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fantasy books by David Burrows
A fast paced fantasy epic. If you have grown bored of long winded fantasy books the prophecy of the kings will be a breath of fresh air. A complete tale in three books.
Kaplyn faces a dilemma. In a heart-pounding journey through a bedevilled tower he must find an ancient Eldric talisman. Everything in the tower seems unreal and he must use all his cunning to survive. Vastra, a self professed sorcerer, claims the talisman will reveal the whereabouts of the Eldric, a lost race who were instrumental in defeating Drachar and the demon hordes in the legendary Krell Wars. But is Vastra to be trusted? He is manipulative and lusts for power and harbours a secret for which he will kill to protect.
Their journey is fraught with danger and there are indications that demons are crossing the Divide, but are these random events or more worryingly an indication that Drachar’s might is once more on the rise? Vastra reveals devastating news. He claims to understand the cryptic lines of an ancient prophecy, shocking Kaplyn in an attempt to sway his allegiance.
A cataclysm of power will disrupt the very foundation of the worlds and a rent in the fabric of space will allow the spirit of a dead emperor, Shastlan, to cross the Divide. Not content with destroying one world his ghostly gaze now alights on another. Kaplyn’s dreams are plagued by dragons, but he cannot understand why for dragons are mythical creatures. Mythical that is until a book is discovered containing spells on how to summon them. A permanent gateway to the demon world will become a frightening reality and the only means of blocking the enemy is by summoning dragons, but can they be trusted.
In a land fraught with betrayal, fear and death, the shadows are deepening.
Astalus and his two companions crowded around the narrow window set high in one of the city’s many inner towers, peering out at a black crow which squawked loudly and flapped its wings in indignation. The sleek bird peered back at them as it settled once more on its perch, hugging the window ledge of the facing tower. It looked uncomfortable but remained steadfast as if to spite them.
Although the crow did not know it, the wizard’s tower was a place to be feared and few dared venture there. Like the wizard’s ancient staff, it was believed to be protected by charms and curses and each night bright flashes confirmed this, lighting the dark building and silhouetting the tower in stark contrast to its slumbering neighbours. Not that the crow understood anything about curses, however…
In reality, most of the wizards’ work was mundane. Often the inhabitants only performed simple spells in their laboratory, a place cluttered with many strange utensils and stacks of drying herbs and plants.
The rumour about the tower being cursed was (most likely) unfounded, but the wizards were too prudent to allow the truth to be generally known. And besides, it kept the inquisitive at bay—the only disadvantage being that it was impossible to find a cleaner. Such, however, was the life of a wizard.
Meanwhile, by the window, Astalus was busy trying to summon the sullen crow, which was still eyeing the wizard as though he were a maggot crawling from a half-eaten apple. One of the other two wizards, enjoying the spectacle when he could see over Astalus’ shoulder, was mumbling that the spell could not be done. This, along with the crow’s stubbornness, was starting to irritate the Master Wizard. After all he had promised the King he would find out what was in the valley, and he was a very determined man.
Suddenly, with a flurry of wings, the crow abruptly appeared at the window. Astalus, who had momentarily lost concentration, jumped back startled. The other two men also leapt backward so that all three men stood huddled together, watching the black apparition as if they expected to be attacked at any moment. The crow squawked loudly as if warning them anything was possible.
“See!” Astalus declared triumphantly, recovering swiftly from his shock and trying to claim that the bird’s actions were due to his own influence. “Those who doubt, fail.” It was his favourite saying and it annoyed Gant terribly, as well he knew.
Gant scowled. “Be that as it may, you should not crow about your achievement” he said, smiling whilst Corrin scowled at the pun. “Besides,” he added with a sly glint in his eye, “how do we know that the crow came because of your bidding and not the bread you are holding?”
Astalus suddenly remembered the bread in his hand and the crow screeched raucously as though in agreement. Astalus flung the bread onto the floor and straightaway the bird hopped down from the windowsill, pecking at the morsel and chasing it around the room.
Corrin tried to suppress a smile, but failed miserably and was rewarded by a withering look from Astalus who then returned his attention to the feeding crow, concentrating once more and extending his arm. Gant and his companion watched in silence; both had seen remarkable feats accomplished by the younger man, and although they goaded him, they respected him highly.
The crow seemed to sense Astalus, and it stopped eating, fixing its beady eyes on him and hopping from foot to foot in agitation. With a final squawk it flapped its wings, launching itself across the intervening space to alight upon his arm. Astalus reached around with his free arm and stroked the bird’s head, smiling broadly.
“He will do as I bid!” he declared confidently, causing both Gant and Corrin to raise their eyebrows, knowing full well that they had not heard the last of this.
“We need to prepare a spell to accompany him on his journey,” Astalus continued, stroking the bird’s head. “A spell of seeing will enable us to penetrate a magic shield.”
He threw the bird forward, allowing it to fly back to the food with another raucous cry. As it ate, the three magicians set about preparing the spell. In a mortise bowl they mixed herbs, pummelling them into a powder then adding liquid from a bottle taken from one of the many overcrowded shelves. When the work was complete, Astalus once more summoned the crow which hopped across the floor and with a flurry of wings alighted on the table.
Astalus dipped a finger in the liquid and traced invisible symbols on the creature’s back. It let out a loud squawk but suffered the indignity of the wizard’s touch.
Seeing the creature so docile, Gant reached out to touch it. A vicious beak stabbed at his outstretched hand and the wizard leapt backwards with a startled cry, cursing the monster. Astalus grinned at the older man as he traced the final rune over the bird’s feathers.
At last the crow was prepared, and again Astalus offered it his arm, allowing it to jump up like a docile pet. The bird sat there glaring darkly at Gant who continued to curse the creature, while holding his injured finger.
Astalus ignored the other man, walking instead to the window, speaking softly to the crow before launching it towards the opening. The three men leaned out to watch the bird swiftly climbing. With a final cry, it started to fly toward the distant mountains.
Astalus smiled. He had not wanted to fail in front of the other two men. With relief he went back to the bench where he pushed aside bowls and bottles cluttering its surface, placing his staff upon the freshly cleared space with the orb facing towards him. Confidently he sat down, closing his eyes, each breath deep and even as he concentrated on the growing power within the milky white stone. The other two wizards huddled over the orb which, for the moment, only reflected the grey of their beards.
Opening his eyes, Astalus peered into the crystal. All at once the whiteness was replaced by patterns of light which danced before coalescing into a faint yet distant image. An aerial view of the city sprang into the orb’s milky whiteness; tall spires crowded together, interspersed with tiny cobbled streets full of antlike people scurrying about, unaware of the observers in their high tower. Slowly the palace scrolled into view as the crow flew over the gleaming white building and the ornate gardens.
As the bird continued its journey over the high city walls, the scene was replaced by lush open countryside and a view of the fast flowing Torrid. Astalus allowed himself a smile, having been truly vindicated now that the crow was doing his bidding.