Friday, 15 December 2017

Artesans of Albia by Cas Peace




Desperate to learn how to control his innate Artesan powers, Taran embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. The military backlash his action unleashes forces Albia’s High King to send Major Sullyan as an envoy to the Fifth Realm. But a dark and treacherous power is moving through the realms and all will feel its influence.

Captured and tortured by the power-hungry Lord Rykan, Sullyan is trapped in Andaryon. Aided by the unlikeliest sources, the major formulates a plan to defeat Rykan and end his quest for the throne. But Sullyan’s strength is fading fast and time is running out. The only thing that can save her is Rykan’s mysterious Staff, which lies buried in the ruins of Taran’s cellar.

Sullyan’s lover, Robin Tamsen, sets out to recover the artefact, but the enemy is two steps ahead of him. If Robin fails to secure the Staff, Sullyan’s life, the Artesan craft, and the very existence of their world is under threat.


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Excerpt from King’s Champion:

Sullyan cantered Drum across the plains for the first mile or so, weaving through the trees, Robin and Marik at her back. Then she slowed the stallion to a brisk walk, allowing the other two to catch up. She made for the high road leading directly to the fortress gates, seeing with satisfaction that they were the only people on the road. Warning Marik and Robin to keep their hands well away from their sword hilts, she rode confidently forward, eyes narrowed against the snow glare.

The Count nudged his horse up on her left side, a gloomy expression on his face. “I expect the sentries and outriders will see us soon.”

She gave a snort. “My dear Count, there have been loaded crossbows aimed at our hearts for the past half hour.”

Marik started and looked wildly about, but there was no one in sight. Sullyan continued in silence, highly visible on the coal-black Drum. Her borrowed longsword reared in its harness over her shoulder.

They were about a mile and a half from the gates when the sentries rode out of cover and confronted them. Sullyan immediately halted in the middle of the road, waiting for the twenty-strong patrol to approach. Marik and Robin flanked her. She studied the Hierarch’s men with professional interest. The purple and gold of his livery was evident on their combat leathers, and their leader bore a Lieutenant’s rank insignia, the equivalent of an Albian Captain. A medium height man in his middle thirties, he halted his men a few paces from Sullyan and rode forward alone. He sat his dark bay stallion easily and his hand never left the hilt of his sword, despite the ready crossbows behind him.

He ignored Robin, swept Marik a contemptuous glance, and then turned his attention to Sullyan. He regarded her for a few moments, his pale brown eyes taking in her gold insignia, her battle honors, and King’s Envoy shooting star. When he addressed her, his tone was barely respectful, the attitude of a confident man unused to dealing with armed women.

“Major.” He gave her a slight nod, the only sign of respect she would get.

“Lieutenant.” She accorded him the same bare courtesy, giving her voice an identical inflexion.

His eyes narrowed as he reassessed her, taking in her relaxed but alert attitude and the casual way she sat the huge black stallion with its light saddle and bitless bridle. His own mount bore the usual heavy cavalry saddle that could keep a dying man upright, and foam was dripping from the iron bit in its mouth.



The Author:

Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. 
She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website

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Cas's Top Ten List:

1) Anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses. My favorite horse breed is the Friesian, which is why I put one in my novels. I also own two rescue dogs and support many animal charities.

2) Singing, especially folk-style songs. I also sing in my local church choir.

3) Chocolate!!

4) Dragons and (I have to admit!) unicorns. I have collected figurines and statues of dragons and unicorns since I was small and have a vast collection, some of which live outdoors. But I don’t like “twee”, only ones that look like they could be real.

5) Reading, especially fantasy and sci-fi.

6) Country walks.

7)All wildlife, especially butterflies. I used to breed and release UK varieties, and belong to the Butterfly Conservation Society.

8) Did I mention chocolate?

9) Spending time with family members.

10) Playing my bodhran (Irish drum). I can’t read music so decided to take up drumming instead! It’s fun and very theraputic.




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