The Bloodline Chronicles: Vol. I

The Bloodline Chronicles: Vol. I

4.8 6
by Joe H. Sherman
     
 

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Sorram and Taurwin are the only ones of their bloodlines the mage Krotus brought to his plane of existence. After their magical modifications and enhancements, they are lost in a medieval world where there are dangers all around them. Their young age and innocence sometimes create humorous situations and encounters. However, their cruel and violent creation and

Overview

Sorram and Taurwin are the only ones of their bloodlines the mage Krotus brought to his plane of existence. After their magical modifications and enhancements, they are lost in a medieval world where there are dangers all around them. Their young age and innocence sometimes create humorous situations and encounters. However, their cruel and violent creation and upbringing causes them to be brutal and violent when the need arises. This allows them to inadvertently fulfill the purpose in which they were created as they mature.

Editorial Reviews

Blue Ink Review
This novel, set in a pseudo-medieval fantasy world à la Fritz Leiber's iconic Nehwon realm, is a fast-paced, fun read that should appeal to fans of adventure and sword-andsorcery fantasy...

Powered by a duo of dynamic characters, this novel is the beginning of what could be an excellent series, depending on where the author decides to take the storyline and how deeply he delves into the potentially profound themes surrounding the two unlikely heroes (the inner conflict between their human nature and animalistic instincts, the examination of what it means to be human, etc.)...
Overall, the narrative provides a strong start to a potentially extraordinary series.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466993518
Publisher:
Trafford Publishing
Publication date:
06/14/2013
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.71(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Bloodline Chronicles

Vol. I


By JOE H. SHERMAN, Sandra Burns

Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2013 Joe H. Sherman
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4669-9351-8



CHAPTER 1

DESPAIR


The bright-colored tapestries and plush red carpeting did nothing to add warmth to the corridor for Sahharras. It felt cold as the stone in which the tower of the magi was constructed. They depicted glory of great battles won and lands conquered. The irony of the battles depicted in the tapestries was lost on her. Nor could she take any pleasure or pride in them. Very few could and those who should never did either. She hated and despised what they depicted like most who came from those captured lands. To shake off the chill and repressive nature of the tower was next to impossible for her.

Sahharras sat in the hall waiting for the decision of the council of the magi regarding yesterday morning's events. She did not know what would happen to her. She could lose her right to apprentice and forever be a common slave. Krotus could send her away and she would never see her boys again. She had become attached to the boys after taking care of them for six years. It was obvious they cared for her as well. She could not bear the thought of never being able to see them again.

"Have they reached a decision yet? What is to happen?" Sahharras asked with a quivering voice when she saw Krotus exit the council's chambers. Krotus didn't even spare her a glance as he stormed past her. For once, his face wasn't an emotionless stone, but instead was a snarling thunderhead of pure anger and hatred.

Sahharras wept as she watched Krotus storm away. However, her fear was washed away as fear overcame her once she saw two guardsmen walking in her direction with their hands firmly grasping the hilts of their swords. The two guardsmen used their free hand to seize her by the arms. Then they proceeded to roughly drag her down the corridor without as much as a word to what they intended to do to her.

CHAPTER 2

WAKING UP DEAD


It was not the darkness that bothered Taurwin but the complete absence of light. His eyes could adjust to the darkness of the darkest of night, but here there was no light at all. Never before had he been blind as he was currently and it troubled him. Not that he was afraid of the dark, but it was a new experience for him. Therefore, it was something he couldn't understand. The loss of sight was not half as bad as his loss of breath. The little air there was to breathe reeked of death and decay. Something cold pressed in on him from all directions, causing him to fight for every breath of the fouled air that made him want to wretch.

No matter how hard Taurwin tried, he could not recall where he was. What had happened to him? His thoughts seemed to melt away faster than he could form them. He tried to move his arms. Then he remembered he had tried that before, or was that his legs. He could not remember. Can I feel my arms? he thought to himself. Am I dead? No, I breathe, therefore I live, Taurwin reasoned. He realized if he did not figure something out soon, he might not be breathing either.

Sorram's mind drifted like leaves caught in the wind. His mind drifted from one thought to the next without coherency. Images formed and evaporated before he could recognize them, let alone understand them. He felt he should have been able to remember names of people as visions of them appeared in his mind like a midsummer morning's mist. To make matters worse, he couldn't get his mind to work any better than the rest of his body would, which puzzled him even more. How long had he been and would be trapped in this lightless, foul, and fetid-smelling place?

Then Sorram heard a scratching noise that sounded very close. At first, he thought he had imagined it, but it came closer and closer. The closer the sound came, the clearer his mind became. Feeling started to return to his limbs as his breaths became easier. He still could not make sense of what had happened to him or what was making that strange noise. Soon he could wiggle his fingers and toes ever so slightly. Then something began to tug at his head. The tugging increased in strength. The sound of something tearing echoed through his ears and frightened him enough to make him gasp. To his surprise, the tugging stopped. The air still smelled of dirt and rotten flesh, but it was somehow fresher. He took a couple of deep cleansing breaths. Then the fog that had clouded his mind began to lift.

Sorram could now remember; Krotus gave him and his brother the instructions for their "last test." The instructions were simple: "survive" and "you pass." Then a heavy black canvas sack was tied around his head. Then he was led off somewhere. Once there, something else was placed around his neck and his hands were tied behind his back. He was told to stand there and wait for the test to begin. The last thing he remembered was the sensation of falling and then pain. Soon after that, the darkness had overtaken him.

With some effort, he was able to move his head. He tried to sit up, but there was something weighing him down. He was still too weak to overcome it. As he continued to breathe the fresher air, he could feel his strength returning rapidly. After a little time and effort, he was able to sit up. It was then he realized that he still had the black canvas sack over his head and his hands tied behind his back. He had been taught how to free himself of all types of bonds and set to work on the ropes that held his arms immediately. After freeing himself of his bonds, he removed the sack from his head. He found himself sitting in a hole in the ground, which made no sense at all. He could not understand for what purpose he had been buried in dirt. What kind of stupid test was this, and what was it to prove? For that matter, what was he supposed to do now? If his brother were here, he would know what had happened. His brother would know what to do next. It was obvious that he should find his brother. Then he would ask him what they were supposed to do next. How hard could it be to find him? After all, he had the same test. His brother should be in a hole somewhere nearby just as he had been.

Taurwin knew that his situation had changed, but he didn't know how or why it had changed. His thoughts still would not form properly, but he felt as if a great burden had been taken off his chest. He still had nearly as much difficulty getting his breath despite the fact that he felt less constricted. As he struggled to catch his breath, his mind finally began to clear little by little. As his mind began to clear, feeling in his limbs began to return as well. Ever so slowly, the cold and numbness subsided, but it was replaced by soreness. Then soreness grew into pain, which caused him to moan and whimper in his agony.

Sorram couldn't see the moon or any stars in the dark night sky. Therefore, he knew clouds must blanket the sky. It made him worry about rain even if he could not smell it in the cool night air. He never did like being in the rain. Then he wondered if it was too cold for rain. He liked to play in snow, but snow would make it harder to find his brother. If it snowed enough to cover the ground, it would be nearly impossible to find where his brother was buried. He knew the clouds' added darkness to the night would give him concealment from other eyes, though. There had been more than one test that had required concealment, and this could be another. He was confident if there were anyone looking for him, he would be safe at least until dawn.

A thorough search of the immediate area only produced two sets of fresh tracks. The first set of tracks was of some sort of small animal. Sorram figured these tracks belonged to the animal that gratefully had begun digging him up and unintentionally saved him. That was going to be one part of his story he would not tell his brother. The other set of tracks belonged to men, probably those of the men who had buried him. It was the tracks of the men that he decided to follow. He reasoned if these men buried both him and his brother, then the tracks would lead him straight to his brother. It seemed almost too simple, so he set off cautiously, being careful not to make any noise. He didn't make it very far before he heard what appeared to be muffled moaning and whimpering. This confused him because the sounds were coming from the same direction he had just come from. He was torn between the desire to continue his search for his brother and the desire to investigate the muffled sounds. Like always, his curiosity won and he headed back to search out the cause of the mysterious noises. Sorram was surprised to find the muffled sounds were coming from the very hole in the ground he had escaped. He knelt down while he studied the hole. He didn't see anything but dirt. There had to be something buried there making the noise and that awful smell as well. It didn't sound or smell like his brother, but there was only one way to find out.

Using his hands, he quickly removed more of the loose soil from where he had escaped earlier. The more dirt he removed, the louder the moaning became. It didn't take him long before his hands found some sort of fabric. The fabric looked worn and tattered unlike the sturdy woolens he and his brother were normally issued. As he dug, he realized the fabric was the clothing on a corpse. He continued to dig around the corpse despite the foul smell. After some time, he was able to remove the corpse from the hole. What he found underneath was what was making all the noise.


Taurwin's pains let him know he was alive, but he still felt too weak to move. He still couldn't see, but at least now, he could hear something. The problem was that he had no idea what it was. However, it was getting closer. His strength returned to him in what felt like a flood with the return of fresher, cleaner air. He sat up and tried to look around but still couldn't see. Then he remembered what had happened. Before he could do anything else, the canvas bag that was over his head was torn open. The first thing he saw was his brother, Sorram. "Where are we? Did we pass? What's got you grin'n like a Cheshire cat?" Taurwin asked with a frown.

CHAPTER 3

STRANGERS


It had been less than a week since Jerhod's family had left their farm and he already wished they could go back. It wasn't as if it was the first time he had been away from the farm, but this time it was different. He was old enough to be allowed to spend a day or two hunting in the forest near their home if there was little to do at the farm and all of his chores were caught up. Obviously, he wasn't allowed to go off on his own during the spring planting or during the fall harvest, but he had spent many midsummer nights sleeping under the stars. This time it wasn't any fun, though. This time he suspected they would never be able to return home.

His family had been evicted because they didn't have the coin required to pay their taxes. He understood that much, but how could their taxes have been so much in the first place? Nor could he understand why the tax collector believed his father should have the kind of coin he had demanded of them. They seldom went hungry at the farm, but it didn't produce a lot of gold coin either. It seemed to him most of their produce was traded to the pack peddlers for the things they couldn't grow or hunt on their own. Very seldom did he see his father have enough to trade, which actually fetched any coin in trade whether it was gold, silver, or copper. Of course, the tax collector scoffed at his father's suggestion of accepting payment in chickens, wheat, or anything else they had for that matter. Therefore, his parents had done the only thing they could do. They sold everything they could. Then they packed everything they could carry on their backs and left the rest at the farm. They left the only home he had ever known in search of a new life.

Jerhod had walked south for days with his family covering as much ground as they could while they carried their few remaining possessions across their backs. To his surprise, they had come across several families on the road with similar stories. All were headed to the city to look for work and a fresh start. There were now roughly a dozen families traveling together. They had decided to travel and camp together, for sometimes there is safety in numbers, but food had become somewhat of a concern. Each family had hunted or set snares at night to supplement their food stores during their journey. With so many people gathered together, game had become scarce for the simple fact that game avoided people. A couple of days of poor hunting had food stores low enough to cause worry. He was old enough to know they would need those stores to sustain them until work could be found in the city. He also knew the closer they came to a city, the more scarce game would become. He suspected this was the real reason they were still camped in the small woods instead of packed up and headed down the road.

The woods had mature hardwoods and a fair amount of ground cover that should have supported a cornucopia of small game. He had hoped the snares he had set last night would have produced more than they had so far. The thick underbrush in this small section of the forest should have been teeming with small game, but so far, all he had was one scrawny rabbit. He suspected his luck was not about to change any time soon. He had his sling at the ready just in case he saw something, hell, anything that had meat on it for that matter. So far, all he had seen was a couple of ferry diddles. He didn't even bother with those because they would have been less than a mouthful. He was starting to wonder if he would regret that decision. He was already reconsidering and thought he might have to add them to the menu out of desperation. Even the birds have seemed to abandon the forest with their arrival. Maybe someone else from camp was having better luck than he was, hopefully.

A foul stench caused Jerhod to glance around in an attempt to identify the fetid source. The smell told him there was something dead nearby. He had no desire to interrupt a large predator that may have seized the opportunity to scavenge a free meal. He knew most predatory animals were not above doing a little scavenging if the opportunity presented itself. He didn't see anything, so he decided to return his attention to the snare before him. It had been set off, but apparently, it had missed its mark. With one hare in hand and only one snare left to check, he proceeded to chastise himself for not being more careful how he had set the snare the previous night. None of the people back at camp could afford his simpleton mistakes. He had to ...

"What are you doing?" Sorram finally asked when he could take it no longer. Sorram had been following the boy for some time. He crept closer and closer despite his brother's warnings about curiosity killing the cat. This was as close as he would get undetected. Sorram was sure he hadn't made any noise, but the boy had begun to look around as if the boy could sense he was being followed. Judging by the manner the boy had carefully picked his way across the forest, Sorram believed the boy to be hunting or maybe even trying to stalk up on something. Something or someone, but Sorram had no idea which it was. Nor could Sorram figure out what kind of weapon the boy planned to use. The boy didn't carry a bow or spear, but he did carry a small belt knife. Sorram disregarded it as an effective weapon in which to hunt with though. The boy wasn't quite enough too close in to kill with it unless it could be a throwing knife. The knife didn't look to have the right balance or the required weight to be a very effective throwing weapon, though. He knew he could be wrong but he doubted it. The boy would stop to examine some looped cordage tied to a small sapling from time to time. More cord ran from the tree to a notched peg that mated to another notched peg, which was driven into the ground. This line seemed to hold the sapling bent over the ground. Then there was one more cord that ran from the notched peg, over the first looped cord, to the other side of the loop, to another peg driven into the ground. Sorram had no idea the purpose of the contraption. Then there was the question of why the boy spent so much time trying to conceal it with a bit of leaf and such.

Jerhod nearly jumped out of his skin. Then realized that is exactly what he would have done if it were possible. He took a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself after he had spun around to identify who had spoken to him. It wasn't difficult for Jerhod to locate the one who had spoken. There was a stranger squatting in the middle of the game trail examining one of his snares. He had a small deer draped over one shoulder and a wooden spear leaning against the other. His clothing was muddy and stained but didn't appear to have any holes, tears, or patches holding them together. He had a hood pulled over his head so Jerhod couldn't make out any features of the stranger's face, even after he had turned toward him. All he could see were dark shadows under the stranger's hood.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from The Bloodline Chronicles by JOE H. SHERMAN, Sandra Burns. Copyright © 2013 Joe H. Sherman. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Bloodline Chronicles Vol. I 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a delight to read despite the poor editing. I hope the author fires the editor and finds a better one for the next in this series because I am definatly going to be watching for it to be released. Most sci-fy I read has little to no hummor at all. However, this book seems to intergrate it very well and I have no doubt that is the quality that sets it apart from the others.
swagon More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable book,a great read. Puts you in a time when anything is possible good and bad.There are funny times and sad times when you can relate with complexitys of their lives and also the simpleness of other things.Can't wait to see if there's a next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book to read. It used two strange characters to remind us of what is wrong and right and what can happen when you do either.It was also full of comical relief, and action that kept you picking up the book
RedCS More than 1 year ago
This is a must read book The Bloodline Chronicles Vol.1. Joe Sherman's book grabs you right from the beginning and holds you right to the end of Vol. 1. The story line is great, easy to follow, he develops the characters quick, and keeps your attention right to the end. I can't wait for Vol.2.
harley183 More than 1 year ago
Just finished this book, it was a great read very engaging. At times it was laugh out loud funny and at other times it was down right sad. Can't wait for vol.2
cindy43CM More than 1 year ago
loved the book. just finished it and had trouble putting it down. alot of adventures,ups and downs, and twist & turns in it. would highly recommend this book. cant wait to read the next one.