EXCLUSIVE: Read the beginning of the first Time Lord Victorious novel!

Out today is the first novel of the multi-platform story Time Lord Victorious, The Knight, The Fool and The Dead by Steve Cole, published by BBC Books.

Ready to meet the Kotturuh, the bringers of death? How sinister is Brian the Ood? And will the Tenth Doctor become the Time Lord Victorious? Let’s find out!

You can order The Knight, The Fool and The Dead now.

We live forever, barring accidents. Just like everyone else in the universe.

The Doctor travels back to the Dark Times, an era where life flourishes and death is barely known...Then come the Kotturuh – creatures who spread through the cosmos dispensing mortality. They judge each and every species and decree its allotted time to live. For the first time, living things know the fear of ending. And they will go to any lengths to escape this grim new spectre, death.

The Doctor is an old hand at cheating death. Now, at last, he can stop it at source. He is coming for the Kotturuh, ready to change everything so that life wins from the start.

Not just the last of the Time Lords. The Time Lord Victorious.

You can read the start of the novel below:

The skies over Destran were horrid with phantoms, wheeling in the wind. Estinee watched their wild dance of dark and colour from her bedroom window, clutching to her chest the doll she’d grown out of, long ago. She couldn’t make sense of the shifting patterns; if they were monsters come to claim the living, or spirits of the new dead taking flight from their bodies. The visions spun and shifted like scraps in a hurricane, but the dread they brought was deep and slow.

Though she wanted to, Estinee couldn’t stop watching the haunted sky. If she did, she knew her eyes would be drawn to whatever was causing the screams in the cropfields. And if she didn’t look then she would never remember. It wouldn’t have to be real. She could close her eyes, of course.

But Estinee knew that if she did, she couldn’t pretend she wasn’t alone behind the locked door, in darkness. It was already growing so dark.

Estinee couldn’t take it in. Minutes ago this had been a day like any other: Mother and Father and all their workers, out in the fields for the harvest. Then the skies darkened and the sun was swallowed, just as in the old stories. Stories she’d been told since she was tiny, but had never believed till now.

The Kotturuh. They had come.

Shock had been squeezing her voice box shut, but now words and tears came together. ‘It’s the end of the world,’ Estinee whispered aloud.‘There’s no need for fear, child.’ Her mother’s voice from the talk-circle in the wall, quiet and calming. ‘The Kotturuh bring meaning to Destran.’‘Mother!’ The spell of the skies was broken; Estinee jerked and ran to the white mesh disc in the wall.‘Meaning? How can you say that? Where are you? I’ve been so scared, what’s happening, where’s Father—?’Her mother didn’t seem to hear. ‘Death is the Kotturuh’s gift.’‘We must hide from the Kotturuh, Mother.’ Estinee clutched the doll tighter, but it was cold and hard against her chest. ‘Please, come to me?’‘I am coming to you,’ said her mother slowly. ‘I am nearly here.’There was the loudest scream from outside the window. Don’t look, Estinee told herself. If you look, it’s real. It’ll always be real.

But now she couldn’t help but look. Because the scream was her father’s. Her father was outside beneath the storm-grey panic of the sky, running through sticks of cinder where the cropfield had stood minutes before.‘Father!’ She dropped the doll, threw open the window, shouted to him. He was looking wildly behind him. Estinee caught a glimpse of something – a quivering shape of shadow reaching out to him – before she closed her eyes. Only a glimpse, but that was enough.

Now it’s real.

The shape vanished, a shadow blown away on the wind, and her father’s final scream died as quickly. Estinee turned from the window, faced her bedroom door. It swung open.

You can order The Knight, The Fool and The Dead now.

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