The Necromancer’s Daughter: Aster

With a book launch on the horizon, I’ve started introducing my three main characters. This is Aster, a young woman who was born dead and resurrected by Barus, the necromancer. He’s raised her as his own, and though he’s warned her away from dragons… she can’t find it in herself to be afraid.

I hope you enjoy this (slightly modified) snippet introducing Aster.

***

As it always did, the tide of emotion started as a trickle of anticipation at the base of Aster’s spine. The swelling excitement flowed into her chest, and her fingers tingled. It spread over her skin and rushed into her face. The feelings belonged to the dragon, not to her, but she’d become accustomed to the foreign sensations thrumming through her bones.

The dragon whooshed up the cliff into the ether, nearly knocking her from her feet. Whipped-up wind thrust her grandmother’s blue shawl open, and it flapped from her shoulders like a fledgling’s untested wings. Her fine white hair whirled with the blowing snow. Though she’d expected the creature’s striking entrance, she laughed in surprise.

The beast’s leathery wings angled for a spiraling descent far above her head. Sunlight shone through the webbing, enhancing the mottle of silver and black. She’d encountered this one many times before and raised an arm to wave. “Come down. I’m not afraid.” Would it finally heed her call? A gift for her eighteenth awakening day?

A scar striped the dragon’s snout, jagged as a thunderbolt. Its long neck arched, ruby eyes gleaming as its head dipped toward her, jaws agape. Curved incisors glinted in the raw light, and the serpentine tail snapped at the frozen stalks of asters quivering in the wind.

Barus had told her, long ago, to hide behind a tree and make herself small, and for years, she’d obeyed his wishes. But no more. If the dragon meant to terrify her, it had failed every time. She trusted her instincts, knew to her core that the creature wouldn’t shred her to pieces or whisk her away in its teeth.

But what about an apple?

She reached for the armor of scales as the massive body undulated above her, its back bristling with spikes, clawed feet sweeping the air just beyond her fingertips as she held an apple aloft. The beast circled, rising higher.

“Come down,” she teased, giving the wrinkled fruit a toss. “I brought an apple for you.”

The dragon’s wings swept back, and it dove from the cornflower sky. Aster shrieked and flung the apple. The toothsome jaws snapped the fruit from the air, and she laughed with delight.

As though in answer, the beast bellowed a cry and plummeted beyond the cliff’s wall. Aster darted to the edge as the dragon’s wings unfurled, capturing the wind with the ripple and snap of a galleon’s sails. The colossal beast skimmed the gray sea, flying for the Isles of White Sands glimmering like a mirage on the horizon.

As the drumming of wings surrendered to the waves’ roar, another sound assumed its place. The voices of men.

***

Thanks for reading!

140 thoughts on “The Necromancer’s Daughter: Aster

  1. acflory says:

    Not sure how I missed this one, but I did. WordPress playing up perhaps. :/ Anyway, I love that there are dragons! I was looking forward to this story before, but now you’ve really got me drooling. Off to read about Joreh. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deepikabanu says:

    Super work mam . Loved the intro mam . Keep rocking. Waiting for ur next !!! .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wild reading this after just finishing How to Train Your Dragon with my kids… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, how fun. I haven’t read that. Apples are effective if you’re in a pinch. Thanks for stopping by, Betsy. I’ve been on the road, so I’ll be over soon to catch up. Glad you enjoyed the snippet! Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Resa says:

    Wow!!!
    This is great, Diana!
    I came looking for the review of Lady Lazuli. I’ll find it!
    thanks for the tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Diana hope you’re well! Very glad to be back on blog and visit your page after a long time! Loved your engaging words and beautiful descriptions as always 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You got the beauty and the beast here, Diana! The cry of this beast worried me though. Your snippet is a great teaser. I look forward to your new release!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rebecca Budd says:

    Brilliant symbolism, Diana. Resurrection, infinity, freedom, sky, water, flying, courage and most of all connection within diversity. I am looking forward to reading The Necromancer’s Daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading, Rebecca. This is my introduction to Aster, her innocence, joy, and naivete. Things will get harder for her quite soon. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet and loved your comment. Hugs, my friend, and Happy Weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennie says:

    This is so exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dgkaye says:

    Gorgeous imagery with your always captivating prose Diana, and now we are left hanging! Lovely taste of what’s to come. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Captivating excerpt! You definitely left me wanting more. I hope the dragon is satisfied with apples so it won’t be tempted to devour young girls (even un-dead ones). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The dragons aren’t friendly, Janis, but Aster has a good relationship with Grandfather with Scars. 🙂 I’m delighted that you enjoyed the little intro to Aster. Thanks for the kind comment. Have a beautiful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a great first paragraph and snippet! You don’t have to worry about holding a reader’s attention, Diana. I like Aster laughing, but reading your comments, it looks like she won’t laugh for long. Cool dragon. Sounds exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Mary. No, this little innocent scene is just setting the stage. This is a world that doesn’t think highly of necromancy. I’m glad it held your attention. Happy Weekend, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jaya Avendel says:

    Loving the prosery in this fantastic character intro! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Steven Baird says:

    So engaging, Diana, and breathtaking descriptions. It sounds like a winner to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mysterious and profound story, Diana. And that too for a dead girl who is fearless and brave. Awesome story.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love this breathtaking excerpt, Diana. Wishing you huge success. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Nice hook at the end! I felt like I was on that cliff with Aster and the dragon- thrilling! This is going to be a page-turner 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the wonderful support, Jacquie. In this snippet, Aster’s life is still pretty sweet, but it’s going to hard shortly. I do hope it will hold a reader’s attention. 🙂 Have a lovely afternoon, my friend. ❤ Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Baydreamer says:

    I’m intrigued already, Diana! I can’t wait to read more of Aster’s journey. The flinging of the apple brought a smile, too. Congrats on the upcoming new release! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lady Tessa says:

    Ooo…dragons. I do love dragons. Aster definitely has me intrigued. Excellent little excerpt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The story is a loose retelling of the Chinese legend of Kwan-yin, the Goddess of Mercy. When I was looking for fairytales and folktales, the presence of dragons was what clinched it. 🙂 Thanks for taking a peek and for the sweet comment. Happy Reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Fabulous extract so looking forward to reading! I love dragons. Great idea about character introductions. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Toni Pike says:

    What a beautiful extract and images, Diana – very stirring. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

  21. petespringerauthor says:

    How nice to meet one of your central characters. I’m fascinated to learn how The Necromancer makes his choices regarding whom to resurrect and why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit and comment, Pete. There’s definitely plenty of incentives when it comes to that decision, but also serious risks and obstacles. And they play out in a big way in the book. I like making the “magic” central to the plot. Thanks so much for the observation. 🙂 You started my day with a smile!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. You do a great dragon, Diana! And it’s nice to see Aster having fun with it, especially as things will get worse for her, you say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Audrey. Yes, her life is headed down the toilet, so to speak. She’s still very innocent in this scene. Oh, the things we put our characters through. Delighted that you stopped by. Have a beautiful day and Happy Writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Vivid images in those words.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Diana….great excerpt and you clearly left the reader interested and wanting more!! Here’s to a great book launch!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I love this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Awesome excerpt! I love her already! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh, I loved this. Can’t wait for the entire story. And the photo….purrfect.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sandra. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet and the image. I have one more character to introduce in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing what readers think of the story when it all comes together. Have a lovely day, my friend. 😀

      Like

  28. What an invigorating snippet! Where were you when I was in my early teens, and having finished Tolkien, couldn’t find any fantasy writers to rival it well enough to enjoy? I would have been swept away by this then, and I’ll look forward to being swept away now when this book launches. Wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This is a very exciting extract, Diana, and you certainly ended it on a cliff hanger.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great teaser! I can’t wait to read this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Danny Watts says:

    Apples, I never would have guessed. I like where this is going.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. C.E.Robinson says:

    Diana, I like Aster already! Brave, fearless, and not like her former told to hide self. Giving the apple like an olive branch to the dragon, and he took it to her delight. Great teaser! Good luck with the book launch. 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit and comment, Christine. This is a rather sweet scene that introduces her and the dragons. Sadly things get a bit complicated for her! Authors are so mean. Lol. Have a lovely day, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • C.E.Robinson says:

        I know our much loved characters must hit conflicts. I had to learn how to make them suffer more! I kept apologizing when I put them in bad situations. It’s got to be done Readers want that! The kill your darlings was hard to do at first. I actually am beginning to gravitate to fantasy writing. Your book sounds like a good one. I got stuck in historical fiction for the first book. And now I’m writing a sequel. The 1960s—full of turmoil & change. 📚🎶 Christine

        Liked by 2 people

  33. I love this character — and this scenario — already! Looking forward to learning more about the project, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Sean. I have one more character to share (in a couple of weeks) and then it’s off to the races to get the book off the ground. Can I beg a favor from you? I’m still revising the blurb and I’d love your feedback. Just a sentence of two of your impressions would be great. If you have the time, I’d love to send it to you. There’s no rush as this doesn’t go into Amazon until mid-August. Let me know. No pressure. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  34. There be dragons! I particuarly like the bit with the apple.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Luanne says:

    Yay! congrats on the upcoming release.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Cannot wait. Love the character already.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. This is a wonderful book and I love the Aster character.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. balroop2013 says:

    What a wonderful teaser! I loved it Diana. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the release of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Good luck with the upcoming book. You’ve got a lovely way with words. This sentence, and countless others, prove it: “The colossal beast skimmed the gray sea, flying for the Isles of White Sands glimmering like a mirage on the horizon.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Neil. I was editing this one up until last night. Just a word here and there, but I can’t seem to help it! I’m glad you enjoy the writing. Have a wonderful day, my friend. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Teri Polen says:

    Dragons – woohoo!!!! Always a fan. Such a vivid excerpt, Diana – just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This story is a retelling of the Chinese legend of Kwan-yin, Teri, and there are dragons in that one. I was pretty stoked to discover that since they’re fun to write. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet! Thanks for the visit and have an excellent day.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. LOved this, Diana. A very creative way to introduce the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. I hope they become little hooks into the book and make it memorable when it finally goes live. The hard part is picking what to share without giving a lot away. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet. Hugs.

      Like

  42. I can’t wait to read this book, Diana. What a great way to introduce it.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Jan Sikes says:

    Wow! First of all, Aster is beautiful AND she is brave. I love this scene with the dragons. She is fearless and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Thank you for sharing and congrats on the upcoming release!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jan. Aster’s already been dead, and she was raised with love, so not much to fear… for now. That changes of course. (Writers are so wicked). Hehe. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet and I appreciate the visit! Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. This is a great snippet and intro to your new book Diana. Aster sounds like a wonderful character. I can’t wait to find out what she and the dragons are up to!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. CarolCooks2 says:

    What a beautiful girl… a great intro to your book, Diana…The dragons didn’t scare me like some others however the men’s voices did…Wishing you good luck with your launch Diana looking forward to reading “The Necromancers Daughter”, especially now I have my new kindle..xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats on your new kindle, Carol! The dragons in this book aren’t very popular among the masses, but Aster has an unusual connection. And yes, the men are much scarier! Thanks so much for the visit and kind comment. Have a wonderful day, my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Fantastic extract! Makes me want to read more! Wishing you every success with this, Diana. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Great excerpt! I was a little scared for Aster at first because of the dragon. But the men’s voices at the end… something tells me they’re even more dangerous to Aster.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You got that right, Priscilla, and that was exactly what I was going for. Not everyone approves of necromancy in this world and would rather see the dead stay dead. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have an awesome day.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. That was the first thing I’ve read today, and I expect it will remain the best. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the kind comment, Richard. It’s a rather fanciful scene, but it’s the first glimpse of Aster, so seemed like the one to share as I introduce characters. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

  49. Aster’s daughter is so beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

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