Friday, 13 September 2013

The Last Ranger of Sarn (ED Ireland) in One Thousand Words

Ed Ireland is the featured author today on One Thousand Worlds, a site which aims to help writers promote their work. However, I'm bending the rules slightly and Ed's excerpt is not the first one thousand word of his novel The Last Ranger of Sarn, but as he says, he took "a selection from a few chapters. My writing style doesn't take off like a jet plane." 
Ed has been kind enough to offer a free copy to the first five people who would agree to write a review about the book on either Goodreads, Smashwords, Amazon or Nook. You can contact him at and he'll send a coupon for a free copy. Just list "review copy needed" in the subject line. I would be delighted if anyone who reviews The Last ranger of Sarn would agree for the review to appear on this site too.

The Last Ranger of Sarn-
Locked within the fabled Castian city of Tiran sits the Vault of Sarnallus and the Gems of Creation. Powerful orbs that can bring life or total annihilation. The King of Castia has trusted his military under the command of General Salaris Woodward to stop the advance of the undead army that comes for the treasure.
At the front of this unimaginable horror is The Black Prince, Romero Harram. After killing his father the Prince turns his eyes to the rest of his lands, Bardynn. General Merrin Jaslin, now considered a rebel leads the remaining loyal Knights of the Crescent Moon to the Pass of Sarn.
While he sits south of the pass, General Woodward sits north. With her is the Castian Militia led by Vespias Firstlight. She has been called the Hali'Khal by the Junin people...the daughter of the land who will save their people by her noble deeds. As she does this she will also save her own people from genocide.
But the prophecy calls for a terrible price to be paid before she can fulfill it. She must lose her heart. All that she was, all she is and all she can ever be must be lost.
Is the price too high? Can she overcome the heartache to bring hope to the Castian people? In this tale of power and passions, love, lust and survival can Vespias pay the toll to save her world? Ride into battle along with her and see..

“Everybody stop!” said Vespias loudly. “Listen to me! There is an alternative, just not one you will want to hear. But it must be said and discussed and agreed upon if we are to return to our normal lives!”
She waited till all the men had filed back into the room. She couldn’t bear to see the desperation in their eyes, in her father’s eyes and she knew it was time to speak. Time for action. With Bel at her side she took a spot at the head of the table and spoke in a loud and clear voice.
“You cannot do as Salaris asks” she said matter-of-factly. “Your place is here, protecting your homes and farms. But the borders must be patrolled lest the undead find them an easy passage into our forests. You need to use your next great resource. You need to use those of us who can ride and fight and stop thinking that this altercation does not affect us!”
The men mumbled and grunted their disapproval immediately. They had formed this militia to keep their families safe, not to send them to the front lines. No! they said almost in union. It was absurd! Sending children to fight a war was the last act of a desperate nation.
“Children?” she asked mockingly. “Children. You think of us as children yet we are most likely in better shape than you. Who among you can outshoot me? Which of you think you can best my brother Veron with a quarterstaff or mace? Which of you can outride my sisters on horse or horstich? And how many of you think you can out-think and out-strategize my future husband?”
Her eyes danced in the flickering light from the fireplace as she moved around the now silent group of men. Her words had stung but they also rang true.
“Don’t think too hard, any of you!” she snapped at them. “The answer is in your silence. It is in your bowed heads and slumped shoulders. You know we are not the children that you think we are or that you want us to be. Time has changed us and the times have changed us. We would enjoy nothing more than to be your children until our end days but that is not how it works. Children grow and when they do they must take their place in the village and keep it going, keep it alive and moving forward. In these dark times that means we need to mount and take our places in the ranks, doing our part to keep this world of ours safe and secure. We don’t wish to move away from you. We wish to move closer to you by being an extension of what you are, what you have taught us to be.”
The men of the militia looked at each other and in an unspoken vote they silently agreed with the young Castian that stood so arrogantly before them, her hands squarely on her hips and her eyes seeming to burn into their souls.
“I will see to it that all is made ready” she said much more softly now, “and what our plans will be. Don’t fear for us, cheer us on and make us feel as important as you have been to us all our lives. Let us take charge of our destinies now and become the next generation of Cas’votah.”
Vessy and Bel left the meeting room and went door to door calling for the young people to meet them on the next morning to discuss what was happening. After all had agreed to be there the young lovers walked slowly back to their home, back to the warmth of the fire and the soft cushions that made the chairs so wonderful to sit on. Back to the myriad smells and sounds that made it a home and not a place that one would stay on some lengthy trip or vacation.
“Vessy, I don’t like this” said Bel. “This was supposed to be a joyful time in our lives. You were supposed to be a blushing bride, not a crazed warrior.”
“I know my love” she answered softly. “I wanted us to be married more than anything in the world. But how can we be happy with all this around us? It has to end and the elders can’t end it. It falls to us.”
Bel sadly nodded his understanding and thought ahead. How many nights would see them hungry, tattered from long hours on the paths that traversed the hillsides. Cold from the rains that were sure to come as the spring came to be, dirty from the mud they would bring. How many days would see them stoic and unhappy, wishing they were back in their homes, in their overstuffed chairs, eating their oversized plates of home-cooked food and sleeping in their oversized beds. How many days and nights of hardship before the threat was gone and they were free to become the children of their homes again? How many would be able to overcome the hardships of their posts and the horrors of war and be able to be even normal again let alone children?
Vesperis thought the same things as his future son-in-law yet he knew the answer from experience. The answer was none. The moment they mounted as an armed unit would be the moment that their lives changed forever. The face of death, a friend’s or an enemy’s, will change even the most stalwart of souls. The mocking grin of death will invade the spaces that held the memories of all that made life sweet. It would invade them and tear them down piece by piece until the way there was obscured and lost. Romero would ride into their lives and the treasured memories of their times, their families and their homes would be trod under his mount. None of them would ever be able to return to it.

Where to buy The Last Ranger of Sarn

You can find out more about Ed Ireland and The Last Ranger of Sarn here:

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