Realm Breaker (Realm Breaker #1) - Victoria Aveyard Page 0,2

they bleed too?”

“I don’t know either,” Andry muttered, wrenching his eyes from the blade.

Sir Grandel clapped the squire on the shoulder. “Perhaps we’ll find out,” he said, stomping down the hill,

his heavy armor clanging with each step.

I certainly hope not, Andry thought as his lord joined the other mortal Companions. Sir Grandel fell in

among the North cousins: two other knights of Galland. Edgar and Raymon North were just as sick of

the errant quest as Sir Grandel, their tired faces mirroring his own.

Bress the Bull Rider pressed in, his smile overwide beneath his horned helm. The mercenary needled

the knights whenever he could, to their chagrin and Andry’s delight.

“Though you will not take up the sword, you should pray to the gods before battle nonetheless,” said a

deep voice, smooth as thunder.

Andry turned to see another knight step from the trees. Okran of Kasa, the brilliant kingdom of the south,

bowed his head as he approached, his helmet under one arm, his spear beneath the other. The Kasan

eagle screamed across his pearl-white armor, wings and talons outstretched for a kill. Okran’s smile

was a shooting star, a flash against his jet-black skin.

“My lord,” Andry replied, bowing. “I doubt the gods will listen to the words of a squire.”

Okran angled an eyebrow. “Is that what Sir Grandel Tyr tells you?”

“I must apologize for him. He is tired after so long a journey, crossing half the realm in blistering weeks.”

It was a squire’s duty to pick up after his lord, in object and in word. “He does not mean to insult you, or

any other.”

“Don’t fret, Squire Trelland. I am not the kind to let buzzing flies bother me,” the southern knight replied,

waving a nimble- fingered hand. “Not today, at least.”

Andry fought the impolite urge to grin. “Are you calling Sir Grandel a fly?”

“Would you tell him if I did?”

The squire did not answer, and that was answer enough.

“Good lad,” the Kasan chuckled, drawing his helmet over his head, fixing the amethyst nose guard into

place. A Knight of the Eagle took shape, like a hero stepping out of a dream.

“Are you afraid?” The words bubbled up before Andry could stop them. Okran’s expression softened,

bolstering his resolve. “Do you fear the thief and his wizard?”

The Kasan fell quiet for a long moment, his manner slow and thoughtful. He looked at the temple, the

clearing, and Cortael at its edge, a sentinel upon the road. The forest prickled with raindrops, the

shadows turning from black to gray. All seemed quiet, unassuming.

“The Spindle is the danger, not the men seeking it,” he said, his voice gentle.

Try as he might, Andry found he could not picture them. The sword stealer, the rogue wizard. Two men

against the Companions: a dozen warriors, half of them Elders. It will be a slaughter, an easy victory, he

told himself, forcing a nod.

The Kasan raised his chin.

“The Elders called to the mortal crowns and I was sent to answer, same as your knights. I know little of

Corblood or Spindle magic, and believe even less. A stolen sword, a torn passage? All this seems a

conflict between two brothers, not something to concern the great kingdoms of the Ward.” He scoffed,

shaking his head. “But it is not for me to believe what the Elder monarch said or what Cortael warned,

only to stand against what could be. The risk of turning away is too great. At worst, nothing happens. No

one comes.” His warm, dark eyes wavered. “At best, we save the realm before she even knew she was

in danger.”


The language of his mother’s people was easy to reach for, well taught in Andry’s childhood. The words

were honey on his lips.

The gods will it so.

Okran blinked, caught off guard. Then he broke into a smile, the full weight of it overpowering.

“Ambara-garay,” he answered, finishing the prayer with a dip of his helm. Have faith in the gods. “You did

not tell me you speak Kasan, Squire.”

“My mother taught me, my lord,” Andry replied, drawing himself straight. He was nearing six feet tall, but

still felt small in Okran’s lean shadow. Growing up in Ascal, Andry was used to being noticed for his

darker skin, and he was proud of the heritage it showed. “She was born in Nkonabo, a daughter of Kin

Kiane.” His mother’s family, a kin, was known even in the north.

“A noble lineage,” Okran said, still grinning. “You should visit me in Benai, when all this is