Sample Text Days Dark as Night
Then he leaned in toward her, gazing at her intently, staring into her fiery but wary eyes, “I promise you something more as well,” he said, his voice thick with emotion, with a conviction and purpose he hadn’t felt since he swore his oath of knighthood. “Whenever you come to trial, no matter what, I will speak for you. I don’t know how much my voice will count, but you will not face your enemies alone. I will speak for you.”
Joet was shocked by his words. She could not stop the gooseflesh this promise gave her. During war, such a gesture on his part would not be taken well, could harm him. No one, except for Owain and her brother, had ever made such a deep personal commitment to her.
Without thinking she swung her two tied hands over to grasp one of his. The brief touch was like fire. She as rapidly withdrew, pulled into herself and motioned Neiten away, not wanting to draw any additional attention.
Her thoughts were cut short, for rising in front of her were the walls of the city of Albani. They were more than sixty feet tall, made of dark stone that seemed almost black in the shadows and stretched to both left and right as far as Joet could see. To her mind they seemed enormous armored limbs reaching out to embrace her–summoning her to her death.
Sample Text Nights Lit by Fire
Simon, Joet, and d’Ypres stood on the battlements of Cardester castle, three solitary figures in the predawn light, and surveyed the scene unfolding below them. Smoke hung in the air, thick enough to make their eyes water. Etienne’s army had burned the town of Cardester two days before and the ruins still smoldered.
From the corner of his eye, Simon studied Joet who was leaning forward, fingers splayed against the rough stone surface of the rampart, to get a better view. Her jaw was set in a hard line and Simon thought that it was not just the acrid smoke that caused tears to course down her cheeks.
One of the hardest decisions they had made had been to shut the gates of the castle and keep out the townspeople and villagers from the surrounding area. Thus, as Etienne’s army had approached, scores of desperate, terrified people had fled up the road to the castle, only to be greeted by the massive barred gate. The cries were pitiful and had lasted through the day and long into the night. The next morning a handful of young men had tried to scale the castle wall, and d’Ypres had ordered his archers to cut them down. The remaining civilians had finally fled in panic.
It was a terrible decision and Joet would never completely forgive herself for accepting it. But starvation was a weapon in a siege, perhaps the ultimate weapon. While Cardester castle was well supplied for its garrison, it could hardly feed hundreds of additional mouths. D’Ypres had been all too graphic in describing what would happen if they ran out of food, and Simon had agreed. Joet had no choice but to do likewise.