A New Novelette Set in the World of “An Acolyte of Black Spires”
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On the continent of Ahn-Tarqa, where science and magic are one, and humans share the land with great saurians, all races have in common a dreadful ailment: the disease known as “The Sorrow.” A lingering hopelessness with no cure. A fear of life itself.
But for twelve-year-old Belde, her days in the city of Tyrn, playing in the streets with her whip-smart dinosaur pet Rint, seem far removed from the Sorrow she sees in others. Then, one burning summer day, cruel sorcerers from the masked race known as “The Shapers” slither from their black towers into Tyrn and knock on the door of the workshop of Belde’s father.
Belde is about to drop into a nightmare that will carry her and Rint across the city, fleeing from the Shapers’ twisted killers, and into the glaring light of the truth about her life—a truth that echoes over all Ahn-Tarqa with the sound of the word “Sorrowless.”
Ryan Harvey, winner of the Writers of the Future Award, continues the adventure in the science-fantasy setting of his story “An Acolyte of Black Spires” with this new novelette of action, heartbreak, and discovery. A stand-alone story that also serves as the prologue to the upcoming novel Turn over the Moon.
Praise for “Farewell to Tyrn”
“Harvey conjures his fantastic settings with sparkling, evocative prose narrated at a crackling pace. Watch this guy.” — Howard Andrew Jones, author of The Desert of Souls
“The reader is left salivating, waiting in anticipation for the next morsel to drop. Harvey's writing is first-rate. The way in which he crafts his story evokes a plethora of emotions from his reader. I'm definitely ready to read more about Belde's journey.” —The Kindle Book Review
“Set in the same world as Ryan Harvey’s ‘An acolyte of Black Spires,’ the same strengths are on display here; evocative prose and a wonderful world that is created through subtle detail. Nothing in the prose is forced and the story respects the reader's intelligence.” —Nick T. Chan, Writers of the Future 2012 Winner
“I had one point of howling dismay, and that was when I tried to turn the screen to the next page and found out the story was over. I wanted more, and I wanted it immediately. If the novel is just as good, it will be a reading-until-5-am-because-you-can't-put-it-down book.” —Amazon reviewer
“A wonderful reading experience. A good ‘entry point’ for Harvey’s Ahn-Tarqa. I hope Ryan Harvey writes more.” —Amazon reviewer
Here’s an Excerpt. . . .
I had seen a few Art carriages before, but they belonged to nobles from the villas who liked to wheel them out at festivals to show their wealth. This machine shamed anything from a tatty parade. It was the length of two ceratopses standing horn-to-tail, and the black metal sheets bolted across it did not reflect the sun. Ropes of chains formed treads around the wheels; the carriage could probably roll over a lava bed and grind it flat.
I must have stared for a long while, because Rint started to peck at my hand to tell me it was getting close to his feeding time. But I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the armored machine; it was frightening but hypnotic, much like the allure of the Cruncher. I could almost forget Rint’s pestering, but then he started to make his demanding chirping noises.
“Quiet!” I hissed, and made the signal over my lips to make sure he got the message.
I heard metal scraping against metal, and my sight was drawn back to the street. An unseen force of the Art was swinging open a hatch on the top of the carriage. From the darkness beneath rose the first Shaper I had ever seen.
When parents in Tyrn want to frighten their children, they tell them the Shapers will come get them if they don’t obey. To young minds, nothing is more nightmarish than the Shapers: ghastly giants wearing masks so terrifying they can clot the blood in a man’s veins with only a glance.
But the four figures emerging from the carriage were not monsters. The shortest was taller than Mother, but they certainly weren’t giants. The saurian-hide masks they wore had no features except narrow eye-slits and bulges around the mouths allowing them to speak; they looked more mysterious than terrifying.
No, they were not monsters. But they still frightened me because they seemed to have no substance, as if they were less real than the world around them. They were blots on the daylight, mysteries under robes that hid the simplest movements so they glided like falling dead leaves.
The first two Shapers wore inky robes the same color as the eerie metal of the carriage. The two behind had on gray robes and walked with slight stoops like students following a teacher. I could see little about the masks except the ones the black-clad Shapers wore had protrusions along the edges, while the gray followers had plain, wedged-shaped designs.
The four walked down steps molded into the side of the carriage and toward the doors of the workshop. The usual sounds of a summer day—the clink of bridles, the shuffle of sandals, the cries of street vendors—were smothered while the four masked figures marched to Father’s workshop.
Not until they moved off the street did the spell of fascination disappear. Worry prickled my skin. Why would Shapers want to see Father?