Another Sneak Peek at Voyage for the Sundered Crown

 Book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga will be released on December 30th so I thought I’d share another sneaky peek at the book. This scene takes place early on in the book and introduces a new monster; The Devourer.

Enjoy!


Suddenly, one of the sandbanks exploded outwards and a monster the likes he’d never seen before came screeching from it. It was like a giant worm covered in thick bony armoured plates and vicious razor-sharp spikes. The head was nothing but a cavernous maw of deadly snapping teeth. The Rider cried out, only just guiding the Whale out of the reach of the Devourer. With a thunderous boom, the Devourer crashed back down beneath the dunes sending clouds of sand flying in all directions. The whale sped on through the dunes, the Devourer hot on its heels. Luxon glanced over his shoulder and instantly regretted doing so. All he could see, and gaining quickly was that cavernous teeth filled mouth. Ferran too was looking over his shoulder, but unlike himself, there was no fear on his face, instead, his brow was knotted in concentration. The master monster hunter was studying every detail of the creature, analyzing it for any visible weakness. The Rider spurred the Whale to veer sharply to the right causing the less nimble Devourer to speed on past. It let out a frustrated screech before arching around in an attempt to re-engage its prey. Luxon pushed himself up in his seat, his arms trembling against the forces trying to pin him down. Ahead was a rocky outcropping. The Devourer couldn’t travel through the stone.

 “Head toward the outcropping!” he shouted to the panicking rider.

With a crack of the rod, the Whale veered to the right and sped toward the rocks.

 “Get ready to jump!” Luxon shouted. He followed words with action and unsnapped the harness holding him into place. Ferran likewise detached himself. It was hard to move as the speed of the Sand Whale threatened to pin them into their seats. Luxon narrowed his eyes and channelled his magic to create a shield that enveloped him, Ferran and the rider. The G-forces immediately eased allowing them to move more freely. He grabbed the rider’s hand and Ferran gripped onto his cloak tightly. The outcropping approached and Luxon jumped. With masterful skill, he cast a levitation spell that launched them high into the air and off the terrified Whale’s back. They floated across the sand and onto the high rocky cliff. A solitary dead tree stood on the peak to offer some much-needed shelter from the blazing hot sun. Once they were safely on the rock the Whale dived beneath the sand desperate to escape the monster. Strangely, the Devourer allowed the Whale to go, its attention fixed on them.

 “I can’t be the only who thinks it strange that such a beast would be more interested in us than such a large potential meal,” Ferran remarked.

 Luxon crouched and watched the Devourer as it circled the outcropping. In its huge armoured head was a solitary red eye that was fixed on them. He closed his eyes and focused on the monster. There was a familiar presence emanating from it, one that he’d hoped they would not encounter so far from Delfinnia.

 “N’Gist magic,” he muttered. There was no mistaking it. The gnashing monster below was one made from the darkest sorcery.

 A shout came from below. Sir Beric and the other Bannerlords had arrived. Hastily they disembarked their Sand Whale and hurried toward the rocks. To Luxon’s surprise, the Devourer ignored them.

 “Er, it really seems to like you, Luxon,” Ferran said.

The Bannerlords clambered up the outcropping and joined them at the top.

 “There’s the hideous beast,” wheezed Beric. Despite the desert heat he and his companions were wearing their plate armour. On their backs in packs was an array of weaponry.

 The Devourer’s red eye stared unblinking at the outcropping it’s body eerily still.

 “I trust it didn’t do this when you first encountered it?” Ferran asked Beric.

 “No. When we faced it the beast attacked without mercy. It ate our horses first and then two of our squires. The poor sots didn’t stand a chance. Ah well-”

Beric said as he took a spear from one of his comrades “it’s still as a rock now. Let’s kill this thing.”

His squire handed him a spear. Creeping to the edge of the outcropping he drew back his arm and hurled the weapon with all his might. Just as the spear looked as though it would strike its intended target, the eye snapped shut. The spear struck armoured shell to spin wildly and harmlessly off its surface. Beric swore loudly.

 The eye opened again, it stared at Luxon.

“What’s up with this thing?” Beric grumbled taking another spear from his comrades. The four Bannerlords stepped to the edge and all hurled their spears. Again, the weapons bounced off its armoured shell.

 “Let me try something,” Ferran said as he conjured a fireball into existence. With a flick of the wrist, the magical projectile shot downwards to strike the Devourer. The flame engulfed the monster but instead of it retreating in pain as expected it began to vibrate.

 To their surprise, the creature absorbed the flames and with a sickening crack, the shell split and it began to grow in height. It grew so high that now it’s snapping jaws were just a few feet from the top of the outcropping.


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The First Fear and The Temple of Arrival are now Wide

Hi guys, so I’ve finally taken the plunge into the world of wide after my Empowered Ones series Amazon exclusivity ended. The First Fear and The Temple of Arrival are now available on Apple books, Nook, Kobo and many other retailers!

If you don’t own a Kindle, now is the time to pick up a copy and dive into the action packed fantasy adventure.

Get The First Fear on Amazon or other retailers

The Supreme rules the world.
For years beyond counting the people have lived in fear and served her will while she reigns with an iron fist. Her servants the Venerable Chamber and her feared Hollowed stalk the land hunting those who may have the Power to challenge her. The Empowered Ones.
Once, they defended the world from all terror using their abilities to harness emotions into supernatural abilities. Now only a few remain, but hope is not yet lost.
Elian, a young man living at the edge of the Imperium discovers he too possesses the Power with devastating consequences for both himself and the people he loves. Forced to flee from the Supreme’s most deadly agent The First Fear, Elian encounters a ragtag band of rebels known as the Liberators and a group of Gifted led by the charismatic Empowered One, Vavius who believes that the key to overthrowing the Supreme lies in the ruins of the ravaged lands of the once mighty Kingdom of Aeranyth.
Can Elian survive long enough to develop his newfound abilities and help them turn the tide against the Supreme or will he die trying?

Reviews for The First Fear

“Fans of Sanderson will love this one.” – The Bookwyrm speaks
“This was such a great book! LOVED it!!! Highly recommend!” – Amazon reviewer
“Really good ideas and a fun read!” – Amazon reviewer
“Amazing world building” – Amazon reviewer

Get on Amazon or other retailers

Betrayed.
Hunted.
The Liberators defiant stand at the city of Asta has sparked the fires of resistance in the downtrodden people. Slaves, serfs and even members of the aristocracy have risen against the regime and flock to the Liberator banner.
As conflict spreads across the world, the Supreme’s gaze is fixated on Elian more than ever. Reeling from his mentor’s betrayal and battle with the First Fear he is hunted relentlessly by Hollowed and Venerable Chamber Seekers.
The only person who can help Elian is a mysterious Empowered One–who he’s not even sure he can trust. Terrible secrets await. Secrets about himself. Secrets that could herald the end of all things.

Temple of Arrival is the second book in the exciting Empowered Ones fantasy series. If you like action, sprawling battlefields, and power enhanced heroes, then you’ll love this series.

-Reviews for Temple of Arrival-
‘The Temple of Arrival is a fantastic sequel to The First Fear. From the opening chapter, we’re thrown right back into the action as Elian and the Liberators, along with their Gifted allies, battle the forces of the Supreme.

‘Just like the first book, the action sequences were gripping as were the plot twists. We learned a lot more about the origins of the Power which really set the scene for the dramatic closing chapters.’

‘If you’re a fan of well written fantasy with interesting characters and settings, then check both of these books out.’

‘A very strong sequel to the first novel which grips the reader from the outset. Usually the second book in a series is weaker than the first – however I would go as far as to say that this one is even better than the first novel.’

‘Matthew’s ability to world-build is amazing and you can see all of the different literary and fantasy elements in this book – coupled with his capacity to shock the reader and provide plot twists at every turn.’

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Quest for the Sundered Crown Audiobook out now!

*Release Day* Quest for the Sundered Crown is now available on Audiobook! – mybook.to/QuestAudio
WIN a FREE copy of any of my audiobooks!

To celebrate I thought I’d hold a bit of a competition. To win a FREE audible code for the book (and any others of your choice) simply write a review for any of my books and post them to Amazon and Goodreads, screenshot it and send it to me at matthewolney9@gmail.com. *All reviews must be new*

The First Fear for just 0.99p/c

With Book 2 in the Empowered Ones out tomorrow there’s no better time to get stuck into the series!

To celebrate the launch of The Temple of Arrival, book 1 in the series The First Fear is available to purchase for just 0.99p/c until April 4th, and is FREE via Kindle Unlimited. Now is the perfect time to dive into the Empowered Ones Series. Get your copy today! (Also available in audio format.)

The Empowered Ones

Get your copy today HERE

The First Fear is out TODAY!

Woo! After 2 years of work, my latest book The First Fear is now available to purchase on Amazon in both ebook and paperback.

Get it here – http://mybook.to/FirstFear

I learnt so much whilst working on this book and it will always have a special place in my heart as working on it got me through a particularly difficult part of my life, which thankfully is now well behind me.

I enjoyed creating the world of the Supreme and I cannot wait to see how it performs in the SPFBO competition. I really hope you will enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

As always if you do get yourself a copy please post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Your support really does make a difference.

Check out its first review-

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I’m in SPFBO 2018

Hi everyone, just an update on how things are going.

This week sees the release of my new book The First Fear. I hope you enjoy it as much I did writing it. If you’ve not pre-ordered then don’t worry you will be able to pick it up for the special launch price of just 99p/c until the 25th of June.

I received the final version of the paperback edition and it is looking very swish. The cover looks excellent and the interior is looking good. Here’s some pictures –

 

 

The First Fear releases on June 22nd!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s SPFBO?

In other news I’ve submitted The First Fear into this years SPFBO contest. Last year I entered with Heir to the Sundered Crown but unfortunately didn’t progress too far. This year I have the same judge, so I’m hoping I’ve improved enough to warrant a good score!

You can read more about SPFBO at – https://mark—lawrence.blogspot.com/2018/06/spfbo-2018-call-to-authors.html

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The First Fear (Excerpt)

Hi everyone. As I’ve been working away on the First Fear I thought I’d post a little sneak peek of an early part of the book to whet your appetite. Let me know what you think in the comments via social media. I hope you enjoy it.


 

Vavius knew things should be different. His travels across the Supreme Imperium had taken him to places that even the Supreme’s omnipotent gaze could not reach. She thought herself invincible, Vavius would prove her wrong. It hadn’t always been this way, before her rise to power the world had been free, at least that’s what the Mentors had told him. He pulled the hood of his cloak tighter about his head to hide his features. Even out here in the Western Imperium, he could not take the risk of someone recognising his face. He had waited until dusk to make his move, the exhausted slaves who had been toiling in the fields were slowly drifting off toward their compound that lay at the edge of the estate. He crouched in the shadow cast by the tall oak tree in which he was under and watched the manor house of the Baron Hesselwit.

It wasn’t long before the sun dipped below the horizon and lanterns were lit about the manor house. He narrowed his eyes; only four guards were positioned at the entrance to the walled complex. Vavius smiled. Hesselwit’s reputation for arrogance and overconfidence was well founded it seemed. He pushed off into a sprint, quickly crossing the fields and using the tall wheat for cover. The wind whistled in his ears as he ran, his eyes fixed on the manor houses outer wall. He reached the wall without being spotted and eyed the top of the stone coping. Bending his knees, he channelled his emotions, a smile crossing his lips as he harnessed the power of Joy. He jumped, clearing the ten-foot-high wall in a single bound. Switching to Anger, he felt his body strengthen. Switching emotions on the fly came easily to him after so many years of practice. He landed in a crouch, his enhanced legs absorbing the impact of the drop.

Looking around, he saw that he was now in the manor’s main courtyard. He shook his head at the baron’s slack security. If the man knew that there was an Empowered One in the area, he would surely have garrisoned an army…or worse. Swiftly, he crossed the courtyard and ducked down a flight of stairs that led to the manor’s cellar. If all went according to plan, it should have been left open for him. Voices caused him to pause and duck into the shadows. Two armoured guards ambled by, completely oblivious to Vavius’s presence.

Once they were gone, Vavius turned and tried the cellar door handle. He smiled. The latch was open. The slave he had bribed the previous night had done her job well. Carefully, he opened the door and slipped inside. The cellar was dark save for a single candle casting a flickering light. Barrels and racks of wine filled the space. A flight of wide stone steps were at the far end of the room, and he made his way towards it. He kept low to the ground, keeping his footfalls light. Above him, he could hear guards patrolling. Tilting his head, he listened. Just one was in the corridor above him. He reached the bottom of the stairs and ascended quickly. There was no door blocking the stop of the stairs. Instead, there was an open archway that led into a wide carpeted corridor.

Vavius pressed himself tightly against the cold stone wall and peeked around the archway. He had been right, just one lone and bored looking guard was doing his rounds. The man was looking at a painting hanging on the wall. From his vantage spot, Vavius could see that the image was that of a beautiful brown haired lady. ‘The Baroness no doubt,’ he thought.

Darting out from the archway, he crept up behind the distracted guard and with a sharp movement wrapped his strong arms around the oblivious man’s throat. A quiet popping noise sounded as his power enhanced limbs snapped the guard’s neck with ease. Maintaining his grip, he dragged the corpse to the archway and down into the dark depths of the cellar. Vavius blew out the candle to make it harder for any curious folks discovering the body. Once the grisly deed of hiding the body was done, he hurried back upstairs and down the corridor. Turning right, he headed towards the baron’s quarters, the time he had spent pretending to be a slave had proven invaluable, he knew the manor’s layout like the back of his hand.

Encountering no more guards, he crossed a small inner courtyard that was dominated by a bubbling stone fountain. Lavender and other sweet-smelling flowers grew in borders around the courtyard’s edge adding to the splendour of the place. Anger flashed in Vavius, men like the Baron lived in luxury while countless others lived in misery and despair. He froze and listened. For a heartbeat, he thought that he’d heard soft footsteps behind him. He waited – nothing.

Quickly, he crossed the courtyard and entered the manor houses living quarters. A red carpet lined the floors, and wooden panels decorated the walls. A tapestry emblazoned with the Hesselwit crest hung from the wall, and small statues of the Hesselwit barons stood on pedestals. The arrogance of the man was breathtaking. Vavius pressed on, finally reaching the baron’s quarters. To his surprise, the door was open. Cautiously, he crept forwards and pushed the door open with the tip of his boot.

Lying on the four-poster bed that dominated the chamber was the baron, his throat slit and his eyes bulging in a death stare. Next to him was the Baroness, a deep cut across her delicate neck. The room stank of blood. The bodies were a surprise, but the man standing over them made Vavius recoil in fear.

Tall and thin with a long narrow face and dressed all in black stood a Hollowed.

“You’ve finally arrived. We were beginning to grow impatient,” the Hollowed said in a deep emotionless voice. “Were you looking for this?” it added. In its hand was a scroll. At seeing it Vavius’s heart sank.

The tall and unnaturally thin figure turned from the bodies and looked at Vavius. Just like all Hollowed he had no eyes, just black holes where the organs once were. Vavius tensed, no one had ever fought a Hollowed and lived. He turned, trying to flee, but another eyeless figure now barred the passage behind him. He’d been followed. There was no escape. He had failed.


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