Series: The Dark War Trilogy #0.5
Please excuse the awful temporary cover that doesn't even have the right pen name on it.
This is basically the prequel to The Dark War Trilogy, and I consider it so because Catessa is one of the main characters and she's a totally different person, since it's three years prior to TDWT. It could stand on its own, as could the trilogy, but I'll be publishing it before the trilogy because if you read the trilogy and then this one it gives things away, so... Yeah.
The characters are cool and I really enjoy writing them. That's the main draw of this one (or the majority of my books, actually. Or books I read. I just love characters.).
I'm currently working on line-editing what I have up to this point (fixing incorrect dialogue formatting, for instance), and then I'll work on completing the first draft, which should only be a couple thousand words more. After that I can work on editing it and getting it ready to publish later this year.Word Count: 57159
Release Date: 2018
Contributors: R.M. Archer, Author
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Catessa is an assassin living in Cron Hatal, the capital of Kaloris. When she's chosen to go on a mission to find out why the Dwarves have shut down their mines she's happy to do so.
Cordain is a bit less enthusiastic. He's just a small-town farmer and fisherman. Why would he be chosen for such an important task?
But eventually the two of them are on their way to the harsh Kor-Baen region, and when they arrive they find that more is going on than it seems.
Also in this series:
The sun was just beginning to sink when she came upon a campfire. Two men sat across from each other, one speaking and the other listening, completely absorbed in the tale.
“And that is the true tale of Rosyn Celebar,” the older man finished.
Catessa stepped into the camp, recognizing the older man as Alisander.
Alisander looked up at Catessa and set his hand on his crossed leg.
“Ah! Catessa! Welcome! You’re early.”
“So are you,” she returned.
“Yes. Young Cordain here arrived sooner than I expected, as well.”
The younger man looked up at Catessa and smiled a little. His sandy hair was tousled, and his ocean blue eyes were full of kindness.
Catessa turned back to Alisander.
“Your companion, of course,” Alisander returned, inclining his head a bit toward Cordain.
Catessa turned to Cordain again and cocked an eyebrow.
“This green bean?”
“I’ll excuse your diminutive language this once,” Alisander said. “This ‘green bean’ just so happens to be the great-great-great grandson of Rosyn Celebar, who I know you’ve heard of.”
Catessa turned back toward Alisander.
“Are you kidding? This kid doesn’t look like he’s seen a single day outside of his village.”
“Cordain is as old as you, hardly a ‘kid’, and though perhaps he hasn’t seen much of the outside world, I’m sure he has quite enough courage to make up for it. Had you been out of your city before this?”
Catessa didn’t answer, just looked Cordain over critically.
“It’s nice to meet you,” he said.
She gave a sour smile. “Charmed.”
“A pleasant one, isn’t she?” Alisander said. “Please, Catessa, have a seat. The quail here is just ready.”
Catessa sat, albeit reluctantly, between the two gentlemen, and Alisander served them each a quail on wooden plates.
“You cooked three,” Catessa remarked.
“It always pays to be prepared,” Alisander said. “Besides, I knew you wouldn’t wait.”
Catessa didn’t bother asking how he knew; he’d already shown himself to be unyielding in the information aspect. She just bit into her quail and looked the old man over.
He was dressed in a long red robe, with sleeves that were long enough to almost cover his fingers, loose enough to serve as pockets if he so wished. His legs were curled up underneath him, so she couldn’t see his shoes. She’d found you could tell a lot about a person by his shoes.
She turned her attention to Cordain. He was tanned and his arms were muscular, and he wore a blue linen shirt and pants, and his leather boots had grass and dirt on the soles, but all of it was recent. He really didn’t travel much.
“What?” Cordain asked.
“You don’t go outside much, do you?”
“I do, actually. All the time. Not usually outside the town, but I’m outdoors most of the day. Why?”
“There’s only recent dirt on your shoes.”
“I prefer going barefoot.”
“Yep,” she muttered to herself, “He’s definitely an elf.”
She took another bite of her quail.
“And you’re definitely a human,” he replied.
She looked up at him with a cocked eyebrow. He just shook his head and returned to his own quail.
Catessa turned to Alisander.
“Well you certainly chose a good companionship,” she snarked.