Wednesday, December 4, 2013

EXCERPT: Rhidauna: The Shadow of the Revenaunt by Paul E Horsman

by Paul E. Horsman

The night before his Coming-of-Age, Ghyll and his two friends escaped their castle on a clandestine hunt that would forever change their lives. They returned just in time to see their island castle destroyed by strange warriors from a dragonboat and flocks of burning birds. Ghyll’s birthday turned into a nightmare as they fled into the night. This begins an epic journey to find out who is trying to kill them... and most importantly, why? Fortunately, they can count on colorful new friends to assist, including a sometimes overly enthusiastic fire mage, an inexperienced paladin and a female beastmaster who is a ferocious mountain lion. In a world filled with jealous priests, corrupt magistrates, bored aristocrats and power-hungry magicians, they try to survive dark wizards, murderous golems, and fire bird attacks. It soon becomes apparent that not one but several assassins are after them. Who are these members of an obscure, long-forgotten organization? And whose cold hand reaches across the boundaries of space and time to threaten weakened Rhidauna? While the time is running the friends undertake a quest that takes them to a large part of Rhidauna. Following them, the reader is carried along on an exciting journey through a colorful world, whose people, culture and atmosphere are described with great attention to detail without the story losing momentum. Experience the quest! Grab your best travel clothes, strongest backpack and sharpest sword ... or failing that, take an easy chair, a drink and this exciting book.

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(Point of View: Chief Main Character – Ghyll)

Ghyll decided it was time for a halt. He liked the location of the old ruins, at the forest’s edge, with a beautiful view over the river. A pleasant place for a hunting lodge, he thought. Not as dull as Tinnurad. He bit his lip; this was something he had thought often enough before, but now it made him feel ashamed.
Along the side of the ruins lay a lawn, large enough for the horses. Ghyll thought to see a glimmer of sunlight on water, so they could drink. An ideal place for a pause, but Ulanth didn’t agree.
“What is it, boy?” said Ghyll. His warhorse snorted and laid his ears flat against his neck. At first, he refused to put a foot on the lawn and when he did, he was tenser than Ghyll had ever seen him. Surprised, he looked around him, but he saw nothing wrong. Even the other horses showed no signs of distress. He shrugged and slid from the saddle. “You are seeing ghosts, boy,” he told Ulanth. “There’s nothing wrong.” The warhorse threw back his head and snorted.
“Quiet!” said Ghyll with a laugh. “Behave yourself.” Then he joined the others in the shade of an old hawthorn.
Just as he sat down, Ulanth screamed.
Annoyed, Ghyll turned to his horse. The curse on his lips evaporated at the sight of six black figures running at them from the castle tower. He sprang to his feet, caught his toes on a gnarled hawthorn root and tumbled sideways into the grass. At that same moment, a bolt of lightning shot past him and exploded on the spot where he had just been sitting.


About the Author:

Paul E (Erik) Horsman (1952) Lives in Roosendaal, The Netherlands. I was born in the year 1952, in the Dutch town of Bussum, a sleepy, well-to-do place that was home to many artists, musicians, writers and publishers. As my family were neither artists nor well-to-do, we moved when I was nine. When I was seventeen, I started my career as paperclip counter with a worldwide Dutch producer of baby food. After some months, I was finished counting, and I looked around for something more interesting. A love of books drove me to work in a small bookstore in Rotterdam. An ancient establishment, since 1837, in an old building just too far away from the city’s modern shopping center. It was a nice job, but there wasn’t any future in it. Still, I left it a licensed bookseller. In 1972 I had to do my stitch for Queen and Country, and as a bad back tied me to a desk job, I applied for a posting overseas. For the Army, that meant Surinam, then still a member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and one of the most beautiful. Once you’ve seen the jungle, you will never forget it. To keep it short, I stayed in business, slowly climbing the ladder, until in 1995 I changed direction. That year I joined a large educational institution, at a school specialized in Dutch language and integration courses for foreigners. That meant immigrants, refugees and international businessmen, an interesting mix. It was great work, on the one side teaching crash courses Dutch to high-powered people (we got a lot of very well-educated refugees) and on the other teaching reading and writing to people who had never ever held a pen before, let alone a computer. To see them growing was a reward in itself. Unhappily, due to changed legislation the language school closed in mid-2012. In the meantime, I had started my first book (Rhidauna) in 2009 and it got published by Zilverspoor Publishers just before I got laid off. As my age, five years from retirement, made it nigh on impossible to find something else, I started building a career as an independent author. SF and Fantasy have fascinated me since my high school days, but apart from some juvenile trash, I never seriously tried to write anything. But after several false starts and associated discouraged intervals, a spark began to grow and mid-2010, the first two parts of Shadow of the Revenaunt were more or less written. My style is probably a bit old-fashioned, Fantasy as a heroic tale with sympathetic heroes/heroines and black villains, in which good always triumphs in the end. I don’t use my characters as cannon fodder; they get hurt, but their dying is rare. One of the other elements in my writing I think important is, that both male and female characters have their own lives and goals. Most of them exist primarily for themselves, not as a prop or a love interest for other MC’s. The only character who did die, was actually a prop and I had him killed just to take that away from my lead MC.  

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