Secrets of Ariad: SNEAK PEEK
In honour of her birthday, (February 18), please enjoy this excerpt from The Heir of Ariad as a tribute to an invisible but beloved character- Kyrian’s mother, Jasmiel of Rosghel.
Though Jas doesn’t appear in the novel itself, her character carries incredible weight in the plot, and I’ve loved learning more about who she is through the character of her son, Kyrian. She’s a blacksmith’s apprentice, a daughter of warriors, a loving mother, a fiercely loyal friend. She’s beautiful as a winter night and fiery as hot coals, and she fears nothing- not even death. Her love story with Kyrian’s father, Brondro Tarmilis, is one I cannot wait to write- the story of a blacksmith and his beautiful apprentice… and the story of a villain’s birth.
To quote THoA itself, “'Beauty is a curse'….”
Deep in the heart of Rhos-Arpal, Tasnil the Usurper sat draped over Aradin's throne, so still in the light of the dying torches, he could have been a statue carved from gloom. He was bathed in flickering shadow, one palm still dripping from the oath in blood that had sealed Rosghel's alliance with the Storm Realm. He felt no pain. Not in his hand, nor his heart. Feeling had died in him long ago.
In his bloody hand he held a ring, rolling over and over again between his finger and thumb, dainty and feminine and inlaid with celestialis stones, glittering dead white in the torchlight. It had cost him an ogre's weight in cirras. The stones he had found and carved himself. The silver had burned in fire for days.
She had never worn it.
His blood trickled from his hand to stain the throne with scarlet. Drip...drip...drip.... The curtains, heavy black, were drawn as ever over the windows, but still he heard life from beyond the panes, life and laughter in Rosghel's darkened streets. Countless warriors exchanging posts beneath the torchlit tower, countless maidens stealing moonlit moments with the wretches they thought themselves to love.
Tasnil's palm drew tauter as the laughter rang shrill, reverberating in his skull.
He had only ever desired one.
The ring rolled ever between his fingers, its silver band and crystal stones now damp and dark with blood. He heard the laughter, saw the smiles, watched in his mind her raven-black hair, tossing in the wind as she leaned forward to kiss the blacksmith, as she drove an iron spike into Tasnil's very soul and left him there, to bleed. To watch and wait and hate, while she placed in another creature's hands the heart that belonged to him.
Deep in the heart of Rhos-Arpal, Tasnil the Usurper bled alone. In his hand was the ring she had never, never worn.