Fires of Belenus

Fires of Belenus

by William H. Russeth


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Fires of Belenus by William H. Russeth

When a meteorite plunges deep into the heart of Celtica, the blinding flash turns night into day and the impact flattens miles of countryside. A great sword is forged from the sky stone that is prophesized to shape the destinies of future generations. Warrior chiefs and scheming Druids vie for ownership of the wondrous blade, cutting a trail of blood and murder across the Celtic World.

It falls on Eoan, a mere boy on the edge of manhood, to embark on a quest, against insurmountable odds, to retrieve the sword and rescue his love, Roisin, from the sacrificial fires of Belenus. Pitted against Cimbri mercenaries and ruthless warlords, he races against time to save her. Beguiled by Roisin's mesmeric beauty, he is not even sure that she loves him in return. He only knows the path of the sword runs through the destiny of his heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597057523
Publisher: Wings ePress, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/28/2007
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

The author's fascination with the ancient world and mythology started as far back as he can remember, feasting on the stories of Jason, Achilles, Odysseus, Beowulf, Sigurd,and Arthur,. As he grew up, his interest spread to the real heroes like, Leonidas, Alexander, and Hannibal.

After earning Liberal Arts degrees in Painting, History, and Journalism, he embarked on a thirty year career in marketing management with a Fortune 500 company. Now he spends his time writing novels inspired by myth, but set in history, resulting in larger than life adventure.

Read an Excerpt

The background murmur of the crowd grew silent. Wascla entered the room. The warrior strutted with the authority of a young rooster, naked except for his plaid cape and the belted scabbard that held his sword. He wore the belt high around his chest with the sword on his right side. His legs, arms and torso were covered with blue tattoos of serpents and he had caked his hair white with a lime wash. If he had been drunk before, he did not show it now. Bryn's hopes sank. His eyes moved down the figure of the lean and well-muscled prince. His penis and testicles were large and relaxed. They swayed flaccidly as he paraded into the center of the room. Finally, he caught sight of her amidst a group of young women. Dismayed, he saw they were enjoying Wascla's exhibition. He felt his own equipment shrink with gnawing, persistent fear and he was glad to be wearing his braca. Bryn felt clammy and sick as beads of cold sweat dripped down his forehead.

The sensation of someone tugging at his shirt brought him back. Cei had returned with the potion and his father was removing his shirt to rub the potion into his body. Everyone winced at the pungent odor released when Cei opened the vial. "Ugh, what is this foul smelling concoction?" Bryn asked.

"How would I know? Maighread makes it, not I. She would never reveal the secret of one of her potions to a man, although, I have gathered the herb borage for her to make it. Also, I have seen her mix in a little horse urine and flax oil. Unfortunately it smells a lot better than it tastes."

"Ugh," Bryn protested. "I am not going to drink this vile potion."

"Well, suit yourself, but if you want a chance in this contest, I would urge you todrink it."

Athair, Eoan, and Cei moved in closer. Athair pulled Bryn's arms back. Eoan tipped his head and Cei poured the remainder of the mixture down his throat. Bryn quivered and thrashed like a fish out of water, making disgusting sounds and gagging convulsively.

The shock of the foul brew slowly dissipated and Bryn finally stood erect, without aid.

Oddly enough, he had become calmer and more self-assured. The potion on his body gave a pleasant burning sensation and helped distract his mind from fear. His senses seemed more acute. He heard the individual conversations of people sitting in the crowd and saw details of people standing in the shadows. Even more amazing, he was not ill. He had been certain the potion would have him retching on the floor in front of the crowd; instead, it settled his stomach. Best of all, he was calmer and more at ease.

Seeing that Wascla had returned, Mogh started pushing the crowd back while Ogar marked off a large circular area on the floor with a thick white rope. Ogar was to judge the match.

Bryn watched as Wascla turned his back and began a series of ceremonial motions. Though he felt better with the potion, his confidence was fading. He just hoped it would end quickly and his wounds would not be too deep. To make things worse, he was feeling foolish, because he had gotten into this trouble over his beloved Alicia, who seemed more interested in his opponent, and was not at his side.

Finished with the potion, Athair wiped the excess oil off his hands and turned to Eoan to receive the sword he had retrieved from the wagon. Bryn took the sword in his hands and looked at his father.

"This is a new dueling sword I created. It is not much to look at, but I think it may give you the edge." Athair smiled. Bryn returned a blank look, not catching the pun. Athair continued, "It is extremely light, with no frills, jewels, or embellishments. The blade is a bit thicker than the usual sword, but this is because it is also narrower. The thickness gives it strength, but overall, there is about one third less material and weight than a normal sword. It is a fine grade of iron and, trust me, it is as sharp as they come. This will make you even quicker and should the contest last a long time it will help your endurance."

Bryn took the sword and held it out at arm's length, studying the blade. Then he started to warm up with parries and thrusts. After a few moments, he looked at his father. For the first time Bryn felt a glimmer of hope. "I like it!"

Cei had gone over to the vat of beer and returned with four cups spilling over their tops.

"Careful with that," Athair said. "What are you doing?"

"I have a one more trick that might help tip the odds in Bryn's favor. In fact, I bet my best heifer that Bryn will win. The boy is going to make me rich.

Athair looked at Cei with surprise. "You have a heifer?"

Cei ignored the question. "Bryn, take these two mugs and hold them out to Wascla as a salute to his honor and drink them down. I have watered yours down so the drink will have no effect on you. Wascla will see your salute and drink down at least three mugs, not to be bested. This will slow him and affect his judgment."

Bryn took the first mug, stepped forward into the ring and held it high in the air, saluted Wascla, and chugged down the entire contents. He turned to Cei, who handed him a second mug. He saluted and downed that one as well. Then as Cei was about to drink his beer, Bryn snatched it, saluted and drank. It was gone before Cei could protest.

Seeing this, Wascla grabbed a large drinking horn of beer from Buic, saluted and drank it down, then another and another. It was better than Bryn had hoped. Wascla laughed and drank, and made jokes with his retainers. "They are trying to trick me into drinking too much. But I am no fool. It takes more than a few cups of beer to slow my game."

Bryn took a deep breath and one last look into the crowd for Alicia. There was still no sign of her. Just as he was ready to move to the center of the combat area, she sprang out of nowhere, throwing her arms around him and squeezing her cheek next to his with all her strength. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. "Bryn you cannot start this duel without a kiss for luck!"

"Where have you been? I was afraid you were not going to come."

"I went outside with my friends and we did not hear about the duel until we followed Wascla into the meeting hall." Sensing Bryn's mistrust, she hugged and squeezed even harder. "Bryn, I love you. Yes, I was with Wascla last summer. Believe me; I do not want a husband who is always away from home collecting heads and concubines. I love you."

"By the great Goddess of Light, you had better love me!"

Bryn took another breath and pried Alicia's arms from around his neck. He turned to face his opponent. Wascla already faced him, staring directly into his eyes. If Wascla had any fear, he did not show it. Behind him, his retainers were laughing, making jokes and interacting with the crowd, taking all bets. Wascla removed his cloak and scabbard and stood tall, wearing only his belt. Sword in hand, he moved to the center of the contest area.

Bryn took a step forward but Alicia grabbed him again and held him back. "If you were to be injured, I would never forgive myself." Her lips quivered, tears streamed down her face.

Bryn looked at her intently, searching her heart through her eyes. His heart softened and he gave in, squeezing her hard in return. "I will most likely receive three cuts in this match. I am hoping they will not be too serious. It will be over. Wascla will have his honor and I will have you. Now give me another kiss for luck."

They embraced tightly and kissed each other on the mouth, while Wascla's eyes smoldered in jealousy. Bryn felt her warm body react to his embrace. He gently exhaled a moist breath in her ear as she had done to him and, he suspected, to Wascla as well. Then he whispered, "Just be in the wagon tonight to tend my wounds and ease my pain."

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Fires of Belenus 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fires of Belenus is the debut historical novel of William H. Russeth and a remarkable tale of the ancient Celts. The novel stays very true to the nature of these complex and fascinating people, while still adding a sense of wonder. The basic plot of Fires of Belenus involves a sword forged from metal taken from within a fallen meteorite that, according to prophecy, will forge the destiny of the world for generations to come. Everyone in the land wants control of this seemingly mystical blade, from the warrior chieftains to the numinous druids. It becomes the task of Eoan, a young man barely out of his childhood, to find the sword. To make matters even more desperate, he also has to save the girl he loves. The world of the Celts can be quite harsh at times, and Russeth does not shy away from violence where it is necessary for characterization and plot. Not wanting to give away anything too important to the story, I can say that early in the book one of his druid characters has an encounter where he comes away a few bloody digits short. Yet, Russeth never uses violence simply to liven up a scene. Even though the novel takes place in a rather brutal era, the author seems to know just what a scene needs without going overboard and relying on violence to titillate the audience. Romance is integral to the tale and plays a large part in the book as well. Again, the author does a good job of weaving it into the narrative - it feels like a very natural part of the story and is never dull. One of the greatest things about the novel, however, is how the subjects of druids are viewed by the populous and how their "magic" is handled. Russeth takes a very realistic approach to the subject and it comes across as very plausible. Readers will find quite a few surprises where the author takes an event or being that seems to be supernatural or otherworldly and explains the reality behind it. This melding of the magical into the real world is done quite well. If you enjoy a great historical adventure story with characters that you care about and a good dose of romance added into the mix, then you should give Fires of Belenus a read. It is gripping and executed well. You won't be disappointed. - - -Jason M. Tucker, Renaissance Magazine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tsunami and Peril snuck to the lock and jiggled it quietly so it'd attract Starflight and Sunny's attention. Sunny looked up and quietly signaled in the blind language to Starflight there was a way out. Since the crowd was focused on the two dragons, they thought it was martial arts or something and said,"Ooooh! Ahhhhh!" Sunny quietly snuck to the lock while Starflight created a diversion by making lots of karate moves. Peril quietly opened the gate and then let Sunny out. Sunny made more signals to Starflight and he snuck away too. The crowd said,"WHAT? Where did they go?" Queen Scarlet was furious. She sent many dragon soldiers everywhere to see where the 3 dragons and one secret dragon were getting away. Meanwhile, all four dragonets snuck through many tunnels. "This way!" Peril led them down a tunnel and other tunnels until there was an entrance to two big wide door with 5 guards posted at the door. "If only Glory were here," cried Tsunami. "Uh...where am I?" Sunny and Peril explained. "Why? I have my fire!" Peril made a smirk at Tsunami as she blew fire at all the guards. They all fell to the ground. "I think I hear some guard's footsteps," whispered Starflight. "Uh,oh! We better hurry then," said Peril as they unbolted the huge doors. "Now fly out! I'll meet you guys...sometime later," she said. "How are you going to get past Queen Scarlet and her guards?" Starflight asked. "Oh...that's easy! I'll lead them away from where you guys escaped and put them on a wild-goose chase. Everyone laughed, including Starflight and the dragons flew off in the direction of Jade Mountain. They were surprised to see fire was blazing everywhere around. "Father," Sunny was horrified and flew into the bursting flames. "No! I'm going with you!" Peril and Tsunami said. Surprisingly, where was Starflight? Suddenly, someone appeared behind Tsunami's back. It was Fatespeaker holding a gagged and tied up Starflight, who was struggling to get out of her grip. "Mmmm...betraum....pus!" Starflight mumbled. Fatespeaker laughed evilly as they all turned around, including a shocked Sunny. "I now know all the information about you guys and guess what? Morrowseer is still alive. I followed Starflight around the NightWing island so then I could discover his "secret" and now, I do! I took his dreamvisitor," which Starflight scowled at,"and ruined Starflight's dreams with all these love stories. So...why do you plan to do a school anyway?" Tsunami's mouth opened and closed in shock. "! Betrayer! Backstabber!" Sunny hit Fatespeaker, who dodged and then threatened them by trying to drop Starflight down the cliff. "If you don't tell me about Jade Mountain, he'll die," Fatespeaker was about to drop Starflight down the cliff until a brown dragon slammed into her! Clay! "Well now at least you don't have the guts to say sorry than anyone else does!" He shouted as Fatespeaker fell into the fire with a scream of terror as Clay swooped below Starflight to save him. Glory appeared with Clay and a weird dragon who introduced himself as an IronWing. Another IronWing, called Jambaro appeared and they all told the stories of what happened. "Come on, everybody, lets get back to the rainforest," Glory said joyfully and they all cheered. But there was still enemies... Fatespeaker appeared out of the fire burnt and carred and flew, scowling and muttering to a different place. Morrowseer was there. "Hello," he said. CONTINUED IN SPIRIT ANIMALS!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&oslash &otimes &oplus (which one? 1, 2, or 3?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What about he makes himself a new one rper?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please get a new rper for Talonkit.