Since part one of her trilogy, Curse of the Tahiéra was published, Wendy has been working on the sequel: The Search for Tzanáta.
They had searched the vicinity of the Sparrow’s Nest for hours. They had left Áyra asleep in their room upstairs. When they finally got back at the inn, the common room was empty.
Eald slumped in his chair and took a gulp of stale beer. ‘Now what?’
Yldich sat down. His face was strained. He raked his fingers through his hair and sighed. ‘We knew the South had become hazardous for Tzanatzi. But I hadn’t expected him to disappear as soon as we’d arrived….’
Eldairc stared at him. ‘You think… he’s gone the way of the Tzanatzi the merchant told us about?’
Yldich’s face was grim. ‘It’s not like him to go walking off for no good reason….’
The landlord appeared at their table. He uncorked a jug of mead and put it on the table. ‘Gone is he? Your Wanderer friend? Afraid that might happen.’
Eldairc pulled up a brow. ‘What are you talking about?’
The landlord sighed. He pulled a hand over his face, that was blank as ever. ‘Well. I should probably mind my own business. But seeing as you people saved it anyway, I’d better tell you….’ He seemed to have forgotten that his barbarian guests had been the instigators of the trouble in his establishment in the first place. He bowed over his mead and eyed them from under his mousy brows. ‘I should probably not be telling you this… and you didn’t hear it from me, you understand.’
‘Naturally,’ Yldich said in a calm voice. ‘Didn’t hear what?’
‘The Castle,’ the landlord whispered. ‘People have claimed to see Tzanatzi taken to the old Castle, at the foot of the hill. Lord Melcher’s keep. And they didn’t come out again.’
‘The Search for Tzanáta’ is illustrated by Michèlle Ross, British artist.
‘Let us see what you can do,’ the Woodland King said, and pulled some gossamer strings from the air with a broad sweep of his hand.
Áyra held out his arms. The harp weighed almost nothing, fashioned as it was from moonlight and the delicate threads of spider webs. He moved his hand over the strings. They tinkled like chimes, the low notes resounding like bronze bells. He sat it on his lap and began to play.
‘The Search for Tzanáta’ will be published in 2015.
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