Aisling Wilder would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Blood & Sand

By Aisling Wilder All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Fantasy

Blurb

BLOOD & SAND' by Aisling Wilder, is an epic urban fantasy novel that follows a 4000 year old vampire from the temples of ancient Mesopotamia to the rainy streets of modern day Dublin. This is an action-packed vampire tale that respects the old tropes while still being original. Starring a wry, kick-ass, female protagonist, this is a story where some of the fairies might sparkle, but the vampires definitely don't; a tale that doesn't shy away from blood, sex, violence or love.

PROLOGUE: TEMPLE OF NANNA, CITY OF UR, SUMER, 2025 BCE

My name is Asharru. I am six years old, and my knees are sore. I have been kneeling on the steps at the top of the temple for a very long time, while above me my mother recites the words that will dedicate me into the service of the Inanna, Goddess of love and war; daughter of Nanna, God of the moon.

Today, I will begin my education. I will learn my letters, mathematics, and the history of my people and my city. I will learn to read the paths of the stars and planets, and to see how they influence the world of men. Most importantly, I will learn the secrets of the Anunnaki, our divine teachers.

Already I know more about the gods than most of the children in the city. My Mother is High Priestess, the keeper of their word. I was born here, in the temple complex in the city of Ur, the capital city of the Sumerian empire. My city is the greatest city of the greatest empire in all the world. Our King makes his home here, and our temples are the highest in the land. As a girl-child born to the temple, this moment was arranged soon after my birth. I was born to this calling.

Born to the gods.

I am frightened by what is to come, but I am also proud. And right now, a little bored. I stretch and scrunch my toes against the mud-brick, rocking back and forth on the step until I catch my mother’s glance, and stop abruptly. I am not used to having to be so still. Until now I have been allowed to do as I wished, running and playing games with the other temple-born in the narrow streets between the tiled tangle of buildings. We are not allowed to play with the children outside the complex. But sometimes we climb up the walls and watch them, or more often, tease them, threatening them with the anger of the gods if they dare speak back.

I gaze out over the city, daydreaming as my mother and the other priestesses chant invocations. The view from the height of the Ziggurat is breathtaking. I can see all the way to the line of hazy blue mist to the South where the delta meets the sea. Closer in, past the walls and stretching to the river, are acre upon acre of fields, orchards and gardens; the irrigation ditches that feed them shimmering silver in the sunlight. Nearer still are the city gates, the canals, and the city itself: a tangled maze of gardens and houses, markets and people.

Most of the citizens of Ur are gathered at the foot of the temple to witness the ritual. Many of their daughters have been chosen. It is not only the temple-born who may be initiated into the priesthood, any child may be. Many parents give generously to the temple so that the gods might name their children. They are good people, the people of Ur.

My people.

I test the words, whispering them to myself in the same way my mother says them, with a certain seriousness. It is the place of the priesthood to give to the people the word of the gods. It is the duty of the people to carry out those commands, but the priests and priestesses are responsible for making every instruction clear. If they do not—if we do not—then the gods would be angered, and the empire would fall.

The heat of the new summer morning beats down upon my shoulders as I squint against the waking sun to look up at my mother. The ceremony seems to go on forever and I wonder how she has memorised all those words, knowing that soon I will be expected to do the same. At last, after what feels to me like an eternity, she stops, and I am led with the other neophytes up the steps to the house of the gods. My mother offers me a proud smile as she lays her hand on my hair and begins to speak again, aiming her voice so the crowds gathered below can hear every word.

I cannot hear her, however, for, at that instant, a sound fills my head, building like music until the very stones seem to ring. Then the light of the rising sun falls into place in the stone archway above, its warm rays hitting me full in the face, bringing tears to my eyes. There is a gasp from the masses gathered below, and I am filled with pure joy. The gods have accepted me. They have blessed me in front of thousands.

I can’t help smiling as my mother speaks the final words of dedication, and I am guided to stand beside another girl in the long row of neophytes. The ceremony moves on, but I keep crying and smiling. The other girls gape at me. Not all of them have been affected the way that I am. But I do not care. I know that I am chosen. With absolute faith, I believe. I am a true servant of the gods, a true daughter of Inanna.

Forever.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Chapters
1. PROLOGUE: TEMPLE OF NANNA, CITY OF UR, SUMER, 2025 BCE
Further Recommendations

snowview03: This is the first book I have read on this app and I loved it! When I read the title I thought about the hunger games, but this novel is so much more. Some book have a comparison between other books that fallow like premises so i will do my own: Arena has the compellingly emotional stresses and t...

Aditya Harikrish: It had me on tenterhooks since the very first page. Excllently developed plot and characters. You've done an amazing job of building a fantasy world from scratch. Hats off to you!A sequel is a must.

William Elliott Kern: Interesting Story, with Jacob, the second Son of Baron Ironwood to learn his duties, provide his numbers and prepare for marriage to Anna......Along the way, the wise Monk, Francis came to Ironwood, filled the ears of Jacob with hope and positive direction, a gift for Jacob well needed. The Stor...

Drew C. Elyon: I've only read one chapter so far, but from what I've seen, this is steampunk at its best. The narrative flows so beautifully I could envision every scene in an almost cinematic fashion. I believe in the complexity of simplicity, and this story has that in its descriptions.

NancyRichFoster: This second book of the Anmah Series was as awesome as the first story, I disagree with spare runner. The names were ordinary names with different spellings, which I for one loved. I am now going to read the third book in this amazingly awesome story!

More Recommendations

Diana Chernenko: I liked this book. Even if the idea of book isn't so new. "girl that should save the world with her super powers." sometimes I thought that she is too overpowered, and I was sometimes really annoyed by her, and felt sorry for her friends and Derek. Moreover I didn't like first chapters when the...

Nanasha: I thought I'd written a comment on this story, but for some reason, I guess it didn't go through. Anyway, so this story is intensely addictive. I liked how the author uses established mythology but then gives it a unique twist. The idea of goblins all coming from the head of the king is an ama...

mray2174: I did like this story. I would totally recommend it to a friend, but it didn't seem like a book. Your writing style reminded me of a fan fiction writer, always adding in tiny details and making things like "Oh, my name is [name that no one would ever name a child] and here is my life story. Oh, d...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

Warren Bull: I thought this was a fast=paced thriller with elements of several other genres woven seamlessly in. It hooked me early and held my attention throughout. I liked the humor and surprises along the way. I really enjoyed the novel. I am not a big fan of romances or paranormal works,but when those ele...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.