We don’t toss around the word “gripping” that often, but for this excerpt of Sylvain Reynard‘s The Roman, we are more than willing to make an exception! Seriously, we might have stopped breathing a little toward the end. But you won’t have to hold your breath for long. The Roman releases December 6th!
Raven wished she had one of William’s relics. Commander Borek had seen to it that her sister Cara received medical attention, but he hadn’t done so out of compassion. He’d done so because he feared the Curia.
Raven needed to bolster her defenses.
“Commander Borek.” She lifted her voice, evading the soldier who was supposed to carry her.
The commanding officer ignored her.
“Commander Borek,” she repeated, louder.
He turned his head in her direction, as did the remaining members of their party.
“We need to leave,” he growled. “Or you’ll end up dead.”
“I need a sword.” She extended her hand.
He stared at her incredulously. “No.”
She took a few limping steps in his direction. “I’m not afraid to fight. What if we encounter ferals?”
He walked toward her, holding out a sword.
As soon as she took the weight of the weapon into her hand, it slipped from her fingers, toppling to the grass.
Laughter rippled across the vampyres.
Stubbornly, she tried to retrieve the sword from the ground. It was so heavy she could barely lift it with both hands.
Borek snatched the sword away from her, thrusting it into his belt. “Much as it pains you, you’ll have to rely on us for protection.”
He barked an order to the soldier assigned to her, and the vampyre bowed before taking off at a run. In his stead, Borek lifted her over his shoulder. They descended the hill at a high rate of speed.
Raven was surprised the commander would deign to carry her.
After they’d gone some distance, Borek slowed. He passed his hand down her uninjured leg and slid it under the hem of her jeans.
She jerked away from his touch. “What are you doing?”
“Keep your voice down.”
She felt something cool slide into her sock. Borek pulled the leg of her jeans down to cover it.
“A dagger.” His voice was low. “Conceal it from the others.”
Raven placed her hand at the small of his back, indicating that she’d heard.
“Aim for the throat,” he rumbled. “A dagger will be of little use against a feral or one of us. But it will buy you time.”
“Why are you helping me?”
Borek fell silent.
Raven had given up all hope of receiving an answer when his voice came out of the darkness.
“For now, at least, your fate is tied to mine.”
About Sylvain Reynard
I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.
I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.
I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and SylvainReynard.com.