Excerpt: The Sea Goddess’s Temple

Very soon, I’ll be releasing my latest book, Riwenne & the Bionic Witches. I’ve just completed the first revision and now it’s off to my editor. And don’t forget that in two days, I’ll be revealing the official cover and the release date!

I’m sharing another excerpt today. This one is less spoiler-filled than the last one. For context, Riwenne and her friends are sneaking into the oldest temple dedicated to Sawycha, the sea goddess, to look for something. The temple is built right along the bay in the port city. This is the first time Riwenne has ever seen the ocean in person, so she’s really excited.

Tika pointed her wing to a great stone building at the side of the port nearest to us. The temple squatted over the edge of the water in a semi-circle with many columns and open decks. “There it is. And the good news, for Riwenne at least, is we’ll be getting in the water.”

Deryt glanced at the sand piper. “That’s your plan?” He looked around at the rest of us. “Do you city kids even know how to swim?”

I gulped and shook my head. Except for bathing in the river shallows in Jabin, I’d never been in anything deeper than a bathtub. Janera and Kyra were also shaking their heads, so at least I wasn’t the only one.

“Relax,” Tika said with a sigh. “It’s shallow. We’ll climb in by the tide pools, and the tide is going out.”

Tika led us down to the water and showed us the way across the rocks. She warned us to keep our shoes on, sending a pointed look at me, to protect us from sharp rocks. The little sand piper hopped along the best path and we followed.

It was slow going. We had to clamber up rocks at some points, wade through shallow water in others, and there was little light to see. The temple blocked the city lights from us and the moon was so small. I felt unbalanced with my right arm in the sling. If I’d had a godcrystal, or even a sunstone, I would have been tempted to use it so I could see where I was putting my foot. But Amena cautioned against lights, so we had to make our way by feel.

The tide pools were fascinating. I wished I was able to see them better. A miniature world was in each of them, filled with strange creatures I’d only read about. Maybe, after we’d visited the temple, we’d have some time for a little exploration.

At first, I was worried about how we’d get inside, but when we got closer, I saw how unique the temple’s construction was. The three-tiered structure was mostly open to the air—and the sea, because even at low tide, the waves came up to the entrance of the first floor. In the middle of the half-circle was the largest tide pool yet, ringed by huge rocks, and I could glimpse something large moving in the dark water. The bottom columns were covered in barnacles and seaweed, so they must be underwater for part of the day. Approaching from the water front, we were able to walk right inside.

The first floor was empty with sand and flotsam scattered everywhere, and at the back were large steps leading up. We climbed up to the second level and sunstones switched on at our movement, lighting up an incredible mosaic on the wall before us. Sea shells, sea glass, and polished stones mixed with painted ceramic tiles to create an incredible mural of Sawycha stepping out of the sea. The goddess looked so real, so much like how I’d seen her in my dreams, that I thought she would open her mouth and speak right then.

But the voice that rang out through the temple wasn’t hers.

“What are you doing here?”

Kristen

I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.
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