Bookish

Star of Hope by Moira McPartlin (Excerpt)

Today, I am pleased to be bringing you an extract from Star of hope by Moira McPartlin, the final part in the Sun Song Trilogy, out now in both Paperback and Kindle editions, published by Fledgling Press.

‘Come on, we’re nearly there.’ Ishbel half-dragged Huxton forward, praying to her ancestors that she was right. They soon stumbled upon a small indigenous forest which had signs of coppicing, well cultivated and well-tended. She was right.

‘There must be a community near,’ she encouraged Huxton but he was staggering like a mash-head.

An old pine left growing too long looked ready to topple. She sat Huxton by it and scouted round. A massive root, its timber long gone, and left to rot was just the right size for her to manage. She dragged it to the tree.

‘Crawl under here and wait.’ He looked relieved and ready to sleep for a hundred years in the land of trolls.

    Ishbel crept into the forest. She closed her eyes and let her instincts move her forward. It wasn’t long before her instincts were screaming at her. Sixth sense told her to draw her stun and shrink her body into the smallest space she could find. On a tree to her right she detected movement. A boy, a sentry posted.  He hadn’t seen her. She could stun him but he would be sure to fall and hurt himself. She heard voices – baby whispers, unconcerned with danger. She heard an infant whimper and a soft lullaby that soon stopped the baby’s cry. She smelled something strange and guessed it was food by the way her belly rumbled in response. She held her hand against it, afraid the noises would alert the camp.

As she crept nearer she wondered how she would announce her arrival without being killed first. Should she whistle? She felt in her pocket. The clicker was there, a crude u-shaped metal clip, no bigger than her thumb. When depressed the metal sent out a loud click that proved a very effective communication tool. This was her signalling device to alert the rebels. First used over a century and a half ago by the French Resistance, it still worked. But this community was not rebel, it was too early, too close to the coast. Would they recognise this ancient signal for what it was?

The decision was taken from her. A rope grabbed her ankle, hoisted her skyward. Air whipped from her lungs, she cried out. She lost the stun. Her stomach somersaulted as the rope bounced then settled, spinning her round in slow gentle circles. When she opened her eyes she met the stares of a small group of children, dirty, ragged and hungry for blood.

About the Book

This third and final exciting volume of The Sun Song Trilogy finds Sorlie and Ishbel working together in one last attempt to save Esperaneo. As The Prince’s health deteriorates he hands over leadership of the Star of Hope’s mission to Sorlie and Ishbel. But what is the Star of Hope? All they know is that it will free the native race from slavery. On mainland Esperaneo Major, Ishbel travels north through a hostile artic forest while Sorlie, Reinya and Dawdle head for the southern dry lands. On the way both parties battle extreme weather and betrayal, but it is only when the two missions meet that the frightening truth of their world is revealed. And one final betrayal decides the fate of the mission and their fight for freedom. The Sun Song trilogy explores life in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Britain where society’s norms have broken down and life has to be lived differently.  

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