Title: Ruins on Stone Hill
Series: Heroes of Ravenford
Author: F. P. Spirit
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
It has been one hundred and fifty years since the end of the Thrall Wars, when the four dread Thrall Masters rained destruction down on the land of Thac. The world has been relatively quiet since, but dark things have started to rise around the little town of Ravenford. Can four novice heroes stand against the nightmarish forces that threaten to destroy the town?
Glolindir spotted the monstrous orc at the same time as Seth. The wizard waited till it charged, then lifted his arm and pointed a finger at it. As he did so, mana, the energy that flows in and around all things, gathered within him. He drew the energy inward with concentrated will and focused it with a gesture. All that was needed now was a verbal command to trigger it.
The orc had closed half the gap to the lead wagon when Glo spoke the words that released the spell, “Nullam Telum.” A projectile of arcane energy leapt from his finger and spiraled out toward the charging creature. The purple missile met the beast in midstride and connected with an audible thud.
The monster appeared neither shaken, nor hurt. Instead it merely glanced down at its chest, reached up with its free hand, and touched the smoldering spot.
Glo’s eyes went wide. This huge orc was far tougher than he imagined—he had severely miscalculated. He watched in horror as the creature dropped its hand and turned its feral gaze toward him. An evil grin spread across the monster’s maw, then it charged.
Glo froze in place, unable to move a muscle. He had been so sure of himself. He had studied his spells and creatures and practiced his art tirelessly. Yet none of that had prepared him for this. Here was a real live monster bearing down on him, fully intent on ripping him limb from limb. It swiftly closed the gap between them and would be on him in seconds.
My father was right. He was woefully unprepared to cope with this. At that moment, he wished that he had listened to his father’s advice and stayed in the safety of their elven home.
Aksel climbed out of the wagon just in time to see the creature rushing toward them. “Well, that doesn’t look good.”
“Agreed,” Glo said through barely moving lips.
Title: Serpent Cult
Author: F. P. Spirit
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
A dark cult has set its sights on Ravenford, and their target may be the Lady Andrella. With fear gripping the entire town, the Baron turns to its young protectors. Can the novice heroes save the town from an army of dark mages, lethal assassins, savage beasts, horrific demons, and perhaps worst of all, diplomatic officials?
They found themselves in a circular room with the base of a staircase directly across from them. On either side of the stairs was a door leading further back into the lighthouse. The staircase wound its way up the inside wall of the lighthouse, to the lantern room far above. The top of the stairs was hidden in shadows, barely visible to even the keenest of eyes.
Aksel spoke in a hushed voice. “Let’s be care—”
Before he could finish, Maya danced past all of them out into the center of the room. “Oh this is big,” she cried, twirling around with delight. Her voice echoed off the walls, sounding fainter and fainter as it traveled up the empty chamber.
The eerie sound drew Glo’s attention to the dark shadows far above. Did something just move up there?
“Maya, get back here!” He heard Ves cry, but Glo’s eyes were locked on the upper stairwell. Abruptly something appeared out of the darkness. It was whitish-grey and semi-circular—it was also getting bigger. Abruptly the realization hit him—it was a stone!
“Look out!” Glo yelled, pointing upward. To his horror, more stones fell into view.
Lloyd immediately spurred into action. The young warrior spun around and vaulted toward Maya but he was too late—the rain of stones had already reached them. A few hit the floor with loud thuds, but one in particular caused Glo’s heart to jump into his throat. A stone the size of a human head headed straight for the little girl.
“Maya!” he cried instinctively reaching out for the girl.
Time appeared to slow. Maya spun around to face him, a quizzical expression on her face. Lloyd continued to plow forward, closing on the young girl. The stone sped toward its unsuspecting target. Just before Lloyd could reach her, the rock connected with the little girl’s shoulder. Glo felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He cringed, expecting to see Maya’s shoulder shatter. Yet, instead of crushing her side, the large stone shattered into pieces.
Glo’s eyes went wide. What the...
Before he could finish his thought, a small grey blur slammed into his outstretched arm. Pain lanced up his limb and into his shoulder. It felt as if he had been hit with a hammer. Glo dropped his arm, and grasped it with his other hand.
At that same moment, Lloyd reached Maya and scooped her up off the floor. He cradled the little girl in his arms and kept on going toward the back of the lighthouse. Glo watched through a haze of pain as the duo hurtled across the room. Stones continued to rain down on them, Lloyd shielding the little girl with his body. At that moment, Glo caught a glimpse of Maya peering over Lloyd’s shoulder. She was giggling!
Title: Dark Monolith
Author: F. P. Spirit
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
A mysterious gypsy. A gruesome discovery. Do they foretell the return of the dread Thrall Masters? With all Thac at risk, the young heroes must seek the truth in the depths of the sinister Darkwoods. Can they reach the Dark Monolith before the murderous Serpent Cult? And if so, do they risk waking an ancient evil that could destroy the entire land?
“C’mon, big guy!” Ruka’s voice drew Donnie’s attention back to the clash in front of him.
Alana waved the golem on. “Yes… this way.”
The creature ponderously marched through the lava and out onto the rocky outcropping. The two female warriors backed away, drawing the iron giant toward the center of the isle. The creature’s back was almost to him now.
This is my chance, Donnie realized. He spurred himself forward, moving across the rocky ledge as far as he could go without stepping into lava, all the while without taking his eye off the battle in front of him. The golem had swung at Alana, but the skilled warrior ducked under the creature’s blow. Meanwhile, Ruka had run in and slashed across the golem’s legs, another charge leaping from her blade.
Kraaaaacccckkkkk! Thunder rolled yet again. Arcs of electricity danced across the golem’s torso, causing it to slow down once more. Alana took advantage of the moment and rushed in, landing three more blows in quick succession on the creature’s knee. She was so skilled with her weapon, that every blow landed in precisely the same spot.
Even from here, Donnie could see the gash opening in the golem’s thick leg. A few more blows and she just might sever it completely. Donnie looked away for a moment as he leapt across the lava to another outcropping. He deftly landed on solid ground, then turned his attention back to the battle.
The electric arcs around the golem had dissipated, the huge creature already turning after its foe. Suddenly, a large limb lashed out, and a cannonball-sized fist hurtled directly toward Alana, giving her little time to react. At the very last second, the lady knight side-stepped, and raised her shield arm defensively.
The sound of metal on metal resounded across the lava pit. The force of the glancing blow was so great that it backlashed on Alana.
The air was forced out of the lady knight as her entire body rebounded from the collision, pushing her back a few steps. Donnie froze in his tracks and nearly called out her name. He had to clamp both hands over his mouth to stop from screaming as he watched Alana struggle to maintain her balance. She finally managed to regain her footing, but the golem had followed her. As the creature recoiled for another blow, a cry rang out from the cliff above. “Alana! Watch out!”
The switch be damned! Donnie swore silently. As he launched himself toward the lady knight, something flew through the air toward the golem’s back. It was Ruka!
“Oh, no, you don’t!” the girl warrior screamed. She hefted her short sword high above her head, its blade crackling with electricity. Before the golem could unleash its blow, Ruka slammed into it, her weapon digging deep into the creature’s back. Sparks flew as an aura of electricity encircled the golem’s large frame. The creature stopped in its tracks, seemingly frozen in place, as the loud hum of electrical current filled the pit around them.
Donnie had pulled up short, and watched in awe as Ruka continued her electrical assault. Her feet planted firmly on the golem’s broad back, she held onto the embedded blade and fired bolt after bolt of electricity into its innards. Once, twice, three times, and more. So many times that Donnie lost count. Steam rose from the space in the golem’s visor, and then from its joints. Still Ruka continued her unrelenting assault.
Title: Princess of Lanfor
Author: F. P. Spirit & K. J. Fogleman
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
A magic has been uncovered in the depths of the Darkwoods that could destroy the entire land of Thac. Enter the maniacal Princess of Lanfor, armed to the teeth in a flying fortress. With an army of dragons at her command, has she come to claim the Thrall Master’s deadliest magic? If so, will the young heroes be able to stand against the might of an entire nation?
Outside the monolith, Cyclone hurtled head first toward the exposed back of the unsuspecting green dragon. The dragon hunter’s wicked-looking halberd jutted out in front of him, a glint of light reflecting off the deadly weapon’s sharp tip. Lloyd and Glo exchanged a fleeting glance, then banked into a steep dive, scrambling to get into position in time. The dragon hunter rushed toward his target… one hundred feet… fifty… twenty-five…
The dragon hunter slammed into the dragon’s back, the added force of his high dive driving the long halberd well past the thick green scales. The deathly-sharp weapon dug deep into the great beast’s flesh, just above the base of its wings, next to the dragon’s tall crest. Blood spurted from the wound—the acid blood of a green dragon—hissing as burned through everything it touched.
In an amazing feat of agility, Cyclone avoided the spray of blood, flipping his body around and firmly planting his feet on either side of the impaling weapon.
The dragon’s reaction was immediate, and violent—its large frame bucked like some huge, wild horse, the large wings flaring out wide on either side, the long serpentine tail whipping around furiously. A bone-shattering roar gushed from the entryway, sending chills up Glo’s spine.
A moment later, the dragon was struck again, this time from multiple sources. Lloyd strafed over the creature’s large left wing, his black blade engulfed in flames as it bit deep into the thinly stretched portion of skin between two of the long phalanxes. Three arrows rained down in rapid succession from above, planting themselves in a row along the length of the dragon’s other wing.
Glo shook off his fear and sent a bolt of lightning cascading through the air, into the same area as the three arrows. A moment later, another bolt of lightning flashed past the wizard, Ruka expertly hitting the very same spot that Glo had.
The great dragon flinched with each and every hit, arcs of electricity dancing across its wing, as the loud crash of twin thunder strikes reverberated throughout the clearing. The thin membrane of the dragon’s wing was left scorched and sizzling from the relentless attacks. Its other wing was even worse, Lloyd leaving a huge gash in his wake, rendering the appendage useless for flight.
From above and behind Glo came a triumphant roar. The great beast had been effectively grounded. Now came the hard part—facing the wrath of an enraged full-adult green dragon.
F.P. Spirit has always loved fantasy. From the moment he received his very first copy of Lord of the Rings back in high school, he was hooked. Today, somewhere between work and family, F. P. manages to write sword and sorcery fantasy fiction.
His novels, Ruins on Stone Hill, Serpent Cult, Dark Monolith, and Princess of Lanfor are the first four books in the series Heroes of Ravenford. The series chronicles the adventures of a band of young heroes in the dangerous world of Thac. F.P. is currently working on the fifth book in the Heroes of Ravenford series, The Baron's Heart, to be released in the fall 2018.
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Keeper of dragons and lover of coffee, Kathryn always has a devious plot brewing in her cauldron and any number of bad ideas hidden under her pointy wizard hat.
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