When Serengard rebelled and the Orion monarchy fell, former crown princess Kierstaz Orion’s love for her people became a burning desire to set things right. With a price on their heads, Kierstaz and her brother Mikel led a handful of men against the new army, fighting skirmishes all along the border of Dreibourge. But months of heavy bloodshed forced her small band of knights to abandon the border—and all of Serengard—to the rebels.
Nine years and a thousand betrayals later, Kierstaz and Mikel again find themselves on the run—only this time, they’ve a boy in tow: Malcom, the son of two of the Seren rebellion’s strongest leaders. The new regime wants him dead, Mikel wants him alive, and it’s all Kierstaz can do to keep their tracks covered. Desperate to preserve the innocent life she swore to protect and the brother who has always stood by her, Kierstaz must gamble the last thing in the world she owns: her identity. Secrets are a staple of the Orion family, and those Kierstaz keeps are as dangerous as the ones kept from her.
KNIGHTS OF RILCH is the sequel to COLDNESS OF MAREK, and the second book in the SERENGARD Series.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? I know that I may be biased, because I was a beta reader and proof reader for this book, but I absolutely loved it. There would be times when I got so wrapped up in what I was reading, that I’d forget I was supposed to be taking notes on it! So when Rachel asked me if I wanted to post a deleted scene, I jumped at the chance to share a part of the story that I hadn’t read either.
Here’s a little bit about this scene, from Rachel:
This scene was originally in Chapter 16. I wrote it on the second revision to add more detail to the Creeper incident. But the further revisions went, this just didn’t seem to gel, and I found a way to reveal more about the Creeper by waiting until later in the story. In the finished novel, Chapter 16 follows Kierstaz finding the injured Kold, leaving him with Romianz, and her talking with Tofer and Zven, without changing to Mikel’s point of view.
Mikel let his breath out slowly and met the eyes of Romianz.
“As I have told you.” The older man’s voice was rough, angry.
Mikel nodded. The candlelight flickered over the table, making the pooling blood look more a shadow than a stain. “Will he live?”
Romianz nodded. “I think so. Unless there is poison involved.” He set to work washing the blood off and examining each cut.
“These are definite teeth marks.” Mikel let his fingers hover over them in awe. “Does he need Drei medicine?”
“He might before the night is out. I would like to keep rumor from spreading, if at all possible. I don’t believe this is a Creeper. It bespeaks of a man.”
“Or a woman.” Mikel always thought of that. Kierstaz was the embodiment of violence in his mind as a youth, yet he’d never been able to understand her. He never understood anyone who thought violence a worthy vocation. “The Drei train all full-grown women among them to be warriors. But I cannot see Dreibourge using this kind of cheap barbarism. They are far more effective, and what could they gain from it?”
Romianz kept his eyes on Kold’s face. “If this was the work of the Drei, they would deal swift and fatal blows to you and I, and your lieutenants. There are no Drei in Ciar. None but Pier, and you say that he is loyal to you.”
Romianz glanced up, an eyebrow raised. “Loyalty may not be what you think it is, Mikel.” He handed him a thin, broken reed. “It’s clean. Check the depth of the bites.”
“If I do not believe my men are loyal, I haven’t much left to believe, have I?” Mikel slid the reed into the wounds, careful not to disturb the clotting that was occurring. Kold had strong blood. He would be fine. “They are deep.” He held the reed up. Very deep.
Romianz ran a hand across his closely shaved beard. “The man who did this was a traitor, both to you and to me. If you’ve any suspicions, now would be the time to share them.”
Mikel felt a churning in his stomach, and not a single face to name. “I haven’t any.”
Romianz snorted. “Well. I’ll have to keep patrolling my own cells in the depth of night. Keep your armor bearer out of there, would you?”
“I’ll try. But if she thinks you are hiding something from her, she—”
“Just keep her out.”
© Copyright 2013 by Rachel O’Laughlin
And not only do I have that deleted scene, (which I thought was pretty cool), I also have the giveaway that Rachel set up for the blog tour!
I highly recommend both Knights Of Rilch and Coldness Of Marek. Rachel is an amazing author and both books are so much fun to read.
Rachel O’Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories in which heroines tend to get their hands dirty, bad guys sometimes win, and someone always gets kidnapped. Her passion for history morphed into a love for fantasy in her mid-teens, when she took a brief pause from reality for immersion in the arts and a hands-on education in sustainable living. She lives in New England with her husband and two boys, listens to The Fray, and drinks too many lattes. Two novels in her SERENGARD fantasy series have been released, and a third is scheduled for October 2014.