Brave Men Die
Book 1 of 3
by Dan Adams
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Part one of an exciting epic fantasy series written by a new voice in Australian fantasy.
Castor and Pollux Fallon are members of the Buckthorne military, and have been since their mother handed the unruly little bastards into the care of the Baron after their father’s death.
When the Kyzantine Empire attacks the Murukan outposts in the Callisto Mountains the brothers answer the call to war. Behind the front-line battle scenes are brutal assassinations, political backstabbing and the re-emergence of a dark power long thought eradicated from the land. the conflict escalates, all the while forcing each brother to make another difficult decision between sacrifice and duty until the day that the toll is unbearable … and there is only one type of sacrifice left.
In the vein of Mark Lawrence and Peter V Brett, this is an exciting new name in medieval epic fantasy.
Riding over the loose sun-dried dirt, Volans kicked up dust as he rode back along the column. There had been little rain since the beginning of summer and the hardened travel road had become brittle and cracked. Volans’ face was covered in dust and his sweat had smudged it in. He looked over the faces of the unit as he went past. The men mainly looked casual, but under the bored expressions were men willing to receive and carry out any of his orders. He continued riding until he found the two men he was looking for.
A smile formed on his parched lips. Volans watched as the faces of the two young men turned sour. Castor appeared to take it to heart, his sullen expression revealing his opinion for only the briefest of moments before control returned. Argol on the other hand was furious. He muttered something so low under his breath that Volans could only make out some key words, not appropriate language to be directed at a superior officer.
‘What else do you want us to do?’ Argol asked, highly suspicious and aggravated at Volans’ arrival and not at all worried about letting it show.
‘Lieutenant,’ added Castor.
‘Hydrus has a lovely job for you two.’
Castor looked at Argol and raised an eyebrow. ‘And what does it involve?’
‘You two get to ride down the Trasken road and act as decoys.’
‘Sitting targets? No fair!’ exclaimed Argol.
‘Everyone else will ride cross country. Either you will draw them out or we will flush them out.’ Volans remained rigid, trying to press on the youngsters the seriousness of the situation.
For a brief moment Volans wondered if they would disobey him. Castor and Argol were his closest friends within the unit but he drew a fine line when they were on duty and he was their superior.
Fate stepped in. Castor nodded his head in acceptance and started to ride off. Argol sucked in his gut and puffed out his chest before audibly exhaling. ‘It’s all good mate. We know where the orders came from.’
Volans turned and rode about twenty paces behind Castor and Argol. They sat straight and tall in their saddles, even amongst the sniggering and laughter from the rest of the Nails. Since the rest of the unit was older they seemed to enjoy the novelty of youth, and when those two got the shit jobs they couldn’t help but smile, the tension between Hydrus and those two obvious to all. Argol and Castor never returned the unflattering remarks. As they passed Hydrus the boys both saluted, mocking Hydrus and his orders. Volans glanced at Hydrus. His face displayed no sign of offence, his lips remaining a hard, straight line.
With big smiles the boys dug in their heels and rode off.
As Volans pulled up at the front of the company next to Hydrus, it occurred to him that neither Castor or Argol were part of Hydrus’ loyal followers. Castor, having grown up and tutored with him, thought of him more as a sibling, an annoying, snobbish one at best. As for Argol, Hydrus was just another competitor who was slightly older and lucky enough to have a better station in life. They respected him and grudgingly followed his orders, but when the opportunity presented itself they followed their own agenda. Well, more so Argol’s. Volans smiled and Hydrus raised an eyebrow at the sudden shift in attitude. Volans shrugged it off and regained his composure. Those two were not Hydrus’ men. They were his.
Dan Adams is a Sydney-based writer. When he’s not penning kick ass war stories, he’s working on his guns – the arm variety, rather than the weapons featured so prominently in his books. He loves slushies and always finds himself climbing too many stairs on Wednesdays.
Twitter at @DanAdamsWriter
NOTE: BOOK IS 99¢
Dan will be awarding an eCopy of Brave Men Die to 3 randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.