Here's my first sneak peek, from Urdaisunia: In the drought-stricken desert land of Urdaisunia, which has been oppressed by the conquering Sazars for three generations, the Urdai peasant woman Rashali has a near-deadly encounter with the Sazar Prince Eruz.
Rashali got to her feet, stumbling on a twisted ankle. Three Sazar warhorses stood in front of her, a huge black beast flanked by two slightly smaller dark brown horses. From their mounts, three Sazar warriors clad in silver-trimmed black stared down at her.
Hate and rage clouded her senses. These sallow-skinned, narrow-eyed barbarians had degraded and destroyed her people. They were responsible for the deaths of her husband and daughter and countless others. And they had spilled her water. She drew up precious moisture into her mouth and spat at the man in the middle, the man whose black horse had knocked her down.
The three horses danced and snorted like demons. Two long, curved, gleaming-sharp swords suddenly loomed above her head. The man on the right jumped down from his horse and grabbed Rashali in a choke hold. The point of a knife pricked the skin beneath her chin.
Tears of terror filled Rashali’s eyes and her heart raced painfully, but she refused to look away from the warrior in the middle, whose richer silver trimmings marked him as superior to the other two. She would not bow down, she would not give way, she would not grovel before a Sazar, even if it cost her her life.
The moment seemed to hang suspended as the warrior gave her a long, hard, searching look, as though he were trying to peer into her mind and discover how she dared to defy him. Then he sheathed his sword.