Apprentice assassin Arek Winterthorn has a power even he himself doesn’t understand. Unable to cast even the simplest of spells, he can still disrupt the magic of others with a single touch. Arek’s master, Silbane, is ordered to use that power to close a gate between their world and one inhabited by demons. This will save their people, but potentially at the cost of Arek’s life.
Thus begins an epic quest brimming with betrayals, twists, violence, and intrigue. Silbane and Arek will fight relentlessly in battles and skirmishes against mages, dwarves, elves, and even dragons, but their true adversary may be each other. In the end, they will be faced with the ultimate question: What sacrifice is too great for the good of their people and their world?
With non-stop action, an intricate mix of powerful magic and deadly martial arts, Mythborn brings to life a world filled with creatures and gods from legend crafted by martial arts master, V. Lakshman.
Launch date16th July 2019
GenreEpic Dark Fantasy
Published ByNoble Sun Press
The final battle lasted for days, leaving the ash slopes littered with the dead and those who still did not know enough to accept their fate. King Mikal Galadine stepped his horse forward carefully, mindful of those who had fallen in his name. New lines creased his face, and his shoulders slumped with the weariness of a man who had labored far too long at the task of war.
Have only four years gone by? He looked around, grimacing at the thought. Feels like forty. And now one final duty. He motioned to his king’s mark, Captain Davyd Dreys.
“Milord?” The man grunted as he maneuvered his horse to stand by the king’s.
Mikal fingered his leather reins, his calloused thumb smoothing the same worn spot he rubbed whenever his conscience complained. He looked up, his gray eyes narrowing at the sight of crows wheeling in slow circles above. “You know what they call a flock of crows?”
The king’s mark was silent, his eyes tracking from his king’s face to scan the skies, then the battlefield. Mikal knew the man wasn’t going to answer. Davyd just knew him too well. There wasn’t any need, so Mikal finished anyway.
“A murder,” said the king. “A murder of crows.” He looked down at his hands before taking a deep breath. “It seems appropriate for what comes next.” When there was still no reply the king glanced sidelong at his second and flatly said, “You don’t agree.”
“It’s not my place, sire. Those who’ve lost children to rift horrors will sing your praises.”
Mikal shrugged, his nostrils flared, and another breath whistled out. “You know I don’t care about that.”
“I do,” Davyd said, “and you’re a righteous man.” He looked over at the king and smiled. “If you’re worried about my willingness—”
The king quickly shook his head and said, “No, not at all.”
“Duty is seldom easy, milord.” Davyd met his eyes and smiled. “We agreed this would ensure peace.”
Mikal nodded. What would Davyd say if he knew the carnage he was about to unleash extended to the families, too? He met the king’s mark’s trusting gaze and said softly, “Bring the men forward.”
“At once, sire.” Davyd turned his horse and cantered back to the lines, barking commands at the assembled soldiers.
The ground shuddered. Mikal’s horse whinnied, then stepped to the left, its senses attuned to the minor rifts occasionally snapping into and out of existence around them. The king had been told to expect small quakes, by-products of the magic allowing a space between their world and the demon plane to open. The tremors would pass now that the true Gate was closed.
He gave his horse a few pats on the neck to reassure it, and then turned his attention back to the slope before him and the ragtag band of men and women descending. They stumbled along slowly, supporting each other, with barely the energy to breathe, much less walk. Hundreds had gone up to do battle with the demon-queen Lilyth, but barely twenty staggered down from that final struggle, their black uniforms gray with soot.
Yet they had succeeded and the demon-queen was dead, buried in the volcano’s smoking pit. Lilyth had destroyed vast stretches of the land in her quest to subjugate and rule, and much work remained to bring back what her forces had ravaged. The army of mages had bought new hope for the land, but Mikal reminded himself it had been their arrogance which had begun this damned war in the first place.
So many signs had been missed and so many mistakes made. His fingers let go of the reins and tightened instead on the hilt of his blade, Anzani. Mistakes had indeed been made, but some debts must be paid in blood. A younger Mikal Galadine might have dwelt on regrets and allowed them to change his heart, but thinking about the children of Edyn taken from their homes deadened most of his remaining doubt. Davyd is right, he thought. Duty is never easy.
The survivors came down the last rise. At their lead was Mikal’s friend Duncan, who raised his hand in greeting. The king could see the effort it cost him.
“Rai’stahn has pulled the dragon-knights back. We were successful. Lilyth is no more.” Duncan lowered his pale eyes, his tone becoming more intimate. “Mikal, I’m sorry about your brother . . . no sign of him after he opened the Gate. We tried—”
The king brushed off the concern and said, “Whatever was left of him died years ago. We do what we must.”
Duncan turned his attention to the people behind him. Mikal felt a strange detachment settle over him like a cold cloak, stealing whatever joy today’s victory had grudgingly lent his heart. Instead, a cold hardening—a kind of crude mental shield—was forged, separating him from the moment. No point in dragging this out, he told himself.
“Your leave to move to shelter? Sonya is especially drained.” Despite his immense weariness, a slight smile touched Duncan’s lips as he turned back to the king. His leaden arms moved automatically to support his wife as she tottered beside him on unsteady feet. “She’s the only reason we survived.”
At Duncan’s touch, Sonya leaned into the comfort of his embrace, but Mikal noticed her eyes never left his own. They were clear and resolute, as if she already knew things were not going to end well. He shook off her gaze, turning instead to address his friend.
“A moment,” King Galadine said, holding up a gauntleted hand. His king’s mark cantered forward and handed him a scroll. After he’d backed away, the king undid the black ribbon and unrolled the parchment.
Consternation ran across Duncan’s face. “Your Majesty?”
Mikal looked down at the parchment and began to read:
“On this day, the twentieth of Peraat, I, King Mikal Petracles Galadine, proclaim the Way of Making a danger to our lands. It shall no longer be practiced in Edyn. Those who continue to adhere to and follow its teachings shall be put to death. Those who exhibit the Talent shall be sacrificed for the greater good.”
The king met his friend’s confused gaze.
“Never again shall we find ourselves under the yoke of the Way.” A breath passed, and in that instant the two knew each other’s hearts. Then Mikal bellowed, “Archers, forward!”
Suspenseful,fast-paced, and complex epic dark fantasy -Chanticleer Book Reviews
An ambitious, colorful and highly readable fantasy epic – Kirkus Reviews
A backstabbing, arrow-slinging, sword-swinging, lightning-flinging romp of a ride, Lakshman’s tale is storytelling at its best. Dark fantasy never looked so good! – 5 Stars.