Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Prophecies of Zanufey Book One
The future is dark; no Seer or Wizard can see into it, no prophecy speaks of a time past it. The fate of the world hangs between the darkness and the light…
Out of the Dark Rift Baelthrom came to take all of Maioria into Oblivion. His ruthless armies of immortal Maphraxies scourge the land and one by one entire kingdoms fall. But the Dark Moon of Zanufey is rising and hope sparks in the hearts of the people.
When the raven messenger of Zanufey bursts into Issa’s life the tides of prophecy are set in motion and she is violently dragged into the battle for the fate of the world. Only Asaph, last of the mighty Dragon Lords, can hope to reach her in the deathly Shadowlands before the White Beast does. All Maioria is lost unless Issa survives to become the greatest warrior the world has ever known; she must become the Raven Queen of prophecy.
Here is a tale of benevolent Goddesses and fallen Dark Lords, Dragons and Dragon Lords, Witches and Wizards, forgotten Kings and Raven Queen’s.
Dark Moon Rising is the first volume in a stunning new fantasy epic brimming with magic, adventure and the strength of the human spirit to face impossible odds.
Genre: FantasyPurchase links: Amazon AmazonUK AmazonCA
Content/Theme(s): Magic, Dragons, Fae, Witches, Wizards, Harpies, Gods & Goddesses, Swords, Sorcery, Myths & Legends
Release Date: March 28, 2014
Publisher: Starfire Epic Fantasy
Excerpt & More
Without the raven to guide him he was soon lost in the growing darkness, despite his Dragon sight. The ghostly trees loomed above him once more and he felt keen malice in their stance, in their twisted branches, they knew a living thing was amongst them where only the dead should be.
Cold sweat made his back, face and hands clammy. Twice he drew his sword and whirled around as some unseen thing brushed past his shoulder, but both times there was nothing there. Every way he turned looked the same and he could not find the path she had taken.
It was pitch black when he heard wings flap overhead and the familiar caw of the raven. Asaph sighed in relief, for the first time very glad to see the irksome bird.
‘Thanks for coming,’ he said sourly to the dim silhouette. The bird cocked its head and looked at him innocently. His shoulders slumped. ‘Pray let us go, I too must leave this place before insanity, or worse, claims me.’ The raven dutifully took off and he followed it closely, his eyes never leaving the bird for fear of becoming lost again.
Together they moved swiftly through the forest and it seemed to him that those ghostly trees pressed down upon them, whispering of all things lost, and every now and then a white figure moved in the distance and was gone. Each time he glimpsed a wraith his heart lurched but he did not stop. The darkness between the trees was like a living thing of emptiness that sucked away the light as it sucked away any reason to live.
As they ran deeper into the forest the darkness grew, crowding around him like a thick black fog, trying to drown him into oblivion. Already he was having trouble remembering how he had gotten here and where he had come from. Coronos’s much loved face was but a blur in his mind, and all about him he could feel the dark meaninglessness of existence creeping closer.
He swallowed and forced out a loud breath as he fought against the crushing hopelessness that was the essence of the Land of Shadows, but it was like trying to drag oneself up from the abyss. What did I expect in the Shadowlands? This place is not for the living. I must be gone from here before it consumes me.
They burst out of the trees and into sheets of rain. She was up ahead; her white legs long and luminous in the flashes of lightning, the raven’s slick black back gleaming between them. He caught up with her, his hand moved in slow motion as he reached forward and grasped her pale arm. It was a shock to his body to find solid flesh for his hand did not pass through her as he had feared; she was not a ghost and this was not a dream. He gripped her tightly; thunder cracked above them, and in the distance Keteth roared.
‘You cannot run forever!’ he cried, as she whirled to face him, wide eyes raw with terror. He could smell her fear and felt it as his own. Her terror turned into a frown of recognition.
‘Help me,’ she gasped.
‘I am here. I have always been here. Come with me,’ he said softly. A lifetime of longing threatened to overwhelm him and he almost bent to kiss her.
‘Who are you?’ she gasped, ‘are you the one that hunts me?’
‘I am Asaph, and I have never hunted you. Look into your heart, you will know it is true,’ he whispered, pulling her closer. She did not resist. For a moment there was calm but then she pulled back to look at him, the emptiness of the Shadowlands pressing upon them.
‘There is nothing here but desolation,’ she shook her head and he felt the despair, momentarily driven away by her presence, closing in again.
‘All my life you have walked my dreams. A thousand times I have watched you stare out to sea laying bare your soul, grieving for those lost; a thousand terrible times I have watched you fall to your doom and try as I might I could never reach you in time. I have felt your pain as if it were my own. I too have lost those most precious to me; I know your anger, your grief, your helplessness,’ his voice trembled for all the years he had wanted to say those words.
She frowned and whispered partly to herself, ‘how can you know such things?’ She shook her head and he felt her weaken in his grasp. She looked up at him with eyes the colour of a turquoise sea, filling with tears he thought he would drown in.
‘I am trapped here. There is no way out. I cannot fight the White Beast and that other...’ she trailed off in a whisper, as if afraid to speak of it. ‘I can feel it in the distance beyond the seas, beyond the forests, moving closer, a terrible…’ she stumbled over the words, ‘power that never sleeps… always hunting, always searching.’ The raven cawed impatiently. ‘How do you know all of this about me? How have you found me?’ she said suddenly pulling away, distrust clouding her eyes.
Asaph took her hand and lifted it up, ‘The ring...’ he said.
Lightning flashed above and in the light the Dragon formed again on its surface, its eyes were shining sapphires. She glanced up, as if seeing him for the first time. He felt the Dragon stir within and saw her eyes widen as she trembled. He looked away as shocked as she, knowing that somehow she had seen the Dragon awaken in his eyes. He hated himself for causing her to fear him.
‘You do know me,’ he whispered.
‘The raven dropped it...’ she said by way of reply.
‘The raven took it from me and brought it here to you so that I might find you,’ Asaph said, his voice was hoarse. ‘It was my mother’s ring... she died a long time ago. The raven led me here, it is somehow linked to you, it protects you. I have come to help free you from this prison, should you wish, before those that hunt you find you. If you stay here you will fall into oblivion and so too the rest of us.’ He felt that dark force surge closer, as if suddenly detecting their location. The ground trembled and they held each other for balance.
‘We have to get away from here,’ he rasped against the howling wind. The raven cawed again, this time louder, for it too was keen to be gone. The force would be upon them soon; Asaph could see it now, a thick black fog swiftly covering the forest and ocean like a blanket.
‘Who am I?’ she asked, her voice low and trembling, her eyes darting from him to the black fog and back again, ‘I had a name once, only I cannot remember.’
Asaph was spellbound, ‘The Shadowlands have made you forget who you are, you are drifting into shadow and are hunted by oblivion.
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