by Paul E. Horsman
Release Date: January 30th 2015
Red Rune Books
Summary from Goodreads:
Secure in his position as the mighty Prince-warlock’s son, eighteen-year-old Basil is content with his solitary life of study and magic. He has a comfortable set of rooms in his father’s tower, he has his books and scrolls, and he is perfectly happy. Until the Warlockry Council summons him, and their demands sets his whole, safe existence tottering. Scared and unsure, he decides torun, and takes the first ship out of town. On board he meets Yarwan, the handsome midshipman, who awakens feelings he never knew existed.
Maud of the M'Brannoe, at nineteen already a mighty Kell warrioress, is about to graduate as a Lioness, a special duty officer answering to her Queen and no one else. The Prince-warlock asks her to fetch a certain boy from a pirate town, who could be double for his son. On their way back, someone sabotages their airship and the two find themselves marooned in an ill-reputed forest. Together, the young lioness and Jurgis the lookalike run for the coast and a ship home,while finding solace in each other’s arms.
Then the four young people meet, and Basil learns of a spell that might help him. Only the spell’s
creator, the infamous Black Warlock, disappeared nearly a century ago. When the four young people decide to go looking for him, they start on a path leading to an old war and unsolved mysteries that will change the world. Or kill them.
A spirited fantasy story of high adventure, sparkling humor and romantic love in an alternate earth setting of tropical islands, pirates, steamships and wyrms, where both magic and early modern technology flourish.
Add to Goodreads
Buy Links: Amazon│Kobo Books│Barnes and Noble│iBooks│Smashwords
Excerpt from CHAPTER 22 - WARGALL
Now Maud heard the sounds of fighting coming from the building. She drew her sword and ran inside, straight into a pitched battle. Soldiers in foreign uniforms were fighting the leopardesses twelve to four and though the girls were hefty enough, they were trained to shoot from a distance, and close combat found them at a disadvantage.
Maud’s full-throated battle cry rallied them. They answered with a high, growling leopard’s yell and renewed energy.
A plumed enemy officer shouted a command and half of the soldiers turned to face the newcomers. The lioness gave a barking laugh and sprang at him. Her sword, twice as long as his, crashed through his defense and the man stumbled. A second blow forced him to his knees and desperately he tried to block a third.
‘For the Kell,’ Maud cried, while her next swipe broke both the man’s blade and his skull.
Panting, she turned to another soldier. Three quick punches with her left fist turned his face into a bloody mess, and a vicious kick in the groin sent him reeling back to lose his life in a leopardess’ arms. His sword skittered over the marble floor and from the corner of her eye Maud saw Wargall dive for it. His face changed as he gripped the hilt and smiling ecstatically, he rammed the sword under the breastplate of the nearest of two soldiers fighting another leopardess.
The flat of a blade hit Maud’s shoulder, and she cursed with the pain. For a moment, the throne room went red before her eyes and she forgot all but those pesky little beings. Kill! her mind yelled, and blood covered the floor of the throne room as she brained the attacker with her sword pommel. Instinctively, she dodged a short burst of blackness Basil threw at a soldier. The enemy warrior withered where he stood, sinking down in a smoking heap. Then Wargall spurted past her, waving his sword, his face contorted. ‘M’Arrangh!’ he screamed. ‘M’Arrangh for the Kell!’He struck at a soldier and the man cried out, clutching his shoulder. Quickly, Maud finished the man off and Wargall ran, looking for another.
‘More coming through!’ Jurgis shouted, pointing at the portal.
A large shape shimmered and consolidated in the space under the floor. No soldier, this, but a giant Kell, dressed in an embroidered robe, his cruel face covered in garish markings. Instead of fighting, he lifted his arms and turned on the portal itself. Under his incantations, the wooden frame smoked and blackened.
‘He’s destroying the portal,’ Jurgis yelled from across the room. With an explosion of light, the frame burst into splinters. Then the Kell ran up the ladder and turned his attention to the fighting. He was big, easily as tall as Maud, but possessed by an aggression the lioness lacked.
‘For the M’Arrangh!’ Wargall shouted, as he ran toward the big man.
The Kell turned, and lifted his hands at the boy. ‘You’re no M’Arrangh, stunted worm!’ Death formed between his fingers, a poisonous snake with many heads, writhing and hissing in anger. Wargall froze, sword half lifted, as he stared at the mass of snakes. Then, a shiver ran through him and he sprang, ramming the sword into the man’s abdomen and up towards the heart. The giant arched backward, his hands slackened, and the snakes disappeared. With his mouth open in a stilled scream, the big Kell crashed down at the foot of Kelwarg’s bed.
The boy pulled his sword from the body and turned to the others, his eyes unseeing. ‘Is he... Did I...?’
‘As dead as yesterday’s dinner,’ Jurgis said, hurrying across. He gripped Wargall’s shoulders and shook him. ‘Well done, man!’
Paul E. Horsman (1952) is a Dutch and International Fantasy Author. Born in the sleepy garden village of Bussum, The Netherlands, he now lives in Roosendaal, a town on the Dutch border with Belgium.
He has been a soldier, salesman, scoutmaster and from 1995 teacher of Dutch as a Second Language to refugees from all over the globe.
Since 2012, heis a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures for Y.A. and older. His works have been both trade published in The Netherlands, and self-published internationally.
Author Links: Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Book Tour Organized by: