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ISBN-10: 1-89484-160-3
Genre: Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 247 Pages
Published: July 2002

Total Readers: 6

From inside the flap

[The Dark Staff Series -- Book 1]
Having the attention of the gods is not always a blessing...

The long, magical wars ended when the elves left the lands of men, conjuring an impenetrable barrier to keep the humans out of their new realm. They left man only with the sorcery he could create, taking all the creatures of magic to Ishan with them... except for one...

Sometimes, in the shadowy night, a voice whispered to ambitious men... a soft woman's voice, seducing them with her promises of power. Come to me, come to me.

Generations after the war, a barbarian warlord from the north heard her call and survived to release an evil, intelligent staff from her ancient bonds... and his actions attracted the attention of both gods and demons back to the world of Ylant.

The warlord's unwanted son, Aubreyan, is a pawn between the gods and the demons. He must save the world not only from his father's mistakes but also from his own acts of ignorance. With the help of Tristan -- an elf -- he sets out to destroy the staff called the Kiya Chanda Andee.

Aubreyan is the first of an eight-book fantasy series that will take the two heroes to other realities in pursuit of an evil the gods have enjoined them to contain and destroy before the gods and demons themselves are forced to battle.

Aubreyan (Excerpt)

The Dark Staff # 1

Some thing, small and helpless, nuzzled at her arm, seeking warmth against the cold that never seemed to touch her. Altazar went closer to look down at it, the little arms and legs, the head with a fine covering of dark hair. He shivered with the realization that he had once been this small and his father might have killed him with a single blow, or a snap of the tiny neck. He started to reach, but her hand caught his wrist, powerful and stronger than he had expected.

"I call him Aubreyan," she said.

His gaze shifted from the rag-wrapped bastard and he pulled his arm free. When he looked into her face, he found himself -- as always -- staring into the bottomless depths of her green eyes. No wonder she never felt cold, with spring always in her eyes.

"Call it want you like," he said. "It will be dead before morning."

"No," she said. She sat up, the dark hair falling like a shield across the child. "You want this child."

"Why would I want a rival?" he demanded, and found that he had stepped away, his back pressed against the door as though he faced some danger. The movement angered him and gave him power to fight...something he couldn't even name. "What do I want with that bastard of yours?"

"Empires pass." She smiled, capturing him with a different look, and one that made him shiver this time. "This child is the only piece of eternity you will ever possess, man."

Not a woman's smile -- not a mother's smile. If the Kiya had not assured him that no human magic could penetrate her protection around him, Altazar would have suspected Starwind of bewitching him. For a moment he feared this creature enough that he wished she would leave and take the bastard with her.

"What do you want of me?" he asked, soft words that he'd never asked of anyone before.

"Oh, there are many things," she said, and leaned back. "But wisdom would be wasted on you." His rage at the answer almost brought his sword to his hands, but she waved a hand, dismissing that threat. "I'll tell you this much: Aubreyan is no threat to you. Go, Altazar. Go back to your Kiya and rule these men with all the barbarism that you can manage. It doesn't matter to me."

"I want it killed!" He shouted, enraged because she unmanned him so easily.

"You will not kill him," she said. His hand rested on his sword, but he drew it away. He would not kill the child. Would not, because she said so.

He shivered and his hand sought the edge of the door, pulling it open without daring to look away from Starwind. He fled before a spell for which there was no warding -- magic, even if the Kiya said he was protected.