Friday, May 15, 2015

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Chronicles of Acadia 1 and 2

Chronicles of Acadia 1:
Secrets of the Elders
D.M. (David Matthew) Almond

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication date: 6.4.2014
Pages: 321

After their peaceful village, Riverbell, is raided by the foul monstrous skex, brothers Logan and Corbin Walker find themselves caught in a race against time, desperate to warn the capitol before the dangerous skex arrive to wreak the same havoc upon the unsuspecting people of Fal.
            Never could they imagine that this would only be the very beginning of their unforgettable journey, when Logan is suddenly exiled from the kingdom for a crime he did not commit.  On the run, doggedly avoiding his own brother, sent to pursue the wanted criminal, can Logan Walker possibly hope to stay free long enough to unravel the Secrets of the Elders?
            And so the Fourth Age of Acadia begins...

Chronicles of Acadia 2:
Land of the Giants
D.M. (David Matthew) Almond

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication date: 3.25.2015
Pages: 557

Ages long past, forced to abandon the surface, mankind descended into the core of Acadia, fleeing impending xenocide at the hands of the cruel invading ice giants, the Jotnar.  There, under the light of the Crystal god, Baetylus, they settled a new homeland among the deep forests and wide caverns of Vanidriell. 
            Enter the Fourth Age of Acadia.
            The highly anticipated second chapter in the Chronicles of Acadia is here.  Follow the Walker brothers and their stalwart gnome companion Bipp as they journey to the surface of Acadia in search of the mysterious Isaac, the one person who may hold the key to overthrowing the dark sentient Crystal.  Along the way they will forge alliances with brave new allies and cross paths with some of the deadliest forces they have ever faced in the Land of the Giants.

Logan Walker hated the infernal surface of Acadia.  Thick, rank mud sucked at this boots as he willed his stiff legs to keep trudging through the marshlands.  He was in a bad mood, most likely due to the overpowering light of Themis, the daystar, beating down on his brow, the weight of it like ten sacks of silt piled across his back.  Logan's skin was covered with a thick sheen of sweat, and he grunted with each arching step forward through the heat.
            Or perhaps his current position was more likely a byproduct of the incessant prodding by the lizard man behind him, who seemed to deem it necessary to periodically jab him in the spine with the butt of a primitive wooden spear, despite the fact that he was willingly complying with their commands and marching through the dense jungle wetlands like a good little prisoner.
            The next time he does that I'm going to stick my fist straight down his scaly throat, Logan thought, gritting his teeth and wincing at the most recent blow.
            Another Agmawor gave Bipp an identical hit, knocking the three-foot gnome onto his hands and knees.  The diminutive gnome was barely able to hold himself up in the deep mud with his bound wrists.
            Logan's small friend was having a rough time trekking through the dense mud, his stubby legs working hard to maneuver through the marshland at the same pace as the lizard men, who were brutally pushing them to maintain their swift trek.  Mud caked Bipp's leather bracers and stained his silver hair, rivulets of it clinging to his bushy mutton chops and large, bulbous nose.  The normally jovial engineer was looking rough.
            Logan sludged over to help him out of the much before he fell over completely and drowned in the foul-smelling mud.
            As Logan helped the gnome to his feet, a sharp blow cracked against his neck.  An explosion of stars washed across his vision, knocking him a couple of steps forward.  As he regained his footing, growling like a feral beast, Bipp caught his forearm, throwing Logan a knowing look and stopping him before he could do anything rash.  Logan squared his shoulders and glared hatefully at the lizardman who stood gloating before him.
            Logan knew there was not much special about his appearance, as he looked just like most other twenty-two-year-olds hailing from his village, Riverbell, in the underground kingdom of New Fal.  He stood five-foot-eleven, with dark, walnut hair that he kept cropped short and wild, looking as if he had just rolled out of bed.  His normally pale skin was a deep shade of raw pink, unused to the scorching heat of Themis, the daystar, which beat down on the surface world.  Themis' light was so bright that his crystal clear emerald-colored eyes stung even under the magical dweomer placed over them.
            He was pretty typical for your everyday, run-of-the-mill villager, with one exception, which was his mechanical fist.  It was crafted from adamantine and gifted to him by the Council of Twelve to replace the hand he had lost defending the capitol from an invading horde of skex.  That was before he was setup for murder and had to flee his homeland.
            Logan thought for a fleeting moment about ramming that fist straight through the lizard man's filthy muzzle.  But his friend Nero, the only other member of his party to be caught by the lizardmen, shook his head slightly, silently reminding Logan that they were far outnumbered and grossly under-equipped for such a daring move.
            Logan knew his companion was correct, that even as fast as he was, there was no way he could take out enough of the creatures before they gutted him like a pig, or even worse, harmed his friends.  Wading through the mire, with poison-tipped spars aimed their way, his companions were in no position to mount an offense.
            The Agmawor commanded him in its sickly, guttural voice, motioning for the soft-skin to keep moving.  Logan looked deep into the stinking lizard's yellow-slit eyes and curled his lips, but turned to comply somehow, earning what he assumed was a laugh from their captors, rows of needle sharp teeth clicking together and tongues slithering from between quivering, scaly lips.
            From the corner of his eye, Logan looked for Tiko, his Agma companion, who he assumed was following them from high up in the trees.  The Agma was nowhere to be seen, which Logan knew was a god thing.  He could only h ope that his brother Corbin was having better luck with Kyra and Stur.  Picturing them in his mind's eye, Logan wondered where they were at that moment and whether they were safe.
            Bipp groaned as they resumed their trek through the mud.  Logan could not help looking at his companion and wondering how they got themselves into this mess in the first place.  Only hours before, everything was working out so well, yet here they were, trudging through the Sunken Marshes of Ithiki on the surface of Acadia, prisoners of the cannibal Agmawor tribe, being led the gods knew where.  The deeper he thought on it, the further his mind wandered back, to the beginning of their journey.  Back to before they set out for the surface of Acadia.

About the author:
D.M. Almond has been working in the restaurant and IT industry for the past 19 years.  Over the last two, he has made time to focus on his true passion, writing stories.  D.M. grew up in the small upstate NY city, Utica (home to such rare delicacies as Tomato Pie, Utica Greens, Pusties, and Chicken Riggies), an attended "Buff State" in the amazing city Buffalo NY, where he would eventually return to run his bakery cafe, meet some of the best people in the world, and fall in love with his wife Julie.  D.M. currently lives in beautiful Monkton, Vermont, and would love to hear from you...

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