Posted: December 14th, 2022 under Horngard, snippet.

A snippet from an exciting moment.   Location: Marrakai estate west of Vérella.   POV character: Juris Marrakai who has ridden from the city after receiving a courier message that the estate had been attacked but everyone was OK.  He has an escort of Royal Guard just in case–luckily since the second attack is going on when he arrives.


He hadn’t jumped a fence in armor for several years, had forgotten the extra heave the horse gave, and the way the armor put him in a different balance.  He landed harder than he meant to; the horse grunted, but then caught its stride and ran on to intercept the enemy riders.  The momentary slowdown saved him from the bolt that whizzed across in front of him; the group he ran at scattered, losing its cohesion.

A high yodel from behind–a family signal–and pounding hooves–must be Gwenno–but he dared not turn to see.  He yelled, not the family call but a roar of rage to distract the man starting to turn to shoot at Gwenno and aimed his horse at that one. Beneath him, his mount let out a stallion scream; the man’s horse panicked and charged off at an angle, bucking; the man couldn’t stay on and fell hard, bouncing twice before lying still. Juris glanced around.



  • Comment by Daniel Glover — December 14, 2022 @ 9:20 am


    Whatever happened to “happily ever after”? Hah, Paks has saved the day, Dorrin has saved the day, Dragon has saved the day, Kieri is on his throne. Why would someone be attacking Marrakai? All is supposed to be peaceful. I will just have to wait to find out.

  • Comment by Pence — December 14, 2022 @ 12:06 pm


    Now I’m nail biting!

  • Comment by Mary Hargrove — December 14, 2022 @ 12:10 pm



  • Comment by Annabel — December 14, 2022 @ 3:51 pm


    Eek! I must admit, one of the reasons I’m longing for the new book is that I love Gwenno so much, and I do want to see how she grows up.

  • Comment by Leslie — December 15, 2022 @ 3:37 pm


    oh my! where are these attackers coming from? Has the Marshal General lost control of Finthia? I don’t have a good sense of where Marrakai is in relation to the South Trade Road and the mountains that apparently separate Horngard from the northern kingdoms. So many questions! Thanks for things to think about 🙂

  • Comment by Jace — December 15, 2022 @ 3:46 pm


    How much of that nasty weather did you get? I have friends in Dallas that I worry about. Hopefully you got rain to fill your cisterns.

  • Comment by Nadine Bowlus — December 15, 2022 @ 7:00 pm


    Thanks for the snippet. I love it when the horses get involved in the fight. And now that I’ve reminded myself of Luden Fall, I’m trotting off to re-read his story, “First Blood” (Shattered Shields).

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 16, 2022 @ 4:49 pm


    On aftermath of Luden’s rise in the Duke’s esteem shows up in the new book.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 16, 2022 @ 4:50 pm


    A brief little shower that didn’t leave puddles.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 16, 2022 @ 4:54 pm


    Marrakai’s estate is west of Verella on the “River Road” from there to Fin Panir; well north of the South Trade Road. There will be sight of the western continuation of the Dwarfmounts and the South Trade Road in this book. If I tell you know who the attackers are, I’m giving away much too much of the book, so I can’t.

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 16, 2022 @ 4:56 pm


    Daniel, you know I don’t write “happily ever after” books. Don’t pretend to be surprised. The world is full of angry people who will attack anybody any time, anywhere.

  • Comment by Richard Simpkin — December 18, 2022 @ 2:12 am


    Daniel, I think we can rule out a deep incursion by horse nomads. Surely not even one of their outcasts would be so inept.

  • Comment by Moira — December 23, 2022 @ 6:01 pm


    What I love about this snippet (aside from all the other reasons) is that it captures beautifully the sheer random chaos of combat. You can be the best-trained, best-equipped, most skillful warrior in the world (any world!) and if the gods are not with you that day, if Fortuna or her local equivalent is throwing a hissy fit… you’re done.

    Wonderful snippet, Elizabeth, thank you. I look forward to much more of Gwenno & co. A full-mind immersion in Paksworld!

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — December 28, 2022 @ 6:48 am


    I’m sorry if my mock shock didn’t come through strong enough. I wasn’t surprised at all. One of the reasons people read is to we are expecting some kind of conflict and expect some kind of resolution by the end. The conflict part is what keeps us engaged as readers, draws us further into what we are reading.

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