This week’s teaser is from my most recent book Bloodlust: The Blades of Khazak Khrim, Domains of the Chosen #5
Gavin braced himself against the onrushing horde as the Hearthbound rushed up to join them. A trio of Crocodilians bulled into him. Rocking back from the impact, his rear leg dug into the ground. His barbed war-spear found its place in one of the creature’s necks and Gavin felt the spatter of hot blood in the dark. Then an ape giant loomed over him, huge and hairy; he sent it reeling with a mind blast before he was forced to give way.
Sadira kept close to Gavin, fighting around him. She kept Karmal in her sheath, instead wielding her elegant paired swords, which gave her a stronger defence. Nonetheless, she felt the pull of the burning blade, a siren’s song of blood and glory.
Ducking under Gavin’s spear, Sadira stabbed one of the Crocodilians in the groin, then she leapt up, vaulting over the dying beast and plunging her blades into a pair of dog-like creatures. They yelped and died as she leapt onto the ape giant once more, snagging her left-hand blade in coarse, almost metallic fur. She slashed a massive paw as it reached for her and the slammed her blade it into the beast’s chest. A geyser of blood shot out as she retrieved the weapon and kicked off, back-flipping in the air and dropping to the ground behind Gavin.
Adrenaline joy flooded through Sadira. She could feel the heat of Karmal on her back, and almost dropped her lesser swords in favour of the war-cleaver and the frenzied rage it would bring. She could kill them all couldn’t she?
Sadira’s War-Cleaver, Karmal, is actually one of the blades on the cover of the book, despite not being one of the titular Blades of Khazak Khrim. Karmal, both the blade and the character, is central to the plot and conflict that Sadira goes through in the book. The blade is a reminder of a broken friendship, and what Sadira sees as her greatest failure. It grants her tremendous power, but it is also very dangerous to her. I like to think of Karmal (the blade) as a less refined, but more personal version of a weapon like Stormbringer from the Elric series.
This particular fight is from later on in the book. I needed a smaller action scene to showcase the talents of the Hearthbound and demonstrate why they are important to the Chosen. I wanted to do more of these scenes, to highlight some interesting characters, but it would have fragmented the narrative.