Jun 11, 2015
About The Author:
Rebecca Roland is the author of the Shards of History series, The Necromancer’s Inheritance series, and The King of Ash and Bones, and Other Stories. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Nature, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Stupefying Stories, Plasma Frequency, and Every Day Fiction, and she is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. You can find out more about her and her work at rebeccaroland.net, her blog Spice of Life, or follow her on Twitter @rebecca_roland.
About The Book:
Title: Fractured Days
Author: Rebecca Roland
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Malia returns home the hero of a war she can’t remember. The valley burning under the Maddion’s invasion, the fate of her late husband, the way she resolved the long-time distrust between the Taakwa people and the wolfish, winged Jegudun creatures–all of it has been erased from her memory. Malia hopes to resume training as her village’s next clan mother, but when the symbiotic magic that she and the Jeguduns used to repair the valley’s protective barrier starts to consume more and more of her mind, she’s faced with the threat of losing herself completely.
A powerful being known as “the changer” might hold the solution to her vanishing memories. But the Maddion’s new leader, Muvumo, also seeks the changer, hoping the being will cure them of the mysterious illness killing off his people. Meanwhile, Muvumo’s bride hopes the changer can bring about a new era, one in which she and the other Maddion women no longer need to hold onto their greatest secret.
Find the book Online:
Advance Praise for Shards of History:
“One of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read. Suspenseful, entrapping, and simply … well, let’s just say that Shards of History reminds us of why we love books in the first place. 5 out of 5 stars!” — Good Choice Reading
“A must for any fantasy reader.” — Plasma Frequency
“A passionate tale that will engage both young adults and more weathered fantasy readers.” — NewMyths.com
“Fast-paced, high-stakes drama in a fresh fantasy world!” — James Maxey, author of the Dragon Age trilogy
“Roland’s beautifully woven, suspenseful debut novel draws readers into a groundbreaking fantasy panorama and resonates in the heart with its genuine, personal portrayal of loyalty, relationships, and sacrifice. I eagerly await more stories about the Jegudun and Taakwa!” — David J. Corwell y Chávez, author of “Encounter at Boca del Diablo” (Tales of the New Mexico Mythos)
A few dragon bones littered the grass near the river. Further east, dozens of dragons’ bones marred the rolling plains. So much death. But it could have been worse if the barrier hadn’t been erected again. It was worth her losing her memories. Not that she didn’t want them back all the same.
Two figures circled in the air to the north and west, too large to be birds. Vedran joined her and followed her gaze.
“Ah, some of the men were talking about hunting with the Jeguduns, the way our ancestors used to. I see they’re giving it a go.”
The Jeguduns used to help the Taakwa find and trap big game animals. With any luck, the smokehouse would be busy all summer, and they’d have plenty of meat to last through the coming winter.
“Where are the other Jeguduns?” she asked.
“Some are helping with the crops.” He shrugged. “I’m not sure where the rest went. The children like playing games with them sometimes.”
Malia turned to the blanket hanging over the door to her home. Her heart quickened, and her stomach tickled. She pushed the blanket aside, found the hook just inside the door and gathered it there, and stepped in.
The air held a musty, unlived-in smell, although the walls had recently been whitewashed. Shelves lined those walls, holding blankets, clothes, baskets, cooking utensils and a pot and kettle, bowls and mugs, and pottery. She recognized her pottery work in the attention to detail, both in the structure and in the paintings on the pieces. Wood had already been stacked in the hearth, ready to light, and the kindling basket beside it stood full. Two metal Jegudun lanterns stood on the shelves, feather cut-outs in both. A narrow door beside the hearth led into a pantry. Malia went there first.
It was mostly bare, but dried spices filled some of the shelves along with pecans and a basket holding turkey jerky. There was also a basket filled with smoked, salted trout. It was enough to get her going. She’d have to go into the woods to find greens and more herbs, but she was stocked enough that it was no rush. A small covered bowl held some of the powder the Jeguduns used to make their chocolate drink. Malia took a deep breath of the bittersweet powder, and then covered it again. That she would save for special occasions, although she considered her first night back in her home to be special.
“I thought you could use a little something to get you started,” Vedran said behind her.
She startled, a hand rising to her chest where her heart skipped along. “I forgot you were here.”
One corner of his mouth rose in a grin. “I could go.”
“No.” She shook her head. “I don’t want to be alone, not just yet.”
She peeked into baskets in the main room. One held beads, strips of leather, bone needles and thread, scraps of cloth. Another held her spade for digging clay, bits of dried mud sticking to the bottom and sides. Her heart lurched. She’d gone through the process in her mind over and over. She remembered how to make the clay, how to form it, how to dry it, how to paint it, but when it came time to actually do it again, she feared her fingers would freeze. She quickly covered that basket with a square cloth and moved to the next. It held paintbrushes, and tiny, empty jars she used to mix and hold paint.
The final basket held the shattered remains of something she’d made. It had been painted and finished, the color a warm cinnamon. An eye gazed calmly at her from one piece, and the hint of a bobbed tail on another clued her in that she’d made something resembling a deer. Enuwal’s clan was represented by deer, just as hers was represented by trout.
Something stirred in her mind. She felt as though she held the answer to a question just before her, just out of reach, and if she could only grab it, everything would fall into place and make sense. She picked up a piece of the pottery.
The fog in her mind churned and roiled like storm clouds. Her fingers tingled where she held the shattered piece. The room began to spin, and a throbbing pain sprang up at the base of her skull.
She cried out and dropped the shard, stepping back from it as if it were a scorpion readying to strike. The fog moved forward.
No. It threatened to swallow her mind. Her memories. Malia staggered.
She was dimly aware of Vedran at the door, crying for help while she fell. She fought against the fog, pushing back with all her will. She clutched her head as if she could reach in and hold it back. Her hand slipped, found one of the feathers around her neck.
Help, she thought, not sure who she asked.
The feather grew hot. She almost let go, but the fog started to roll back. She clutched the feather tighter.
The fog retreated. It calmed, eventually giving no hint as to the turmoil it had just released upon her mind. Malia sat back on her heels, breathing heavily, heart pounding. Talons scrabbled on the ledge and wings fluttered, then one of the Jeguduns, feathers the color of cedar, rushed inside and took her hand. Vedran raced in after.
“I’m all right,” she gasped. Her head throbbed, but she retained the day’s memories. Thank goodness.
Her hand still clutched the feather tight. The extraordinary heat had ebbed. She released it slowly, and when the fog remained calm, reached a finger to it again and touched it lightly.
It was Tuvin’s feather. She waited for the stored memory to flow over her, the sense of calm and well being, but there was nothing. She might as well have worn a turkey feather. Her heart constricted. Her only tangible memory of Tuvin, the only piece of him left, and she’d rendered it useless.
She hung her head, and her body shook as she held in the sobs.