Today I wanted to share an excerpt from Starless. This is from the 1st draft version of the book, so edits will be applied later, but hopefully it holds its own as an excerpt well enough!
“Our government is trying to hasten us toward the Apocalypse?” Biric asked.
“Ironic, isn’t it?”
Biric fell silent, thinking about the revelations.
“But then there is the North, and their mysterious Empress, who is waging quite a war against the Capital and its dooming reign. For all its perilous challenges, it is not an altogether bad time to be surviving on the Outskirts, free of the madness.”
“I had no idea it was so mad. To be honest, I hardly knew anything existed at all, beyond my own skin.”
Sympathy came into Ava’s dark eyes. “I can only imagine the harrowing wasteland you have to brave first and foremost every day, inside yourself. No one can blame you for being a little out of touch with the world around you. You’ve had a life of walls and chains. But that’s changing now.”
“Does it matter? If we’re all just hurtling toward the Apocalypse? If this is the beginning of the end?”
“You have to come to your own conclusion about that, Biric. Do you think you matter? Do you have an instinct to survive, a passion to live? To discover? Where does that come from, if you do? Do you see someone else in pain, and think they matter?”
Darra. She had to get Darra out. Yes. Darra mattered.
“Did fate give you a passion to live, and arm you with an instinct to survive, and grace you with compassion to save others, just to quench you, and them?” Reaching across the space between them, Ava squeezed Biric’s hand, motherly. “Ask these questions. Ask all the questions. Read all the books. Destiny may be all there is, but you weren’t given a mind not to use it. And you weren’t given a chance not to take it.”
Smiling a wise and mysterious gypsy smile, Ava turned with the rustling of a dozen skirts and climbed back through the crumbling archway, leaving Biric’s mind once again aswirl with radical and liberating ideas.