The Heroes of Valmar: Book 1

Gwendolyn and the Seeds of Destiny, Chapter One

Prologue: Childeric's Curse

The world was once filled with monsters. At least, that’s what you would call them if you saw them today. They weren’t the imaginary monsters that some children (and even adults) fear may be hiding under beds. Nor did they delight in making strange noises from behind closed doors. No, these creatures had grander ambitions for they lived in a grander age—an age defined by hardship, sacrifice, and above all, courage.

Some of these monsters were good and some were evil. Many of them, like us, were a mixture of both. If they differed from you and me in an important way, however, it would be this: they didn’t doubt for a moment who or what they were or whether or not they belonged in the world. They did not spend their nights, as some do, doubting their purpose, their worth, or their way of life. These creatures simply acted according to their nature. If that made them more fortunate than we are—or less so—you will have to decide for yourself.

Continue reading

The Heroes of Valmar: Book Two

Aethelred and the Wand of Woe, Chapter One

Chapter 1: The Steadfast Lady

A tall, red-headed boy smiled as he ran across the beach. Following the gentle slope of the sand down to the water, he turned and glanced over his shoulder. A few seagulls loitered among the piles of seaweed that had washed ashore, feasting on a cloud of insects that clung to the long, brownish-green strands. He saw nothing else. Then, laughing, he kicked off his shoes and plunged into the surf. Wiping the saltwater from his eyes, he squinted and looked back at the shore. His smile faded, replaced by a puzzled expression. The gulls were still there, but he had been expecting something else. Still treading water, he looked up and down the coast where the cliffs, sheer and white, bordered the narrow beach.

Suddenly, a long, dark shadow fell across his face. He turned to see a dragon rising from the waves, the water streaming from the beast’s green scales. The boy screamed and dove back beneath the water, trying desperately to escape. But it was too late.

Continue reading

The Heroes of Valmar: Book Three

Monsters of the North, Chapter One

Prologue: Edubard’s legacy

Asmodeus opened his eyes and stared at the cave’s icy ceiling. Something was wrong.

There were men walking in the snow on the earth’s surface. He could hear them calling to one another, their deep voices muffled by the layers of rock and ice that had hidden his lair for so long. He did not know how they had found him and his sister this deep underground. Nor did it matter now. The language, plain and blunt, was unmistakable.


Quieting his mind, he closed his eyes again and listened more closely. He felt the soft reverberations of footsteps on the tundra above. There were many of them, at least twenty. The voices betrayed a sense of urgency, excitement—and fear.

Asmodeus was used to inspiring fear in other living things. He smiled, shifting his weight...

Continue reading