Monday, 13 July 2009

Book Two.

Today, I submitted Book Two of The Eternal Watchtower Trilogy: "The Riddle of Storien-Rhudd" for the publication process.
This time; If it is accepted for publication; it will be published by New Generation Publishing... information at:

"The Riddle of Storien-Rhudd" continues the story of the inhabitants of the lands of Falanholme, and their struggle with the Forces of The Darkness.

The back cover blurb is as follows:

With the Darkling Horde destroyed, and the Plain of Malphaers open; The Lord Calladhor can now seek out the key to the Riddle of Storien-Rhudd, carved upon the mighty stone tablet in the Dragon Eyrie of the same name; which, if solved, will allow his Dragon allies to regain their true form.
It would seem to be a quest lacking in any great peril, even though the secret valley wherein the key to the riddle may exist, is many leagues distant.
Calladhor is aware that, in spite of the recent defeat of the Forces of The Darkness; the dreadful, Dark Entity, Baelar will not rest until "The Light" is extinguished, and all is thrust back into Chaos. Always, He lies ready to engulf the land. Always, he probes for some weakness.
Even with this knowledge firm in his mind; Calladhor cannot prepare himself for the dreadfulness that he will encounter, as he journeys deep into the ruined lands that were once, the Kingdom of Astalan.

Here's an extract to be going on with...

The soft, green pastures began thinning to sparse, coarse scrubbings as he breached the northern reaches of Lorenfalu, to progress the wastelands of Khallis. Here, as far as the eye might be laid, was a desolation of yellow and ochre; of brown and of grey. The wastelands of Khallis... a great, silent span of hollows and ash piles; mounds of ancient mining spoil, and great heaps of rusting slag from the furnaces of Khallis.
The wastelands; stretching some thirty leagues north to the Khallis Redoubt; once, infested with lurking Darklings who probed the borderlands; now, naught, but a desolate wilderness, as silent as the grave. Once, compassed in depth by Khuzud-Mahin patrols; and now, scarce a bird to the air. Indeed, a most eerie and forsaken place.

Progressing on northwards; soon, he came upon the Cairn of Donella, the young Khuzud scout killed during Caron of Shandalar's brave, wild ride to Rhom. There, beneath the spreading boughs of the Rowan tree, softly springing to new life in its delicate greening, the young Donella lay. She had been swiftly buried by Caron's escort... the other Khuzud scout, Taeana… she, who had despatched the Horanaurk killer of her sister scout. She, who had laid the rowan spindle into Donella's heart, to confound her walking abroad, transformed into a Ranulug Gomraith... a Darkling Undead.

Calladhor reined in Starshadow, for there was a thing he had promised to do here. Donella had been cairned without her sword. There had not been the time to find the same from whence it had fallen when Donella was unhorsed. Taeana had needed to ride down Caron, on her wild gallop to Rhom.
Whilst in Rhom, Taeana had entreated Calladhor; that, as he passed Donella's cairn, might he lay a sword into the cairn, and also gift her with a garland of Moonflower blossoms... as was custom amongst the fallen Sword-maidens of the Bright, Shining Lands; be they Algethi or Thuvian?

Calladhor had agreed to lay a Dushrakhas... the dreaded Khuzud-Mahin blade, into the cairn; for all fallen Khuzud-Mahin need be interred with a blade, lest they be denied entry into Seithynnor…the Afterlife of the Thuvian Heroes; where they sat in Halls with their forebears once more; and feasted forever, on red meat, and Khalmead, and strong beer; all boasting of their prowess in Battle.
He gazed sadly at the cairn. 'Aye, this were a most grim, and lonesome place to sleep the last Great Sleep. He studied the Rowan. It grew fair and sturdy; a single smudge of green upon that blighted plain... this rowan, which had grown from the spindle pierced into her heart. There too, upon the cairn still lay the wilted wreathing of Moonflowers that the pretty Faluan Lieutenant Nindelen had laid forth, 'ere she rode on to embrace naught, but a dreadful, gruesome death at the Siege of Rhom. He knelt to the cairn and began to carefully shift the stones.

Donella had been cairned, as are all the fallen Sword-maidens cairned… with her head to the east, and her feet to the west. Calladhor sadly gazed upon the shrunken, mouldering body. She had held scarcely, ten and six summers. Such promise of what she might have been, snuffed out like a candle flame; her youth and beauty snatched from her in one brief moment of time.
He gently laid the Dushrakhas upon her body, resting her shrivelled, claw-like hands about the hilt, with the sword-tip at her feet; and laid the garland of Moonflower blossoms upon her brow, now gaunt with mortification. He mused sadly; how soon the bloom of beauty and youth will fade, as a rainbow will fade... as if it had never been. Such waste, gifted careless by fickle fate... and no sense here to be found.

He began to re-lay the stones, carefully… and with due reverence, until the cairn stood once more in completeness. He mounted Starshadow, and turned him to north, to ride onwards. Glancing back at the Cairn, he murmured;

'Sleep safe, Little One.'

Then, turning again, heavy of heart; he spurred Starshadow on, deeper into the wastelands of Khallis.

Hopefully; Book Two will be published in the Autumn.

Further to the info on Book One... I actually saw a copy today. The printing is very impressive. And now...

Two competitions for those who have lots of time on their hands...

Firstly: See how many printing errors you can find. (I found four... which is impressive for a novel of almost 125,000 words. These guys at Lightning Source know what they are doing!)

Secondly: See if you can spot the join... where the novel changed from being a children's book written in close-couplet verse, and grew up to become a grown-ups' Fantasy Adventure.

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