Here is an excerpt from The Gathering of The U'Narai, which you can purchase using any of the links below.

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The rains fell heavily on the mountains of Kandar, pelting the land with the savage force of an angry fist. It was a bellowing monstrous rain with only one thought on its mind – destruction.

Rocks were torn from their earthy beds and sent plummeting down the mountainside. Trees, having stood for thousands of years, were wrenched from the ground, roots screaming in desperate agony, only to be hurled away on careless winds.

A fierce rampaging storm, it struck the land repeatedly, heeding nothing standing in its path.

Down in Kandar Valley, vast swatches of grass were ripped up and flung in all directions. The gaping mud holes that remained became miniature lakes of slow-moving brown sludge. The wind continuously altered direction, blowing one way then the other, up and down and all around. It seemed to lack any real control of its own, as though an unseen hand manoeuvred it. Its direction changed again and it clamoured in protest as it came howling back up the mountain.

The rains became even more torrential. Each droplet of water possessed by a ferocious energy that slashed and stabbed at the Earth, like tiny daggers. The valley was flooded in seconds. Those creatures unfortunate enough to be caught in the deluge were drowned and swept away, bodies never to be found even by the scavenger birds. Silver lightning streaked across the dark sky, illuminating the land for miles around for the briefest of moments – and by that light could be seen the foreboding megalithic structure that was Castle Kandar.

Castle Kandar was black, impossibly so – made from the rare mineral called jet. It seemed comprised of darkness itself rather than brick or stone, and stood taller than anything else ever built. It towered up into the sky, reaching for the very stars. Anyone standing at its base looking up could not see its top for the clouds. It was a menacing building of twisted proportions.

Spanning an area of thirteen acres it stood over two thousand feet high, and each of its four corners boasted a tower carved into the likeness of a great king. Each was dressed in a long flowing robe encrusted with jewels, and swords were held in their giant hands. The blades, a thousand feet in length, pointed downwards – the tips resting on the rocks. The crowns the kings wore made up the roof of each tower. Every jewel of their robes was a window that opened up into a room of extensive proportions, and protruding from each window was a jet-black stone balcony with spiked railing.

It was not a comforting sight to be held in the light of the moon. A lost and weary traveller would never consider resting within its walls. Unnatural forces had designed it and still lingered within.

After standing for four thousand years, the castle had taken on a life of its own. It was no longer simply just a residence. It had become an evil, pulsating presence, overlooking all that lay beneath it with a cold eye and unforgiving heart.

Standing proudly, framed in the highest window in the north tower, was the creator of the castle and the storm howling around it.

He was a lean figure of a man with dark, piercing eyes and hair blacker than a raven’s feathers. He had a hawk-like nose and a cruel mouth, which was quick to smile at the miseries of others. He wore a long purple tunic made from the skin of a once rare (and now extinct) bird and a blood-red cloak crafted by a blind witch. Its original purpose had been to protect its wearer from all known diseases. Something its currant wearer had no fear of but, liking the feel of it, he wore it often.

He gazed critically through the glass, watching the storm. He had brought into being so that he could better shape the land to his own desires. Possessing complete control over the wind and the rain, he hurled them about and around. The wind hacked away at the landscape and the rain washed away everything that displeased him. His eyes shifted back and forth, taking in the sight lying beneath him.

He frowned into the darkness.

At the very edge of his vision, a few trees continued to stand. Their presence stuck out awkwardly in the bare landscape, resisting his assault and angering him with their insolence.

The winds shrieked louder and the trees began to quiver. They were old trees, stubborn. They clung to the ground with all their might, shaking and stretching, while all the while their leaves were mercilessly ripped away. Eventually the man’s strength won out and they were torn loose from the mud, and heaved away to vanish into the night. His lips curved upwards. Much better.

“M-M-My lord?”

The man turned, the displeasure of being disturbed clearly written on his face. “Why do you interrupt me at this time, Danarl?”

“The, the L-Lady Celestia is here as you a-asked,” the man answered, shrinking back into the open doorway.

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Choose this link to purchase a paperback copy from the Lulu Publishing website.

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Choose any of these links below to purchase a Kindle copy.

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