The book’s set in an epic land called Jonguria. The polar opposite of this land is Adjuria. Think ancient China and ancient Europe.
In Jonguria there’s an emperor and just four large provinces. Each of these provinces are slipping away from the emperor and coming under the sway of warlords.
In Adjuria the fourteen provinces are also bridling at the power of the king, and old animosities that once led to civil war are on the rise again.
A Storied Past
In that time the Adjurian economy has crumbled. The fourteen provinces had relied upon Jonguria for their trade goods, their agricultural produce, and their weapons and military advisors. In the ten years since they’ve seen serious setbacks, and many families have been displaced as taxes have risen exceedingly high.
Bryn and Halam join forces with the Loyalist provinces against those led by upstart Jossen Fray and his group of old renegade provinces. It’s decided that a new trade mission will be started that heads to Jonguria.
A Mission Gone Bad
Free Epic Fantasy At Its Finest!
What am I talking about? Backstory, history, character development, world building…you know, all the key aspects you know and love from epic fantasy.
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It has 16 reviews on Amazon right now, a pretty even mix between good and bad.
Some are just a little harsh with nothing much to offer, and that’s fine too. Perhaps some of these reviews are coming because the book is perma-free.
I think it’s a good case to be made. I didn’t have many sales on this when it was priced, and now Books 2 and 3 are moving because this one is free.
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“I’ll be staying right here to do the same,” Iago replied. He looked over at Halam and Rodden. “Move up closer to Wen. He’ll get you out of here.”
Halam put his arm on Iago’s shoulder. “Thank you, friend,” he said, then looked back at Rodden and Bryn and moved around the boulder.
Bryn gave one more look at Iago and the man smiled at him, then he followed his uncle around the boulder. Jurin and Conn were crouching next to the large boulder in front of them. Halam continued up to where Wen and Willem were another few feet past them. He exchanged a few words with the two men, then came back to sit down next to Jurin.
“Wen’s going to provide some cover for Willem to move over to that boulder across the way,” Halam said, pointing toward the large rock where two of the dead Jongurian’s lay.
“That’s got to be at least thirty feet of open ground he’ll have to move across,” Jurin said.
“I think it’s Willem’s idea,” Halam said. “He wants to provide a target to draw out some of the enemy, giving Wen a better shot.”
“He’s crazy,” Jurin replied. “But it might be just what we need right now.”
“He wanted me to tell you to get ready to fire. He’ll be running across in just a minute,” Halam said.
Bryn looked up to where Willem crouched down behind the boulder. He was taking off his pack and loading one of the Jongurian crossbows. He looked back at them and nodded, then said something to Wen before dashing out into the open ground. Several crossbow bolts sailed out at him, but they all landed just behind him as he ran. Wen stood up and fired his bow, and Bryn saw one of the Jongurians far ahead drop down with an arrow in his chest. Jurin also rose up a moment after Willem set out and he too managed to hit a man with the crossbow, sending him to the ground with a loud shout of pain as the bolt entered his shoulder. An arrow flew right in front of Willem before he dove through the air over the last few feet to land safely behind the large boulder. He looked back at them and smiled. His gamble had paid off; two more Jongurians lay dead or dying ahead of them.
Their moment of joy was short-lived; from behind them Iago shouted up that they had company. Bryn spun around and peered over the boulder that he and Rodden were crouching near. Several Jongurians could be seen shuffling into the open ground through the narrow canyon that they had just emerged from. An arrow from Trey went sailing through the air to take one of them in the chest while the man next to him went down hard to the ground grasping at a crossbow bolt in his stomach, compliments of Iago. Both crouched back down behind their boulder to reload and smile. When Iago had another bolt ready to fire he stood up to look, but the men in the canyon had learned quickly and were now wary of showing themselves. From further out in the open area of the Oval an arrow sailed through the air. It hit the boulder that Iago was leaning against and he immediately hit the ground for cover.
Trey spun around to level his bow in the direction the arrow had come from and a crossbow bolt struck the boulder just inches from where he was crouching. A Jongurian had crept up along the mountain wall to get a better position on the three men blocking the entrance into the open field of battle. Jal leveled his crossbow at the man and fired, taking him in the side as he tried to get back to the entrance. The main let out a cry of pain and kept on crawling, but Trey took aim with his bow and sent an arrow into his upper back. The man fell forward onto the ground and lay still.
“That was close,” Bryn heard Iago say as he looked over at the dead Jongurian. More movement came from the canyon and Trey sent an arrow into it but it bounced harmlessly off the stone wall.
“We’ve got to get out of here!” Conn said beside Bryn. “The Jongurians’ll steadily get closer from both directions until they have us.”
“Wen, any ideas?” Jurin shouted.
“We could run for it,” Wen called back.
“We may have to,” Halam said loudly. “They’re closing in on us.”