Here’s an excerpt from TRAITOR’S OATH, which is coming out on June 2. Fia and Ryelleth are in mid-battle, fighting against a common enemy.
Fia’s cry was cut short when something clubbed her on the back of the head, throwing her across her dragon’s neck, stunned.
Ryelleth roared, and Fia desperately tried to pull her senses together, tried to rally her stunned body to make it move. She needed to get up. Where was her sword?
A dragon’s talons grabbed Fia, digging into her leather armor, and tried to yank her from Ryelleth’s back, but she was fortunately belted into the saddle. But now her body finally reacted, and with a yelp of pain, she hacked at the dragon’s underbelly with her teita’s sword. The sparks of white lightning that sprang from its blade made the dragon release her, but not before clawing Fia painfully across the arms and face. Fia shrieked in pain.
Ryelleth screamed, bringing her head around. In an instant she saw what had happened, and her teeth clashed, sparks flying.
Oh, you will regret that, she snarled, and struck like a snake at the attacking dragon. The dragons clashed and clawed at each other, their wings pumping hard as they circled. But then Ryelleth dashed in at the other dragon, her wings striking against its face and body as she grabbed its neck with her talons. The other dragon clawed back, biting Ryelleth’s face repeatedly, sparks striking from her jewellike scales. Fia, blood in her eyes, jabbed blindly with her sword toward the sound of the dragonrider’s shouts.
Hold on! Ry shouted at Fia.
“I already am!” Fia cried as she grabbed the forward strap with one bloodied hand.
Good. Ryelleth flipped over on her back in the air to grapple with the other dragon, tearing at its underbelly – and she closed her wings. The other dragon fought hard to keep them aloft, wings beating madly, but Ryelleth’s weight pulled them helplessly toward the ground.
“I hate when you do this!” Fia clung to the forward strap, dangling out of the saddle by her belt, completely upside-down, all the blood running to her face as the earth rose swiftly toward them.
Ryelleth suddenly flung out her wings – Fia had an awful moment when the vomit rising in her throat suddenly could not figure out which way to go – and then the dragon twisted in the air, still gripping her adversary, beating her wings hard until she was now upright again, the attacking dragon now underneath. It screamed and struck again and again like a snake, though Ryelleth hardly seemed to notice, her wings beating furiously, and she bit hard at the base of the dragon’s right wing. Her opponent’s scream nearly tore out Fia’s ears. Ryelleth, with an enormous effort, tore the other dragon from her and flung it, with its rider, upside-down toward the blazing hills as if she were God casting Lucifer out of heaven.
Ryelleth dived after the dragon she’d just flung toward the ground. It fought to regain control as it tumbled to the ground, its eyes wild, its wings fighting to clutch at the air like a drowning man fighting to surface, but it was bleeding badly where Ryelleth had bitten into its wing. It grabbed at Ryelleth as it fell, but she stayed out of its reach.
You will never claw my friend again, Ryelleth vaunted over the dragon as she dove after it. Now you shatter upon the ground while I stay free and alive in the high air. Death and misery take you!
“Amen,” Fia said feebly as she leaned over her friend’s neck and finally threw up.
TRAITOR’S OATH will be out in about a month — it’s the final book in the Dragonriders of Fiorenza series. Preorder your copy today!