Hi peeps, I’d like to ask your opinion on my new novel project, “The Warlord”, medieval romantic suspense that I’ve started on recently, while my other books are in the editing stage. The novel is about a boyar daughter taken as slave by a highly dangerous warlord as punishment to her father for not having paid the tribute. The Warlord is the most powerful knight in Prince Ekkehart’s circle, the one bound to bring Prince Ekkehart the Secret of Immortality. The Warlord and the boyar’s daughter fall in love as they go, but alas! He is forced to marry Ekkehart’s sister, who will seek to eliminate the boyar daughter. This is the first page, and I’d love to hear what you think. Is it something you’d like to continue reading? Or would you like to see something else on the first page?
Northern Wallachia, February 1467
“What’s happening, good Florica?” young mistress Runia asked.
“Hush, listen.” The girl’s nursemaid reached for her arm, her face reflecting the eerie orange glow of the candle’s light. “Some of the riders are in the castle.”
Alarmed, Runia jumped from her bed. Her ears perked up, in tune with the growing beat of hooves on the ground. “We have to warn Father.”
“It’s too late for the boyar.”
“What do you mean?” The girl wrenched her arm free from her nurse’s grip and flung herself to the door, grabbing the iron latch with both hands and pulling it in one long strain. The wooden door was thick and heavy with rusted locks and chains, but it gave at last with one lengthy and painful creak.
Runia slipped out, and ran down the chilly corridor. At the nearest corner she stumbled over the hem of her linen gown and bumped into a weapons rack, sending the blades clattering on the floor. Her nurse caught up, and pulled her to the shelter of a cold alcove.
“We must escape before they find us,” the woman urged, her breath misting Runia’s ear shell. “But for that, we need to keep as quiet as ghosts.”
Male voices approached on the corridor, and the two women held their breath. The men spoke a mix of Hungarian and German, and Runia’s blood froze in her veins. She gasped, and the nursemaid covered her mouth.
“The Warlord’s minions,” the woman whispered in dread. Runia felt her eyes widen. The Warlord. Prince Ekkehart’s “left hand”. The good nurse had told Runia stories about the shadow man who plundered villages, burning alive noblemen who refused to pay tribute or who’d sought to betray Prince Ekkehart to the Ottomans.
Hoofbeat echoed on the corridor, the stench of sweat and rotten meat preceding the rider passing the alcove. Runia watched the minion in the saddle, a fleshy barbarian, his beard caked with blood. The contents of her stomach whirled in her belly, and she braced herself.