March 26, 2011

my kind of magic - exerpt from Eldala

when i set out to write Eldala, i didn't intend to have magic be part of the story. it just kind of happened. in my Telerian world, there are several kinds of magic, some inherited and some that's passed on. there's the magic of the native people, the Baraca. they can have a heart connection with the person they marry. there's the magic of the mystics, something that's passed on to their apprentices. they can see all possible futures and share those visions when necessary. then there's the magic that the kings have inherited from their ancestors. my main character, Kieran, has this kind of magic.

here are two scenes with Kieran and his father, King Arathor. the first is Arathor telling him how being a descendant of Alardin makes him different, and how a Keldar stone from Alardin's country of origin can enhance his abilities. the next is Kieran deciding whether or not he's going to use the stone to fight a freak storm that could stop him from doing what he has to do to win back his kingdom. 

on a side note, the Keldar stones play a large part in my sequel, Black Heart.

scene 1

(Arathor gave Kieran his first lesson in using a sword and Kieran quit.)

“What happened back there?” Arathor asked.

Kieran put on his shirt and looked out over the unsettled sea.

“Did you think this would be easy?”
 Kieran fixed his eyes on the waves. They weren’t the only things churning. “I don’t know what I thought.”

“It takes most men years to become proficient swordsmen.”
 “Most men? What does that mean?”

“You’re not ‘most men.’ The blood of Alardin flows through you. It fills every part of you.”

Kieran wiped the sweat from his face and looked at Arathor, his eyes narrowing.

“Haven’t you ever wondered why you’re an exceptional blacksmith, even better than Kale?”

“Once in a while.”

“It’s the blessing of Alardin, giving you greater abilities than other men.”

“How does being Alardin’s descendant give me special abilities?”

“Because Alardin came from a line of enchanted kings.”

“It just seems too fantastic that anyone could be enchanted or have special powers.”

Arathor stood and said, “Kel-lema menan-dai kah-gish tehai.” Kieran jumped as a wall of flames hotter than his forge rose up around them. The sweat poured from his face, down his neck, and over his chest. Kieran looked at Arathor but he did nothing.

Kieran was no stranger to fire, but this fire was different. He had no control over it.

The flames grew in height and intensity. Kieran winced as a tongue of flame licked his shoulder. His nose wrinkled at the familiar odor of singed hair. He didn’t think he could take much more. Finally, Arathor said, “Kel-lema menan-dai mah-rog.” Immediately the flames died, leaving a ring of scorched stones around them. Kieran let out the breath he’d unknowingly held in.

Arathor mopped his brow and sat. Kieran washed his face in the waves and then returned to the king. It took him a few minutes to express his thoughts. “That was…I’ve never seen anything like that.”

“I use it only when necessary.”

Standing this close to Arathor, Kieran noticed a blue light glowing through Arathor’s shirt.

“What’s that?” he asked, pointing.

Arathor pushed back his collar so Kieran could get a better look. “It’s my Keldar stone. Alardin brought several of these from the volcanic mountains of Keldar in Benalia.”

The flat, round stone was silvery-blue and moved with Arathor’s skin. Kieran couldn’t help but touch it. A strange warmth flowed out of it and up Kieran’s arm. Kieran pulled his hand away.

Arathor pulled something out of his pocket and gave it to Kieran. Kieran saw a round blue stone on the end of an intricately woven but heavy silver chain. “This is your Keldar stone. I’ve been saving it for you. If you wear it, it will enhance your abilities, and you’ll be able to speak with me over long distances. If you choose to make it part of yourself, it cannot be removed.”

Kieran held the stone up to the light. He could just make out something that looked like a small flame burning inside of it. He put the stone in his pocket. He would have to think about wearing it.

scene 2

(Kieran has accepted the fact that he's the next king, and that he has these abilities. now he faces a storm brought on by the false ruler, Ciara.)

“This is Ciara’s doing.”

Toren was the first to put words to what Kieran had been thinking for the last few days. Despite the fact that it was almost summer, snow had been coming down for days. At first, they’d all thought it was a surprise storm. But now it was apparent that this was probably an enchanted blizzard.

“If it keeps up,” Riordan said, “we won’t be able to get to Barpeta until next month.”

“I think Kieran could do something about it,” Gilrain said.

Starting small fires and causing a tree to bud were one thing. But what Gilrain was suggesting was beyond Kieran’s abilities. And besides, he hadn’t practiced using his enchantments since leaving Koridoc.

Rather than argue with Gilrain, Kieran went outside. Many of the drifts came up to his waist. As he stood looking over the endless field of white, fears he didn’t want to admit swirled in his head like snow flurries.

He wasn’t thinking about Arathor, but suddenly his father was in his mind, once again sensing his thoughts.

You knew this kind of thing could happen. When you walk in who you are, you will be opposed. (this is one of my favorite lines, by the way.)

I just didn’t expect it to come so soon.

You’ll have to be on your guard from now on.

I’ve never done anything this big.

The spell you’ll have to use will take more than your natural abilities. You’ll have to absorb the Keldar stone.

Most of the time Kieran ignored the Keldar stone, just like the ring. He had never quite decided if he wanted to make it part of himself. He knew that if he did, he could never go back to his old life. Becoming one with the stone would change him forever.

to read more about Eldala, visit my Eldala website. there you can find character pictures, trivia, and the first six chapters. there are also teasers for Eldala's sequel, Black Heart.


Margo Berendsen said...

I LOVE the Keldar stones! How they become one with the body and even move with it and can never be taken off once put on. And that is a great line: "when you walk in who you are, you will be opposed".

My spring break starts tomorrow. A whole long week to relax and read Eldala! this was a perfect primer for it!

Dawn Embers said...

Very interesting. I have a copy of Eldala but haven't had a chance to read just yet. I'll have to try and get it in after I read Promise. These two entries have a good sense of magic to them and how the character has to deal with his abilities. The stone part is also an intriguing element that I can't wait to learn more about.

Theresa Milstein said...

I like your comparison of the churning sea with the churning inside Kieran. That flat rock was intriguing.

Donna Hole said...

Great use of magic. You know, these were some of my favorites.


Laura Howard said...

This is from your published work? I'll have to check it out... I came from Olivia's review on her blog :)

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Hi Michelle, even reading this for the second time I smiled.

Love your magic, that rebel, Olivia

Tessa Conte said...

I love Eldana. I have it on my kindle (not done reading yet, though).

And I also love your magic system. Very nicely built world!


ps. do check in on the 30th to vote on the finalitst!

lbdiamond said...

Interesting! I'll have to check this out! Thanks for participating!

RosieC said...

Hi Michelle,
These scenes are great. I love the tension between your characters, too. Thanks so much for sharing.

Just Another Sarah said...

Um, I think I'll have to go and find a copy of your book! It sounds interesting--and parts of this world remind me of parts of mine, in a novel I've been working on. Great job!

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Woohoo! Congrats on being a finalist, girlfriend! :)

~ that rebel, Olivia

MorningAJ said...

I love the idea that they can choose to make the stones part of them so they can't be removed. Does that increase their power? Or only secure it?

Congratulations on being a finalist.

stickynotestories said...

Very interesting take on magic in your world! I really like the idea of the stones, and that your MC is resistant to the whole idea. Thank you for sharing!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Very intriguing! Good luck with the contest.

February Grace said...

Ah, Kieran and Arathor, each of them kept a little piece of my heart when I read Eldala, you know!

So happy to hear there's more Arathor to look forward to in Black Heart!!!

<3 ~bru