At the recommendation of my editor, I cut the prologue from my book. However, it does offer a peek into the story, from a unique point of view that isn't anywhere else in the book. So if you want to get a feel for Daughter of Lightning, here's a "deleted scene"! It's also available on the "Books" page.
Kaydor Veserron paused a few steps from his new throne. He hadn’t requested any such extravagance, but some nobleman hoping to gain favor had insisted on it. Still, it was a handsome thing, if not particularly comfortable-looking. He took the final steps and eased himself down, finding it better cushioned than he’d expected. In front of him, a dozen men, each in some position of rank, went to a knee and bowed to their new king.
It wasn’t a very traditional inauguration. Probably because he wasn’t a very traditional heir to the throne. Before this one, Zentyre hadn’t had a throne to be inherited. Not for decades. The region had been under the authority of the Leadership--a group of twenty-five noblemen, each representing a certain section of Zentyre, that shared the responsibilities usually allotted to a king or queen. It was one of many reasons Zentyre was seen by the other regions as weak, unorganized.
That changed today. Kaydor eyed the noblemen and military commanders before him, pleased that every one of them respected him and supported his new rule. Becoming king had been a surprisingly simple endeavor. From military commander, to head of the Leadership, to king, all within fifteen years. Few had opposed his rule once they’d gotten used to the concept. And why would they? His influence had helped to shape Zentyre into the steadily strengthening region it was.
In the end, the only claim for opposition had been because of his support of the Eradication. It was a controversial topic, to say the least. Kaydor understood why so many were uncomfortable with it--the massacre of an entire race was no light business. The indisputable brutality of it was enough to make even him hesitate. It had been at the beginning of his fifteen-year conquest, when he had played a key role in temporarily bringing the Eradication to Zentyre and had helped carry it out, that he’d discovered a cruelty within himself that had almost made him set aside his ambitions. Killing that boy, enslaving the sisters, leaving the youngest brother to be an orphan and beggar, probably to die…it had made him feel something he’d never felt before.
Savagery, followed by a haunting guilt.
But here he was. He had learned from that experience, and improved his goals and methods. If the throne he sat in wasn’t proof of his success, the heavy crown on his head, and the commanders and nobles kneeling to await his instruction, were. As far as he could tell, there was only one that might stand in the way of his mission.
That orphan, who had not only survived, but had grown into a warrior who now posed a threat. Four years ago, when they’d met again, Kaydor had been sure he’d killed him, only to have the boy show up at his doorstep merely weeks later. Though there was little evidence for it, he knew that the boy was a leader of some sort of San Quawr rebellion. He was sure of it.
This orphan, barely into manhood...and a San Quawr force that most of the court tried to convince him didn’t even exist.
Kaydor rested his closed fist on the arm of the throne, releasing the noblemen from their bows with a simple wave of his other hand. It was time to begin. The work he had accomplished, first as a military commander, then as one of the Leadership, was nothing compared to what he intended to accomplish now as king. Zentyre still had plenty of room for improvement.
The boy and his San Quawr rebels, wherever they were, would not be enough to stop him.