Publication date: March 17th 2021
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Young Adult
“So often it’s the forgotten who possess the power to change the world.”
When an attempt is made on the life of Ashara, Keeper of Yurr, his young, hapless advisor Edvar must uncover and stop those behind it.
With enemies in the capital city and the belligerent Tesh, Keeper of neighbouring nation Karrabar stirring trouble in the Borderlands, can Edvar hold together Ashara’s brittle reign?
The troubles ripple throughout Yurr, affecting an ancient race of people known as the Amast, who in their time of utmost need, turn to pariah Isy for salvation. Rejected by society, kith and kin, can Isy guide the Amast to safety during the greatest turmoil Yurr has known since the War of the Damned?
Pariah’s Lament will take you on a rollercoaster of an adventure ‘that will keep you spellbound as you traverse the world alongside Isy and Edvar’ (Books Behind The Title). And along the way you’ll experience ‘intense fighting scenes, a little romance and flawed characters’ (Sarah Lillian Books).
If you love to explore fantasy worlds, this book won’t disappoint. Part of a shared universe populated by other authors, the setting in Pariah’s Lament has proven a huge hit with readers, with some praising the ‘insane level of detail’ (The Book Suite) and vividness of its descriptions.
Like a flock of dive-bombing gulls, the great stones of the Yurrish trebuchets and catapults twisted and turned in the air. One jagged chunk struck the bow of a Karraban galley and splinters and shards burst forth to a chorus of cracks and screams. Another great boulder obliterated the masthead of a nearby ship, hurling those upon the deck overboard.
More missed than struck. The yellow tide did not falter.
Driven forward by oars, the Karraban fleet ate up the water, moving in a diagonal line. The trebuchets were taking an age to reload. From his vantage point, Jem could see those on the quay hurrying to winch back the catapults. At the sound of a frantic horn, the arms of the catapults were unleashed and clusters of iron balls, stones and rocks rained down on those ships leading the Karraban charge, puncturing hulls, sails and decks.
Still they came.
The trebuchets, ranges adjusted, loosed again and once more struck a destructive blow. The Karrabans still persisted. Yurrish archers upon the quay walls unleashed their first volley. Unfortunate rowers upon the open decks screamed, and the momentum of a number of ships waned, oars falling slack or tangling with others. One talented, or lucky, archer struck a helmsman and the galley veered into another, scraping its side and snapping its oars, and, no doubt, the arms of a few oarsmen too.
The Karrabans answered with arrows of their own, their archers placed in crow’s nests and platforms built amongst the rigging. The air quickly grew thick with darts. The persistent shouts and cries of men were incrementally drowned out by the great crashes of stone against wood as the loads of catapults and trebuchets fell. The frenetic scene around the quay wall absorbed Jem’s attention. Creeping into the top of his vision, looming behind the chaos, came the first of the great galleons. Its rowers slowed, turned portside, level with the quay gate.
“Sir, the galleon carries the thunder. You must stop it!” Jem shouted.
Gundar looked to where he pointed and nodded. He dispatched messengers to the quay and artillery stations. Jem spotted hatches opening on the portside of the ship. Catapults continued to fire at the galleys, though some quick-thinking engineers had turned their aim to the galleon. Their loads fell short. The trebuchets were still reloading. They were the only ones who had a hope of hitting it, if any of their operators had the presence of mind to know where to aim.
One by one, their great wooden arms swung forwards. Huge rocks hung in the air like eagles. Everyone upon the wall had their eyes upon them, hoping they struck, willing them to do so, and despairing as they watched each one splash harmlessly into the water.
Richie Billing writes all kinds of stories, but mostly fantasy fiction. His tales often explore real-world issues, zooming in on his characters and their troubles.
His short fiction has been widely published, with one story adapted for BBC radio. And his debut novel, an epic fantasy called Pariah’s Lament, was published by Of Metal and Magic Publishing in March 2021.
Richie also hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers ’Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his acclaimed craft book, A Fantasy Writers ’Handbook.
When not writing, Richie works as an editor and digital marketer and teaches creative writing both online and in his home city of Liverpool.
Most nights you can find him up into the early hours scribbling away or watching the NBA.
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