Cover Reveal for City of Clocks, a Traditional Fantasy Novel

(c) RJ Blain - Cover Art by Chris Howard

(c) RJ Blain – Cover Art by Chris Howard

When the Great Clock doesn't ring in the new year, Aerrik's life is turned upside down. He's separated from Mya, a fellow escapee from the Duke's usurpation of the Arasoran throne. His clock is broken, and without it, he faces the purge. Someone wants him dead or alive.

Worse still, his past comes back to haunt him.

Without Aerrik, however, Arasanor is doomed to fall. However, with the very land itself turning on the struggling island, saving them from the Duke's reign may become the least of his troubles…

~~*~~

Legends and Myths exist in all cultures. Some turn their legends into religion. Others use it as a warning to the generations to come.

A few recognize the truth for what it is.

Lost Cities, such as Atlantis, the sunken city of Alexandria (Egypt), Port Royal (Jamaica), Dwarka (India), and the pyramids of Yonaguni-Jima (Japan) have captured the imaginations of the young and old alike.

Some — like Atlantis — are unproven myths, mysteries that encourage many to look beyond what can be seen and felt.

Others are a testament to the terrible power of time and nature.

Arasanor is one of these places. But which is it? Myth and legend? An unsolved mystery? Or is it something far more wonderful and terrible?

~~*~~

In the far north to the east, there used to be a city. When the Rift was born, and the lands were torn asunder, it vanished.

Some men say if you sail to the edge of the mists surrounding the Shattered Shores, you can catch a glimpse of Arasanor in her full glory.

But beware, traveller. Only the brave, the foolish, or the mad go to the lands even the Lady of Light has forsaken.

~ The Myths and Legends of Alskoran

~~*~~

Aerrick didn’t remember escaping the lord and his men, nor did he recall eluding their hold on him. The weight of the pocket clock wasn’t in his hand. He didn’t remember putting it away, but when he patted his pocket, he felt its shape through his clothes.

“Grab him and get out of here before the fools riot,” Lord Selerthen snapped.

Aerrik gasped in recognition of the words the Duke’s man had said but moments before. Hands reached for him — Eliss’s hands — but he wasn’t where she was reaching.

She snarled out a curse and leaped for him. “Slippery runt.”

Aerrik ran without knowing or caring where he went. It didn’t matter, so long as he escaped so he could find Mya and free her. With the lord’s snide words still ringing in his ears, the Palace perched on the edge of the sea would be the first place he searched.

Assuming he escaped the grasp of the Duke’s men again.

He careened around a corner and collided with several people. They cursed at him, to cry out when those pursuing him ran to catch up. Aerrik darted down an alley.

“Head him off, Eliss!” he heard Lord Selerthen shout.

The narrow passage opened up to the too familiar market by the sea. Muttering a curse of his own, he sprinted across the square to the promenade.

The slap of feet followed close behind him.

Aerrik dove through the bushes and tore down the slope. Mud and loose stones slipped out from beneath this feet. He slid down the hill, twisting around in his effort to slow his descent. Above him, Eliss shrieked. Moments later, she tumbled down after him.

The soles of his boots slammed into a boulder at the water’s edge. His teeth rattled from the impact and his knees were driven up to his chest. The air rushed out of his lungs in a pained gasp. Eliss crashed into his back. The force of their collision pinned him to the rock. She let out a groan, her hands pressing against his spine while her knee jabbed him in the ribs.

“Curse you, runt,” Eliss gasped.

Bracing against the rock, he shoved back as hard as he could. Eliss cried out. Before she could secure a hold on him, Aerrik scrambled over the boulder.

The waves crashed over the shoreline and drenched him. White water churned below, revealing worn stones and thick seaweed when the waves receded.

Several men in the Lord’s black eased down the hill. Lord Selerthen stood in a gap between the bushes, arms crossed over his chest. A mocking smile spread across the lips of the Duke’s man.

“Well done, boy. Ah, Aerrik, isn’t it? How unfortunate for you, that you share names with that fostered brat. You’ll be coming with us now. You’ve nowhere left to run. You’ve made this a lot harder for yourself than necessary. Unless, of course, you’re hiding something.”

Eliss got to her feet with the help of one of the other men, and she glared up at him. “I’ll get you for that,” she promised.

“Enough, Eliss,” Lord Selerthen said, pausing for a long moment before speaking again. “Well, boy? Are you going to cooperate or not?”

Aerrik swallowed, drew a deep breath, and jumped into the sea.

… Coming Soon in 2014.

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