Swordsinger Book II [MultiFormat]
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eBook by T.L. Johnston
eBook Category: Dark Fantasy/Historical Fiction
eBook Description: Continuing the tale of Swordsinger, the elderly Duke of Dalraida sails to the Fair Isles to visit his mother, the youthful Princess Loi and the last remnants of the Sidhe Faerie on Earth. He explains that he has found an heir and confesses that he feels his time is near. Loi wonders if the heir is strong enough for the coming struggles. Back at his castle in Dalraida, Scotland, the Duke meets with the MacIains and reveals that their family has faced bands of wretched creatures time and time again throughout their history. He believes that the evil beasts are reaching out from the past to destroy all the members of his clan. Florry then meets the Duke's mother, Loi of The Fair Isles, Princess of the Sidhe Faerie, to whom she bears a startling resemblance. They develop a bond as their true purpose unfolds. The MacIains reawaken their inherited ability to time travel. Their inexperience separates them in time as they stumble through different eras. Once they master the art of travelling, they reunite during the final grand battle in Scotland. It is a desperate fight, both for their lives and for the future of the world as we know it. During combat, the Swordsinger is ultimately revealed.
eBook Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing USA LLC/Club Lighthouse Publishing, Published: 2010, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2010
2 Reader Ratings:
A BRIGHT AND SHINING boat was sailing towards the Fair Isle.
He himself had seen boats before of course. He'd seen all manner of boats--some made of tied together dead trees, some carved out of hollow tree trunks; some were tree bark, others hard old hide or thin-planked shells. Some of the crafts he'd seen over the years were paddled along with the aid of only the sailors' bare hands; others had used oars of various sorts and some had had sails, drab or colourful. Some of the sailors in those far gone boats had come to conquer, some to explore and settle; others had ventured here just out of a simple curiosity to see what lay beneath the haze on the western horizon. Some, a fortunate few, had washed up on the shores of the Fair Isle, battered by war or storm, more dead than alive. They were gifts from the sea.
He himself had seen them all, enjoyed them all, fought with some, and laughed with others. He himself had even, long ago, been curious of where they'd come from, and how they lived where they'd lived. On occasion, he had even encountered, rattling around inside his skull, dim memories of walking on their sunny hills, wading through their bright rivers and streams, and eating the salty flesh that had feasted upon their green, sun-washed fields. But the recollections were of such a long, long ago time that they seemed more dreams than memories. Now he himself lived elsewhere. He was a part of the Fair Isle. He'd grown roots.
HIS GRACE, FITZROY ALLAN MacIain, 35th Duke of Dalraida stood at the bow of his cream-coloured, schooner-rigged yacht in front of the spread of brilliant white sails. Jocko was in the stern, at the helm. The champions sat, in their man forms, at several spots amid ships, polishing their accoutrements. The sky was a brilliant blue, and the sun, bright as fire, burned in the eastern skies. To the north, south, and east, the horizon was lined with darkening clouds. To the west, the Fair Isle stood high upon its sharp rocks, behind its secrets, surrounded in mist and sea spray and the sounds of crashing surf.
As the yacht swept through the intricate passage between the jagged rocks of the island's outer reef, the Duke placed the newly repaired winged helm upon his head. The winds were gusting in cold from the east and blowing the yacht hard towards the lee shore of the Fair Isle. His Grace had wrapped himself in his thick, bright red, woollen cloak. It both protected him from the sea's chill and made him more easily seen by those of the Fair who were watching.
As the yacht broke though the surf of the reef, Jocko watched the water ahead. There were more rocks ahead just under the surface, rocks which boiled the water in a rage. To a helmsman, the sea was life and the sea was death. The sea had many colours, which themselves could lead the way: silver-white the sea as it crashed asunder on the hidden threats, deep-green the sea as it rushed between sudden sea-bottom ravines and then roiled up to smash itself to pieces on the rocky shore, dark and black the sea as it circled and swept and whirled into the holes that stabbed down deep into its pitted bed. Jocko knew the colours. Jocko knew the way. He saw a stretch of greyer water to the starboard quarter, a way ruffled by the wind, a way through the violence. He called for the mainsail to drop, and, making way under the stay-sail only, swung his helm and muttered a short prayer.
NICELY DONE, THOUGHT HE himself, a bright and shining boat, with a bold captain.
THE WAY HELD ITS own and swept the boat under and then narrowly past a three-hundred-foot cliff of limestone rock. Seabirds nested in the cracks and on the ledges of the cliff, staining its face here and there with teary streaks of white guano thousands of years thick. The yacht flowed under the cliffs, its main mast dwarfed by the Isles' tall ramparts. Once past them, Jocko saw the mouth of a bay, perhaps half-a-mile wide, open off the port bow. A white sandy beach lay in the bay's crook. The water there was mirror-smooth, the sea wind and the surf having blown themselves apart on the headland and the cliffs. Jocko swung the yacht to port, into the bay, and the stay-sail fell slack and empty.
"No motor, Jocko."
"Aye, Your Grace, no motor," he replied, adding in a mutter, "The damn thing'd never work here anyways."
The momentum of the boat carried them slowly into the bay. Looking over the side, Jocko could see bottom. It was sand, clear and white and shadowed with fish, some of them very large indeed. When the yacht was twenty yards offshore, Jocko brought the helm about. The vessel turned and lost its way. One of the champions picked up the anchor and dropped it over the side.
HE HIMSELF WATCHED AS the yachtsmen secured their boat and launched another smaller craft. He counted seven large men. Now this was beginning to stir his interest; this was hardly boring at all, in fact. One of them looked familiar. One of them looked like a face he'd seen before. One of the dream faces. The man was tall--taller than the others by a head. He could see that as they beached their launch. The tall one was dressed in the old way of a noble or one of the Fair folk, high and bright. This was interesting enough to wiggle toes over. Then he himself saw clearly the faces and manner of those on the beach and he set to quivering as if he was standing in a gale force wind.