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With his health failing and his rule coming to an end, the High-King of Alexon wants nothing more than for his sixteen-year-old granddaughter to take his place on the throne; however, many others have similar designs on leading the kingdom, making it difficult for the Council of Elders to appoint a successor. So the king dispatches a hand-picked team of adventures to the ruins of Sedau in order to retrieve a lost talisman, which, once in the hands of his granddaughter, will essentially guarantee her rise to power. Little does he know that the success of the crew’s mission will be challenged by one harrowing challenge after another, putting them in the middle of political conspiracies, assassination attempts, and the fight for control over an ancient, powerful magic of the Elf Lords, that they discover and must now prevent from falling into the wrong hands.
Landis’ ears picked up a sound that made him feel as if he had been punched in the pit of his stomach. “Horses.” He told the others.
“I hear them too.” Weslocke confirmed.
Soon the rest of the group could hear the pounding hooves coming from the path behind them.
“Looks like we better keep running.” Eric spoke, as he forced himself to stand. His legs—as were everyone’s—felt like blocks of stone.
“We will wait here and hold them off.” Trevor offered, this time he would not take no for an answer.
Konik drew his two-handed sword. “Agreed, I for one am tired of running. It is time to stand and fight.”
Landis looked at the two men who were offering to sacrifice their lives in the same manner as his father had done. “Maybe we should make our stand here, while we still have the strength to fight.”
Natis disagreed at once, “Landis, we have to get the Pearls of the Elf Lords, and the Sword, to Birhirm.”
The half-elf turned on the mage. “No, Nate. We do not need to complete the journey. But some of you can do so. You, Jandelie and Eric should take everything to Birhirm. Trevor, Konik, Weslocke, Jordan and I will stay here and fight. If we succeed, then we will follow you, and if we die, well, perhaps the snow-elves will believe that we are all that are left and not continue after you.”
Jandelie rushed forward to embrace Landis. “No, come with us. You are needed to carry the Sword of Alexon.”
Landis pulled the sword from where it hung in its makeshift sheath. “I am certain that you three can carry it. If the legend is true, then it is probably only necessary to have the blood of Alex Sergius running through your veins to use it in combat. Not to carry it.”
He handed the sword to Eric. “See.” He said, as the Prince of Birhirm accepted the sword without any difficulty.
“I should stay with you.” Eric offered.
“No, Eric. You must return home. You are needed to help aide Petra by becoming her husband.”
“Even more reason to stay and fight.” Eric said, trying his best to lighten the moment.
Landis kissed Jandelie then broke free of her embrace. “Get moving. We will buy you all the time that we can.” He said, as he turned away.
About Richard Saunders
Richard Saunders lives in Northern Virginia, with his wife Teresa, where he works in Information Technology for a Healthcare Provider. He also serves as a Professional Pastoral Counselor. In his spare time he enjoys riding motorcycles and performing as a magician and clown. He has previously written and published two paranormal fiction novels (Leader of the Park and Drifter).
Interview with Richard Saunders
N.L. Earnshaw: What will readers like about your book?
Richard Saunders: The readers should like the fast-paced action and adventure of this story that involves all of the traditional elements of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. The characters are well developed and each comes with an interesting back story that brings them to life and helps to guide the various twists and turns that the reader experience.
N.L. Earnshaw: Why did you self publish?
Richard Saunders: I am fascinated with the process of self publishing, and believe that it not only provides authors with more abilities, but it opens up the market to allow readers the opportunity to experience stories from talented writers of their choosing, rather than having to rely on others to make those decisions for them. To me, Self Publishing is a major step in the freedom of creativity process.
N.L. Earnshaw: What is your writing process?
Richard Saunders: My stories typically begin with characters evolving in my mind. Those that stick begin to come to life and develop characteristics that lead me to determine the story that they belong in. I then begin to mentally create scenarios for them and start putting ideas on paper long before I start piecing them together into an actual story.
N.L. Earnshaw: How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Richard Saunders: Typically, it takes me a two-to-four months come up with a first draft. But this story took closer to twenty-five years. I began working on it in the mid-1980’s and often revisited and re-wrote parts of the story until it became what it is today.
N.L. Earnshaw: What inspired you to write this particular story?
Richard Saunders: I have always been a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan, and was an avid D&D player in high school. The characters from this book all began as characters developed and used by me and a few friends during that time. Many of the events in this book came directly from adventures that I created while gaming, so they just continued to formulate in my head until I finally got them all down on paper into one story.
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