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Excerpt: Raven's Quest
By Matt Bille 
2017, Lakewater Press

Lark Ravenlord looked up in wonder at the colossal black bird.

Even after three years of tending ravens, she felt a thrill in her heart every time one took flight.  The magnificent creature’s wingspan, four times the height of a man, blocked out the late afternoon sun as the bird carried its rider in a swooping flight from the cliff above her and down over the village of Haven.

The thrill inside Lark’s breast turned to longing as she followed the raven with her gaze.  The warrior rode easily in his lightweight saddle, guiding his mount on a course south and west, heading down the river on what Lark guessed was a routine patrol to look for infiltrators.

 

She imagined herself seeing through the warrior’s eyes.  The village of Haven spread out below the beating black wings.  Haven was protected by the river to the west, the cliffs to the north and east, and the indomitable main wall of wood and stone guarding the southern approach.  Yet the raven-riders were always on watch.  Marauders from neighboring tribes skulked through the hills and trees, ready to kill or steal if the opportunity appeared.

Lark sighed and returned to her wheelbarrow.  She had just grasped the handles when the watchman’s cry broke on her ears. 

"Raiders!"