The Clan Chronicles # 1 - Stratification
Before contact with the Trade Pact...
Before the powerful Clan came to live in secret on Human worlds...
When they were only the Om'ray, one of three races on the planet Cersi.
Return to the universe of A Thousand Words for Stranger!
And meet Aryl Sarc, who will change everything.
First Published in 2007 by DAW Books Inc.
Cover art by Luis Royo
Main Selection of the SFBC
She didn’t obey at once; having her head down was unexpectedly comfortable. But curiosity, morbid or otherwise, couldn’t be denied.
She rolled her head to the side and opened her eyes.
Then Aryl straightened, slowly, her eyes growing wider.
The clouds had retreated to become pale grey walls of their own, exposing the sky over the lake. That sky was now the deepest blue Aryl had ever seen, almost black at its edges and where it met cloud tops. Holes in that blue let through sparks of light, like glows through leaves. Stars.
Brightest of all were two that sat exactly where the Tikitik had pointed, one larger and so white it hurt to stare at, the other a warm gold, its surface marked with dimples and swirls. Their light didn’t just puncture the sky, but spilled over the lake in two endless lines that never crossed, the sum bright enough to pick out green from the tops of the canopy. Bright enough to send the swarms hunting within the darkness deep under roots and stalks, not out here.
She’d heard of them; she’d never imagined being out in truenight to see them with her own eyes. “What did you call them?” she asked. “The ‘Makers?’”
“Some believe everything on Cersi was made by beings who now reside within those orbs. The Makers. They say we see their lights because the Makers never cease their labors to make this world perfect for Tikitik.”
“What about the Om’ray?” Aryl demanded without thinking, then shut her mouth.
The Tikitik was a silhouette; it might have been one of her kind -- save for its height, the depth of its voice, and the lack of a head between its shoulders. As well as not, Aryl thought firmly, being real. “Those who populate the moons with powerful beings consider the Om’ray no better than the Oud. A flaw.”
She shivered, though the air wasn’t cold and the osst shared its heat. Taisal should be here, not her. This wasn’t a conversation for an unChosen. She suspected the only reason for the Traveler’s frankness was exactly that. She wasn’t important. He could indulge his version of curiosity by getting her reaction.
Aryl scowled at the Makers in the sky, knowing one thing for sure. The Om’ray weren’t a “flaw.”
Excerpt from Reap the Wild Wind © 2007 Julie E. Czerneda and DAW Books Inc.
Used with permission.