The Conquerer's Shadow by Ari Marmell

“Are you sure you can keep up?” Corvis asked, concerned.

“As long as you don’t have the poor beast galloping the entire way, yes.” Davro actually huffed. “The day a healthy ogre can’t outlast a horse is the day I hang up my sword for good.”

“Umm, Davro, you tried that already. That’s why I found you herding pigs.”

“Oh, shut up.”

Corvis, his head bobbing slightly with Rascal’s methodical gait, watched around him as the ground passed beneath their feet. The grasses glowed with a jade sheen in the light of the afternoon sun, and the grazing animals watched them pass with a minimum of alarm. Clearly the beasts of this place had few worries or concerns. The trees, though sporadic, were tall, their leaves thick in the full bloom of health. A few white clouds drifted over the mountains, casting enormous shadows upon the valley.

“This is a beautiful place you picked to live,” Corvis admitted. “I’m surprised there isn’t a settlement here.”

“Don’t get any ideas, Rebaine. I like it nice and empty.”

“Relax, Davro. I’m not moving in, just commenting. And I promise you, I’ll do my best to get you back here just as soon as possible.”

“Why, how kind of you. That’s so considerate, I could just squat.”

“I’m trying to make conversation,” Corvis protested. “To make the journey go faster.”

“I see. You know what’s even better than trying to make conversation?”

“What?”

“Not trying to make conversation.”

“Perhaps I’ll be quiet, then.”

“Miracles do happen.”

Corvis, deciding he wasn’t apt to get the better of this particular conversation, chose to watch the miles and the scenery pass in silence.

As the perfect companion to my recent interview with Ari Marmell, flamesrising.com has released an excerpt from Marmell’s The Conquerer’s Shadow. If you read my interview, and were curious about Marmell’s work, this is a great way to see if it’s something you might be interested in.

You can read the full excerpt HERE.

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