This is the story of Noah before the great flood he would one day escape. During these ancient times, angels called Watchers, who were sent into the realm of mortals to help and teach mankind, have fallen prey to lust and greed.
The half-angel offspring of the Watchers grow up to become monstrous giant warriors. They oppress free people everywhere, and they eventually set their sights on a group of women from a peaceful village named Kerr.
Noah, a young free spirit, teams up with a band of friends and embarks on a mission to save the women. But what was supposed to be a simple rescue turns into an epic adventure filled with peril, love and spiritual intrigue.
During his adventures, Noah joins forces with an array of characters, including a blind rogue, a young outcast and a beautiful escapee. Their journey becomes a race against time as they try to stop the Watchers and one of their most powerful allies, Lord Cain.
Join one of the greatest legends in history and his unlikely friends as they fight for good and seek spiritual growth in Ancient.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)|
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By K.T. Kimbrough
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2009 K.T. Kimbrough
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Where are you?"
A streak of silvery moonlight eerily beamed through a single round opening in the center of the domed ceiling. Several smaller moonbeams softly streaked in from high circular windows in the huge flora-laden room.
The silvery light washed over numerous flowering plants and short trees in stone planters, streaking past towering pillars as the main moonbeam brightly shown on the surface of the far wall.
Painted onto the massive wall was a giant map mural. The moonlight washed over it, revealing the crooked contour of coastlines, many serpentine rivers, and the rough terrain of mountain regions. Even the names of the regions were painted in beautiful characters.
In front of the map wall, paced a man's silhouette.
"Where are you?" The old man's mumble softly echoed off the mural, drifting into the expansive plant-filled, moon-lit room.
The shadowy form was slightly slouched, leaning on a staff. Soft, silver light shone upon the nearly bald head.
"Where are you?" He paced, never turning from the map.
The butt of the staff tapped the marble floor with every step, echoing softly through the lunar haunted room.
The silhouette abruptly stopped and rapped the wall map with the topof his staff.
"Are you there?"
Unknown to the old man, another shadow covertly watched from behind a large white and red passion bloom, with keen eyes that hauntingly mirrored the silver of the moonlight.
* * *
The last colorful sun rays of the day warmed the lush, green valleys and rolling hills of the Freelands. An elongated hill stood in the center of a wide valley, with its grassy dome stretching just over the treetops. The elevated hill of rye grass and brightly painted wildflowers was a colorful island in a green sea of forest.
Near the highest point of the grassy ridge, a solitary, old, twisted olive tree proudly stood. It was not very tall, compared to the giant cedars of the hills and the massive cypress of the valley, but it's beautiful branches stretched out well over three times its height, giving it a unique flattened top. It was as if it was playfully reaching out to the other trees of the valley, beckoning them to come join it in this ever-peaceful, elevated home of splendor.
The trunk forked into two main branches about two men's height off the ground, making a perfect seat where Noah could rest and peacefully enjoy the view: a place for him to relax and meditate, away from the noise and clamor of all the lively people and the drama they spawn. Of course, Noah loved the town folk, but sometimes one just has to get away from the drama that existence creates. And this twisted old tree atop the dome of color was his sanctum.
Two chirping blue birds landed on a high branch.
Noah enjoyed sharing the tree with the birds; although the tone of their song made it clear to him that they did not share the sentiment.
A light breeze gently blew Noah's dark brown, shoulder-length hair as he looked over the landscape with his hazel eyes.
From his high perch on the hill, Noah could see the world ... at least his world, the one he knew, and a small portion of the world beyond, the one he hoped to someday explore.
To the south, down the hill and past the tree-lined creek, he could see his home village of Cypress. The reason for the name was obvious; a forest comprising primarily of giant, cypress trees shadowed the village. Some of the more adventurous men built their houses in the trees far above the forest floor, but most dwellings scattered through the forestland were made of sun-dried clay bricks and local wood.
Through the gaps in the distant trees, the people looked smaller than ants. Noah could see them milling about town, shopping in the market, children kicking a ball in the streets. Noah wondered if the people were looking up at the tiny tree on the hill as he looked down at them.
He could see the smoke of the cooking fires and the single, large billow of white smoke pluming from Uriah's blacksmith shop. He could hear the chopping and banging of the carpenter's shop near the western edge of town. And of course there were the two watchtowers strategically located on the south and northwest edges of town.
On the side of the ridge just east of town he could see the tall oak tree in front of the house he had lived in for years. The house could not be seen through the thick canopy of leaves but it was there. Noah would never forget what that tree looked like. Every knob, every branch was permanently seared into his mind. He and his brother used to compete to see how high they could get before they would get too scared and come back down. He wished his brother could have been around to see him beat their old record.
Noah looked north, abandoning the memory.
North, the mysterious north, the forbidden north ... scanning the horizon Noah could see rocky, wind-swept mountains. They stood like a mighty dam of jagged teeth keeping out the dark water of the Black Sea, the great sauri of the wilderness of Herrer beyond, and the rumored evils of the north.
Are they more than rumors?
Noah did not know exactly how far it was, but somewhere on the other side of the rugged, mountainous wilderness, along the southeast coast of the Black Sea, was the City of Cain.
Some call it great, others call it an abomination. It has been said of the city that it houses witches, sorcerers, and the most evil men; not just men, they say, but also those infamous, cursed, mighty giants, the Offspring. Even the fathers of the Offspring, the great teachers known as the Watchers, have been lured there by the evil. They are now the lords of the great city. Some even say that the Watchers are the source of the evil power that fills the north lands.
Cain himself, the cursed son of the great father, Adam, is the lord of the great city, as well as many other cities and towns scattered throughout the northern regions.
People say that once one enters the City of Cain, they rarely come back and if they do, they are different ... evil hides in their soul. Even a purely, innocent soul would come back incubating a rotting evil hidden deep inside ... as if a poison was slowly killing the essence of their being.
That's what they say, anyway. And who's they?
All Noah actually knows of the city is what he has heard from townspeople and his own parents. But if no one ever returns, then how does anyone know what truly exists there? Yet, if what they say is true, then the answers to Noah's multitude of nagging questions just might be found in the City of Cain or somewhere beyond.
Noah gazed longingly at the mountain-lined horizon. The mountain range started in the far northwest, where the mountains seem to fade away into the endless pink sky; they stretched as far to the east as his mortal eyes could see. A vast ocean of trees and rocks, valleys and hills, laid in-between him and the mountains: waiting, beckoning him to explore them. He had done some exploring, hunting, and gathering in those woods over the years, but nothing that had satisfied his relentlessly adventurous free spirit.
Noah wondered what lay beyond that mountain wall. What phenomenal lands and unseen beauty hid in the wilderness beyond? What would he find if he just started walking north until he reached land's end? The answers are out there hiding, waiting to be found ... dancing alone in the forest mist.
Noah rested his right hand on his left shoulder, and with two fingers touched the off-white, carved bone handle sticking out of the long, leather sheath strapped to his back.
Things were about to change on several fronts.
It was about time to revisit that dreaded place in the north woods that he had been avoiding for over a decade. And, it was well past time for Noah to take his Journey ... the traditional venture that every young man takes into the wild: a long quest along unknown trails and unexplored country to find one's own life path.
Why have I waited so long to take it?
He could feel it deep inside ... now was the time.
Noah's father often told him that it is only on that quest when you truly find yourself.
Find yourself? What does that even mean? It sounds foolish ... like a waste of time.
But he has more questions now than ever before. And the older he gets, the more he feels a need growing in his soul, a need to go. Go where? It doesn't matter.
Just go. Just leave. Go.
Noah needed to find the answers to his questions, and those answers are hidden somewhere beyond the borders of his small world.
* * *
A bright, fluffy cloud floated lazily through the red sky, slowly drifting toward Noah.
A stiff breeze suddenly picked up, bringing an ominous dark cloud from the horizon toward the small bright cloud. As the dark cloud grew closer, Noah could feel a deep forbearing evil presence. The cloud was constantly moving; its dark vapor seemed to be caving in on itself, and then cycling around to the sides of the cloud.
When it reached the bright cloud, it surrounded it. With dark vapor swirling about, it trapped the bright cloud as if locked in shackles. Then the wind shifted from the south, blowing the two clouds back to the north, from where the darkness had come.
The evil presence was strong; it was over powering. Noah was feeling weak at the knees. He felt as if he had just lost something he treasured, something familiar. As he watched the bright cloud float away, a feeling of urgency swept over him like a wave.
Something had to be done. He had to do the impossible and get that cloud back.
He took off after the clouds running along the ground not letting them leave his sight, but he could not keep up. With every step, the dark cloud carrying the bright cloud away, gained distance. The more he chased them, the further they got.
Elohim help me.
Noah stopped to catch his breath.
Suddenly, a thick white mist came up from behind and surrounded him. It was a cloud. As it began to pick him up, he could see himself getting further and further from the ground.
He felt a sensation deep in his core that he had never felt before ... total weightlessness: freedom from the shackles of gravity.
There were now clouds all around him. The black sky above was filled with stars and a blood red moon. Below him, there was nothing. He had never seen "nothing" before ... but there it was. No color, no light, no darkness, just emptiness ... nothing.
Most of the clouds that surrounded him were dark, forbearing ... even malicious. The few white clouds that were there were being engulfed by the dark mist. He looked behind him and saw that there was a dark cloud following and gaining on him.
Suddenly there was a voice. "We must leave now." It sounded like it came from ...
Did that cloud just talk?
A strong gust of wind blew, sending them north.
Noah opened his eyes, instantly wide awake.
Moonlight, beaming through the window of his loft, reflected off the glistening steel of his sword that stood, leaning against the wall.
The candle he had lit hours ago had melted down into a river of wax, and streamed off his small table like a solidified waterfall, creating a lake of wax on the floor.
A gust of cool night air blew light brown hair over his eyes. He brushed it aside and looked out the window. The half-moon and its halo of greenish-blue light swirling around it sent soft beams of light into the room.
He lay there for a while and gazed at the beautiful light trying to regain his coherency after his fitful sleep.
This moon isn't red ... was his first thought. His second was the words of the bright cloud echoing in his head: We must leave now.
Did his grandfather not tell him to heed his dreams?
Noah sighed and rubbed his eyes.
Noah closed his eyes. Is this it? Is today the day?
Yes. It is.
Noah got up and quietly got ready. He put his favorite blue tunic on. He then wrapped a leather belt, with his dagger in its sheath dangling from it, around his waist. He knelt down, reached under the little table and pulled out a brown, ox leather satchel and his leather shoes. He slipped his shoes on and then opened the satchel and put in his other shirt, a candle, a sharpening stone, a rope and his new canteen. Finally, Noah grabbed his sword off his bed and strapped it on his back.
The floor creaked as he took a step toward the ladder ... as did the ladder itself when he climbed down.
He could still see glowing red embers in the fireplace from supper. The aroma of roasted venison still lingered in the air, making his stomach growl. He searched the moonlit room for the leftovers. Noah found them next to the shell sink already wrapped in a cloth. He put the whole thing in the satchel as well as a small loaf of bread.
That should last a couple of days.
Noah silently stood in the dark moonlit room looking around. He had a feeling he would not be seeing this house for a while.
Noah opened the door and took a step outside ... the first step of his journey.
The first violet and red colors of the morning were just starting to appear over the misty hills. But before he could lose himself into the unknown, he had a couple stops to make.
Cold ... hard darkness.
Am I dead?
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Why can't I see? Where am I?
Gut-churning fear lurked in the darkness.
Why can't I move? She could hear her own heartbeat reverberating.
Her head spun, gripped with pain and fear.
She tried to move her arms and legs but could not. She tried to open her eyes, but maybe they already were open ... she couldn't tell. She felt her own matted hair sticking to her face.
Everything was blacker than night and darker than black.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
What is that sound? She could hear, but couldn't see or move.
Fear paralyzed her soul. She started breathing harder and harder. Panic threatened to take over.
She felt the cold, damp hardness under her fingertips. At least I can feel.
She struggled to remember ... anything.
Screams. She remembered screams. Were they her screams or someone else's?
She tried to call for help. But she could not even move her lips or voice. No sound came out. She tried again ... and again.
There was something on her chest ... it was pushing on her lungs, making it hard to breathe. She tried to scream but could not. Panic set in.
Elohim help me. She tried to call out the words but the weight on her chest made it impossible. Elohim help me.
Was the weight even tangible?
Am I dreaming? Am I dead?
When she felt the cold hard surface again, her finger twitched.
Elohim help me.
Finally, she felt her eyelids blink, but still, nothing but darkness filled her vision. Her eyes were wide open but saw no light.
Am I blind?
She made a fist with her hand as she formed the words with her mouth. Elohim help me.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
She told herself to just breathe.
The invisible evil weight finally, after a torturous eternity, lifted off her chest along with the uncontrollable panic, but fear never released its tight grip around her soul.
Her eyes darted around the room trying to get a focus on something ... anything.
As more coherent thoughts came back to her, she started remembering ... a tall dark figure in the shadows grabbing her. Screams.
She turned her head and felt something wet splash on her face, making her wince.
She tried to sit up but could not.
The water splashed on her face again. Water was dripping next to her head and bouncing off the hard ground, splashing up on her face.
Suddenly, she caught just a glimpse of a flicker of light coming through a crack next to the floor. A door?
She could still hear and feel her heart beating hard with fear.
Excerpted from Ancient by K.T. Kimbrough Copyright © 2009 by K.T. Kimbrough. Excerpted by permission.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Don't know about you, but being an avid reader, I am always seeking new-to-me authors for a great read before my favorite's next one comes out. K.T.Kimbrough is definitely going on my favorites list! Ancient: Book One has an intriguing setting (earth before Noah's Flood), original characters that are cleverly drawn, a fascinating plot interweaving with several sub-plots that flesh out the story, and unusually inventive action sequences. Kimbrough's style is pleasantly uncommon in the way he uses the thoughts of major players almost like dialogue without letting it get too heavy for the story. He also displays a rare understanding of women that reminds me of Tolkien. So, if you would like a deep story with surprisingly fun characters and action, here's your huckleberry. The only drawback I can see is that this is the first book of a trilogy and we have to wait for the next. Well, I am already waiting for the next James Rollins, Matthew Reilly, and Dick Francis books, so why not? You are going to enjoy this fresh, new author so even if you prefer to wait for a complete set, buy Ancient: Book One anyway. You are going to love it!
This book is very different from anything I've read. It has all the ingredients of an epic; romance, danger, intrigue and great plot twists. The originality of the story stems from the fact that it is about Noah before the flood, and has an element of spirituality that is captivating. Read it-you won't be disappointed!
I normally don't like fantasy books but this one drew me in. It definitely needed more editing but in spite of this you get into the story and forget about it. I think this book can reach a broad range of readers. It has fantasy, un-stuffy Christianity, romance, adventure, action. I'd recommend for young and old readers, male and female. It's good!
dinosaurs, women are kidnapped by giant raiders and evil angels roam the earth. This tale of the ancient world through the eyes of Noah and the few faithful men who walked the earth will grasp your attention like no other book! This one is not just your typical biblical fiction. This book is atypical in it’s descriptions of the world the way it must have been then. It does not just quote scripture and leave you with the fact that people were wicked, but you can actually feel the reason why God would have had to destroy the earth. You can also feel like it was absolutely true that there was only one righteous man left on the earth. This book is classified as the genre Fantasy, but it is much more than that. This is a biblically based thriller of sorts, that will curl your toes in anticipation of the next chapter. The skillful writing of this newer author will leave you with a taste in your mouth for more books. This is a book that while I was reading it, I could think of a dozen people I would like to have read it! I will be highly recommending it!
I hate K.T. Kimbrough. I hate him for writing a book that kept me on the edge of my seat for two days and then left me hanging. I hate him for making me wait God only knows how long before I can pick up his second book and continue the story. Patience not being me forte, I am deeply annoyed at this author for sucking me in and then making me wait to find out what happens next. It's a good marketing strategy, but I want it NOW. With the imagination of Tolkien and the spiritual insights of Frank Peretti, Kimbrough brings a book full of suspense and drama that will keep you up way past your bedtime. I've often wondered what life must have been like for man in a time when he shared the earth with dinosaurs, so I was especially captivated by the lush landscapes and stories that Kimbrough created. His descriptions made me feel like I was walking through that forest with a dinosaur's footsteps shaking the earth, or gazing off a balcony at a giant Aloe plant. Personally, I think this book and this author have tremendous promise. If Kimbrough keeps on at this pace, this trilogy has the potential to become as beloved as Twilight or Harry Potter. While the author may not find such a comparison appealing, what I mean is that this book can reach a wide range of ages and demographics. It's a pity that the author had to self-publish because I think that this book needs to be seen and read by more people. While the book was far from flawless from an editing standpoint, the story still shines through and I believe that this kind of escapism is exactly what people are looking for in a good read. If you have some issues with the editing, which I admit I did from time to time, then it's all the more reason to champion this author so that he can find the people to help him really make his work shine. Of course, I'd love to see a movie of this some day too. I'm sure that Kimbrough couldn't argue with that! So you can see why I have a love-hate relationship with this author. Love the book, hate to wait. Still, I say to you: Buy this book! This author deserves to be read and is worth your time.
My house was not as clean and I was staying up until all hours of the night until I finished the book. It was totally worth it. I was captivated. One of my favorite things about the writing style was that the author didn't go on about one character for chapter after chapter. My memory is short so, the fast jump from character to character was great. Can hardly wait for the next book!