• C J R Isely

Plunge into New Lands with The Fallen Heir - Book Three (SNEAK PEEK)





What a whirlwind these past few months have been. It astonishes me how time can fly when you are in the midst of grand adventures and life.


However, what I enjoyed most was how quickly Book Three came to life and how well this story answers gaping questions left by Ranger of Kings and The Cutthroat Prince.


So, what can you expect come April 12th, 2022, when The Fallen Heir will officially be released? Well, I'd hate to give away too much so I shall only hint at what waits to be unravelled...


Betrayal. Assassins. Seaward Adventure. Secrets Revealed. Friends Lost...


Too vague? Perhaps. So maybe the best thing I can do is tell you that I left easter eggs in books one and two. You will want to ensure you've read up on those two as you're going to run into characters you haven't seen since the first pages of book one (and who you never truly got to meet.)


The best way for me to not spoil is perhaps to share just a snippet of the first few pages of the third book in the William of Alamore series here...



Prologue


Blood, hot and scarlet, congealed with the sweat and rain running into his dark eyes. The boy wheeled his grey pony round, back toward the edge of the battle. Clutching his short-bladed sword in white knuckles, he struggled to see above the masses that ebbed and crashed. It was as if he were drowning in the sea of fighting, deafened in the screams of dying, the clash of weapons, and the distant thunder above them.

Hang back. Now he wished he had obeyed. But at the time, listening to the knight’s whispered order hadn’t seemed as important. Hang back. Why hadn’t he listened? Why, for once, couldn’t he have obeyed the orders of that knight? This was more than he was ready for, more fighting than he’d trained for. The knight had known that. He wouldn’t have told him to hang back otherwise. He usually couldn’t be bothered with a greeting, so why hadn’t he taken the knight’s warning seriously?

The pony grunted and spun almost out from beneath him, causing the boy to jerk forward and grapple for the front of his saddle. A massive horse was crashing past them, into the chaos. The boy stared at the rider of the black horse, trying to see if he recognized the man even while the shiver that ran through him promised that he did. The man faltered, staring at him. The color washed from his face; his black eyes flashed. For a moment, the boy thought the rider was about to charge at him. But, before either could move, they were separated by a riderless chestnut horse. By the time the chestnut horse had passed, the man was gone.

Fighting the uncontrollable shudder that jarred through him, the boy turned away, squeezing his legs to the pony’s sides. “Come on, Shelach,” the boy shouted, hoping his voice carried to the pony. “Up we get, come on!”

The pony obeyed, trotting on short legs between riders and the fallen, sides heaving with exhaustion and fear. They were nearing the edge of the fray now, getting back to the stands of trees where they could slip into shadows, into safety.

A clap of thunder, a fork of white lightning, and the world was suddenly rushing, spinning around him. Earth crashed up to meet his body as the boy fell, mud spraying up around him, the air pulled from his lungs by the impact. His fingers let loose of his sword, reaching to take some of the force of his fall moments too late. He rolled onto the ground and a second crash near him made the earth shiver. Dread coursing through him, the boy turned his face. His breath caught in his throat, heart seeming to still in his chest. The pony stared back at him, unseeing. Dead.

“Shelach!” The boy rolled onto his stomach, pain shooting through his side, but that pain meant nothing. It dulled to the panic rising to suffocate him. He tried to crawl forward, to the felled animal. “Shelach!” He stretched a hand forward to reach for the pony’s bridle, but iron fingers closed over his shoulder and pulled him away.

“I don’t think this is a very safe place for boys to be playing at Ranger,” a voice hissed behind him.

Instinct and training made the boy spin, hand flying for the dagger on his side. He struck out with the blade. The man was just as fast, grabbing his arm and yanking it up. He pulled the boy to his feet, squeezing his wrist until it felt like the bone might splinter.

The pain in his side screamed as he was spun around and pushed backwards, staggering and falling over his dead pony. The world tipped. He felt he might be sick. Struggling to keep himself from falling into the shadows clouding the edges of his vision, the boy stared up, gasping in pain and rage. Standing above him was the black-haired man, a leering snarl of triumph illuminating his features. The man who he’d seen charge into the fight. The boy tried to push himself up, ready to fight, to kill.

The man shook his head, laughing coldly, and pushed the boy back with a boot as easily as if he were a small animal who had tried to bite. “Oh, I don’t think you’ll be going anywhere this time.”

With the speed of a serpent, he drew the dagger from his side and struck, the blade slicing across the boy’s brow. The boy clapped his hand over his face, bewilderment and pain making his eyes water.

It wasn’t until his bones started to ache, his blood turned to lead in his veins, that he understood. The last thing he saw was the leering man with his falcon-shaped dagger before the poison took hold and he was sinking into blackness. The man’s face was seared into his vision, smiling with wicked triumph. A face he knew, a face that he hated even when it faded into dark…

Miles and years from the battlefield, under the early rays of the brilliant sunrise, the boy’s eyes flew open, and he woke with a start. His hands curled on the ground, half expecting to feel mud again. Instead, sand slipped between his fingers. His shoulders relaxed against the earth, and he stared at the grey dawn light that filtered between familiar tall trees as the nightmares washed over him again. He let his fingers relax, the sand falling back to the ground. There wasn’t an attack. The battle was years ago, the grey pony long gone, he reminded himself.

And the boy… He winced, slowly pushing his body into a seated position – the boy’s life had ended on that battlefield even if his heartbeat had stayed strong. Because he wasn’t the helpless boy with his dead pony. No. He would never again be the child who had been unable to escape.

Turning over his hands, he stared at the scarring across his arms, over his wrists, the calluses that marred his hands. His fingers tightened into fists, and he stared at the pink sunrise above the trees through his black eyes. Black eyes that matched those of the man in his nightmare.


***


This story flew to life and I truly hope you will each enjoy it (and if you do, please leave me a review! If anything about it was not to your taste, I'd love to know that as well and always invite you to reach out and discuss those aspects with me.)


But I can tell you that you won't want to miss the secrets that will finally gain their answers. To make sure you don't, you can pre-order The Fallen Heir today on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Heir-William-Alamore-Book-ebook/dp/B09T7B2T5Z/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1CYV0ISDIW2ZM&keywords=the+fallen+heir&qid=1649010425&sprefix=the+fallen+heir%2Caps%2C187&sr=8-3


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