The Gates of Life in Kellindahr as viewed from the border of Qarth
This book is a behind the scenes look at the characters and setting in Kayelle Allen’s The Last Vhalgenn. Duty to king and country has shaped Raik’s life since birth, but to protect them, she must perform a ritual that betrays all she holds sacred.The Vhalgenn is a warrior, bedmate, soulmate, companion, and friend. Trusted by the king. Hated by the queen. To save the newborn prince, the Vhalgenn will risk her position, her honor, and death itself to honor the Old Ways. But when she takes the newborn prince to the queen’s homeland for a ritual blessing, she discovers a betrayal so deep the kingdom — and her heart — might never recover. This fantasy features a strong heroine, and was originally part of the 2008 EPIC eBook Award Finalist anthology A Time To… Volume 1 – The Best of The Lorelei Signal, from Wolfsinger Publications, which is now out of print. The strong female character possesses nobility, honor, and courage, and is a role model for women. The book is dedicated to all women warriors, whatever their battle, and is written by a US Navy Veteran.
Raik – the Vhalgenn
as these are common. There are no slaves, but being a Vhalgenn is as close as it can come to being the property of another. Raik’s full name is Raik Ty Hellesbor, clan Ddumach. The word “ty” means she is bonded by blood to the Hellesbor clan. The addition of “clan Ddumach” means she was born into the Ddumach family. She wears a cheek tattoo of ivy woven around a diadem (crown), which is the symbol
of the house of Hellesbor. For the past year or so she’s been serving at the front of the battle with northerly neighbors of Qarth and Kellindahr.
Orix – the King of Qarth
Orix Ayre Hellesbor, clan Hellesbor was born to be king. As a prince, his constant companion was Raik, of the Ddumach clan, born to be his Vhalgenn. With Raik at his side, Orix learned to fight, to read, and to govern. If any single person holds his trust, it is she. He also grew up knowing that one day an advantageous political marriage would be arranged for him, and it would not be with Raik. Though he adored her, she could never be his wife.
Dahr – the Queen of Kellindahr
Dahr of Kellindahr, the princess and heir of the largest nation on the planet fought to prevent her marriage to Orix of Qarth. Her family overruled her objection, and the dozen or more years of skirmishes and border wars between her people and his
were settled by their union. Realizing Orix would never love her, and jealous of the time he spent alone with Raik, Dahr banished Raik. Dahr miscarried a child early in their marriage, and at the beginning of the story, is pregnant again, and in poor health.
Estria – the wetnurse
Estria, clan Ddumach, is the young mother of a bastard son of the king, and distantly related to the Vhalgenn. She supports herself and her son by selling her breast milk. A feisty and challenging soul, she is coerced by the queen into accompanying the Vhalgenn as a wetnurse for the queen’s newborn.
Dahryc – the newborn prince
Born after a difficult labor, the young prince is sent off with the Vhalgenn and his wet-nurse almost immediately after birth. Destined to undergo a ritual that will supposedly protect him and appease the faerii, the truth about his birth could change the kingdom forever.
The Gates of Life – the sacred destination in the Vhalgenn’s quest
For as long as the people of Kellindahr can remember, families have paid homage to the Faerii by carrying newborns beneath a set of tall, arches. Known as the Gates of Life, these metal arches are said to hold the power of life and death. According to legend, an infant who sees his father before being passed beneath the gates will die. When Queen Dahr beseeches the Vhalgenn to take her child through the gates to protect him, she refers to this belief. To appease the queen, whom Raik thinks is dying, she agrees. So begins the quest to reach the gates before King Orix can see his son.
From The Last Vhalgenn:
From The Last Vhalgenn: “The river…stretched toward the north, a silver ribbon stitched against the green velvet of Kellindahr’s rich farmlands.”
From The Last Vhalgenn: “If any man ‘as crossed the Denauerman Flats, ‘e’s not returned to speak of it in Qarth! It’s salt flats, dead water and sink ‘oles…”
The Last Vhalgenn
Duty to king and country has shaped Raik’s life since birth, but to protect them, she must perform a ritual that betrays all she holds
By Award Winning Science Fiction Romance Author Kayelle Allen
Exclusively on Amazon: http://mybook.to/vhalgenn
Read an excerpt:
The Last Vhalgenn
By Kayelle Allen
In this scene from The Last Vhalgenn, the heroine, Raik, is alone with King Orix. They grew up together, but his new queen barred Raik from the palace. Raik is back to deliver news of a battle and while delighted to be with Orix, is nervous about his queen discovering them.
I followed Orix to the matching chairs where we used to sit in the evenings. The fire crackled and popped. Homesickness gnawed my heart, especially when the faithful old servant, Cyrus, greeted me. His unfeigned affection and fatherly embrace brought tears to my eyes. He set out a meal of bread, cheese, and wine and served me first, against all custom.
Orix watched, amusement touching his mouth and eyes. Before he left, Cyrus reminded me twice to call if I needed anything. Orix stood and went to the fire, hands held out to the flames.
“There’s enough for four people.” I broke off a hunk of crusty black bread. “Come share.”
He returned, nibbling while I gulped, but said little. At last, hunger satisfied and body clean, I leaned back in the chair and lifted a goblet, watching the fire through the deep red wine.
“I’m sorry, Orix. You know. About Dahr. I didn’t mean to hurt. You mean more to me than anyone alive.”
He reached across and took my hand; interlaced his fingers, and then folded his arms and stared into the fire.
“I need her Raik. As much as I needed you.”
Needed? I choked back words that anguish hurried to mind. I was as much his chattel as any of his horses. If one person could own another, then I was his, given to him at birth. Why should it hurt if he treated me as such?
“She’s in danger of losing the baby.”
“Again?” There had been a miscarriage four months after their marriage. “What’s wrong this time?” I poured more wine.
“Some woman thing. Her doctors fuss around her bed all day. It’s been weeks and she still has to stay on her back. I can’t even see her. All her doctors are from Kellindahr. I don’t think she trusts ours.”
“This child is crucial, Orix. You need an heir to both lands. If it helps for her to have her own people around her, so much the better.”
“Aye.” He rambled on about a rallying point and the Kellindahrii people’s love for their queen, while I mused over how much time would be lost begetting another heir. It struck me that if Dahr was abed she hadn’t met Orix’s needs. My throat tightened when I thought of him sleeping alone. I dared not look at the over-sized bed we’d so often shared. Nor did I look straight at him, afraid my rampant feelings would show. There was a war to finish. I’d been foolish to bring the dispatch. Being this close to him…
I flung myself out of the chair and stalked, stiff legged and sore, over to the fireplace and leaned my head against the mantle.
Let him go! He’s the king. You’re a soldier. He’ll never be yours. Don’t lose your heart over him. Don’t do it. Not again.
“I’m sorry.” Orix came up behind me. “You’re exhausted and here I am prating about my needs.” He pulled my hand to his mouth and pressed the palm against his lips.
The Last Vhalgenn
Duty to king and country has shaped Raik’s life since birth, but to protect them, she must perform a ritual that betrays all she holds sacred.
The Vhalgenn is a warrior, bedmate, soulmate, companion, and friend. Trusted by the king. Hated by the queen. To save the newborn prince, the Vhalgenn will risk her position, her honor, and death itself to honor the Old Ways. But when she takes the newborn prince to the queen’s homeland for a ritual blessing, she discovers a betrayal so deep the kingdom — and her heart — might never recover.
This fantasy features a strong heroine, and was originally part of the 2008 EPIC eBook Award Finalist anthology A Time To… Volume 1 – The Best of The Lorelei Signal, from Wolfsinger Publications, which is now out of print. The strong female heroine possesses nobility, honor, and courage, and is a role model for women. The book is dedicated to all women warriors, whatever their battle, and is written by a female veteran.
Available exclusively at Amazon http://is.gd/SciFiFantasy_Vhalgenn
Sign up for one email the sequel, Return of the Vhalgenn is available: http://authoralarms.com/Kayelle_Allen
Here’s a giveaway for everyone, an illustrated eBook called Behind the Scenes with The Last Vhalgenn. This free eBook is an inside look at the characters and setting in the story. When you click the link, this will either offer you a download, or open in a new window, depending on your settings. To read it, you need Adobe Reader, available free.
About the Author
Kayelle Allen is a multi-published, award-winning Science Fiction Romance author of unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, and unforgettable passion.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog
Coming soon: Return of the Vhalgenn