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Fire of the Forebears
(Heritor’s Helm, #1)
Publication date: February 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pitted against one another, with the people and country they love in jeopardy, the daughter of a deserter and the son of the king have a chance to fulfill their forebears ’legacy—or destroy it entirely.
Twisted monsters called saja lurk in the shadows of the mountains. Rumors say the Fidelis, human wielders of an ancient elemental magic, again walk the plains. Not all in Avaron believe, and not all welcome the return of legend.
Kura’s a skeptic. But, she’ll cross and befriend centaurs, talking animals, and worse to save her family after the rebellion mistakes her for the land’s prophesied savior. And, while he’d rather negotiate with rebels than fight them, Triston can’t ignore prophecy. That was the sham his father used to steal the crown in the first place.
Over a century ago, their ancestors sailed the oceans in search of peace and died as heroes fighting for it. But heroes—and villains—aren’t always what they seem to be.
Inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s grounded characters and JRR Tolkien’s sense of wonder, Fire of the Forebears is a fantasy for fans who think a dual perspective adventure about the fate of one nation might still be pretty epic.
The woman smiled. She almost seemed friendly; she was the only one in this forsaken place to understand it. Pain shot through Kura’s arm and she cried out, grasping her saja wound. Her own pulse beat beneath her hand.
“The more you resist, the more it will hurt.”
Kura locked eyes with the woman, her voice a whispered breath. “What?”
The woman’s blood-red lips twisted into a wide grin. “Have they really taught you nothing? There was a time when men quaked in fear at the sight of me.”
Kura grit her teeth against the pain. “Am I dead?”
“Oh no, pet, you are very much alive.” The woman lifted a slender hand, and the campfire fell to mere coals; the searing heat leapt into Kura’s veins. She screamed.
“Give me the sword, girl.” The woman seemed so calm, but her simple command carried the force of a storm.
Kura shook her head, limbs trembling.
“The sword!” the woman repeated, flinging up her hand.
Fire surged through Kura’s veins, fracturing her natural wall of stubbornness, and she clamped down on another scream. What did she care about the sword?
The pain vanished. Kura fell onto her hands and knees in the dirt, coughing as she drew in ragged breaths. A bird called overhead.
Just a bird? Of all things? She almost laughed.
The fog swirling among the spires receded to reveal a scraggly dead tree a short distance away, with a bird perched on the top branch. It was the size and color of a raven, except for the spots of white—like stars in a dark sky—scattered across its chest. The bird gave another call, the sound a harsh chatter, and flapped its wings to reveal the golden feathers on its underside. It was a flicker.
The woman hissed. “Out of so many, you come for her?”
Kura struggled to her knees, but her limbs didn’t support her own weight. The woman turned back to her, brushing aside her displeasure with a grin. “Go on. Fight.”
Kura tried to stand, but her feet slid on the dry dirt.
“Fight with all the strength you have.”
Kura fell back, chest heaving for air. The woman held a staff, a long wooden pole that held a single-edged blade—one straight and the other curved—at each end.
“That way my victory will be all the more sweet.”
With a shout, Kura ripped her sword from its scabbard and met the woman’s advance. That rusted blade clashed with the sharpened staff, the impact reverberating through the stone spires as a flash of white sparks lit up the darkness. For just that moment the woman’s face was illuminated, and for just that moment her smile faltered.
A goat farmer, engineering graduate, first degree black belt, and medical student, the one thing Lauren Buck always knew she wanted to be was an author. The first stories she ever wrote, as a grade-schooler, were about super heroes. But, raised on a steady diet of Lewis, Tolkien, and Sanderson, it was only a matter of time before she set her sights on epic fantasy.
When not writing, working, or studying, she enjoys drawing, playing the guitar, traveling, as well as outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking. Sometimes you can find her hanging out on Twitter, probably with a German shepherd or two sleeping at her side.
According to Myers-Briggs Lauren is an INTJ, and country roads will always take her home to wild and wonderful West Virginia.