The preorder campaign for Swordsmaster is in progress, so the excerpts will continue to be from my first novel (the one that I keep saying has been FORTY YEARS IN THE MAKING!)
Here’s the blurb:
Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.
The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?
And here’s the excerpt:
Sandrik shielded his eyes from the sun to follow their gaze, and his heart sank when he made out the silhouette of a hawk spiraling down toward them. Had that cursed creature followed him even to this place? He stared at it, trying to reach out to the bird and will it away, but instead it changed direction and descended toward him. As it came closer, he was relieved to see that it wasn’t the hawk that had dogged and marked him back home; it was not a hawk at all, but a much smaller bird – a falcon. The fact that it wasn’t the same bird did not matter much though; it was still coming for him. He held out his wooden practice sword to stave it off, and the bird took it as a perch and landed. Sandrik swung the rod back and forth, trying make the bird let go, but it just sank its talons deeper into the wood while it flapped its wings to keep its balance.
“You there! Release the Earl’s falcon!”
Sandrik looked to where the man in leathers and one of the men at arms were struggling uphill toward him. The other soldier and the Highborne they had been attending had ridden down and joined the other riders on the shore.
“You have already ruined a good day’s hunt,” the man in leathers continued. He was an older fellow, with a spray of silver-blonde hair that seemed intent on flying out from under his leather cap, so that he kept a hold of his headgear as he made his way up the hill. The rapidness with which they had made the climb had taken quite a lot of the wind out of him, and he bent over with his hands on his knees as they reached Sandrik.
He took a slow breath, then straightened and looked ready to resume his harangue, but then he met Sandrik’s eyes and froze. He switched his focus to the falcon before he spoke again.
“I am Master Varsen. Unhand the Earl’s raptor now!”
“He came to me,” Sandrik said.
“Obey Master Varsen,” the guardsman said.
“But I am not keeping him,” Sandrik said.
He swung his yew sword toward the soldier to demonstrate, and the falcon flapped its wings wildly but still would not fly off. The soldier drew his steel sword and leveled it at Sandrik’s chest.
“Do not threaten a man of the Earl,” the soldier said.
He took a step toward Sandrik, but Master Varsen stepped between them.
“Filian, you fool! You will harm Earl Arneydor’s bird, and I have put far too much of my skill into the creature to allow that,” Master Varsen said. Then he turned his attention back to Sandrik, and said, “Put your stick down.”
Please leave me, Sandrik thought.
He set his practice sword on the ground and backed away. Varsen extended a gloved hand toward the bird and clicked his tongue loudly. The falcon cocked its head, looked at Varsen curiously, then twisted in the other direction and launched itself toward Sandrik, who had to duck to avoid the flurry of feathers as the bird flew over him.
Master Varsen kept his heavily gloved left arm outstretched and waited for the falcon to circle back to him, but it instead rose swiftly on an updraft and disappeared over the wall. Varsen scowled as he picked up the rod and examined it.
“Where have you sent him?” he asked.
“Nowhere,” Sandrik said.
“My birds are trained better than any in Haval; they do not behave so on their own,” Master Varsen frowned. “You have bewitched him.”
“I have done no such thing. I just wanted him to leave me alone,” Sandrik said.
“I was right, then – you have used your bright-eye ways to beguile him,” Varsen said. “Take him to the dungeon.”
Swordsmaster is a fantasy novel. The release date is September 27th, but it’s available for preorder NOW at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at many online retailers, including, but not limited to:
William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Truth in Advertising” – can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
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