Martha Wells (marthawells) wrote,
Martha Wells
marthawells

Snippet from Raksura Novella

I want to post pictures from the group signing at Murder by the Book on Friday, but I haven't downloaded them yet and a cat is preventing me from getting up to get the camera.

So here's a snippet from the Raksura novella I'm working on.

FAQ:

1) Remember this is a novella, not a novel, so the whole thing will be around 30,000 words long, about a fourth the length of one of the Raksura novels. The good news is, it is the first of four.

2) They will be ebooks, and I don't know yet when they will be published or if there will ever be a paper version. I'll post as soon as I know.

3) If you're coming to the San Antonio WorldCon, and I get to do a reading, I'll be reading a longer section there.

4) If you're new and you don't know what Raksura are, the site for information on the books, the free short stories, the world, the fan art, etc is www.raksura.com


***

With the hunters in charge, the minimal camp went together fast, including a dirt hearth and shelters constructed from stretches of fabric made water resistant with tree sap. There weren't any rocks handy, so Merit used chunks of mountain tree wood that was too old and hard to burn, spelling them for fireless heat.

Moon sent River, Drift, and Briar with two of the hunters, Plum and Salt, to take a kill from the grasseater herd on a lower platform. He wanted to keep them all fed at every opportunity, to be prepared for anything. Once they were gone, Moon shifted to groundling, but he was so tense it didn't help much to lose the weight of his wings.

He paced on the flattened grass near the hearth. The other warriors distributed themselves around the camp, stretching and talking quietly. Floret stayed near Moon, as if waiting for instructions. He wished he could think of some.

Bramble brought the water kettle and set it on the wood to heat. Then Venture strolled up. She said, "You've done well today, consort."

There was no rational response to that, so Moon didn't make one. Bramble, crouched near his feet, hissed deep in her throat.

Venture asked Floret, "Are we waiting here for the line-grandfather?"

Floret, rather pointedly, asked Moon, "Moon, are we to wait here for Stone?"

Moon nodded, still lost in thought.

Floret told Venture, "Yes, we're waiting for the line-grandfather."

Venture gave her an ironic nod. "The consort spoke freely at the court, with a reigning queen present. Why not now?"

Floret tilted her head, annoyance turning to something more dangerous. That's it, Moon thought. He said, "Venture, why are you with Cerise?"

A flicker of surprise and something else crossed Venture's expression. She said, "Queens are always accompanied by female warriors. Maybe with your background you haven't had that explained to you--"

"Queens are accompanied by their clutchmates. You're supposedly the clutchmate of the reigning queen of Ocean Winter. Did she not want you? Or does she not trust Cerise?"

Venture stiffened in offense. Floret and Bramble watched her with fixed expressions. Bramble, in groundling form, flexed her shoulders as if raising spines she didn't have at the moment; under her sleeveless shirt her muscles rippled.

Venture showed her teeth briefly. "I was sent to Cerise as an honor to her," she said, and walked away.

Floret and Bramble both relaxed. Floret muttered, "If I said something that idiotic, Pearl would slap me so hard my fangs would fly out."

Bramble, dipping the metal travel cups into the tea, snorted. "I guess it's no fun for her to scratch when someone scratches back. Why did she ask you about Stone, Floret?"

Floret sat beside the hearth. "She's pretending she thinks I'm in charge to make us angry."

Bramble took Moon's wrist and put a cup in his hand. "Oh, wonderful. It's lovely enough having her along without that."

"I know. It's not as if we can't argue and fight on our own, we don't need an outsider poking us."

She was right about that.

Merit came to the hearth, carrying his pack, and Moon asked him, "Can you do an augury?"

Merit nodded. "I'll get started right away."
Tags: books of the raksura, novellas, raksura, snippet post, upcoming publications
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