From a Broken Land
From a Broken Land, the first in the Broken Throne series, is due for availability on April 15, and should be in bookstores by May 1.
Early critical acclaim for From a Broken Land:
“He take us to a land of his imagination – a land we cannot be sure is wholly imaginary or one that represents a prophecy of where this universe may take us. That latter possibility is one that makes his writing so pungent. His creation of characters, not tropes, make this story sing.”–Grady Harp, Amazon Top 100 Hall of Fame Reviewer
See the full review, here.
“This book grabbed me from the start and drew me in with its mysterious atmosphere, classic medieval-esque world, and intrepid characters. I ended up reading the entire second half in one sitting (staying up way later than I should have) because I just *had* to know how things turned out.” –Mary Fan, author of Artificial Absolutes and Firedragon Rising
See her full review here.
Kiranae is a girl in flight, carried through the mists to escape a marriage she cannot abide. Gidon is a simple messenger, sent on a mission he is never expected to survive. Through coincidence, fate, or something stronger, they are brought together–bound to each other.
But, deep within the shadows and mist, a wicked and threatening force watches them. Gidon must protect the girl, his men, and himself from a force and presence he cannot explain. Together, they are thrust into war, intrigue, and impossible love, never realizing that their lives are part of a larger, and darker, plan.
She stopped running, and stood tall. “Yes, Tenant Gidon.” She let her eyes dart to a particularly comfortable looking chair, before she snapped her attention forward.
Gidon seemed to notice Kira’s glance, and then visibly assessed Rinkins. The older guard was grizzled and tough, but the toll of long hours wore on him. His eyes drooped, and Kira could see that he shifted himself as he stood, to ease discomfort in his legs. If the toll had been hard on her, it must have been equally hard on Rinkins. They had worked hard through the night and into the day.
Gidon said, “You have both worked some long hours. Rinkins, you and Kira can take a break on one of these chairs, if you think it appropriate, while Renault reports to King Rubal.”
Kira startled. “Rubal?”
Renault looked at her, and raised his eyebrows. “Is that a problem?”
Kira held herself at attention, stiff and immobile. Their report would likely not involve her—why should it? She was, as far as they knew, just a minor noble’s daughter, fled from home. “No, Seer. No problem at all.”
Renault cast Gidon a look, and said, “The sooner this is done with, the better. I will contact a former student of mine, an advisor to King Rubal. If there are any in the king’s company who will listen, it will be him.”
Rinkins sat upon a chair to the side of the fire, and Kira sat on a well-padded chair, on the opposite side of the room. She folded her hands in her lap, with her knees together and to the side. Gidon and Renault remained standing as the Seer began to speak.
“Seer Andros, Council to King Rubal of Froeken. I will speak with you, and you will speak with me.” Half-formed tendrils of mist wound about themselves before the hearth as he spoke. With each word, they gathered and combined. “It will be so, now.”
A figure emerged from the chaos of haze, and raised its hand to other figures, which were undefined. Kira tried to shrink back as the figure formed. Andros was an advisor to Prince Vestal, as well, and had been present during her torture. If he saw her, her capture was all but assured.
The figure turned its attention, and said, “Renault. I would not expect to hear from you, in this way. I trust all is well in East Carwich?” Andros did not seem to see her. Perhaps she was only an indistinct blob of mist to him, as those who stood with him were to her.
Renault said, “It is not, and I am not in East Carwich. I speak to you, Seer Andros, from what was once Carwich, with a message for King Rubal.”
Andros said, “Indeed. King Rubal values your opinion, as do I, Renault. What message do you send?”
Renault blinked and the image in the mist wavered. When it returned, Renault’s voice was less sure, and his aura of command reduced. Kira wondered what had happened. What had she missed? Renault replied, “Carwich has fallen to the blight. We have found no survivors.”
Andros folded his hands before himself. “That is terrible news, Renault. What of East Carwich?”
Renault’s eyes narrowed with suspicion, and he drew his pipe from his belt. “I fear that it will soon fall, also to the blight.”
Andros’ head nodded as he spoke. “You are certain that it is blight? Could it not, perhaps, be the result of a Sidhean incursion?”
Renault stood in silence as he faced the figure, and rolled the pipe in his fingers, in a mindless fidget. To Kira, it seemed that a silent conversation passed between the two Seers, one that only they could hear.
Seer Andros broke the silence. “How fares Tenant Darling?”
Renault’s expression changed, from one of suspicion to one of understanding. He had grasped something important, she was sure, but what? He grasped the bowl of his pipe in his hand, and tapped it with his finger. “Tenant Darling is dead. He gave unlawful orders and was challenged by a new guardsman. That guardsman, Gidon, now serves as the Tenant.”
The figure smiled, and bobbed its head. “This is good news. Order is preserved, and you remain to counsel the king’s newest representative. I will convey all of this to King Rubal. No doubt, he will dispatch a force to investigate Carwich.”
Renault let a smile play across his lips, and Kira narrowed her own eyes. What had Renault learned? The old Seer said, “As you say, Seer.”
“Always.” The figure gestured and dissipated, and the mist drifted toward the floor. Gidon sat forward to speak, but was silenced by an upheld hand from Renault.
Renault did not lower his hand until the mist had settled completely to the floor. He said, “The mist conveys what it will. The contact is not broken, until the mist has fallen entirely.”
Gidon said, “Why should we be concerned, Seer?”
“Because we cannot allow them to hear of our plans. Froeken is at war.”
Rinkins blinked. “War? Who with?”
Renault looked to Kira, and then to Gidon. “With you, Tenant.”