Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blog Tour : Wing (The Unfinished Song Book 5) by Tara Maya

The first comment on this blog was by Tara Maya, more than a year and a half ago. I seem to remember I'd discovered her in the comments on Joe Konrath's blogs, was interested by what she said, and read the first of her books : "The Unfinished Song : Initiate" (Free).
While not perfect, Initiate was one of the books that convinced me that, indeed, good to great books could be found from self-published authors.
Last month, Tara published the 5th book of here Unfinished Song Series : Wing. As she was looking for hosts for her blog tour, I proposed she stop by as a guest on mine.
In her blog tour, for 12 days, each host will post an excerpt of Wing on his blog. What follows is my excerpt, and I must say that I'm really gratefull I got that part, since it fully reflects my feelings about her series, as expressed on my review.
Additionally, and if all goes well, I should have an other post from Tara Maya (you can follow her on her blog at taramayastales.blogspot.com/) before the end of the month.

But for now, I'll leave you with Dindi and Umbral

Wing : Book Five, released on October the 12th

She was helpless. With a single touch, the man in black had reduced her to quivering flesh, yearning for more of whatever he had done to her. Even after he released her, the aftershock left her whole body tingling.
Dindi recognized the Deathsworn menhirs, but he had no right to bring her here. She was not wounded, condemned or sick. By the law of light and shadow, his kind had no claim to her. But he had stalked her, deceived her and captured her. If he knew the law of light and shadow, he obviously did not give a damn.
She still did not know why he wanted her.
His strange, dark beast crouched overhead, hiding them from the rain under huge leathery wings. The man in black lit a circle of flame around them with a single gesture.
His face. His lie of a face. Why did he have to have that face?
He loomed over her with a jet knife in his hand. Despite the fire, her teeth chattered.
He brushed the wet hair from her face. The dagger rose and fell, and a piece of her wet Tavaedi’s costume fell away. Methodically, he cut away her clothes. When nothing remained but a wet scrap over her most discreet elements, he draped a dark wool wrap over her and toweled her wet skin. Where he had had the woolen stored, she did not know. His strong hands brushed her flesh, but he took no liberties. No pinching, no grabbing. He might have been rubbing down his horse. Bat. Whatever it was. Yet that only made the sensation more insidiously sensuous.
Once the wet clothes were gone, the warmth from the fire stilled her shivering.
“Better?” he asked.
The voice. Even the voice was his.
“Untie me.”
He shook his head with a slight, sad quirk of a smile.
That twist of his lips, so familiar, broke her heart.
“I don’t belong to you,” she said.
“I know.”
“Set me free.”
“I will.” He held up the blade. “Though not in the way you hope.”
Terror colder than the ice rain pelted her. “You promised you would not hurt me.”
“And I will keep my promise. It won’t hurt. I will deliver you to my Lady as gently as a mother wraps a babe in lamb fleece. It will feel just like falling asleep. Warm and soft. Painless. Except you will never wake up.”
Tears squeezed out the corners of her eyes. “Please don’t kill me.”
“I take no pleasure in this.”
“Then don’t do it.”
“I have no choice. It is your destiny to die, and my duty to be the one who takes your life.”
He wanted to justify himself? Good. Keep him talking. She searched the ground where he had cast her cut up rags. Among the debris was the corncob doll. She did not want to draw his attention to it.
“Make up your mind,” she said. “Is it destiny or duty? If it is a duty, then you have a choice. You can only blame destiny if you are someone’s slave. Are you a slave, Umbral? Or are you your own man?”
His lips twisted again. “You are tied to a rock, helpless, about to feel my blade at your throat, but you won’t give up, will you? I’m afraid I’m not easily goaded, sweet swan.”
“Don’t call me that.”
He stopped smiling. “You are correct. I haven’t the right.”
Slowly, he circumambulated the stone where she was bound. He scraped the tip of the obsidian blade against the granite as he walked. Backlit by the circle of fire, he was an ominous silhouette. The scratch-screech of stone rubbed on stone made her fists clench.
“If I am to die, may I at least know what I have done to deserve this so-called fate?”
“It won’t change what must be done. But if it comforts you, I will tell you what I know. In all of Faearth, there were only two strands left of Aelfae power which bred true. One ended in Kavio, only son of the White Lady. The other was hidden for generations, but at last we have found it. It ends with you.”
“So you killed Kavio and you’ll kill me, all to eradicate the last speck of the Aelfae?”
“The Lady of Mercy offered you a chance to join her. You rejected her love. Instead, you aligned yourself with the fae, and promised to undo the Gift of the Unfinished Song.”
“The Gift? You mean the Curse? You mean the genocide of the Aelfae?”
“It may have been a Curse to the Aelfae, but it was a Gift to humankind. They had to lose this world that we might gain it.”
Knife scrapped stone. A vulture circled helpless prey the same way he circled her. When he reached her wrists or ankles, he let the dagger very lightly trace a line over her limbs, though without drawing blood. The blade did not yet cut, it caressed.
“I know what you would argue,” he said. “Why could I not simply accept your word that you would not help the Aelfae. You could still learn to love Lady Death—”
“No.” Dindi found herself strangely calm. Angry yet serene, afraid yet fierce. “I will never love or serve your Lady. As long as I have breath, I will fight Death.
If I could bring the Aelfae back this minute, I would do it. Not because it’s my destiny, but because it’s wrong to destroy a whole people, even in a war. Humans crossed a river that should not be crossed.”
His low, throaty chuckle tickled over her.
“Thank you, Rainbow Dancer, for trying to make my job easier by relieving me of any dismay I might feel saving the world from you. But strangely, even knowing you would be a willing traitor to you own kind, I cannot love my duty to destroy you.”
“Traitor to my own kind? You yourself said that I am the descendent of both human and Aelfae. How can I take sides in their war without betraying half of my blood?”
“Indeed. I do not blame you for following your nature.” He paused so that he stood right over her, and the firelight illuminated his face. He brushed his fingers against her cheek. “The Aelfae were ever the most dangerous of the fae to humans: More seductive than any of the other High Faeries, and the only ones whose unions with humans bore fruit. For their part, we meant nothing to them.
All our taboos, our tamas, and our betrothals were but toys to them, to enter or break at will. Yet despite their scorn, or perhaps because of it, we found them irresistible. Some say no human could ever meet an Aelfae without falling in love.
“Maybe that is why when I saw you, I…”
He pulled back his hand abruptly.
Then, to her disbelief, he knelt before her. “Let me do you the honor of being the first and last to recognize you, Vaedi, before I end your life. You will never know what it costs me to do my duty.”
A moment later his dagger poised over her throat. She felt the cold knapped edge balanced against her jugular.
“It will be quick,” he promised hoarsely.
“Please,” she said with a catch in her voice. “At least do not do it wearing his face. Do not let me die looking at my murderer in the body of the man I loved.”
“It is you who determines how I appear,” Umbral said. “I cannot change it.”
So, for a moment, Dindi stared into the devastating face of Kavio as he prepared to kill her.
Then she squeezed her eyes shut and called on a Vision.

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