Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Excerpt: The Rafters, by AC Montgomery

The Rafters: Book 1 of the Somnambulist Saga visits an arcane world, where at crucial intervals, Callings of varying power and purpose, are brought into being to reside among the somns, who are the usual inhabitants. Despite their significance, every Calling must rely on a Messenger, an exclusively selected guardian who is the only person with the knowledge to bring him or her to the discovery of their true identity. Rhyus Delmar is a young Calling who, due to memory loss, finds himself running ever further from his Messenger, in a vain attempt to discover his true identity. Every chapter brings with it new revelations, and often new questions. The thrilling story and its elaborate personalities and scenery will captivate the imagination of any fantasy lover, leaving them with new characters to love and loath, waiting and wondering where the remainder of the series will carry them.


A young man awoke in an unfamiliar city. An ominous
feeling pervaded his senses. Dazed, he lay still, unknowing. Atrum
Unda, the Dark City, a place of never-ending rain. Thickly woven,
black clouds dropped harsh, icy rain on his prostrate form. But not
icy enough to burn the exposed flesh of his arms and face. Brisk
air ate through rain-drenched clothing causing an uncontrollable
shiver. He laid blinking wearily and half conscious. He looked
desperately around, trying to assess his surroundings.

Where am I? he wondered.

As he blinked, trying to clear his vision, two winged men swam
into focus through the pelting rain. The black marble figures were
dressed in elegance, their faces concealed by masquerade masks,
adorned with images of the sun and moon.

The dark sea crashed against the edges of the slick, stone shelf
on which he lay. His perch pressed precariously against the base
of a high, stone cliff where a steep, narrow stairway angled up the
vertical face to meet a lush, thriving forest at the summit.
Something moved. There it was again. He strained at the blurry
periphery of his vision to determine if the rain-drenched haze was
playing tricks on him, or if indeed, something was out there.

All went black.

With a start, after several unconscious minutes, his eyes opened
to see a shadowy figure looming over him. He discerned a man’s
voice. What is he saying? Unsuccessfully, he strained to make out
the words.

A sudden, sharp explosion of pain struck him, hard and square,
snuffing the feeble flicker of his consciousness. Unaware, he curled
into a writhing fetal position… He couldn’t breathe…
And once again, everything went black.

1:Lux Lumetia

An obscure figure leaned against the side of a black building.
With a desultory kick, he scattered a clump of blue, sapphire granules
with the tip of his square-toed shoe. They skittered away in a hazy
blue cloud, beneath the dim glow of a sputtering streetlight. Tilting
his head upward, he luxuriated in the coolness of the omnipresent
rain that so much characterized the city of Atrum Unda. It spattered
his shades and streamed down his angular, pale face.

The man, Vincent KyVeerah, concentrated his energies toward
another somn, similarly wired to his mental wavelength. A somn in
a distant city, Lux Lumetia, the City of Light.

“Venn.” He drummed his long, manicured nails on the stone,
waiting impatiently for a response. Nothing.

“Come on, Venn. Pay attention!”

“Vincent! What in Blue Ravenna could you be up to so early in
the morning? Mucking around this time of day is just plain, damn
uncivilized! I certainly would not be out now, if Marion hadn’t
dragged my ass here.” The rich, deep voice, tinged with sleep, was
heavy in its disapproval. Venn, himself, tended to get up around
nine or nine thirty. Going out to the city walkways any earlier was
beyond his liking. Marion had insisted that they must go before
dawn in order to get the best of the early market produce.

“You know I prefer KyVeerah, p-lease.” Amusement thinned
KyVeerah’s already fine lips and carried through his thoughts.
“Hang on, Venn, I need you to concentrate.”

In an instant, KyVeerah sent a mental image to Venn of a young
man landing in a Lux canal of the very city where Venn himself
dwelt, and then he disconnected his mind.

The bright first light of a beautiful morning shone down on Venn
and Marion as they scouted North Market. As they walked, Marion
babbled at his side, delighted with everything she saw. With each
step, her soft brown, chestnut curls bobbed as she bounced along.
He envied her youth. At twenty-six years old, Venn had long ceased
being excited about the wonders of the North Market. He would
much prefer to be back under the soft, warm covers of his luxurious
bed. He longed for a few more hours of rest.

Tiring of the market’s incessant noise in short time, he exited
north toward an airy bridge spanning a distant canal. From there, he
could watch over Marion but still enjoy his tranquility.

At the moment though, Venn had blocked the bright colors and
pungent odors of the market from his thoughts. Staring down into
the crystal clear water below, he concentrated on the message that
Vincent KyVeerah had just planted in his mind.

An image formed. Suddenly, he was peering down into another
canal, almost identical to that immediately below him. He could
see a boy, or rather a young man, lying unconscious on a crystal
slab, partially submersed in the clear, blue water. He appeared to
have fallen down a short flight of three wide steps. One arm was
still draped over the bottom step with his head partially supported
by the same. Venn grimaced as he recognized the location of the
canal portal where the young man lay. It would be quite a jaunt
to get to the Ripolis District where KyVeerah expected Venn to
retrieve him. Then he showed a wry smile. Since when had Vincent
KyVeerah ever made anything easy?

“Lucky the little bastard landed face up,” Venn muttered. “Maybe
he won’t drown before I can get there.”


The Rafters is available on Amazon

Link to the Paperback

Link to Amazon

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