The Bow of Destiny The Bow of Hart Saga: Book 1 by P.H. Solomon Genre: Epic Fantasy
Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.
Athson has seen things that aren't there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he's not sure it's real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what's worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn't always sure what's real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.
He struggles to breathe. Trolls stab helpless villagers through sliding curtains of choking smoke and raging flame. Dying children wail as mocking slayers howl. The violence fades into darkness. He flails and fears he lies in a grave yet finds emptiness instead of dirt. Silver light rises and Eagle's Aerie soars beneath the moon. Athson climbs the weather-worn stair and scraps his hands as he gains speed. The rock-face blurs as Athson swoops onto the pinnacle towering over the ocean, stands where no one ever has, sees what has been hidden. Athson pauses and then floats toward a voice murmuring by a swaying flame within a shadowed crevice. A silhouette kneels and rocks, dark against the fire beyond it. A woman's uneven voice chants: "The bow shall be hidden from heart..." The swaying speaker feeds wood into the fire. Sparks snap from the coals and whirl amid the orange-blue tongues. An arc forms in the smoke and fades into the stars. "The eagle will guide the heir..." An eagle's scream pierces the night wind. "The bow shall be found at need..." Wrinkled hands tie a wad of cloth with string - a bowstring. "And the arrow shall Eloch prepare." A shooting star streaks across the horizon and drags Athson's attention from the crouching figure before the popping fire. The eagle screams again - louder and nearer. The figure half-turns and tosses the packet at Athson's feet. He stares at it, then back to the kneeling woman. Her face half-lit by the firelight reveals a pointy nose that overshadows her receding jaw. Grizzled wisps of gray hair wave in the wind. "For you who suffers in silence for a secret." Athson stoops and inspects the package. He unties the knot and pushes the string into a pocket. Within the cloth, he finds a tattered note and more fabric he guesses is a pennant. "Zelma's done it." She gazes skyward and raises her arms. "Why more now when so much has been taken already? Why me?" His anger flares and he tosses the packet away. "This isn't mine." He whirls and stumbles into darkness. "He needs to see." The woman's voice screeches and slices through whistling wind. The eagle's deafening scream stabs his awareness as immense wings snap like a clap of thunder. Talons tear clothing, pierce flesh and snatch Athson into the air. He dangles and kicks as he yells while silver landscape yawns beneath him. The curious sound of joyous cackling trails into the distance. Athson squeezes his eyes shut but dares squinting at the moonlit sky that stretches overhead. The land wheels as the eagle glides over earth mottled by shadow and pale light. The world unfolds as Athson glimpses far beyond the distant Drelkhaz Mountains to the far eastern shores of the great Endless Sea. His vision focuses on an old woman as she rests by her campfire on an empty plain south of Auguron. She stirs from sleep and cocks her head as if listening. She gazes at Athson. His vision whirls away from her as she rises in her gray dress. A beautiful young woman rides along a road beneath tufts of glowing clouds. Her braided hair dangles over her left shoulder and she wears pale leather armor and leggings made for dueling. The hilts of two of swords protrude above each of her shoulders. She brushes her face as if wiping away a tear. Darkness descends over both Athson and the eagle. The giant bird glides in silence. A knife glitters pale in the darkness. It slashes in a vicious arc and then pauses. Blood covers the weapon and drips from the tip. Athson shouts in dismay but wind thrusts it back into his mouth. His own Rokan dagger bought in a fit of anger when Sarneth withheld his father's sword. The blood chills him worse than the wind or the eagle's hold. The eagle’s screech pierces his hearing and its wings drum thunder. Athson trembles as darkness recedes. The bracing wind slaps his face. Shadowy wings ride wind from the south. The figure blots out stars as it swings north and glides on a shifting course. The eagle shrieks in defiance at the approaching beast. Fire belches amid an answering roar. Athson yells as the giant bird dives at the black shape. Ragged wings, so dark they drink moonlight, flutter against frigid air. Eagle and dragon glide and twist past each other. The streaking shadow trails fire and a rotten stench. Athson struggles to name the creature until one thought flares: Magdronu. The eagle dives. Athson flails his arms and legs as he screams. And then the talons release him.
An Arrow Against the Wall The Bow of Hart Saga Book 2
Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Buffeted like an arrow in the wind.
The hunt for the Bow of Hart continues for Athson and his companions. They have escaped the clutches of Magdronu and Corgren, but they are still pursued. In need of answers to deep mysteries revealed in Chokkra, Athson must gain possession of the mythic bow to face both his enemies and his tragic past. But Magdronu's reach stretches among Athson's companions, endangering Limbreth and even Hastra in schemes to entrap them all. With each turn of the search for the Bow of Hart, long hidden secrets surface that threaten to destroy Athson. Will he falter like an arrow against the wind?
Even the priests’ faces paled. Their leader in the dark feather headdress waved servants forward. "Quickly! Dose them. We must be away ere our master comes!"
Men and women rushed among the captives and forced liquid into their mouths. They forced their mouths shut lest the captives spit it out. They tried Ralda after making him kneel at spear-point, but he laughed at them and snapped at their hands like a dog before they got some in his mouth. They struggled with his face, and he spat much of the potion out. Good for him. But a guard approached the giant from behind and whacked Ralda twice over the head. The giant sank to his knees, gagged out the potion, and rolled onto his side with a groan.
They shifted to Athson. Not good for their escape plans if Ralda was down. Athson clenched his teeth, but they slapped him, and the ogres pounded in his head. His eyes fluttered. More snake-faced hobgoblins leered. "Leave me, troll." They poured the liquid into his mouth, and he gagged. Bitter. His stomach flopped in protest. In moments he felt dizzier, but the cold left his body. Athson's thoughts fragmented and came in random succession. The priests chanted while the guardsmen bound them all tightly after forcing them to the ground.
Athson swayed. Trolls sang. He collapsed on his side and stared at the leering hobgoblins. Where were the Rokans? Loose stone poked the Archer's side. It didn't matter, for some reason.
Ralda groaned and stirred, but only a little.
Athson stared into the far distant sky. "The Funnel's so high." No, he wasn’t there right now. The other captives groaned occasionally as the sun set and the wind howled. The priests and the guardsmen were gone. They were not going to kill him, then. They left them for dead. Ralda, he was going to do something. Athson rolled over. The giant lay still. That was bad, for some reason.
Lightning flashed. Athson shut his eyes and screamed at the nearness. Wind rushed about the natural table of stone and yanked at his sandy hair and worn clothing. Why did he scream like that? Lightning. The notion of alarm faded in his awareness.
Thunder pounded around him and rolled about in echoes. Athson stirred in his drugged stupor. He opened his eyes. Ralda lay nearby, and beyond the giant sprawled the shapes of dwarves as gloom gathered beneath the storm. Move. His muscles never responded to the distant command from his mind.
Thunder boomed again. Another peal answered like massive wings flapping. Athson rolled his head with a groan. A massive black shape settled onto the peak. Yellow eyes glared unblinkingly down at them.
P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.