by Dan Adams
Part one of an exciting epic fantasy series written by a new voice in Australian fantasy.
Castor and Pollux Fallon are members of the Buckthorne military, and have been since their mother handed the unruly little bastards into the care of the Baron after their father's death.
When the Kyzantine Empire attacks the Murukan outposts in the Callisto Mountains the brothers answer the call to war. Behind the front-line battle scenes are brutal assassinations, political backstabbing and the re-emergence of a dark power long thought eradicated from the land. the conflict escalates, all the while forcing each brother to make another difficult decision between sacrifice and duty until the day that the toll is unbearable ... and there is only one type of sacrifice left.
In the vein of Mark Lawrence and Peter V Brett, this is an exciting new name in medieval epic fantasy.
Buy link: Amazon
NOTE: BOOK IS $0.99
Sweat dripped down Derrick’s face. Perspiration clung to his body, the humid conditions in the tunnel mercilessly sapping the energy from him. He could feel the exhaustion weighting his limbs. His opponents did not look perturbed. Their faces were calm, concentrated. Even with their heavy armour, they didn’t look discomforted, no flush in their cheeks. The Prince lunged forward, almost stumbling as he overextended but still managed a glancing blow to one of their thighs.
Each strike now was countered in double unison, two blades creating an effective barrier. Through his gasping he could hear his men cheering in the background. It spurred him on. Faster now he attacked, pressing whatever advantage he could get.
Then without warning the Seraphim stopped defending and stepped up their offensive. The two blades rained down blow after blow, relentlessly pressing the Prince back step by step. His sabre deflected the heavier blades, his body dodged the killing blows. For all his efforts, maintaining his defence under such an inexorable attack was beginning to take its toll. He stepped back and forced his head backwards to avoid a strike to his neck. He wobbled slightly before stumbling backwards into his accompanying guard. Hands steadied him and propped him back firmly on his feet.
His breathing now rasping and painful, the Prince stared at his opponents. They paused in their attack, their stillness a silent menace as they regarded him impassively, their blades poised in front of their torsos. Their armour was of archaic design, full plate with an insignia he didn’t recognise. Their shaved heads glinted and dark eyes glowed under heavy brows.
Edrazil stepped back and with an abrupt hand movement indicated to Devilin to continue alone. Devilin shifted his stance gracefully, centring himself in the tunnel, flexed his muscles, and drove forward. The Prince reacted instinctively, pushing forward to meet the devastating blows. The force behind each strike jarred his arm as his sabre merely glanced the blade away. The burning ferocity in the attacker’s eyes unnerved the Prince as much as the effortless precision of his strikes. Increasingly desperate, the Prince dodged from side to side, up and down. There was little room for him to move and very little he could do.
In a last ditch effort the Prince drove forward as the blade thrust toward him, plunging his sabre into Devilin’s arm. The Seraphim retreated two steps bringing his wounded arm to his side. As the Prince stepped in for the kill, Devilin reached around for his dagger, stepped to the side avoiding the deathblow, and plunged the shorter blade into the Prince’s chest.
Derrick stumbled back, his sabre clattering to the floor as he clutched at his chest. Blood seeped from the wound, covering his hands with the sticky red fluid. He finally fell, mouth open, blood dribbling from the corner of his lips. As his body slumped to the ground, the guards behind him found their courage and surged forth to avenge Derrick’s death. Three abreast they came at the two Seraphim. Edrazil stepped forward, swinging his blade high across the chests of those in the front row, clanging their swords away. Devilin lunged at the closest soldier and drove his sword into the chest. He brought his foot up, planted it below the blade and kicked the body away.
Chaos reigned in the cramped conditions as soldiers scrambled over the dead and dying bodies of their comrades and the Seraphim drove home the advantage. Devilin struck out, cleaving a head from a torso. Swords clattered against the tunnel walls as they battered to fruitless avail. The Kyzantines failed to wound in close combat, while the two warriors savagely shed their blood with ruthless efficiency. Within moments the carnage was over — the Kyzantines all lay dead, blood pooling around the mass of bodies.
With cool deliberation, Devilin and Edrazil stooped to clean their blades, only raising their heads at the sound of Avernus approaching through the tunnel. His hood was down revealing a small gash on his forehead and dried blood on his chin, his eyes gleaming in the flickering light.
Devilin raised an eyebrow at the sight. Avernus merely responded with a dismissive shrug and patted a pouch at his waist.
A satisfied smile briefly touched Avernus' lips as he studied the sight of the dead Prince with the Murukan dagger protruding from his chest. Turning on his heel he strode back along the tunnel with the two warriors in tow, Devilin trying to stem the flow of blood coming from his arm. The Seraphim left silently and swiftly, leaving the Tarkinholms to the mess, melding into the confused and chaotic throng to disappear into the night.
The body of the Prince lay solemnly still, his eyes staring into the darkness after the retreating intruders, the deadly knife still embedded in his chest.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Dan Adams is a Sydney-based writer. When he's not penning kick ass war stories, he's working on his guns - the arm variety, rather than the weapons featured so prominently in his books. He loves slushies and always finds himself climbing too many stairs on Wednesdays. Follow him on Twitter at @DanAdamsWriter
Buy link: Amazon
NOTE: BOOK IS $0.99
Dan will be awarding an eCopy of Brave Men Die to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway