Hunter of the Horde: The Broken Key #2 [NOOK Book]

Overview

Riyan, Chad, and Bart continued their quest with the aid of their newfound companion, Kevik. Recently bereft of his master, Kevik struggled on his own to learn his craft and to put the appellation of ‘Apprentice’ behind him.

Word that they may have found the King’s Horde had begun to spread. Now, it has reached the ears of one who will stop at nothing to discover what they know.

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Hunter of the Horde: The Broken Key #2

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Overview

Riyan, Chad, and Bart continued their quest with the aid of their newfound companion, Kevik. Recently bereft of his master, Kevik struggled on his own to learn his craft and to put the appellation of ‘Apprentice’ behind him.

Word that they may have found the King’s Horde had begun to spread. Now, it has reached the ears of one who will stop at nothing to discover what they know.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940000691168
  • Publisher: Brian S. Pratt
  • Publication date: 3/29/2009
  • Series: Broken Key Trilogy , #2
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 57,955
  • File size: 467 KB

Meet the Author

Born in Modesto, California, Brian graduated high school in 1985 and went into the Air Force where he trained as an Avionic Specialist on the F-117A Stealth Fighter.
When his tour of duty ended, he tried his hand as a Pizza Hut delivery driver where he quickly rose to become General Manager of a delivery unit in Edmonds, WA and continued as such for several years.
Then after a short stint driving a taxi, he spent two years teaching teenagers how to drive. (Not as stressful as one would imagine.) He now writes full time in Washington, USA.
His published works include:
The Morcyth Saga (7 Books)
Travail of The Dark Mage (2 Books)
Improbable Adventures of Scar and Potbelly (series)
The Broken Key Trilogy (3 Books)
Dungeon Crawler Adventures (2 Books)
The Adventurer's Guild (2 Books)
Ring of the Or'tux (Stand Alone)

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Read an Excerpt

"Apprentice Teryn, step forth," the Magi on the right said.

Where Kaji had been exuding confidence, this Apprentice seemed scared to be here. Of the four Apprentices within the Well, he appeared the youngest. Kevik figured he couldn't have seen more than fifteen winters, maybe even less. Frankly, he was surprised he was even here. But then it wasn't age they were concerned with here in the Well of Thought, just skill. His master must have felt he could do it else he wouldn't be here.

Once Apprentice Teryn stood before the Magi, the Magi on the left asked, "Who stands with Apprentice Teryn this day?"

"I, Magic User Lyndra," his master said. Magic Users were the lowest rank that could take Apprentices. A Magic User was just beneath Master Mages.

Kevik was surprised at the feminine voice that came from Apprentice Teryn's master. She was the first female magic user he had ever come across. Oh sure, he knew many women followed this path, it was just the unexpectedness of encountering one here that startled him. His master had even once commented that women made better magic users than men though he never said why.

The third Magi nodded to Apprentice Teryn and said, "Begin."

Apprentice Teryn nodded in reply and held forth his staff. The staff itself was rather plain and stood a good six inches taller than the one who held it. The whole effect made him seem even smaller than he was.

His first spell from his staff was a ball of light that hovered before him. After allowing it to hover for several seconds, he dispelled it. Next, he created a hazy purplish phantasmthat looked for all the world like a miniature dragon. The phantasm belched a plume of fire before dissolving into nothingness.

Licking his lips, Apprentice Teryn glanced to the Magi but they remained as impassive as they had with Kaji. He then cast a look to his master who nodded encouragingly. Turning back to the Magi, he struck the floor with the base of his staff and a cloud of smoke began to materialize from the point of impact. The cloud grew several feet in diameter before it was dispelled.

"Continue," the middle Magi said.

Confidence somewhat bolstered by having successfully demonstrated the power of his staff, he then went into the five spells. The first one was a gust of wind, very similar to the one Kevik had planned to do. The second one was bolts of energy such as Kaji had done. He began the casting of the third spell and seemed to pause in the middle of the incantation as if he had forgotten the words.

Kevik glanced to Apprentice Teryn's master and could see concern etched upon her brow. Something wasn't going right. He no sooner turned his attention back to Apprentice Teryn than there was a 'snap' in the air. Whatever Apprentice Teryn had done, or had done wrong, caused him to be thrown backwards where he struck the wall with a thud. He sagged to the floor before getting himself back to his feet.

The look on his face said it all as he came to stand before the Magi once again. He bowed his head as he heard the words he knew were coming.

"Apprentice Teryn," the center Magi uttered. "Perhaps next year."

Kevik watched the dejected Apprentice return to stand with his master. Would that be him? Kevik wondered. When it came his time, would he blow it too? What confidence he had was waning in the face of the doubts that now insinuated themselves into him.

Once he had rejoined the others, the Magi on the right said, "Apprentice Keag, step forth."

Apprentice Keag did much better than had Apprentice Teryn. He adeptly did the three spells from his staff then whizzed through the five that came from within himself. The final spell was a dazzling display of multicolored sparks that impressed Kevik. As the last spark faded away, Apprentice Keag turned hopeful eyes towards the Magi.

"Practitioner Keag," the middle Magi stated. "Well done."

Practitioner Keag bowed respectfully to the Magi and then practically strutted back to rejoin his master.

Then it was Kevik's turn. Heart pounding in his chest, he awaited the words that were to come.

"Apprentice Kevik," the Magi said, "step forth."

Taking a deep breath to settle his nerves, he stepped forward, but not before catching a glimpse of the face of Apprentice Teryn. The boy looked sad and dejected which did nothing for his own self confidence.

Once Kevik took his place before the Magi he heard the Magi on the left ask, "Who stands with Apprentice Kevik this day?"

"Uh," began Kevik. "My master died several months ago." For the first time the thought occurred to him that he may not be permitted to take the test without a master. You could imagine his relief when the Magi said, "Begin."

Taking his staff in hand, he cast his glowing orb. His confidence grew when the orb sprang to life and cast its radiance about the Well. Then he took out four items he had brought from his Tower; a book, a rock, a copper coin, and the silver ring with the red jewel that had something to do with magic. He set them before him on the stone floor of the Well and then stood back up. Casting his second spell, the one which would detect magic, he was relieved to see the ring bearing the jewel begin to glow a deep blue. He glanced to the Magi but as with the Apprentices before him, they remained impassive. Canceling his spell, he retrieved his items and returned them to one of the pockets within his robe. Now for the last spell from his staff.

Raising the staff high, he caused sparks to shoot forth from the tip of the staff. Canceling the spell, he felt his confidence grow further now that he was past the staff portion of the test.

"Continue," the Magi said.

Now for the final five. First came his bobbing light spell. He had always liked it despite Riyan's and the others' reactions to it in Algoth. Then he cast his goo spell, his wind spell, and the energy bolts as well. True, none of these were very flashy, but then they didn't have to be.

He took a few calming breaths before he did his last spell, his excitement was getting the better of him. One more to go and he'd be a Practitioner. Once he tamed his exuberance, he removed a diamond brooch and set it on the floor before him. The brooch was one of the items he had yet to identify. It was formed in the shape of a crescent moon containing over two dozen small diamonds. For his last spell, he was going to identify the brooch.

Last night before he had gone to bed, he had agonized over what he should bring to identify. Should it be something which he already knew what it did, or something as yet unknown? He had settled on this diamond brooch. If it was cursed as had been the flowering necklace, what better place for him to discover it than here where master mages could help should things go awry. A risk to be sure, but that's why he chose to do this spell last.

He concentrated on the brooch and then cast the spell. The blue glow enveloped the brooch and the vision formed . . .

Diamonds lay on a table in a neat row as each waited its turn to be set into the brooch . . . The feeling of time passing, then . . . Darkness broken by the light of a single torch. Rock walls close by as the bearer of the brooch descended into the earth . . . Then . . . Light, myriad colors of light warp and twist. At its heart lies the diamond brooch.

Coming back to himself at the ending of the spell, he took a moment to get his bearings. At times the magic user can become disoriented when identifying items, though usually only when the item was particularly powerful, or the vision intense. Once he regained his composure, he picked up the brooch and faced the Magi.

"Well done, Practitioner Kevik," the middle Magi stated. The one on the right looked to Kevik and said, "Your master would have been proud."

Surprised and pleased at the statement, he was beaming as he gave the three Magi a bow then returned to join the others.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2007

    The Quest Continues

    The Death Mark! Not a good tag for a thief, even one of the best. For Bartholomew Agreani it meant that the price on his head was worth more than a lot of booty other thieves could pilfer. So, Bart¿s life had a bleak future - death, unless he could buy back the mark. Fate would place him in a strategic spot to ensure he could do just that. Having befriended Riyan Borenson and Chad Kelon of the small village of Quillim the trio stumble upon the fabled King¿s Horde. Now with money in hand, Bart is able to buy back the death mark. Meanwhile his other companions, Riyan and Chad enlist in the Warriors Guild, while their other friend, Kevik, tries to improve his craft as a magic user. One does not come into a lot of money without word eventually leaking out and finding it¿s way to other sinister ears. For you see, the King¿s Horde is famous and a number of villainous folk have been searching for years to find it. Some will stop at nothing to get the riches buried with the fabled King. Riyan is no longer the timid shepherd boy from Quillim or Chad the clumsy miller¿s son. The Warriors Guild has molded them into strong, determined young men. While Kevik is learning, through trial and error, how to become a successful magic user, he too is growing in confidence and ability. All these new skills will be put to the test as Bart finds himself the focal point of the Hunter of the Horde, a ruthless villain who has ways to make men talk. Riyan and his friends must use every skill they¿ve learned to rescue their friend from this deadly hunter. This second book in The Broken Key trilogy continues to weave a spellbinding story that carries our four fellow adventurers on their quest to find the final two segments of the Key that will unlock the fabled King¿s Horde. Intrigue, adventure, terror and excitement carry the reader page after page. For the fantasy addict this will add to your addiction. Read with care, but enjoy the trip, for this is an exciting one.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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