Hey folks,

Welcome to an unusual (for me) Friday post, motivated by the impending release of the final Blood of Kings book next Tuesday, 11 July! I’ve got another excerpt for you today, this time giving you a glimpse at a couple of new characters who feature in this closing section of the Blood of Kings tale. I hope you like it!

A loud snarl tore her from her thoughts once again, and she opened her eyes. She could see one of the other teams—a pairing of Silver Circle mage and banneret—on the opposite side of the village. It looked like Jerome and Pascal. They stood within the shimmering dome of a magical shield, which was surrounded by the Venori. More of the creatures were pouring into the village square—more than she’d ever seen, and far more than the scouting reports had said.

This was supposed to have been a routine mission to clear out no more than a half-dozen feral demons. Three pairs of mages and bannerets had been sent—far more than they expected to need. But as the order’s marshall, the cantankerous old Guillot dal Villerauvais, always said, better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. She supposed he wasn’t that old really, then realised she’d let her mind drift again. It was something she’d developed a reputation for, and something that had almost kept her from passing her final examinations to become an initiate of the Silver Circle.

She focussed again, squeezing her eyes shut and doing her best to block out the sounds of chaos that surrounded her. She found a place of peace and serenity deep within her mind, and reached out to the Fount. She felt a momentary light-headedness, and allowed herself the briefest of smiles. When she opened her eyes, everything around her was covered in a benign blue glow. The Fount.

The glow didn’t last long. She could in fact choose not to see it at all, but she found comfort in the confirmation it brought. She blinked it away, and turned her attention to the situation at hand. Her mouth moved to silently give shape to the words in her mind—another trick she had learned to help her focus her thoughts. The more ostentatious of her colleagues shouted them out, but she didn’t like that. For one thing, it signalled to everyone around the form of the magic you were about to shape.

Severine shaped a ‘push’, an invisible wave of magical energy that would knock back everything before her—or all around her if she managed to shape the more complicated version of the spell.

‘Get down!’ she shouted.

Not needing to be told twice, Raphael dropped to the dirt with the ease of a move he had practised many, many times. Severine mouthed the words, and saw the air before her ripple. The demons Raphael had been fighting were lifted from their feet and thrown back a dozen paces. She nodded in satisfaction, then looked around.

Jerome and Pascal were still taking shelter in their magical fortress, but she couldn’t see Celeste and Thibaut, the final pairing of their team. She couldn’t spare them more than a thought, though, as the demons continued to fill the village. Her push spell—a simple piece of magic that novices learned early in their training—had merely been to buy them time and settle her nerves. If they were going to get out of the village with their lives, she was going to have to shape up something far more potent.

I hope that’s further whetted your appetites for the book! These characters were a lot of fun to dream up and write, and I think you’ll agree they play a pivotal role in the story.

The Demon Hunter comes out next Tuesday in eBook and paperback (audio will be out on 12 September), but you can preorder it now at any of the below links!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

That’s all I’ve got for this week! I hope you all have a great weekend. I plan to spend mine stressing about new book releases (something of a tradition now…)! I’ll be back on Monday with something yet to be decided, but certainly Demon Hunter related.

Until then, take care!

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