Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Quest of Fire: Succession & The Gathering Dark by Brett Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOKS
Series: Quest of Fire #0.5
Author: Brett Armstrong
Publisher: Expanse Books
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy
Son of the Northern Realm’s Defender, raised among the dwarfs of Ordumair, Meredoch was anticipated to succeed his father. Some whispered he would bring the longed-for peace between Ordumair and their ancient foe, Ecthelowall. All of that changes when Ordumair’s Thane is killed and Meredoch and his family are exiled. From prestige to poverty, the young boy must chart a new course.
As the years pass and the idol that was his father’s legacy tarnishes, his past threatens to resurface. An artifact of immeasurable worth to Ordumair is found and if recovered by the cruel Elder Ulster it means disaster for those Meredoch cares about. Battling creatures he believed only myths and racing Ulster’s minions to the prize, Meredoch must face the truth of his place in the world and claim his right of succession.
Meredoch ran over hills and alongside the River Orthall for many miles, pursued by Ulster’s men. Even taking the circuitous route and sticking to the wilderness, Meredoch barely outdistanced them. Without his horse or Spiritsword, he could scarcely defend himself. Forage, hide, dash out under cover of night and well into the next day. Over and over.
Cresting the last hill between himself and the sanctuary of Estonbury, Meredoch’s heart sank. A group of seven of Ulster’s thugs waited outside the smooth, creamy walls of the sprawling city. Or so he guessed. They wore dark cloaks and bore postures of those in wait. In wait for him.
“All right then.”
Chewing at the mint leaves in his mouth, Meredoch spat them out and downed the last of the blackberries he’d scavenged. If this was going to be his last stand, he would make it count. Whoever felled Sir Meredoch MacCowell would do so only with great struggle.
The open rolling landscape around Estonbury provided no cover. Surely the heptad spotted him. None of them moved to intercept, not even as he closed in the last ten yards. Had he been wrong about them?
As if summoned by his thoughts, the cloaked men advanced as one.
Meredoch’s measured pace came to an abrupt halt. His short-lived relief coursed away in a rush, leaving him dizzy. He could not win this fight. Armed, unarmed. They had numbers and weren’t ravaged by exhaustion and exposure. His fingers fumbled and found the Signet of Thanes. After they murdered him, they would no doubt find it.
The group neared him now.
He pushed down the ring and dropped into a defensive stance. Drinking in the cool evening air, he bolstered himself for the fight of his life, his last. “Take me if you will. But know that my only aim was the Thane’s peace.”
All seven figures halted. Tall for dwarfs, most probably mercenaries hired by the elder. At least he could die knowing it would cost Elder Ulster a hefty sum to get his revenge.
“Did you leave from Ordumair in peace?” one of the hooded men asked.
What an odd question. Did they not recognize him? “I did. Thane Duncoin knows of Elder Ulster’s treachery.”
∗ ∗ ∗
Title: The Gathering Dark
Series: Quest of Fire #1
Author: Brett Armstrong
Publisher: Expanse Books
Release Date: June 24, 2020
Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy
Jason is an expert at running from his past. But when it catches up, he finds himself hiding in a peculiar inn listening to a tale from centuries past.
The story is Anargen’s, a teen who is pulled from all he loves to follow his oaths of loyalty to the fabled King of the Realms. Together with his mentor, Cinaed, he rides north on a special quest to mediate peace talks between ancient foes—the men of Ecthelowall and the dwarfs of Ordumair. Nothing goes as planned. Many on both sides of the dispute despise Anargen’s Order. Worse, an arcane evil has returned to the North. This “Grey Scourge” seeks to ruin the peace talks and ensure a lost treasure held by the dwarfs is never found by those for whom it is meant.
As Anargen’s story unfolds, Jason begins to wonder whether it is truly just a fable. He soon finds himself drawn into the conflict Anargen faced. A battle which has shaped and can destroy his world.
Anargen gasped, “Iaegon!” Without looking, he tried to follow after and crashed into Tengrath, who had moved ahead of him to maintain the perimeter.
This time Tengrath took a swing with his short sword, a kindness as his axe in the other hand could have made contact, and bellowed, “Fool! Hold your place or do me the courtesy of feeding yourself to those beasts farther away.”
There was no time to bicker. Anargen side-stepped the little fire spit of an Ord and plunged his Spiritsword forward. This forced the beast ahead of him to shift out of the way.
Anargen was a blur. The teen felt himself move faster than he understood possible. He made the distance seemingly in three strides where scores were required. Reaching the keep just in time, he grabbed Iaegon by the arm and spun the young Ord back and away from the door. “No,” he ordered.
Iaegon looked bewildered more than anything and couldn’t quite form a response. A howl from all too close wrenched Anargen’s attention elsewhere. His original foe, flanked by two newly arrived beasts, was stalking towards them. At his back, Anargen also heard the doors to the keep swing shut, and a loud thump indicated the door had been barred from inside.
“Cowards,” Iaegon muttered. “I tried to tell —”
“Run, now,” Anargen cut him off and shoved the Ord away. He had just enough time to leap off the keep’s dais himself as one monster crashed head first into the doors and almost battered them down.
Grasping the lad’s wrist, Anargen sprinted for the entry to the Fortress. Once more he ran faster than any time in his life but not nearly as fast as he had alone. Whether because of Iaegon’s added weight or something else, he knew he was only just keeping ahead of the werebeasts.
Caeserus and Terrillian were the last of the rearguard and already at the bottom of the stairs leading to the doors of the Fortress. They waved and shouted something Anargen couldn’t hear.
Three steps from the top stair, Anargen heard a whisper, more like a shout. He slung Iaegon forward to the stairs, spun and jabbed his Spiritsword forward. The werebeast crashed into Anargen like a boulder coming down the mountainside, and Anargen for a brief second was flying off his feet, his whole world formed of the beast’s fur and snow and the fire burning away at both. Then he crashed to the ground, and he felt the weight of the thing smashing him harder into the stones than he thought possible. Briefly the world lost focus. He bounced once, twice, and then skittered to a stop, pinned under the monster.
Lying there, only half-conscious, Anargen blinked, trying to see around him. To keep alert. His life depended on it and though he knew it, he didn’t think he could get up. Pain radiated all over. Holding on to consciousness felt like he was trying to wade through neck-deep mud. How long would it be till the monsters were on him?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(1) winner will receive a story inspired prize package including:
• One copy of The Gathering Dark and Succession (Winner’s choice print or e-book)
Custom signed bookplates for each if print chosen
• One copy of Wardrobes, Wizards, and Halflings: A Faith in Fiction Devotional (Winner’s choice print or e-book)
• Two pieces of book swag (winner’s choice from bookswag pics)
• Flash Drive with Digital print of previously unreleased The Gathering Dark artwork, MP4 of Quest of Fire’s theme music “Lament for Father” and Digital poster “The Making of Wirgerd” describing the visual and story development of Succession’s monstrous villain!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 26, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 2, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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