Title: Primordial Dust
Author: Sarah Daltry
Genre: Fantasy (Romance/YA)
A princess, trained to behave. An assassin, betrothed to her. A thief, whose eyes she dreams of at night. A kingdom at war, torn apart by the suppression of magic and truth, as well as family secrets that threaten to destroy decades of peace.
Questions of loyalty, of morality, and of free will culminate in a fantasy novel about forging one’s own path and choosing one’s own destiny.
Amazon: Coming June 30
Amazon UK: Coming June 30
There are no woods in Demoria, so our hunt is along the back of the city, in a massive canyon. Demorians do not ride, as the area is not very large to traverse, but they do use the uneven terrain to their advantage. We settle in behind a mossy boulder and look out over the expanse. Wild dogs prowl through the trenches; rabbits scamper along elevated knolls.
“Demoria is not so bad when it’s behind me,” I say. The vast landscape is beautiful in the shifting pinks and purples of dawn. It felt the same way yesterday afternoon atop the lighthouse.
“That is how most things are in life,” Seamus concedes. He places his gun on the ground and unpacks his bag. He reveals a box of tarts in ten different flavors. Damn.
“Not fair,” I say, already stuffing my face with passion fruit tart.
“I did my research.”
We sit in pleasant, tart-filled silence for a while, fruit pastries winning over my taste buds. They are less recalcitrant than my stubborn heart.
Sanara is right; Seamus is kind of cute. He has a boyish charm, especially for someone who has probably seen things I could never even imagine.
“How many people have you killed?” I’m not known for my tact.
“Too many to count,” he answers quickly, not ashamed.
“Don’t you ever think about who they were? Doesn’t it bother you?”
“I know each of their names. I know who they were, and I know who was left behind when I did my job.” He’s defiant. I don’t really blame him. He is a Demorian; killing is what he does.
“Still, I mean, just because someone tells you to kill someone…”
“I was ready to get you this morning, with exactly the right kind of bow and arrows, and a box of tarts, because I did not sleep for more than a couple hours. As charming as you are, that was not because my heart was all a-flutter at seeing you. It was because a good night is four hours.”
“So why do it?”
“Because someone has to, and it was destined to be me.”
“I don’t believe in fate. We make our own destinies,” I argue.
“It is easier to say that when you are not trained to be an assassin,” he counters.
Silence settles back over us. I think about what he says. Would I be who I am if I’d been raised differently? Does being born somewhere or being of a certain blood dictate the person each of us becomes? I can’t picture a different me somewhere, destined to marry and doing it because it was the assigned path I would take. Although maybe he’s right. None of my choices have involved considering the fate of another human being. If he admits that he had any control over his own life, he admits that he made the choice to murder someone else. That would be unbearable, and I empathize with his conviction that some part of our lives is set out for us before we start.
“I need to be back early. Tonight is a big deal.”
“Ah yes, our betrothal debut.” His tone is mocking, but it’s not an angry mockery.
“It doesn’t bother you, does it? Marrying me?”
“I’m lucky to be engaged to you. I understand why you don’t feel the same.” He packs up the rest of the tarts and stands. Bending over, he offers his hand to assist me in getting up. I am on my feet quickly, but I don’t let go of his hand right away.
“Seamus, it isn’t you. Of the potential mates my parents have proposed, you are the best of them.” It’s the only thing I can provide him, but it’s true. Under different circumstances, he may have even been my own choice.
About the Author:
Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She’s written works in various genres – romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn’t as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she’s been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships – romantic, familial, friendly – because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn’t matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future – human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah’s stories.
Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.
When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking the Internet for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.
She has written several books, most notably Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy in the Eden’s Fall series, Backward Compatible: A Geek Love Story, and the six book New Adult Flowering series, including Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, Blue Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Orange Blossom, and Ambrosia.
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Sarah’s Favorite Novels (as of this moment in time):
- The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
- The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
- Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
- Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor
- Some Girls Are – Courtney Summers
- Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness
- Delirium – Lauren Oliver
- The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – JK Rowling
- Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson