Nightcrow

By avidler88 All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy

Blurb

Born a slave in the village of Wolsby on the frontier of a fallen empire known as the Monarchy, Bell and her fellow slaves are liberated when the crusading Caustrites arrive. However, Bell chafes against the religious tyranny of the cult. Apprenticed to the village priest, she seizes the opportunity to study heretical writings, which inspires discord between she and her friends. Bell struggles to maintain her friendships as she becomes dangerously obsessed with an entity known as the White Lady, a figure of mysterious power once worshipped by Wolsby and the neighbouring villages.

Chapter 1

I have never been an honest woman. Indeed my captors, and the mobs that dance for them, would say I could only even be named “woman” by a generous blurring of the truth. Still, my declaration stands. It seems only appropriate to begin this narrative with a warning that honesty breaks a lifetime of habit.

The men who have finally chained me will call this a confession. Such is the wont of the Caustrites, and such is the value they place on truth that even the most reviled prisoners receive a measure of clemency should they beg to unveil their crimes. And so it is with me. My dank little cell now glows with torchlight; I have a stool and a wobbling table, I have the means to write.

It is another habit of the Torchbearers to leave the right hands of their prisoners unhurt in the pursuit of answers, so I may write well enough. But my left hand is twisted from the screws and hammer. I can barely walk for the toes they have cut away, and over my body raw wet lines still burn as though newly left by the glowing iron poker. The pain once shocked me. I had thought myself grown beyond it; I had, perhaps, believed in the tales of my inhumanity. But now, bereft of servants and spells, the truth is an ugly stone in my heart. I am old, in years if not in looks, and in the end they found they could hurt me if they chose.

I grant myself this, though, that for all my agonies I remain unbroken. Bent almost to shattering, but I am myself still. I saw them hew my Crovan’s hands off, and his feet, while he screamed from a tongueless mouth and wept from eyeless sockets. They took his soul from him piece by piece, until he was no longer Crovan or even a man, just a twitching, gibbering thing. All the while Torchbearer Captain Lightsmith watched me with eyes that dared me to weep. If that did not break me, nothing will.

Still. Let them call this a confession. There are none left living whose good opinion I care to cultivate. So let this be the Last Confession of Lady Nightcrow, Mistress of Bonegrove Tower, the Black Hag, the Goblin Queen, Defiler and Nemesis of Caustros, won by Torchbearer Captain Jay Lightsmith.

He has a sense of humour, Lightsmith. He hides it beneath the sour dullness the Caustrites favour in their acolytes, but it’s there. He’ll use that damn title.

As for me, I can only look back at those titles that I have worn in my long life, and wonder at them. I asked for none of them, though I daresay I’ve earned most. We wear the names our enemies give us. And there isn’t a man or woman living, from king to slave, that can’t say they didn’t tremble at one epithet or another.

But even now, only one name makes sense to me. I was, before everything, a child named Bell.

I shall start at the beginning.
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Further Recommendations

Aneshia Moore-Thomas: Need some editing but great book finish it in a two days

Noirfire: I like the book but I found the plot a little to straight forward, I mean you could tell how it will end after 5 chapters. But it was a refreshing take on werewolf stories

LaVaughnica: So amazing like I’m in love. I haven’t put my phone down while reading it. I can’t wait for the next chapter I’m so excited. She is an amazing writer n this book needs to be published and made into a movie.

Jasmina Allen: Brilliant read

Ganglia Genghis: Simple, straightforward and captivating. Worth reading!

Ana Rosa: Very good read, although, some details are confusing. Overall very interesting and kept me engaged.

abbydole: I’m in love with this story!! I can’t wait to read more.

sakuraprincton: Loved the plot and story can't wait for the upcoming chapters 😘😘😘

Teresa Brown: I love reading your story and hope to read more

More Recommendations

ReadingIsLife: Amazing!!!!

Deleted User: Dear Author,I love your plot but don't rush your ending cause that is the most important part. Check your grammar and spelling too. I think that is all. Please don't take it too hard and I hope you would continue writing! Enjoy the process.-Val

8demi8: This is the second time that i am reading It from the beginning and I love it a lot

mollyvmac02: Loving it so far!

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