Hello and Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. So good to “see” you all. I’m very happy to be back after an unplanned two month break, during which little writing was done and much angst was had. Suffice it to say I’m very glad July is over and am looking forward to a calmer, more productive rest of the summer.
I’m sure you’ve forgotten all about me and my unfortunate hero, Prince Gabriel (sniff), so as a reminder, please recall that he’s returned to his family’s castle after a long absence, has met with his possibly unstable brother, King Tristan, and had an encounter with Tristan’s mysterious bride-to-be, Lady Baltan. And he’s only just arrived! Now it’s time for the big feast of the Hunter’s Moon, where he gets to make a speech and try to deflect Tristan’s mistrust.
To his relief, Gabriel was able to slip into the raucous feast hall unremarked, moments before the king’s retinue clamored down the main staircase behind him. He dodged servants laden with trays of food and jugs of wine and found his place at the head table, beneath the great ornamental tapestry featuring the Rosenthal family crest, and facing the rest of the narrow hall. A long rectangle had been formed out of several heavy wooden tables, creating seating for at least a hundred people, if not more. Despite the overwhelming effect of so many faces, or perhaps because of it, Gabriel’s gaze quickly landed on Gavin Falkner to his right, ten seats down. The familiar face, if not an exactly friendly one, helped settle his nerves as he took in the rest of the room.
All the candles in the overhead chandeliers had been lit, a fire roared at the far end of the hall, and the press of bodies made the usually frigid stone hall steamy and uncomfortably warm.
It’s going to be a long night, Gabriel thought as he slid into his seat. Tristan’s empty seat was to his immediate left. To his right sat his uncle Aldous, a hundred years old if a day.
Not that the years had dulled his wit. The ancient man, though decrepit and nearly blind, had an infamously sharp tongue.
“Ah, Gabriel, you’ve returned from your three year holiday at last,” Aldous said by way of greeting.
“Uncle Aldous, how delightful to see you still among the living.” Gabriel nodded at his uncle and reached for the goblet of wine in front of him.
Blurb in progress for Snow:
Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.
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