Excerpt from Search for the Golden Serpent

After three years and many drafts, I’ve completed my manuscript for the last book in the Servant of the Gods trilogy. The manuscript is now with beta readers, and while I am eager to hear their feedback, I’m also a little anxious. In a month’s time I’ll found out what they thought of the story and suggestions for improvements. In the meantime, and in the lead up to the publication of book 3, I’m going to share some excerpts and quotes from book 1 and 2 of the trilogy.

I hope you enjoy them.

‘Your wife Sibyl…’ he was saying.

‘She’s not my wife,’ Evan said crossing his arms. They were back at the couple’s house.

‘Your wife Sibyl has left for the Temple of the Mother Goddess.’ Zeus carried on as if he hadn’t interrupted. ‘While she was away you received a visitor. I must add at this point you are a historian, an expert on the study of your ancestors.’

‘Who’s this Mother Goddess? And why do you keeping speaking of Sibyl in the past tense?’

‘I am certain you will remember the Mother Goddess and everything else soon,’ he said, unsmiling.

‘I doubt it,’ Evan said under his breath.

They watched as Evandros stomped to the front door and wrenched the door open. He faltered on seeing a man who wore a long white khiton trimmed in royal blue. Without a word, he stepped aside for the newcomer to enter.

‘Evandros, son of Hermia and Antipater?’

He nodded.

‘I am Ikaros. By the order of the Senate I must escort you to the House of Elders.’ Ikaros withdrew a rolled parchment from the sleeve of his khiton.

Evandros hesitantly took the parchment, unrolled it and read the contents.

‘I don’t understand. This doesn’t explain why I am summoned.’ He pressed his lips together, brow furrowed.

Ikaros gazed back, expression bland. ‘I am not privy to the reasons why the Senate sent for you. My job is to ensure the message is delivered and carried out.’

‘And we need to leave now?’

Ikaros nodded.

They didn’t talk much as the two paced towards the House of Elders. Their walk gave Evan an opportunity to study the metropolis. The place was nothing short of impressive. The architects and engineers must have been exceptional. To replicate just one of these buildings would be a mammoth task. The two and three-storey structures reminded him of New York before the advent of skyscrapers. These buildings, he surmised, would be residential and from the sheer number it seemed there was a large sized population.

The men headed up a slight incline to a large temple on the summit. Its position signified the importance to the people. Below on the slopes of the hill stood a series of buildings, unique in style and reminiscent of smaller ones he saw at Knossos. His heart beat faster the closer the two men got to these. Faces flashed in his mind. Who were they?

They entered the House of Elders and followed a short passage into a chamber. A huge mural of a city covered the breadth of the wall. He had seen it before somewhere, except that one had been chipped, with pieces missing and old. That wall frieze had been incredible, but this was extraordinary. The ancient painting he saw represented a mythical place destroyed by a volcanic eruption. His tongue went dry.

‘Is that…’

‘Atlantis,’ Zeus said.

‘Holy smoke!’

This image was fresh, the colours brilliant and luxurious: people on boats, on land, heads peeking out from the balconies of those same style buildings he just saw moments earlier. His head whirled.

Five chairs were positioned in front of the mural, one larger and carved out of white marble. The arms and legs were etched with dolphins and various sea creatures. Both Evan and Ikaros moved, breaking his stunned stupor.

‘You are to sit and wait,’ Ikaros told Evandros.

Evan saw three other men in the room.

‘Who… who are they?’

‘They are your travelling companions. Why?’

‘I… ah… I saw their faces… earlier.’ He didn’t say how.

Zeus smiled. The Cheshire cat could learn a few tricks from this guy. Evan raised a hand to his brow, horrified how it trembled, and dropped it out of sight, clenching it tight. Three people, two men and a woman entered the room re-directing his attention. They stood in front of the three smaller chairs. The four men knelt straight away and bowed their heads.

‘Where’s the fourth person?’

‘The High Priestess to the Mother Goddess is attending to the needs of Mother,’ Zeus said. Evan squirmed at the intensity with which he stared. Few people could make him uncomfortable; the exception was his mother when she was on tirade about marriage and grandchildren. Zeus made him wary. Each time he has one of these dreams, a sense of foreboding cloaked him. It was not unlike stepping into a condemned building and the coldness seeping into your bones.


More to come.

Thank you for your continued support and as always, I look forward to your comments and will respond.

Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, burnt out but not done… yet.


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