Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wyrms of Pasandir by Paul E. Horsman

The Road to Kalbakar

Wyrms of Pasandir Book 1
by Paul E. Horsman
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
190 pages

Seventeen-year-old Eskandar is the lowest of the low among the crew of the Navy sloop Tipred. As ship's boy, he runs messages, gets the dirtiest jobs and tries to stay out of his betters' way. It is a dull but safe life, for the tired old Tipred patrols a shipping lane to nowhere and nothing ever happens to disturb their peace.

None aboard know Eskandar's big secret. For he is not alone. In his head lives the voice of Teodar, who has guided and guarded him all his life, and who is teaching him magic. Teodar is a mystery; he won't say who he is or why he is helping him. Eskandar has stopped asking; the voice is his only friend, and that is all that matters to him.

Life goes on placidly - until the sea monsters appear. To save himself and his ship, Eskandar has to use his secret magic and manages to defeat the monsters. Now his enemies know him and his humdrum life becomes a maelstrom of action - fighting monsters, desert robbers and even more fearful enemies.

Will Eskandar's barely tested powers be enough against an undead necromancer who wants him killed? And what about those mighty wyrms in the sky, are they friend or foe? Follow Eskandar's adventures as he gathers a strange band of companions in his battle against terrible enemies in The Road to Kalbakar, Book One of Wyrms of Pasandir.
Note: This series is the next-generation sequel to Lioness of Kell.

‘Strange ship at forty-one!’ The hoarse cry from the masthead made us all jump. The girl craned her neck, but then she must’ve realized the other ship wasn’t visible from the deck yet, for she smiled ruefully. Her hand went to the crooked broomstick on her back, and for a long second she looked about to fly away and investigate.
Then she relaxed as another cry followed the first.
‘Ship’s a threemaster barkentine; Ahaude, out of Dvarghish.’
I knew Ahaude. She was a Kell ship, a coal carrier. Like us, she’d be bound for Port Naar, the navy outpost on the desert coast.
The broomer caught my eye and gave a regretful smile. Maybe she’d also hoped for something exciting, like pirates.
I gave her a slight shrug and an apologetic grin. Welcome to the Tipred. Nothing ever happens here.
Lieutenant Wylmer had his usual moment of indecision. Big body, slow mind.
‘Let’s check up on her, Quartermaster,’ he said finally. ‘Show the navy’s presence.’
The petty officer was a stolid type, a real seaman, and he saluted without showing his thoughts.
‘Aye aye, sir.’ He relayed the order to the helmsman beside him, and the Tipred turned to intercept the big coaler.
Wylmer looked around the quarterdeck. ‘Where’s the little runt?’
Another of his games, I thought, exasperated. I’m at my post, fool; right behind you. Where else would I be?

 Wylmer turned, his puffy face scowling like a rabid pug dog. 

The Pirates of Brisa

Wyrms of Pasandir Book 2
228 pages

When young Eskandar leaves his ship with the tough broomrider girl Kellani, he has no idea how much his dull life in the navy is about to change.

Being chased by desert robbers, delving through ancient tombs, fighting mighty jinn and liberating Kalbakar Keep makes him aware of his past – and his future.

He is a Wyrmcaller; a person of great magic, a speaker with wyrms, and the defender of Bodrus the Sleeping God. Quite a change for a one-handed seventeen-year-old, five-feet-plus ship’s boy.

And that’s not all; an ancient lich lord with an army of mad minions, aided by the jinn and a bunch of pirates, threaten the Sleeping God’s safety. As Bodrus’ defender, Eskandar is the one to foil their plans. But for that he needs an army. An army of kids...

Follow Eskandar and his friends in The Pirates of Brisa, Book 2 of Wyrms of Pasandir, a grand fantasy adventure in a world of wyrms, steamships, magic and mayhem!

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Stay alert! I told myself as I crossed a square full of moving shadows.
‘Closer, come closer, kid!’ a mental voice whispered from the dark ahead of me. I froze, and a flaming spell appeared in my hook-hand, ready to use.
‘Danger!’ Lothi-Mo was awake now and wriggled her way onto my shoulder. ‘Bad man lurking. No hunting us... other prey.’ The little wyrmling sounded angry and with a soft wing-clap, she took to the air. ‘Lothi-Mo go look.’
I cast my mind around and this time I caught a mass of loathsome emotions. I shivered as I felt the greed, the fear of a big guy in a brocaded tunic and the glee at the sight of his intended victim almost within grasp. He’s under a compulsion! I thought, noting how all thoughts swirled round in an unnatural mental fog. Someone’s put a spell on his mind. He’ll not be a common footpad then.
I searched for any others in the area. There! Mountain’s Breath, it’s a kid!
I had found a young street kid, the same age as I was when the navy got me, and with a skin as darkly gray as mine. He was on his way home to Clam Street, just tired and hungry as I remembered. Unaware of any danger, his thoughts were on his empty stomach and a little black kitten. I broke into a run.
Skirting an empty grocery stall, I almost missed a step as the child’s panicked cry battered my senses. Then I rounded the corner and stopped as I recognized the place. This was Old Wharf, a long row of high, narrow warehouses facing the Tome River. It was a perfect spot for a trap; a maze of shadows and dark spots, where the gods know what might be hiding.

A second cry broke off, but now I saw them. In the shadow of a boarded-up building, a fellow in bellbottoms was trying to pull a sack over the head of a struggling child. Hot rage exploded inside me as the image of the boy became mixed-up with my memories of my own orphan life, and all at once it was very personal. I screamed as I rushed forward.

The Bokkaners of the North

Wyrms of Pasandir Book 3
220 pages

Against all odds, Eskandar and his bunch of ragtag youngsters have managed to capture a powerful Qoori fourmaster warship, and used her cannons to blow up the pirate harbor of Brisa. Victory!

But his enemies won’t give the young wyrmcaller time to bask in the glory of a job well done, and soon the voice of Teodar in his head summons him north, where new and even more powerful pirates create havoc on the seas.

Two thousand miles north... that means finding a new base for his army of kids. Teodar sends them by airship to Smalkand, a deserted cave system on the coast of their own Pasandir Peaks. On arrival, Eskandar and his companions discover their new home harbors some surprises...

Once inside Smalkand Keep, and with his main force in the ships still days away, Eskandar and his small group find themselves under attack from Bokkaners and other minions of their ultimate nemesis, the lich lord. 

New adventures in the mighty, snowcapped Peaks, at sea, and in the rich lands of the Hizmyran kingdom await our heroes in ‘The Bokkaners of the North’, the third book of Wyrms of Pasandir.

Before I could say something, Naudin drew himself up to his full length.
‘You will mind your manners,’ he said. ‘Lady Lothi-Mo is a wyrmling of royal descent, a friend of the Weal Council.’
The lieutenant stiffened. ‘Your pardon, I... It was surprise; no disrespect meant.’
Lothi-Mo disregarded him. She spoke a few words to the boy who colored hotly and beat the bars with his fists. He had a strong face–lighter than Naudin’s brown complexion, but not pale like a Garthan–with a hawkish nose, a stubborn chin, hot eyes and dark, wavy hair, shorn at the back and hanging low over his forehead.
 ‘Of course I speak Vulgar,’ the boy said in a heavy accent. ‘But I didn’t care to.’
‘You be silly,’ Lothi-Mo chirped. ‘Why languish in jail?’
‘They attacked me,’ the boy said, rather inconsequential. He drew his brows together in a scowl. ‘My uncle will not react kindly to this.’
‘Was a mistake,’ Lothi-Mo said. ‘Thought you were pirates, and you didn’t say no. Bit not-clever-much, I’d think.’
‘I take it you are not a pirate?’ I asked.

‘Certainly not,’ the boy snapped. ‘I’m Jazzaunt Hathwaari, Prince of Hizmyr.’

Building a Trade Empire

Wyrms of Pasandir Book 4
322 pages


Trade had been Shaw’s life, her dream, her future – until a terrible fire destroyed her parents and their business. Now the 15-year-old orphan follows the wyrmcaller, using her mercantile genius to sell his honestly gained loot and finance his battle against pirates and jinn. 

When Wyrmcaller Eskandar leaves for the north, she gets the chance to branch out. A large cargo of confiscated foreign goodies brings in much more gold than she had expected, and with that money she opens her first trade center.

Armed with her inborn stubbornness and her fire-hardened will to become a powerful trader, she dives into the business world of the Weal Nations; battling scheming financiers and protecting the rights of the people she employs. 

Aided by Nate, the only true love in her life, she fights her enemies on land and at sea, conquering pirate vessels, islands and important companies on her way to become a rich and powerful High Merchant.

‘Ample space,’ she said.
‘Look, canned fish-bombs,’ Nate said, pointing at a cluster of swollen food tins.
‘Don’t touch them,’ Shaw said absently. ‘We will clean it all out, keep the good stuff and dump the rest.’ She walked into the second room.
‘Must have been quite a fight,’ Callogan said, goggling at the bloody trails everywhere.
‘They were pirates.’ Keena had picked up the hat and smoothed out the dents with her hand before donning it. ‘Those deserve ten deaths.’ She struck a pose. ‘Well?’
‘Fearsome,’ Shaw said, inspecting her friend.
Keena smiled. ‘Then I’ll keep it.’
Past the empty loading space, where incoming and outgoing goods would be sorted and packed, they walked through the repair workshop. Several workbenches waited for damaged goods, though the tools in their racks looked old and worn.
Then they climbed the wooden stairs to the entresol with the offices.
A clerks’ room with two standing desks, a cafeteria that could seat fifty, and a restroom, dirty but strangely modern with its flush toilets. Beyond that a boardroom with a large table and chairs, and at the end the manager’s office, wainscoted in redwood, with several paintings of dubious quality and a nice wooden desk.
‘Yes,’ Shaw said. ‘I like the place.’
‘I wonder who owned it,’ Callogan said. ‘It’s not at all a Vanhaari building.’
‘Whoever it was, they made a special place,’ Shaw said. She spread her arms wide. ‘Our place.’
‘Now we need people,’ Nate said as cheerfully as she felt. ‘Let’s go to the Labor Exchange.’
Callogan pulled a fat timepiece from his pocket. ‘It’s seven o’clock. Are those guys still open?’
Nate laughed. ‘They never close. Much of their business is done at night, when employers have time.’

High Merchant

Wyrms of Pasandir Book 5
279 pages

Fifteen-year-old Shaw is already at the head of a fast-growing transnational business. With the acquisition of the great WyDir airlines company, she became a power in the lands of the Weal, and now she is ready to expand.

She manages to get an airship concession from the king of Hizmyr, a large and rich country to the north. This brings her into conflict with the local guilds, who have a monopoly on all businesses in that kingdom.

The Guilds of Hizmyr are ruthless and go to any length to maintain their hold over the king. Soon, Shaw finds herself embroiled in a battle demanding all her grit and ingenuity to win. 

Meanwhile the populace, fed up with their poverty, is on the brink of rebellion. To save her plans, Shaw must not only defeat the guilds, she must prevent a civil war as well! 

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‘You can mindspeak?’ Shaw said, surprised.
‘That’s how he caught my attention,’ Enric said. ‘He wasn’t allowed to speak to me, so he used his mind. It was a bit of a shock; he’s quite strong.’
‘Excellent,’ Shaw said. ‘We can use every magic-user we can find. Take him to the troops’ restroom and clean him up. I suppose the rats don’t mind the smell, but most crew members do.’
The boy bowed. ‘Apologies,’ he said softly. ‘But me, I am insignificant. I would not bother you with my small tricks. There is something else I need to tell you.’
‘Magic is never insignificant, so I am glad you contacted Mage Enric,’ Shaw said. ‘What is it you want to tell us?’
‘Treason, great lady,’ the boy said. ‘I overheard him-who-is-father-of-us-all discuss a black plan with one who was a guild lord. They are planning an attack on the noble lords in the Guild House.’
‘Noble lords?’ Nate said sharply. ‘You mean Shar Khali and his men?’
‘The lord-from-the-king who is assistant to the high minister,’ the boy said. ‘The traitors will explode a bomb below the house.’
‘When?’ Shaw asked.
‘Today,’ the boy said. ‘They are there now, preparing what must be done. They had planned it for another day, but the father-of-us-all told the guildlord of the outlander visitors, and now they want to kill those too.’
Shaw looked around and called a sailor. ‘Get Lieutenant Hizar and Squad Leader Kennan with his guys over here on the double, ready for action. Run!’

Paul E. Horsman is a Dutch and international Fantasy author.
Born in Bussum, a quiet little suburbal village in the Netherlands (1952), he now lives in Roosendaal, a town near the Belgian border.

After finishing school and doing a stint in the army in tropical Surinam, he served for thirty years as a Scoutmaster. Professionally, he earned his bread in various business capacities.

From 1995 to 2012 he was an instructor at a large educational institution - where he explained to foreigners the wonders of the Dutch language and customs - until Governmental budget cuts terminated both the school and his job.
Since then is Horsman a full-time fantasy author.

His first three Dutch books have been trade published in The Netherlands by Zilverspoor.
His English books and later Dutch books are self-published under the Red Rune Books label and appear at Amazon and many major on-line bookstores, both in print and e-book.

His tales are a mixture of high fantasy, mythology and steampunk, and are characterized by their positive mood. Equality and friendship, courage and determination, humor and growth form some of the colors with which Horsman paints his stories. His worlds and their peoples are diverse and full of adventure. And behind it all there is always that dusty scent of old death so characteristic of dungeons, and the smell of dragons, kobolds or other denizens of other worlds. 

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1 comment:

James Robert said...

Congrats on the tour and thank you for the book description and giveaway. I appreciate it!