Today’s excerpt comes from A Shadow of Crows.
Series Page link: The Wild Hunt
Book Page for Buy links: A Shadow of Crows
The autumn leaves crunched under my feet. I could feel the tang of the season biting deep as I breathed in a deep lungful of air. All around me, the noises of the forest set up a racket, and before long, a symphony of grunts and clicks and whistles and low growls reverberated in the background. I was alone, unable to see through the wall of mist that surrounded me, but with every footstep, I knew that this was a side of me that I couldn’t deny—that I needed. Strength flowed through my veins, and the desire rose to hunt and seek, to pounce and claim for my own.
Ahead, the mists began to thin as the darkened shadows of the wood took hold. Something was coming my way on the trail and I darted out of sight, hiding behind a nearby tree. I fumbled with my bow, nocking an arrow as I waited. An unusual patience flowed through my veins, and even as I fought against it—wanting to jump out to see what was coming—I forced myself to wait, silent and unseen. The quarry would come to me, I would not go to the quarry.
After a time, instinct bade me to peek out from the tree. There, on the path, was the most beautiful deer I had ever seen. Beautiful and statuesque, he had a rack that spanned ten tines. Instinctively, I brought up my bow and then stared at my hands, horrified. An inner voice whispered, “Shoot. You must complete the hunt.”
I can’t kill this magnificent creature.
You must. You’re hungry, and you must feed your family. If you don’t, they will starve.
But he’s too lovely. He’s too alive and vibrant.
Either take him down, or go home and watch your children starve.