<p>Chosen as a five-year-old orphan to be the Left Hand of Death, Ellaeva has nothing to call her own—nothing except a desire to avenge her murdered parents. Her duties leave her no time to pursue the man responsible, until both her work and revenge lead to the same place—the lonely castle where Lyram Aharris is serving out his exile for striking his prince.<p>
<p>Lyram is third in line for the throne, and when the castle is unexpectedly besieged, he fears his prince means to remove him from contention for the crown permanently. Ellaeva’s arrival brings hope, until she reveals she has not come for the siege, but instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the dark god of decay.</p>
<p>Within their stone prison, Ellaeva and Lyram must fight to save themselves from political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, the greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.</p></blockquote>
Only a fool would split hairs with a god, least of all the goddess of death, but Ellaeva would count herself such a fool and consider it worth it—if she could get away with it.
She leaned across the knife-scarred timber of the tavern table.
“Are you sure?” she asked, her tone even and barely loud enough to be audible over the noise of the flute and the zither. Her work on behalf of the goddess Ahura, adjudicating the small war here in Dayhl, could only be abandoned in favour of a greater threat. If she was going to chase off after the man who killed her parents, she needed to be sure her arguments stacked up. The pursuit of personal justice wouldn’t be enough.
Is it justice or revenge?
No time to worry about that now. She tugged her black hood farther down over her infamous face, even though deep shadows blanketed the common room corner. She’d chosen a table far from the tallow candles mounted in their stag-horn chandeliers. There was no point taking chances; the black hair and porcelain skin of a Tembran would be remarked here among the platinum-haired Dayhlish. Besides, someone might recognise her.
“In Ahlleyn, sure as the spring comes after winter, Holiness.” The narrow-faced man across from her grinned, baring teeth more brown than yellow. The acrid smoke from the candles didn’t cover his pungent breath.
She half-stood, making an urgent, negating gesture as she glanced around, but the hubbub of chatter from the patrons and the music covered his slip. No one even glanced their way. On the far side of the room, away from the two blazing hearths, tables were pushed aside for dancing. She dropped back into her seat, her black robes fluttering around her booted feet.
Ahlleyn lay on the other side of the continent, months of travel by horse. If her informant was right and a Rahmyrrim priest had been dispatched there, he would likely be gone long before she arrived—unless she begged a favour, but she’d not do that for a lark of her own. However, if it meant catching the man who killed her parents, well then maybe she could come up with an argument that would hold water for a god. Old grief and anger, stale from a decade or more, stirred in her gut, and her fingers curled around the edge of the table.
Releasing her grip, she reached to the inner pocket in her robes where rested the smudged charcoal drawing of a man. Hard work and luck had helped her obtain that picture of the man she believed killed her parents—a man she knew to be a priest of Rahmyr. If she decided to act against her standing orders, then she needed to be sure it was the man she was after, and that he was involved in some act heinous enough to attract her goddess’s attention.
“Did you get the name of this priest? Or his description?” An unknown number of priests served Rahmyr, but she knew six by sight—six still alive anyway.
The thin man shook his head. “Nobody mentioned. I got the impression he’s already there, or on his way leastways.”
She scowled. No way to be sure then that this was the man she wanted. Begging favours of Ahura for her personal satisfaction was a risky business, especially if she neglected her duties, and perhaps it would all be for nothing.
With one hand, she flattened the map that curled on the table between them. The patrons behind them exploded with laughter at something unheard. Ignoring the noise, she stabbed her finger at an unmarked portion of the map in the foothills of the Ahlleyn mountains. If he didn’t know who, maybe he knew the what. “There, you say? What possible interest could Rahmyr have there? There’s nothing of interest at all.”
She lowered her voice even further as she uttered the name of the goddess of decay, and glanced around again. That name spoken too loudly would bring unwanted attention. But nearly all the tavern patrons were busy whirling on the impromptu dance floor or lined up to watch the dancers, their backs to her.
The nameless man leaned forward, treating her to another stomach-clenching blast of foul breath, and touched a spot perhaps half an inch away from her finger. A tiny, unlabelled picture marked something there.
She squinted at the picture, letting his lapse slide. The image represented a holy place. There was an old shrine to Ahura somewhere in the Ahlleyn Borders, wasn’t there? And a castle built over it. “Caisteal Aingeal an Bhais.”
“That sounds like the name,” he agreed. “Never could get my mouth around them Ahlleyn words. Pink castle, I heard.”
She grunted. That was the one. “There’s still nothing there.”
Nothing of interest to Rahmyr anyway. The shrine wasn’t particularly important, and the castle held no political significance.
“What’s there,” the man said, “is Lyram Aharris.”
The premonition went through her like a blast of icy wind, stiffening her in her chair as the hand of the goddess brushed against her mind. A light caress, but from a giant, and so it sent her mind reeling. She clutched the table for support. Lyram Aharris’s reputation preceded him the length of the continent: eight years ago, at the age of twenty-seven, he’d brought an end to the centuries-long conflict between Ahlleyn and Velena through a series of brilliant military manoeuvres. He’d survived the Siege of Invergahr against near-impossible odds, brought the crown prince safely clear of the conflict, and fought the Velenese to a standstill using their own guerrilla warfare tactics against them. As a novice, she’d covered the tactics thoroughly as part of her studies. The man was a military genius. That he was third in line for the throne of Ahlleyn was the least there was to know about him—at least it was, until his king dismissed him from court. The rumours on everyone’s lips said he murdered his wife, even if no one could prove it.
What did Rahmyr want with him?
<span lang=”EN-GB” style=”font-family: "Garamond",serif; font-size: 12.0pt;”> Ciara Ballintyne grew up on a steady diet of adult epic fantasy from the age of nine, leaving her with a rather confused outlook on life – she believes the good guys should always win, but knows they often don’t. She is an oxymoron; an idealistic cynic.</p>
She began her first attempts at the craft of writing in 1992, culminating in the publication of her debut work, <i>Confronting the Demon</i>, in 2013. Her first book to be published with Evolved Publishing is <i>In the Company of the Dead</i>. She holds degrees in law and accounting, and is a practising financial services lawyer. In her spare time, she speculates about taking over the world – how hard can it really be?</p>
If she could be anything, she’d choose a dragon, but if she is honest she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House M.D. – both the good and the bad. She is a browncoat, a saltgunner, a Whedonite, a Sherlockian, a Ringer and a Whovian… OK, most major geek fandoms. Her alignment is chaotic good. She is an INTJ.</p>
Ciara lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, her two daughters, and a growing menagerie of animals that unfortunately includes no dragons.</p>
So there are books before this one in this series, I think this one stood very well all on it’s own! The author did a awesome job with the prose, characters and editing, that it rocks as one! There’s a appendix at the back to explain characters and words you’ll see thought out this series, I’m mean really! You don’t usually find those. Bravo! There’s also some of the authors short stories at the back of the book. Bravo! Now, about the story, Rami was sold to the Set when he was a boy. He learned their way, then something happened and Rami ran. He needs to find “The Book Of The Dead”so he can get rid of the evil in or around him, you see he’s having awful nightmares, he believes if he finds this book he’ll be able to get rid of give darkness within him. He meets up with a caravan and the leader takes a liking to him, so he starts traveling with them and did odd jobs. We have wizards, dragons, magic and necromancies running around in this story. Amirah ( Caravans leaders daughter) takes a liking to Rami also, she hears his night mares and wants to help him. A budding romance in the mist of all this darkness? Can Rami find the book before he’s totally taken by darkness? Take the journey with them to find out, just be careful not to head into the dark!!!
This short story is a look into the world of Nisha, a witch. Her father, a powerful wizard is dying, someone put a spell on him. Can she find a way to save her father? She heads to the library to read through it’s many books. While there she hears a whisper telling her about a possible way to save her father. Does she listen to this voice? I’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the real story “The Guardians Apprentice”. Yes, this short story worked, I must read more…
The drink ruins lives: Calasade: Blood Isle by Mark Stone
I was given this ARC in exchange for a honest review, I’ve read from this author before, this was no hardship for me.
Set in the Greco-Roman time, a fantasy with barbarians, swords & sorcery: Caderyn lost his wife to his stupidity of the drink and gambling, he had it all, titles, a great job and a fine place to live with his wife Elianne. Now he was battling demons, always being tested with them and life. Will he win his battle, or is the pull to drink to much? Jana had been looking for him for a fortnight, she was sent by Lepidus to ask him to help find Indrasena for coin. Indrasena was a very young girl kidnapped from his home in the night. With all that has happened in his life already, Caderyn wasn’t to keen on someone relying on him but, he needed the money to try to make a fresh start. The other part that bothered him was the pull on his britches that Jana has made, he’s still married in his heart. He’s never strayed (that he can remember anyway). He’s seen way to much, it haunts his dreams. You need to read this book to find out about Caderyn’s demons. Jana doesn’t give up a lot of information on the girl, it makes Caderyn wonder who and what this girl is to Lepidus. Caderyn decided to do it, he made his demands clear, he needed men, weapons and more money than offered. Jana agreed to his terms as along as she can go back and help find the girl with them. This book is meticulously written. I didn’t know some of the words but, I knew what they meant by reading the sentence. Download your copy and read about Caderyn and his journey to find himself again. You get a look at the authors stunning artwork, more reason to download
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, I’ve read his missives on Facebook, so I didn’t hesitate to download one of his books. A totally different fantasy book that doesn’t disappoint. Mr. Charalambus is hard to figure out, I think that’s one of the reasons I like this book. Josep is lying in a ditch wondering how he got there, he’s hearing someone, or is he dreaming. Cora is a healer, she gives Josep two drops of liquid called tears of the fable wolf dragon, that revives him, he instantly falls for her. It’s hard to leave her behind being she’s the only one he remembers. There’s someone talking, it’s his old horse lightening, yes a talking horse. Cora tells Josep that he has to replace the liquid, it won’t be easy. Josep is still not sure of what’s expected of him. He sets off, very wobbly still, with lightening by his side. He meets up with Mr.Charalambus, he’s so nice, he introduces him to rich society people. Don’t let his good natured side fool you, Mr. Charalambus has a personality that draws you in, but expects much from you. Will Josep find what he’s looking for? Download yours now to find out if Lightening and Josep replace the Tears of the Fable Dragon, or lead down a road of evil… A very well written fantasy read.
A dash of desire isn’t all that’s going on between Riley and Tristan. Riley is going to visit her aunt Billy after leaving her man of two years behind. Tristan, trying to find his sanity after his wife died by helping others, became a preacher. She gets a flat tire just before getting to her aunts town, no cell service, midnight, pouring rain, just great! Riley see headlights and starts thinking, shit, not the way I want to die. A dark, tall stranger gets out of a older truck, all kinds of thoughts are running through Riley’s mind. She smells his cologne, it’s smells like Heaven& chocolate, then that voice, all southern drawl, then the full effect of him hits her, the thoughts running through her mind aren’t of death. He tries to help out with the tire only to find no spare, that’s when Riley’s foul mouth takes over, she’s a spunky little thing, Tristan thinks while laughing inside. Riley breaks down then, Tristan tells her she has every right to have a break down, he offers a ride to her aunts house. Aunt Billy is very religious, she thinks Riley needs a session with the preacher. Billy has the preacher come to the house the next morning. You really need to download and find out what happens, it’s sinful…hehe!
What do you see: “Reflections” Minds Eye Series By Darcia Helle, Jason McIntyre, Maria Savva, Helle Gade, Michael Radcliffe, Martin David Porter, Ben Ditmars
What a fantastic collection of stories& poems & photography. These books are like no other, a picture is worth a thousand words. Awesome story telling with every picture, they all were fantastic stories, well written and the pictures were beautiful. The poems were a nice added edition to this book. Some stories are dark, while others were in between, same goes with the poetry. Download now and form your own opinion.
First of all if you didn’t read the first book “Confronting The Demon” do it! I was lucky enough to receive a Arc of the next book(which I was waiting for after reading the first) I was not disappointed! This author writes sci-fi like no other, kick butt action and suspense all the way through both books. Alloran is known as the destroyer of worlds, does he deserve this title? The council and other residents blame him and his renegade so-called friend(Laydon)for the demons that plagued the city and killed loved ones. Gisayne keeps collapsing and they can’t figure out why, it has been happening more and more ever since chasing Laydon to the seven Hells. Alloran needs to figure out what’s wrong before she dies. He can’t trust anyone in the citadel to help him even his assistants in the lab, he thinks their spy’s sent from the counsel to keep a eye on him. The city of Ehsua is still falling apart, walls come and go, could there be a link between this and Gisayne? Will Alloran find a way to redeem himself in time to save Gisayne? Is there anyone he can trust? I found myself wanting to kick butt myself at times. Gisayne and Alloran have my respect, as does the author for her awesome writing skills. Can’t wait for the next book to be released! Read about demons, wizards, hellcats, sorceress all in this series.
A book full of fantasy, magic, potions, witches, woodland elves, black magic and fairies. Joey is a orphan, he lives at the Holly House with Miss April-Mae. It’s a nice place for an orphanage compared to most, because Miss April-Mae cares about the kids there. Joey wants to know who his parents are and where he came from. He has a favorite tree he is drawn to, it’s no ordinary tree, Joey leaves his most prized processions in that tree. He befriends a dog at the pet store owned by Mister Tim, a eccentric man who has takes in orphan dogs besides having a pet store. Mister Tim thinks that Joey and the shaggy dog would be great together and asks Joey if he wants him. Joey is all excited until he remembers that they can’t have dogs at the Holly house. Mister Tim offers to keep the dog at his house as long as Joey helps out at the shop, Joey can’t believe luck. As strange things happen at the pet store, Joey learns more about his parents. It’s such a magical story, it drew me right in. I can’t wait to read more about Joey and his friends, “wait” I’ll do that now with EVERUDE book Two: Castles, Clowns& Potions. SWEET!
This erotica read had three short stories: Black Ribbion: Holly is invited to a Grecian Masquerade Ball, a Naughty Nobody Knows Your Name ball where you can live out your sexual fantasies along with everyone else in the room. You never know who’ll meet. Coffee Shop: Miranda, (a married woman with three children)meets him on twitter only to find out they live in the same town. They talk on twitter until he asks her to meet for coffee. Does she go? You’ll find out if you read this book. Hehe! Invitation To Fantasy: Sarah divorces her husband and loses her job, she moves back to her hometown down on her luck. She runs into Charlie a guy she had a affair with, she still loves him. She always thought those people who had affairs and said it just happened, they didn’t mean it to, were kidding themselves. She knows now how it could happen. She doesn’t tell him where she’s staying. Sahara gets a invitation to The Grecian Ball, what will she find there? Will she attend? Not telling, read it for yourself. Hehe! A very sexual, hot, steamy read.