From the blog of Mark Lawrence, another teaser for his upcoming novel, King of Thorns.
Skin, bones, and mischief comprise Brother Gog. Monster born and monster bred but there’s little to mark him from Adam save the stippled crimson-on-black of his hide, the dark wells of his eyes, ebony talons on hand and foot, and the thorny projections starting to grow along his spine. Watch him play and run and laugh, and he seems too at ease to be a crack in the world through which all the fires of hell might pour. Watch him burn though, and you will believe it.
Brother Maical’s wisdom lies in knowing he is not clever and letting himself be led. The foolishness of mankind is that we do not do the same.
Chaliced Rome, fourteen, arrow shot, Haunt, east wall.
Son of Molly Freerange, father unknown, raised in the Haunt’s shadow.
So many arrows had missed him that Chaliced started to think they all would. He started to think Kelly’s warm kiss, the one she gave behind the stables, really would keep him safe. Even when the arrow came he thought it some kind of mistake. It didn’t look like an arrow, just black flights and an inch of wood standing from his chest. It hadn’t felt sharp, more like a punch. He reached to tug at it but his fingers were too cold to grip. Chaliced turned to ask Old Jorna and something hit him in the neck.
To fall forty feet from wall-walk to courtyard flagstones takes almost no time, but starting to fall, those moments of imbalance, of flailing arms, of a foot finding nothing but air beneath it, they can take forever.
Even falling Chaliced didn’t think he would die, or that he could die. Fourteen is too young for it. He wanted . . . too many things. One more kiss would do.