Three youths about to embark into adulthood become drawn into a plot to save the realm. To do that they must live in hiding until a prophecy is revealed. Will they live up to the task the realm has set for them? Can they set in motion the things needed to save the Salinor.
Two journeys separated by centuries, both missions clouded in magical secrets. Will all the planning and sacrifice win out, or will the realm of Salinor finally fall completely into the Tyrant's hands.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.02(d)|
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Salinor The Beginnings
By Samuel Alexander
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Samuel Alexander
All rights reserved.
Danais woke up on the forth day to the sound of birds chirping outside his window. In his state of mind it sounded more like squeaking. "The urge to throw a rock" was his first thought. He yawned and contemplated getting out of bed. Eventually good sense won over. It was a day off and he wasn't going to waste it away snoring in bed. He walked down the hall to find a note from his uncle on the bath. It stated that there were a few pots of boiling water in the kitchen so he wouldn't have to take a cold bath.
He filled up the tub with the hot water then went outside to the pump and gradually added cold water till he got it to just the right temperature. It wasn't that often he had the pleasure of a hot bath, so he relished every minute of it. He grabbed his towel and dried himself off as he headed back to his room. As he lay naked on his bed, the morning sun was still trying to come through the window. He stared up at his cracked ceiling and couldn't help but reflect on his misfortune.
Danais was an Atorathian, one of those blessed with a natural, albeit varying resistance to magicians spells. However, he was what the magicians would call "silent." He didn't have any of the gift. They called it a punishment of gift. It was speculated that Atora requested they be given this power out of his hatred towards the magician who poisoned his mother. Therefore, the blessing had its downfall; some people just weren't born with it. In theory it wasn't quite so simple because there were non-magicians in all the provinces and there was no fancy story to explain why they were silent.
Atorathians were also arguably the best hunters, or trackers, of anything. Often they were referred to as hunters. Their skills were best used by magicians as assassins or bodyguards, usually for political and internal reasons. Due to the Atorathians resistance to magic it was hard for magicians to sense an Atorathian's presence, making them, Atorathians, very reliable assets in protecting or destroying other magicians.
Danais had minor hunting skills, but nothing a mere human couldn't match. Strategic thinking and combat were arguably some of their better talents as well. These were gifts from Ronilas, the Goddess of War and Wisdom—yet two more things he didn't get. He probably could hold his own against another mortal, but against a trained magician he didn't stand a chance. He had at least acquired the physical attributes of an Atorathian: muscular in proportion to height, never skinny or fat, or overly muscled. An overweight or too-slim Atorathian was usually an immediate giveaway of the "silent" ones.
He got out of bed and stared at himself in the mirror. At least he had the appearance of being normal. At his age if his shape hadn't changed he was bound to keep it. His ears pointed up at the top much like an elf's, except still rounded. The bottoms melded seamlessly into the head in a way that one didn't notice Atorathians had no earlobes.
Danias had a habit of doing this, looking at himself in the mirror, just to make sure that at least one physical attribute of his people's was still intact. Thin, curved eyebrows, medium rounded nose, perfectly chocolate-brown complexion, full lips with a hint of pink, straight, midnight-black hair which he kept very close-cut. He even possessed the unarguable Atorathian skill of love-making, the only skill no one could connect directly to a god. This skill was so renowned that it garnered as much money in the brothels as that of being a hunter—so much so that there were troupes that travelled during wars, and the Atorathians always demanded top price in the troupes.
Usually they were the gifted though. The silent types like Danais were considered peasants and no matter how good they were, they could not demand high prices. He did, however, seem to make more than a peasant should and would do it sometimes when money from the farm he worked on was tight. He sighed and prayed that maybe he was the son of a god and any day he'd wake up with all the gifts of his people and more. But that was every peasant's dream—certainly not something that was going to happen to him.
He sighed, put on some undergarments, three-quarter length slacks, a button-down sleeveless white shirt with collar, worn outside the pants, and then he took one last look. He smiled in approval. He may have been a peasant but at least he was an attractive one. Being an Atorathian peasant was the lowest of lows, because the Salinor of today existed only because of Ronilas and her family's actions. Atorathians shaped the new world. So their peasants were treated lower than all the peasants. But he refused to let that thought bring him down. He put on his sandals and headed out of the house.
His uncle owned the farm he worked on. His uncle, as far as Danais could tell, was gifted but only average in efficiency of all Atorathian skills. He had taken Danais in after his parents died. Unfortunately he could only pay his nephew as a peasant. Favoritism was everywhere but it had its limits. Treating peasants as favourites wasn't the same as paying them as such. In a free world, even peasants can revolt, so keeping up appearances is good for business. But otherwise his uncle had treated him even better than his own children sometimes, Danais thought. This better treatment also came with increased disappointment when he done wrong but such it is sometimes. His uncle never talked about Danais' father or mother. Danais' origins were a complete mystery. He did know that his mother was said to be as beautiful as Ronilas herself. That was a thought that Danais cherished.
His uncle's oldest child, who was an army general, had trained Danais like he was gifted, teaching him fighting and tracking skills he couldn't perform even to a small percentage of accuracy. He didn't understand the purpose of this and was easily frustrated. None of this seemed to perturb his cousin though.
He strapped his money bag around his right bicep and tried to get into town as fast as he could. She, his cousin, was supposed to be visiting today and he wasn't looking forward to a training session on his day off. He loved her—but not that much.
When she arrived, she somehow managed to corner him against a wall and practically threw him into the air after grasping him into a hug. He was a little guy, only five feet four—small for any of the provinces in Salinor, even for Atorathians, who were generally short.
"So how have you been, little one?" she asked.
"I was doing good when I was breathing,"
His cousin put him down. "You've, grown a lot since—Matured I guess. You're still the same height. How long has it been?"
"Five moon cycles since your last visit." Moon cycles were the completion of a whole month.
"So why are you running away so fast? Trying to avoid another training session?"
"Can't I just be going for a walk?"
"Not at the pace you were moving."
"I was just trying to get into town while the morning pastries were still hot." Miri, raised her eyebrows. "And I knew you were coming so I was trying to avoid you." Danais relented. No point in denying the obvious.
"I see," Miri chuckled.
"I can't waste my day away training. I'm a man now. Many moon cycles past my sixteenth name day. I have to go do manly things."
"Like eat pastries?" Miri raised an eyebrow slightly as she stared down at him.
"Should I ask who she is?"
"Bye, Miri. I'll talk to you when I get back." Danais, although not really going to see someone, had considered meeting someone would be a possibility. He wasn't about to let his cousin see that, though.
Danais liked the walk down the mountain. It was known as Chibal Way. It was the main road through the mountain and it trailed all the way down on the other side. It turned off to many villages in the province, some roads of which he passed going down. The mountain wasn't high, more like a hill compared to the real mountains in Salinor. But most of Atorath was on elevated land. Easily forgotten because of the wide spaces, it still felt like ground level.
The walk down was peaceful, and the farm was partly surrounded by a forest so the path away led partly through the woods. The tall trees and the light shining through the leaves were extremely calming to him. On this walk he could, if only for a moment, forget who he was. Maybe one day he'd travel further into the other side of the mountain and explore the woods more thoroughly. Someday he would get to see more than the farm.
The town was on the water's edge of the main city of Atorath. The main street which bordered the shops on the river's edge was called Londar. The town itself was called Chin. The city was semicircular with a grid of streets that branched off from the main road, intersecting with the roads coming in from the curved border. The market was a square section of stalls in the center of town, full of fresh fruits, vegetables, jewellery, clothing, and the like. The bad area, if coming from the water, was a section off to the back right. Located on the circular border of the city. The slums were known as the Burrow, a slice of pie-shaped section of town that got nastier and more grimy the closer one got to the center of the pie. This was where most of the town peasants and thieves lived—or, more accurately, hid. Thieves were everywhere where people had money and items to be stolen. The Burrow was merely a place to escape.
Danais didn't find it to be that bad as he walked through. He could've easily avoided the area, but he liked tall buildings. It was not glamorous. There was laundry hanging overhead somehow drying clean in the smog. Lots of small dark alleys curving among the regular grid of streets, and people shouting and rushing to their jobs late. The burrow was full of his kind of people, some of whom he worked with on the farm. He spoke to a few as he walked and tried to defend himself from a thief who thought he could steal his money, then stole his for good measure, and continued to walk on. He had a slight bruise on his hand from where he punched the theif and one on his arm from when the theif grabbed him. Neither of these bothered Danais much. He had been in much worse brawls before. Soon the streets became clear and regular things like pubs and barber shops started to appear. At the end of the next block he made a left onto Licol Road.
This particular block was the brothel center. Both sides of the road looked quite clean and unassuming. However, the signs on the inns were very clear as to what their product was. Usually there was a scantily clad male or female next to the wooden inn sign, or murals painted in the entrance doors of men or women in obviously sexual situations. It was, Danais thought, rather good art, but he wondered if the artist did other conventional art as well. Surely this type of art was only a means to pay bills and not that profitable.
He was two blocks away from the main road, and the other two blocks held more of the usual town fare: family-owned apartments on top of family-owned inns and so on. The priciest—but not necessarily the best—shops were on the main road. It was the longest street, so they tried to lure in rich clientele and unsuspecting victims before they could get into the market, which usually held the most exciting harder to find items. On the other hand, a lot of the shops did have quality goods and it looked good for the owner—and the people shopping—to be seen on the main street. There was also a secret exchange between friends and family; depending on what one was looking for, the shop owners would tell their costomers what stall to go to in the center market. It was good strategy to partner with someone. If the merchant didn't have enough product so that he or she could fill a shop on Londar, partnering with someone who could got their smaller center market shop some business. On the other hand some merchants, had more than one shop so they would direct customers into the market to buy more things from them under the guise of sending them to another merchant. Having connections with the main city of Leonor was for people who had the biggest market influence, like his uncle. There were advantages to not being a peasant and having a farm so large and so close to the major city and the province town.
Londar actually travelled all the way down the northern side of the river Maltar, then there was an eastern bridge that traveled over the river to the provinces on the southern side of the main city, Leonor. There was no bridge on the western side because that was where the river roared into the waterfall named Latik. The province borders between the waterside towns were usually just land and trees, dotted with an occasional temple for the male and female priests who preferred not to live at the more conventional temples in the towns. These temples were usually big and elaborate, like the temples in the main city, Leanor. Danais had yet to travel far enough from home to see any of these temples. He only saw the ones he frequented in the town.
The Maltar River surrounded the main city, Leonor, named after the Goddess of Love. She married Atora after he made the hike up the Jargadine mountains to save his mother. He had made the dangerous journey assuming he was following her mother Salinor, only to find that it was the daughter. The two fell madly in love and married before Atora became a god. He named the major city after her. It was the only city in all of Salinor to be named after a god.
Salinor's tower was on the western point of the island. Danias could see it from the town. It was the only part of the island he'd ever seen. The city was so vast, artists struggled to capture all its beauty on one canvas. It was the third largest city in all of Salinor. Danais had never stepped foot on the island before but had always dreamed of it. However, his mind couldn't dwell on that just yet. He had finally made it to the main road, and directly in front of him across the road was his favourite pastry shop; the smell of fresh goodies was overwhelming his thoughts. He almost forgot sometimes it was a long journey to get here but it was worth the walk.
The owner of the shop was Garnter. As such it was rightly named Garnter's Pastries. Danais was quite sure he'd have to wait a little while for a warmer pastry, having missed the first batch. He didn't care, though. A good pastry is a good pastry, warm or not. He was at least still early enough to get a good view on the outside terrace. Peasants were sometimes forced to give up their seats to the Nobles. He enjoyed the view over the harbour and watching the ships come in from the city. Maybe if he was lucky, not too many of the rich would come and he could sit outside and stare at the water all day. He stepped inside the door and the bells chimed to signal his entrance. His ears and his nose were delighted.
"Danais. Come, come. You're late," Garnter beckoned him to the counter.
"I ran into Miri on the way down," Danais responded in explanation.
"Ah, so have the bruises from her last session healed yet?" Garnter asked teasingly.
Danais just scoffed and looked through the glass. He eyed the expensive tarts and cakes and so wanted to say, "I'll have that, and that. Oooh, and two of those." But he couldn't afford even half of that. He let out a sigh and was about to place an order when a costumer interrupted him.
"Still wishing beyond your means, peasant boy. Why don't you go down the street and buy a bread roll? I'm sure you can afford that with your coins. I didn't know you allowed such scum in your establishment, Garnter." Danais would've said something, but arguing with a magician wasn't wise. Luckily he didn't have to.
"The only scum in here right now is you. I won't have none of that talk in my shop or you will have to leave," Garnter said. The two glared at each other for a moment, then the magician smiled and got back to reading his books and scrolls.
"Thank you," Danais said. Even in Atorath it was hard to find good, decent people sometimes.
"Nothing to thank me for. I may make you give up your table sometimes but I won't tolerate direct hate speech. Besides, I get a lot of my supplies from your uncle. And my son is—" Danais looked up for more details but Garnter quickly changed the subject. "So what will you have?"
Excerpted from Salinor The Beginnings by Samuel Alexander. Copyright © 2013 Samuel Alexander. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In the mystical, magical world of literature Salinor is a definite 5 star adventurous, fantasy ride into the unknown. The author grabs us from the beginning in his prose like writing and free flowing style. Before long you are caught in a world of gods, magic and mysticism. This world is full of adventure and excitement. This is a world that reminds me of the film industry because nothing is what it seems to be. We are guided through each step of the journey by our two main characters Leo and Dinais, who as we get to know them realize that even they are not who they think they are. I am also attracted to the character Mai’n because of her humanness. Elements of strength and vulnerability are attractive qualities, which made me care for her. Who she is, what she is doing, what is it she wants. There is a profound truth about the human soul and emotion and our images of who we are in these characters. Each passage a road to self-discovery, each challenge revealing to us more and more. There is a lot of love, thought and lessons to be learned. There is also suspense and heart pounding moments. The battle scenes are vivid and clear. It had me rooting and ready to do battle with Leo and Dinais against their enemies. In many cases it was detailed and action packed. This is also a book about warriors and gods. The book reminds me that the forces of love and hate, good and evil are steadily at war. It is an epic adventure packed with many punches and surprises. It takes you to many different places. Deep within are buried truths and philosophies that are gently delivered through the actions of the characters. In the end, it is a book of triumph.