Shards of History
Shards of History by Rebecca Roland.
“Fast-paced, high-stakes drama in a fresh fantasy world!” — James Maxey, author of the Dragon Age trilogy.
Like all Taakwa, Malia fears the fierce winged creatures known as Jeguduns who live in the cliffs surrounding her valley. When the river dries up and Malia is forced to scavenge farther from the village than normal, she discovers a Jegudun, injured and in need of help.
Malia’s existence — her status as clan mother in training, her marriage, her very life in the village — is threatened by her choice to befriend the Jegudun. But she’s the only Taakwa who knows the truth: that the threat to her people is much bigger and much more malicious than the Jeguduns who’ve lived alongside them for decades. Lurking on the edge of the valley is an Outsider army seeking to plunder and destroy the Taakwa, and it’s only a matter of time before the Outsiders find a way through the magic that protects the valley — a magic that can only be created by Taakwa and Jeguduns working together.
Now Malia is in a race against time. She must warn the Jeguduns that the Taakwa march against them and somehow convince the Taakwa that their real enemy isn’t who they think it is before the Outsiders find a way into the valley and destroy everything she holds dear.
“One of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read. Suspenseful, entrapping, and simply … well, let’s just say that Shards of History reminds us of why we love books in the first place. 5 out of 5 stars!” — Good Choice Reading
- Release date: August 21, 2012 (ebook) May 21, 2013 (paperback)
- Genre: Fantasy
- Length: Novel, approx. 356 pages
- Praise for Shards of History
- Excerpt from Shards of History
- ISBN-13: 978-0615773438
- ISBN-10: 0615773435
- ASIN (ebook): B0090BVCWK
- BN ID: 2940014802987
- Kobo / eISBN: 9781452405933
Rebecca Roland lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she writes primarily fantasy and horror. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncle John’s Flush Fiction and in Stupefying Stories, and she is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. For more about Rebecca Roland see her author page.
Praise for Shards of History
“One of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read. Suspenseful, entrapping, and simply … well, let’s just say that Shards of History reminds us of why we love books in the first place. 5 out of 5 stars!”
— Good Choice Reading
“Fast-paced, high-stakes drama in a fresh fantasy world. Rebecca Roland is a newcomer to watch!”
— James Maxey, author of the Dragon Age trilogy and Greatshadow: The Dragon Apocalypse.
“A must for any fantasy reader.”
— Plasma Frequency
“Roland’s beautifully woven, suspenseful debut novel draws readers into a groundbreaking fantasy panorama and resonates in the heart with its genuine, personal portrayal of loyalty, relationships, and sacrifice. I eagerly await more stories about the Jegudun and Taakwa!”
— David J. Corwell y Chávez, author of “Encounter at Boca del Diablo” (Tales of the New Mexico Mythos)
“A captivating tale of a deadly clash between matrilineal and patriarchal cultures in a pseudo Native American setting replete with dragons! Roland delivers the goods with engaging characters, innovative world building, and plot twists galore in Shards of History. I sincerely hope there’s a sequel!”
— Susan Abel Sullivan, author of Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories and The Haunted Housewives of Allister, Alabama
Shards of History Official Blog Tour
Excerpt from Shards of History
Read all of Chapter One or read the following short excerpt from Chapter Two:
Soon Malia neared the spot where the Jegudun had fallen from the sky. She slowed, scanning the area for any signs of it. Wind rustled aspen leaves, the only sound other than her soft footfalls. The lack of animal sounds raised the hairs along the base of her neck.
Something rustled in the tree above her. Malia’s hand flew to her dagger as she crouched and looked up. A squirrel chattered at her, then bound along the tree limb. Malia pressed a hand to her chest and took a deep breath. Her heart raced as if she’d just run uphill. Then she grinned and shook her head at her reaction, glad nobody had been around to see her jump at a squirrel.
A few steps later, the aspen opened to a meadow about twenty paces across. The grass grew as high as Malia’s waist in some spots. Yellow cinquefoil bloomed along the perimeter. The wind died, and everything went still.
To Malia’s left lay the Jegudun, a small, human-like figure with wings. Standing, it would probably be no taller than a five year old child.
The creature’s face reminded Malia of a wolf. Sharp teeth lined an elongated snout covered with down, and a short beard clung to its chin. Its eyes, set forward in its face, were closed, and its tufted ears, although pointed, seemed relaxed.
Feathers on one side of an outstretched wing melded from light gray to dark gray on the other side of the wing. Blood covered its right shoulder.
Feathers gave way to down on its face and barreled chest, but that was the only thing soft about the Jegudun. It had squat, heavily muscled legs, and arms separate from its wings. An outstretched, human-like hand ended in curved, sharp claws that could easily tear flesh.
The tension in Malia’s muscles eased as she realized the Jegudun was dead. She imagined those men at the cliffs, facing a horde of these creatures, and shook her head. She didn’t think she could stand up to one living Jegudun, much less a bunch of them.
Malia swallowed the knot in her throat and inched forward. She reached a trembling hand towards the wing. The feathers were soft and smooth beneath her fingers. Emboldened, she ran her hand along the forward edge of its wing, moving to its bloody shoulder. Hard muscle lay beneath the down.
The Jegudun’s other arm whipped around to grab her leg. Claws dug into her flesh. The creature yanked, toppling her onto her back. Malia hit the ground hard. She kicked her leg, trying to pull free, but the Jegudun’s grip was a vise.
It sat up, snarling, showing two rows of sharp teeth. Malia cried out and fumbled for her dagger, but it was pinned between her hip and the ground. The Jegudun pulled her towards it, her skin scraping against the ground. She imagined the creature’s teeth clamping on her leg and tearing out flesh, or burying its snout into her soft belly until it reached her intestines. I won’t die this way.