inward.
He reached out to stroke one of her wings. “So fragile, yet so strong. Why did you not tell me you were the White Lady?”
“I didn’t know. I didn’t even know I was fae.”
“How is that possible? Aren’t fae… quite different?”
She had to smile. “Not so different. Not the Aelfae.”
“But the wings…”
“I can hide them. Even remove them.”
“Can you show me?”
She folded back her wings, danced briefly in a circle around him, then reached back and pulled. A small white opal, a pearlescent shimmery rainbow rock, fell into her hand. She showed it to him. “Things do not always look as you might expect.”
“May I hold it?”
“Don’t you trust me yet, Vessia?”
“It’s not that. It’s just…for so long I knew I was meant to fly, yet I was unable to. I never want to be without wings again.”
She handed him the opal.
“So small, yet so precious.” He hefted it in his hand. “Amazing. Look—it fits in my salt bag.”
He slipped the opal into a tiny leather salt bag he wore tied into the waist-tie of his legwals. Desert warriors habitually carried salt at all times. In the extreme heat, a lick of salt could be more valuable than water. He treasured the bag, one of the few items he had inherited from his father rather than the Bone Whistler, so she was touched when he pressed it into her hands.
“Keep the bag if you like.”
“Thank you, Vio. But I think I prefer—”
Suddenly Vio cussed.
An eyeblink later, he shoved Vessia behind him and raised his club to parry a blow.
“Time to join your master, Crusher!” Vio snarled at his attacker.
“Not before you, Skull Stomper!”
Chezlio the Crusher, former Blue Zavaedi of the Bone Whistler, was a big, ugly man. Like all the Bone Whistler’s coterie, he wore human bones; in his case, mingled with piranha teeth. Underneath the mesh of bones, he had daubed blue paint over naked muscle. Blue feathers trailed from his human skull headdress and shells clacked in the legbands around his calves.
Chezlio hammered blows down on Vio. The lighter man darted in and out of five swipes for every thrust of his own. Then Chezlio managed to lock his arms around Vio’s neck. The two men scuffled in the dust, locked in a deadly hug.
Vio flipped Chezlio over his back. Chezlio landed hard but nothing stopped him. He barreled toward Vio again.
“Get to safety!” Vio commanded Vessia, as if stone clubs and flint spearheads were more dangerous to her than to him. The reverse was true. She was immortal. Slain, she would die for a day. His life would spill out with his blood, irrevocably.
But she ran. There was someone else she needed to kill.