Get Free Copy

62 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Barend Kleynhans would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Dream of Embers Book 1

By Barend Kleynhans All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy

Prologue

Prologue

It was at first light that Shala disturbed the waters, a lone bird cry having beckoned dawn, and stripped naked she waded into the cold, where the sacred stream of Seluin came tumbling from snowy peaks.

Further in and the water drew level to her breasts, her nipples stiffening, and her eyes shut as she willed her mind into the ancestral dream of Evrelyn in search of strength.

The worthy dwell here...

All warmth leaving her she did her best not to shudder and shiver, wanting to show no weakness before the mountain. Yet involuntary movements crept up her body all the same, afraid that the tiniest tremor might displease the spirits of a lost order.

The strong linger in places where others cannot...

But thoughts of doubt crossed her mind and they would not leave her without having their say. The Wolves are long dead, tremble all you like, you are alone in your petty ritual.

A harsh wind had come down the mountain that night, hurtling through snow-laden passes with a howl that reminded the north of those who once walked the ranges of Dunnoom. Its ghostly fury was their dead echo and the fear of it was waited out by friend and foe alike. Smoke billowing chimneys from town told of people huddling around a fire, and maybe, at least some of them, speaking amongst each other of the Savage Art. Late in the night, when the white moon had danced among the clouds for hours, the wind finally abated, the world holding its breath.

Come dawn the sun crested the horizon slowly, illuminating the castle of Attoras, nestled at the rocky foot of the Black Mountains, the morning air crisp. Where the slope allowed for such things was kept the secret enclave with its pool as smooth as a mirror, hidden behind the castle and out of sight from town. The waters there had iconic white pillars circling its boundary, a low icy mist still clinging to its surface.

Higher up, an old keep long abandoned rested far above the castle of Attoras, built near the summit and obscured by folds of heaven high spires of rock. Throughout the year blizzards pummelled the peaks with snow, barricading its surroundings in white mounds. From the foot of the keep’s gate spilled the water freshly thawed, following natural mountain channels to down below.

The mightiest of Attoras’ warriors once resided in that keep, and bathed also in the waters even as Shala did now, cleansing themselves of weakness and doubt. They were the Wolves of the Black Mountain, infamous and renowned, having passed from this world without a whisper.

The water itself was pure and untainted, rolling and bubbling over every other rock on the way down, a trail of a thousand tiny waterfalls, said to take upon itself the strength of the mountain as it did, delivering to those who could dare into the cold the strength of Dunnoom and renewing a faithless heart. The pool in which Shala stood was where the water finally came to rest, there to provide a crippling test, reducing one and all to nothing but the power of their will.

‘Open your eyes, Princess,’ said deBella suddenly, the handmaiden, her usually warm demeanour as cold as the water. deBella wandered the enclave with a heavy amphora in her hands, her shoes tapping lightly on the white porcelain tiles around the pool.‘Look up into the mountain and hold to your dream. Embrace the cold.’

I must be strong to rule in his stead…

But her enemies were pressing, many of them living right here in the castle and using their fealty to the crown as a guise to sabotage Shala’s birthright. They were King’s men in name only, for they desired no heir from Evrelyn. It was only here that she truly escaped them, in the privacy of an ancient ritual, where she suffered in the cold. The castle is supposed to be my birthright.

‘Turn your thoughts away from this place child,’ said deBella knowingly.

Shala obliged for her own sake, losing focus meant the cold became overwhelming.

deBella moved closer to impart the last of the test. Standing right above Shala, deBella turned the amphora over and spilled the icy water on Shala’s head, her thick auburn hair instantly rendered dark and plastered to her face. She did not wince or gasp, but inhaled deeply through her nose to warm the air in her lungs, as the new shock of cold left her breathless.

Strengthen yourself child or you will die!’ urged deBella.

In the serenity of the dream she called the magic, the familiar power of Evrelyn, the healing hands of the king. Gently it bubbled within her, and it kept dangers of the cold away.

Seeing the change in her deBella said, ‘Good child, the discipline of your mind must become a fine edge that does not waver.’

Using the discomfort to slay all intrusive thoughts, Shala brought her mind to the keep sitting high in the mountains among a veil of clouds, its foundation built over a waterfall. Half awake and yet halfway into slumber the family of Evrelyn could walk in this dream and summon powers inherent to them. It was a welcoming place, but it reminded her of death and what follows afterwards. In the foremost of her thoughts came her father’s note, a passage he had written on his deathbed.

“Here, I sign the death of my House, but not yet the end of all things.” He wrote.

What say had you in the fate of the world Father?

But she feared she knew the answer, and that whatever her father failed at she must now accomplish. He would expect that of her, and for him, she would do it, lovingly.


Get Free Copy
0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Jason Phang: It's too short! The plot was excellently thought through, with the characters flowing up and down the storylines like the peaks and valleys of the Himalayas. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and the time spent with Asta and her journeys. (:

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

Alisha Banks: You have me hooked! I immediately upon finishing the first book had to start the second. It is a captivating story and I can't wait to finish the other two book! I will definitely be recommending this book to others to read!

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

maryahbeebe66: OMG I fell in love with the story and how the characters fall into place. I'm really excited to read more into the story and hope there's a sequel to it. My fav characters are Dylan and Laila. Your doing a great job keep it up 👏🏾

Alkira Joan: I omg I am honestly speechless I couldn't stop cry it's so sad I wish it had a better ending and they would all be happy and the end is their going to be a second book?thanks for the amaZing story xoxox

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

More Recommendations

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

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...

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Judy Haun-Morelock: A very imaginative, compelling story that captivates and holds your attention. Just how will the new Joshua deal with all the changes in his life: his appearance, surroundings, new friends and enemies.

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.