Cover: Duane O. Myers
Deep snow cascading in its wake, up the mountain steeps lunged the Silver Wolf, a yawling pack of Vulgs baying after. A howling Ghûl on a gasping Hèlsteed surged up the slant aft of the pack, and struggling alongside the corpse-foe and his scaled steed, a yowling band of Rûcks and Hlôks clambered up the cant as well. Black-shafted arrows flew upward, some aimed at the Silver Wolf, others aimed at the dark falcon crying in rage in the churning skies above, both arrows and falcon buffeted by the shrieking winds aloft as the boiling wall of the oncoming storm drew nigh, and a forerunning blast all across the high slopes drove snow swirling up from the ground.
The 'Wolf bore a burden concealed in a harness slung across its back, and about the neck of the pony-sized creature dangled a ring on a chain. Something as well glistened about the neck of the falcon above, the bird itself black as night, the glisten as from silver and glass.
Hunters and hunted, up the steeps they strove, the 'Wolf now and again glancing at the ebony falcon above, yet pausing not in its lunging run, while behind came the howling foe. Of a sudden the Hèlsteed squealed and pitched backward down the slant, the scaled creature smashing atop the Ghûl, bones cracking under the crushing weight of the beast. Yet snarling out commands, with spear in hand the corpse-foe rose to his feet and took up the chase afoot, though the Hèlsteed did not as it lay in the snow, its head and neck twisted awry, its cloven hooves drumming a tattoo of death.
Now the black falcon called out a skree! and veered to the right, but the Silver Wolf did not change its course to follow. Again the falcon called out, but the 'Wolf plunged on upward, toward the stormy heights above. Calling out once more, the falcon stooped, folding its wings and plummeting toward the 'Wolf below, and just as it unfurled its pinionsthuck!a crossbow bolt pierced it through, and with a wracking cry it tumbled down through the air to fall to the snowy slopes.
Even as the Rûcks shouted in glee, and in spite of the howling pursuit, the Silver Wolf veered rightward to come to the felled bird. And gently, in mouth and gently, the 'Wolf took up the wounded falcon, careful not to disturb the piercing quarrel, and then the argent animal plunged onward, up the steepening slopes, snow flying out behind.
And still the Vulgs came after, the huge black Wolflike creatures now gaining on the silver foe.
Up they ran and up, up through the screaming wind, while the black skies above seemed to darken further still. At last the Silver Wolf topped the slant to come onto a circular flat, and ahead and curving 'round to the sides towered the hard face of a sheer stone bluff, cupping, trapping the small plateau in its looming embrace, trapping the 'Wolf and the falcon as well. The 'Wolfthe Draegamoved forward and gently lay the black falcon to the soft snow, then with a low growl the creature whirled 'round and padded back to the precipitous lip of the dead-ended, stone-held flat.
Downslope, the yawling rout of Vulgs and Rûcks and Hlôks and the Ghûl lunged upward, fangs bared, blades drawn, arrows and quarrels nocked, cruel barbed spear in hand, murder in their viperous eyes. In the distance beyond and barely glimpsed through the blowing white stood a massive black fortress, its ebon walls streaked with glazes of rime and long white runs of hoarfrost.
With another low growl the 'Wolf turned its back to the oncoming peril and stepped toward the wounded falcon, and in that moment the howling blizzard swept over all, hurtling stinging snow shrieking across the whole of the mountainside.
-- Excerpts from the book.
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I received the following update from Dennis during the writing of the book:
Just a note to let all know that here on Year's End Day I just finished the last chapter of _Silver Wolf, Black Falcon_. I yet have an epilogue to do (along with a host of stuff like a foreword, a bio, etc.), but the main story is done. At this moment the manuscript stands at 850 pages (which equates to about 216,000 words; or about the size of _The Eye of the Hunter_). The finished manuscript (Finished? Ha!) should come in at around 875-900 pages. I should be sending the manuscript to my agent sometime in January ('99 that is).
Expect the hardcover in late '99 or early '00.
PS: I really like the story
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