Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Publication Day - Sword of Light

Today, King Arthur's daughter Rhianna Pendragon rides into the world of men on her first adventure. She'll be visiting several other blogs over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes open (she rides a mist horse that's prone to vanishing, so you might need to look twice). Here she is...


Rhianna Pendragon - "don't mess with me!"

Meet her friends... Prince Elphin, Arianrhod and Cai...


Elphin is a prince of Avalon and carries a magic harp that comes in very useful on their quest. Arianrhod is Rhianna's maid at Camelot, who has the thankless job of turning her into a princess. Cai is a squire - not a very good one yet, but he's brave and has potential.

Now meet the villain, her cousin Mordred... he hasn't got a moody portrait yet, so here's the prologue of "Sword of Light" instead...

THE DARK KNIGHT WAKES

The day after he had killed King Arthur, Mordred opened his eyes to flickering candlelight and damp rock. There had been nightmares, screaming, and much pain. Terrible pain such as his pampered body had never felt before. But the worst had passed. His crippled form stirred in the shadows and his remaining hand closed about cold metal. Not his axe – he’d lost that on the battlefield, along with his right hand – but a magic mirror his mother had given him before she left the world of men.

He breathed on the black glass, and her image swirled to life. Raven haired and beautiful, she looked at least twenty years younger than when she had died.

“Who commands the Grail?” he demanded.

His mother’s face flickered. “The one called Pendragon.”

“So it serves me now?” Mordred said, impatient. Even dead, his mother could be annoyingly vague.

“I’m not sure. It’s unclear… I see a girl, a daughter…”

Mordred flung the mirror across the cave. “No!” he roared. “Arthur had no daughter! We would have known.”

He’d won the battle. He’d killed Arthur Pendragon, high king of men and guardian of the Round Table. Even now, his spies were looking for the Sword and the Lance. The Crown, snatched by a dragon from his uncle’s corpse on the battlefield, was rightfully his. As soon as he got his hands – hand, curse it – on the Grail, he would be strong and handsome again, and the world would worship at his feet. But now this! Another with a claim to the throne.

Clenching his teeth against the pain, he rolled off the rocky shelf that served as his bed. He could not walk because his stupid horse had fallen on him and crushed one of his legs. He crawled across the floor, the bandaged stump of his arm leaving a trail of blood. The mirror had cracked, making a jagged line across his mother’s face to match the scar Arthur’s sword had left across his own.

“Where?” he hissed. “Where is she? She must die!”

The witch’s face blurred, becoming old and then young again.

“Beyond our reach in Avalon. But not for much longer, I think.”

“What do you mean? Speak plainly, woman!”

His mother smiled. “I mean, Mordred my beautiful son, that you need to be patient for once. Heal. Grow strong again. Be crafty like the dragon that waits in its lair. Let the girl come to you. They took the king’s body through the enchanted mists. If she has a drop of Arthur’s blood in her body, she will come. And then you can kill her – or enslave her, as you wish. She’s only a damsel, after all. She’s grown up in a crystal palace where there is no disease or death, protected by magic. The world of men will be a shock to her. She’s hardly going to lead the knights in battle, is she? How much of a threat can she be?”

A bit more of a threat than you think, Mordred! Now join Rhianna on her first adventure...

Sword of Light

Artwork by Scott Altmann

For all the gossip, follow Rhianna on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PendragonGirl


BLOG TOUR AND REVIEWS
(more links will be added here as they are published)

The British Fantasy Society
A Dream of Books
The Bookbag
Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books
 
22nd until 31st Jan - The Bookette
1st Feb - Authors Electric
6th Feb - The History Girls
8th Feb - Memories of a Future Life
9th Feb - Book Angel Booktopia
10th Feb - Book Maven
13th Feb - Seven Miles of Steel Thistles
15th Feb - Writing in the House of Dreams
20th Feb - Girls Hearts (with Michelle Lovric)

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