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Shadow Walker

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : M. Garnet

ISBN :978-1-4874-4158-6

Page :229

Word Count :72331

Publication Date :2024-06-14

Series : #

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Shadow Walker (prc) , Shadow Walker (pdf) , Shadow Walker (mobi) , Shadow Walker (epub)

Category : Mainstream Fiction , Fantasy

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-4158-6

Among the dark halls of castles and the magic of mysterious forests, a young warrior learns at an early age how to use shadows to be his friend.

Mistreated by his family and sent as an insult to a faraway Queen, a young warrior discovers a patron he would never have expected—one who trains him and leads him to greatness as the Queen encourages him to walk in the shadows to learn the secrets of the magic around him.  Who would have told him that he could even find love in his own darkness, within the hidden shades around him in these ancient times, where he shadow-walks to help or destroy those around the Queen and gains his own honor.

The Warlord was a fearsome sight, broad shoulders with scars and tattoos to match the many weapons on his body. His whole goal was to intimidate the small dark-eyed woman sitting upon the throne he wanted.

Aishe glared down at the warlord and said one simple word. "No." 

She waited a moment and then added some more words. "I am not going to marry you. Now put your weapons away and get your men off this compound."

Justus stood at one side with a group of young men and women who had been told to wait and be quiet while the Queen finished her business and had time for their presentation. They were all amazed at the dark-haired woman who sat on the throne and turned away a suitor.

Like those in his group, he was all eyes and learning. Unlike the others, there was anger in his muscular movements, as he did not consider this an honor to be sent from faraway lands to serve the Black Queen.

Among the many tokens that the scattered northern Lombards sent to the Dicia were extra young warriors. Within the warlord camps every few years, it was traditional to send some of their own youthful combatants as a tribute to the seat of the leader of the Lombards. This was the giant Citadel of the Dicia.

How and why these trainees were selected was up to the local warlord. From a smaller camp that needed to ensure the help and protection of the Citadel, they would choose their best fighter to impress the Black Queen and her Commander of the Troops.

For some, there was a need to have a favorite son to receive further training from the best troops within the Lombard districts. Yet with most, it was to receive recognition from the Black Queen and her advisors.

Justus was here because his whole family hated him and his powers. He should be in training as a wizard, but they would not accept that from a fourth son, nor would they pay such a price when they had a first son to adorn and set up with weapons and train for war. 

There was another problem with Justus. He had brown eyes with a touch of green. Girls said they were like the forest in fall. Everyone in the Lombard race had light color in their hair and blue in their eyes. Justus had eyes of a different shade that did not match the family heritage.

His mother said he was of the outer wooded area and was blessed with such eyes, but his father said he was just unacceptable. His older brothers teased him and called him weird until he grew broader and taller than them. He soon was able to outfight them.

When they took him down in a group, he waited and stomped on them when he caught each of them alone. They were all smart enough not to tell their father as they learned to avoid the young brother who’d grown above their own short stature.

The vote to send him to the Citadel became unanimous when he slept with his oldest brother's betrothed. The warlord forbade a death challenge and sent the disgraced girl back to her parents with her bride price. He gave Justus the minimum survival gear. Justus was then off without a mount to the Citadel as a lowly servant to a damn female, no matter that people called her Queen.

At least he was impressed when she faced up to the Denmore Warlord. The Denmores were one of the stronger warrior groups and had fought a lot of wars in the past.

The shock was that there was a lot of business to be taken care of after the Commander's troops escorted the troublemaker from the room. There were other petitioners, and there were the volunteer gifts that involved some young people like Justus. 

But the woman stood up from the throne and left. There was a lot of noise after she had departed, as it seemed everyone had a question or an opinion, until the Commander again took to the top step.

Looking around he said nothing until there was silence. "Visitors, there is food outside the main kitchen to the east side of the Citadel in the compound. Petitioners, talk to the Priest's aide at the door and she will put you on a list for tomorrow." 

At last his piercing blue eyes were on Justus's group. "New volunteers. The Queen will welcome you another day. For now, you will follow my Third, and he will take you to the barracks. There is still plenty of daylight, so no need to waste time. You can start workouts now and eat later. Maids and youths, see that everyone is out and clean up this large room." With that, the Commander in his splendid uniform turned and went behind the throne to follow in the direction of the Queen.

As people scattered, a serious man in a plain dark uniform approached them and in a rough voice told them to follow him. He marched them out at a fast clip, and a couple of people had trouble keeping up, with all their belongings and weapons. Now Justus was almost grateful that his father had sent him off with a bare minimum such as a sword, a knife, and spare clothes.

Justus didn't mind the travel, as he’d slept on farms and eaten rabbits and squirrels and fresh vegetables. He washed in streams, and the one time two men stopped him, claiming they wanted a toll, he took them down.

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Tags: Mainstream, Fantasy