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John G Jackson

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Aradithia : Rise of the Goblin King
by John G Jackson   

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Publisher:  iUniverse Type: 


Copyright:  2008 ISBN-13:  9781440115882

Aradithia: Rise of the Goblin King

In the kingdom of Aradithia, ignorance is not bliss… its downright fatal!
An adventure that yields an infinite tapestry of surprises, many unexpected twists and colorful characters including demented sea witches, shape shifting goblins, battle dragons, ravenous war pigs and an in-denial dwarf.

In the kingdom of Aradithia, words are whispered about a Goblin King well over two thousand years old. He's imprisoned in a citadel, and his powers are enormous. But most people believe he's a myth.

The stories are taken more seriously, however, when their unsuspecting kingdom falls prey to the Goblin King's scheming representatives. Now, it is up to Aiden Tulley, a reluctant sorcerer's apprentice, to find out how to fight the powers of darkness.

But it won't be easy. Aiden must make difficult decisions, including whether to rescue his friends or seek the forest of Golden Oak, where he can convene with the spirit of his old master and train to become a Mahgi warrior. Complicating matters is the fact that everyone seems to have a hidden agenda. There is something unusual about the beautiful Mary Delaney. The Aradithian prince is not all he appears to be. And Aiden's best friend is hiding a dark secret. If the kingdom has any chance of surviving, Aiden must discover powers he never thought he possessed, while being forced to find the only weapon that can defeat his terrifying nemesis in Aradithia: Rise of the Goblin King.

Within the murky waterways of the Draakonian underworld, a hooded figure, robed in trailing black sackcloth, propelled a small wooden gondola slowly, but determinedly, along the long, twisting canals of the dark subterranean city.

Shackled to the rear of the vessel, the Princess of the Eastern Wood struggled in vain to free herself from the restraints gnawing into her wrists. Weeping as she did so, her pleading met cold indifference from the hooded oarsman at the helm.

Spiteful crone-like sirens and Mer-hags delighted in mercilessly tormenting the girl. From the jagged banks of the canal, they sang bitter songs in an ugly tongue devoid of sweetness or melody.

“Silence Cordelia!” commanded the crooked oarsman to the oldest, ugliest and most out of tune Mer-hag. “This one’s not for you my pretty!”

Though drowsy, the young girl fought against the narcotic enchantment of the sickly music. As she struggled, the Princess managed to raise the blindfold covering her comely, hazel eyes. In shocked disbelief, the young woman almost forgot to breathe.

“What is this horrid place?”

As the gondola made a left turn into another canal, the scene before them revealed a towering citadel adorned with hundreds of obsidian gargoyles caked in layers of lichen and moss. Its many limestone pillars towered over the city like a candelabra reaching upward until its spires touched the high granite dome.

“Forgive me Princess, you are a guest in my homeland.” replied the oarsman.

“A guest indeed,” retorted the Princess. “What sort of manners is it wizard, if that is what you are, to shackle and blind a guest so cruelly? If this is how you treat your guests …”

“On the contrary Princess, you should see how we treat our prisoners.” said the oarsman sharply with a terse, thin-lipped smile of self-elation fixed upon his withered, partially hidden face.

The gondola dipped slightly as the canal turned into another inland waterway leading into the spire. The scene before them revealed a sprawling, labyrinthine kingdom; blackened edifices strangled the long gone beauty of an ancient forgotten realm. Unnatural formations formed gothic towers and turrets partially hidden by thick sulfur clouding the city.

“Welcome…to Draakonia!”

The girl shuddered, “Draakonia…you mean?”

“Yes,” he said curtly. His hideous features were set well into the darkened shadow of the hood covering his small, blue-green head. His luminous cat-like eyes grew wider as they approached the citadel.

An ugly Mer-hag reached out to grab the girl but the Princess headbutted the crone and the creature fell back in the water shrieking in pain.

“My lord will be pleased,” said the hooded figure.

“Your lord? You can’t possibly mean…”

The hooded oarsman cackled mockingly.

“The Goblin King is just a fable, nothing more than a myth from the ancient world; you’re insane!”

“On the contrary princess!” snapped the oarsman, “as you will see the Goblin King has awoken!”

“Tell me wizard, what service is it you perform for the Goblin King? The legends say he’s supposed to be imprisoned?”

“Aye, in yonder citadel.”

“Well then, if he is real he must be older and uglier than you!”

The hooded figure cackled with laughter.

Another Mer-hag lunged at the girl but Elspeth fought back with her feet and kicked the crone in the middle of her rubbery face, smashing what was left of her rotting teeth.

“You’re a traitor and a kidnapper,” said Elspeth “what does the Goblin King want with me anyway?”

“He requires nothing more than a single jewel, an amulet to be exact!” The figure cackled again, “He also requires a bride!”

The Princess ceased struggling for a moment and glared in horror at the bent shape in front of her. “Pray swine that I am never released from these shackles!” said the girl. “I will never marry the Goblin King!” she exclaimed. “If he is even alive, he must be well over a thousand years old!”

“Two thousand, I’m told,” corrected the oarsman.

“I command you let me go!” demanded the girl.

“Oh, you needn’t worry your pretty head about that Princess, the Goblin King requires a bride it’s true, but not for himself, he requires a bride for his most faithful and loyal steward.” He turned to face her, his own repulsive features hidden behind black gauze, “Which would be ME!”

Professional Reviews

“Aradithia, Rise of the Goblin King, evokes imagery of a medieval fantasy world, with well-crafted characters that spring to life in the mind's eye. Engaging dialogue and a rich storyline leaves the reader eager to turn the page to become immersed in this imaginative world. ”

Helga Gendell, free-lance writer The Argonaut Newspaper, Marina del Rey, California

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