The Light of Silver by K. R. Shepard
A Slavic-Inspired Fantasy Novel with Elements of Mystery and Romance
Those beautiful eyes, shining the light of silver.
Oldřich Lýnhart, the King of Lemaria, hires a group of hunters to dispatch a monster, hidden deep in the forests of Podkray. Salvyra, a girl of seventeen, finds herself at one end of the conflict – she who loves that monster; she who would die for that monster; she who would kill for that monster. That monster is none other than Vilod, a veritable artist and saint, whose only sins are his disfigured looks and divergent nature. The group of hunters, called the Seílgars, care not for a monster's personality. Quick to judge, they have only one thing in mind. Extermination.
Referin Tállier, a member of the Seílgars, stands in the middle of it all. After being unable to prevent a tragedy, Referin starts questioning the nature of things. Not fate but choices bring Salvyra and Referin together. Pelted by dangerous creatures, moral conundrums, and encounters with eccentric characters, the two of them end up sharing everything; personal growth, moral ambiguity, and a determination to keep moving. Despite the obstacles. And to the end.Amazon
Excerpt from The Light of Silver © Copyright 2023 K. R. Shepard
Oldřich Lýnhart, the King of Lemaria, approached the balustrade of his terrace, the hem of his long robe billowing in the afternoon wind. He sighed, rested his hands atop the railing’s cold surface, and gazed into the distance.
A dark forest of spruce and pine stretched as far as he could see, all the way up to the Slazicy Mountains encircling the enormous valley. To the west, swift currents of the River Wesna ran between wooded hills and rocky outcrops, sparkling like woven strands of silver. In the middle of the valley, huge plains stretched in all directions, dotted with small settlements and towns, built on the Karina’s and Pavlína’s many banks. The partially-clouded sun had reached the high horizon, lending the world a meek, orange hue. The peaks of the distant massif were coated with snow, shimmering in the dying light like foothills of heaven. Cold wind rustled Oldřich’s hair under the heavy crown on his head.
Yet the crown was not the heaviest burden he bore.
He shifted his gaze down at the courtyard. Amidst trimmed shrubs, flowerbeds of lilies, and pebbled pathways, Mokva and Varimiř were holding a child’s competition, splashing each other with water from an intricately carved stone fountain in the centre of the yard. The fountain comprised a squat plinth, on which a statue of a young man stood proudly, holding up a horn and blowing through it with inspiring vigour. Mokva was making circles around the fountain, trying to catch Varimiř, who was giggling and blowing raspberries at her. She finally caught him and tossed him into the fountain. The boy looked as though he would cry, but he burst into laughter instead and pulled his sister into the fountain to join him. They splashed in the shallow water like a couple of frogs.
Oldřich turned, abandoning the high terrace, and strode briskly into the half-gloom of his chambers.
The stone walls of his room emanated warmth and were adorned with numerous paintings and richly embroidered tapestries. The paintings depicted landscapes, portraits, battles, and crowded streets, and the tapestries’ deep and tasteful colour palettes juxtaposed the dull, grey walls. A large crimson carpet made most of the spruce floor, and the chamber held a small number of furnishings; a large bed, two nightstands, a malachite table, a small cupboard, and two linen chairs.
Oldřich sauntered over to one of the chairs, occupied it, and poured himself a cupful of wine from a sizeable silver pitcher, which was resting on the lacquered cupboard. He leaned back and began sipping the sweet-sour drink, listening to his children’s laughter down in the courtyard.
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