by Paul E. HorsemanThe night before his Coming-of-Age, Ghyll and his two friends escaped their castle on a clandestine hunt that would forever change their lives. They returned just in time to see their island castle destroyed by strange warriors from a dragonboat and flocks of burning birds.
Ghyll’s birthday turned into a nightmare as they fled into the night. This begins an epic journey to find out who is trying to kill them… and most importantly, why? Fortunately, they can count on colorful new friends to assist, including a sometimes overly enthusiastic fire mage, an inexperienced paladin and a female beastmaster who is a ferocious mountain lion. In a world filled with jealous priests, corrupt magistrates, bored aristocrats and power-hungry magicians, they try to survive dark wizards, murderous golems, and fire bird attacks. It soon becomes apparent that not one but several assassins are after them. Who are these members of an obscure, long-forgotten organization?
And whose cold hand reaches across the boundaries of space and time to threaten weakened Rhidauna?
While the time is running the friends undertake a quest that takes them to a large part of Rhidauna. Following them, the reader is carried along on an exciting journey through a colorful world, whose people, culture and atmosphere are described with great attention to detail without the story losing momentum.
Experience the quest! Grab your best travel clothes, strongest backpack and sharpest sword … or failing that, take an easy chair, a drink and this exciting book.
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About the Author:Paul E (Erik) Horsman (1952)
Lives in Roosendaal, The Netherlands.
I was born in the year 1952, in the Dutch town of Bussum, a sleepy, well-to-do place that was home to many artists, musicians, writers and publishers. As my family were neither artists nor well-to-do, we moved when I was nine.
When I was seventeen, I started my career as paperclip counter with a worldwide Dutch producer of baby food. After some months, I was finished counting, and I looked around for something more interesting.
A love of books drove me to work in a small bookstore in Rotterdam. An ancient establishment, since 1837, in an old building just too far away from the city’s modern shopping center. It was a nice job, but there wasn’t any future in it. Still, I left it a licensed bookseller.
In 1972 I had to do my stitch for Queen and Country, and as a bad back tied me to a desk job, I applied for a posting overseas. For the Army, that meant Surinam, then still a member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and one of the most beautiful. Once you’ve seen the jungle, you will never forget it.
To keep it short, I stayed in business, slowly climbing the ladder, until in 1995 I changed direction. That year I joined a large educational institution, at a school specialized in Dutch language and integration courses for foreigners. That meant immigrants, refugees and international businessmen, an interesting mix. It was great work, on the one side teaching crash courses Dutch to high-powered people (we got a lot of very well-educated refugees) and on the other teaching reading and writing to people who had never ever held a pen before, let alone a computer. To see them growing was a reward in itself.
Unhappily, due to changed legislation the language school closed in mid-2012.
In the meantime, I had started my first book (Rhidauna) in 2009 and it got published by Zilverspoor Publishers just before I got laid off. As my age, five years from retirement, made it nigh on impossible to find something else, I started building a career as an independent author.
SF and Fantasy have fascinated me since my high school days, but apart from some juvenile trash, I never seriously tried to write anything. But after several false starts and associated discouraged intervals, a spark began to grow and mid-2010, the first two parts of Shadow of the Revenaunt were more or less written.
My style is probably a bit old-fashioned, Fantasy as a heroic tale with sympathetic heroes/heroines and black villains, in which good always triumphs in the end.
I don’t use my characters as cannon fodder; they get hurt, but their dying is rare.
One of the other elements in my writing I think important is, that both male and female characters have their own lives and goals. Most of them exist primarily for themselves, not as a prop or a love interest for other MC’s. The only character who did die, was actually a prop and I had him killed just to take that away from my lead MC.
Original Rhidaunan wax tablet
This is the same writing tablet main character Ghyll Hardingraud carried with him on his quest through Rhidauna.
It’s the local equivalent of the iPad, made of wood with a re-usable wax layer. It measures ca 20 cm x 12 cm (when closed). Incl. bronze stylus.
CHAPTER 4 – HASPEN
(Point of View: Secondary Main Character – Damion)
The rising sun peeked through the window of the infirmary and her rays played over Damion’s bed. The young man lay flat on his back, swaddled in bandages like a newborn. His ribs itched, but they had made scratching them impossible. He could move his hands and forearms, nothing else; even his upper arms the healer’s nurse had tied to his body. You must lie still, the man had told him, probably for weeks.
A fly buzzed around his head, a metallic bluebottle. Damion did not even notice the creature; he was too deep into his troubled thoughts to let its attention bother him. Bitterly he stared at the ceiling, wondering what was the meaning of his life. It was a hopeless exercise, because every path he took, every thread he followed, ended at the contemptuous eyes of Guard Sergeant Luyon. His father’s sneering remarks milled through his head: You’re nothing, boy. You will never be a man. You’re not a soldier; you’re a weakling. You’re not my son; your mother must have done it with someone else. Every word was a hatchet blow to the roots of his self-confidence. However hard he’d tried; his father had disparaged everything he did. Damion’s hands gripped the blanket while he fought against his tears. Just then, Ghyll and Olle entered and he caught his breath. Ghyll smiled at him, like always, and he sighed with relief. He lifted his hand. “They taped me in this morning,” he said. “Look, that’s all I can raise.” Then it dawned on him what he said, and he gave a sheepish grin. “Oh, I meant I’m tied up from here to there.”