The Story of Evil - Volume I follows Stephen Brightflame, Tyrus Canard, and Kari Quinn during an entertaining jousting tournament when everything turns to chaos. Steve, Ty, and Kari’s city is unexpectedly attacked by a ruthless enemy known only as the Hooded Phantom and his massive army of monsters. The three young adults try to survive as their family and friends are carelessly slaughtered and the city they call home is destroyed.
Steve, Ty, and Kari each decide to stand up and fight back against the insurmountable army of evil, despite knowing their slim chances of survival. Through their bravery and courage they become the inspiration and hope of a fallen city. They become Heroes of the Siege.
Heroes of the Siege is the first volume in an exciting new series called The Story of Evil. For fans of classic fantasy, this book features intense battles, surprising twists, and shocking revelations as heroes battle villains in an epic tale of good vs. evil.
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About the Author
Tony Johnson is the author of the young adult fantasy series: The Story of Evil. Tony is an avid reader. He enjoys fantasy, classics, and Christian literature. He is a fan of movies, television, music, videogames, and sports. Tony currently lives in Batavia, NY and is working on the next volumes in the Story of Evil canon.
Read an Excerpt
The crowd roared with excitement as they cheered for their hero, Stephen Brightflame. Steve and his opponent were tied after a grueling, back-and-forth match. Whoever won the next two out of three passes would win the quarter-finals match of the Warriors' Joust.
Closing the visor of his red helm, Steve kicked his heels into the sides of his armored horse, Clyx. The hearts of thousands of fans collectively beat faster and faster as the two stallions raced towards each other. Steve's blue cape whipped behind him as Clyx's speed increased. The warrior lowered his heavy red and blue lance. The colors swirled down the shaft in a dizzying spiral.
The sharp crack of splintering wood rang through the entire stadium and was quickly replaced with a chorus of cheers. Steve had landed a devastating blow on his opponent's chest.
One more point till victory.
Warriors were well-respected men that served as the law enforcement in all the villages, towns, and cities on Element. Once a year, each of the kingdom's Primary Cities sent their best warriors to Celestial, also called the Circle City, to compete in the Warriors' Tournaments. Some of the tournaments held over the three-day weekend extravaganza included Warriors' Archery, Warriors' Combat, Warriors' Melee, and everyone's favorite, Warriors' Joust.
Tens of thousands of people flocked to Celestial to watch the competitions. The events served as more than just entertainment, they were an opportunity for the four races to celebrate the safety and peace that the kingdom was experiencing, especially following the years of Draviakhan's reign. The warriors were the central focus of the festivities since they were the ones that risked their lives to protect civilians and prevent monster attacks.
In the months after the Imperial Dragon's defeat, Celestial grew exponentially. The new capital quickly became the official central point of the world on many maps. In the center of Celestial, King Zoran ruled from the largest, tallest, and most beautiful castle in all of Element. Its many towers appeared to touch the heavens as its colorful red and blue flags flapped in the comforting breeze. No matter where you were in Celestial, you could look up and see a part of the castle. You could even be miles outside the city's outer wall and still catch a glimpse of at least the King's Observation Tower. For anyone who was lost in the city, they could simply find the Fluorite River, which came in from the north and exited through the south and connected to many of the main roads and plazas.
Celestial's positioning on the Fluorite allowed trading, which quickly made the capital the center of culture and commerce. Many people traveled from far away to experience the famous landmarks, museums, shops, taverns, and other attractions the city had to offer. The tender hospitality Celestial residents gave to visitors only added to the charm. You would have to try hard to find someone who was not smiling and optimistic. Visitors always left the capital with a heartwarming feeling. It wasn't hard to understand why Celestial was both the most highly populated and the most frequently visited city in the kingdom.
Stephen Brightflame grew up in Celestial. He had earned the privilege to proudly represent his hometown in the Warriors' Joust. Removing his helm, he trotted Clyx around, playfully encouraging the crowd's support. He couldn't contain his excitement as he smiled to the spectators. Steve had one of those bright smiles that made people instantly like him.
"This is amazing," he said out loud to himself. Rare moments like this are meant to be treasured. They don't last forever.
If he won the Warriors' Joust, Steve would automatically be invited to represent Celestial again for next year's tournament, but if he lost, he would have to go through the grueling rounds of the capital's qualifying matches again. He would have to compete against hundreds of other warriors from the Circle City who dreamt of being in the position he was currently in.
Steve still couldn't believe he had been the victor of the competitive Celestial Qualifiers. What was even harder for Steve to believe was the fact that he was currently only two matches away from the Championship Joust in the tournament. Ever since he was a child, he dreamed of becoming the champion jouster of all the warriors in the kingdom, but he never believed he would get this close.
The crowd noise was deafening; even the people who lived in the houses surrounding the arena were hanging out of their windows, watching the action, and adding to the cheers. Everywhere he looked Steve saw pennants of Celestial's colors of red and blue being waved back and forth through the air. The colors matched his specially designed and perfectly fitted jousting armor. He was wearing all red, while Clyx was in blue. The two colors combined to form a cooperative team between man and horse.
As he looked around the stadium at the smiling, cheering faces, his eyes caught the face of a beautiful woman. She smiled at him, shyly. Steve nodded at her with a flirtatious smile of his own. The woman stuck her pointer finger into the air, high above her head. Still smiling at her, Steve nodded again.
One more point. That's all I need before I move on to the next match.
Galloping over to his side of the arena, the red armored Celestial warrior put his jouster's helm back on. He was handed a new lance from one of his four faithful squires. These young boys held him in the highest regard. They tried to emulate his every action and mannerism. This was the kind of attention the hometown jouster got from both young and old civilians. Everyone put their hope in Steve to win the golden trophy.
Clyx was equally as popular. Steve was only a stable boy for the warriors when he first met the stallion. He had just fed the warhorses their dinner when he heard an odd clicking sound. Quickly turning around to see where the noise had come from, he saw a newborn colt with a shiny, light brown coat, crunching on his food. Every time the animal took a bite of the oat, barley, and corn mixture, his jaw clicked. That was the day Steve named him Clyx.
Boys and girls would often run up and give Clyx carrots when they saw him and Steve on patrol in the Celestial. The children loved hearing the funny clicking of the animal's jaw.
Steve had never met a horse more loyal than Clyx. He had ridden him on countless patrols throughout the city and for his jousting matches in Celestial's qualifying rounds, even though Clyx wasn't trained as a jousting horse. After winning the Qualifiers, Steve was offered a better horse. A special purebred was always pedigreed years beforehand specifically for Celestial's jouster. Somewhere there was a horse being bred for the tournament three years down the road.
Steve had declined the breeder's offer. Clyx was a stallion warhorse. He wasn't entirely agile or super-fast, but together they had a connection and a bond. They had willpower that knew no ends. It was a quality that often triumphed over physical attributes. No one could convince Steve to abandon his trusty steed. All the warrior would say was, "Together we have come this far and together we will go as far as we can."
During the tournament, people kept saying Clyx's build was not meant for jousting and that Celestial was getting lucky wins. The Capital City was considered the underdog and everyone expected their next match to be their last, but Steve and his horse never lost. They were currently in their eleventh match of the Joust.
Turning and facing his opponent, Steve signaled he was ready by raising his lance high above his head, pointing it to the blue sky, polka-dotted with fluffy white clouds. The simple action elicited another eruption of cheers as the crowd anticipated what could be the final pass of the match.
When Cyrus, Steve's yellow-armored opponent, received his lance from his own squires and signaled he was ready, the flagman slowly walked to the middle of the arena with his flag held even. As the two warriors anxiously awaited the rise of the white flag, a bleeding Celestial warrior with two arrows stuck in his chest stumbled out into the middle of the arena yelling, "We're under attack! We're under attack!"
Steve heard the screams from the crowd before he noticed the dark shadows on the sand-filled arena floor. Along with every spectator, his gaze turned towards the sky.
Flaming boulders began raining down. People panicked and began to run in any possible direction. A boulder crushed a row of wooden stands that spectators were trying to escape from. They were lost in the wreckage, being burned alive as the shattered wood caught fire.
Another flaming boulder crashed into one of the buildings surrounding the arena, the very one people were looking out of to watch the jousting match. The structure toppled over onto escaping civilians. The smell of smoke filled the air as flames engulfed anything that could be set on fire, which was, unfortunately, half of the stadium.
The exciting joust that turned instantly chaotic, made Clyx nervous causing him to spin in a circle, bucking. Steve almost fell off, but managed to tighten his grip on the reins and stay mounted. He patted the wild stallion between the ears, trying his best to compose his friend. Clyx stopped bucking, but his neighing and tail-wagging were still excessive as his wide brown eyes watched in horror at all the commotion surrounding him.
Behind the visor of his helm, Steve's blue eyes matched his horse's. The warrior did all he could to try and remain calm, but his heart was racing. He, Clyx, and everyone else in the arena knew what was happening.
Monsters were beginning an attack on the Celestial City.
Three out of four of Steve's squires came running to stand near him. Steve didn't want to imagine what had happened to the missing one. Each boy had been entirely faithful in being his squire, tending to both his and Clyx's needs for the duration of the tournament. One was tasked with supplying Steve with lances. Another constantly waved Celestial's red and blue banner. The other two held his weapons: his sword and shield.
My sword bearer is the one missing, Steve realized.
Without being told, the squire carrying his shield reached up and handed it to the warrior. Even during an attack, here they are, standing by my side, ready and waiting.
Then Steve saw the fear in their eyes. They aren't beside me to serve me. They're looking for someone to protect them during the attack. To the squires, Stephen Brightflame was their hero, their role model. If anyone could keep them safe it was this warrior they held in such high regard.
Scanning the smoky arena through the small slits in his visor, Steve pointed his lance to the closest exit. "Get out of the open!" he yelled.
His voice went unheard by the three boys on the ground, but they knew what he meant by the direction of his pointed lance.
Steve watched them run for their lives as a flaming boulder crashed no more than thirty feet from him. He instinctively used his shield to cover himself as an avalanche of gritty sand shot up and covered him and everything in the vicinity.
That was too close. I need to get to cover too, but how am I supposed to maneuver Clyx through this crowd when people are running wildly every which way?
As soon as he started to follow the boys, Steve realized that the flaming boulders were no longer his biggest worry. A group of monsters were coming into the arena through the eastern exit. It was the same exit his three young squires were headed for.
"Minotaurs," Steve said under his breath as he saw the two sharp horns jutting out of each of their bull-like heads. And they're all males, he determined. Male minotaurs had sharp, straight horns sticking out from the top of their head. Females' horns were spiraled, comparable to the horns of a ram.
Minotaurs were Anthropomorphic Monsters. Like the people of the four races, they walked on two legs and had free use of their arms. Three of them entered the arena. They were equipped with axes and wearing armor that looked too small for them. Undoubtedly, the armor had belonged to a group of warriors they had killed in the past. Monsters had trouble making their own weapons and armor, so they would steal them from the bodies of dead warriors they had killed.
Two of the minotaurs had short black fur covering their bodies. The other one had brown. It was the same type of short fur Clyx had. Minotaurs had rippling muscles in their limbs, just like horses. They were considered aggressive monsters without much skill or technique in using weapons. Battle usually consisted of them picking a target and hacking away until it stopped moving then repeating that tactic with the next enemy. Upon seeing a group of three defenseless squires, one of the beasts smiled and targeted them with its attack.
The boys saw the minotaur, turned around, and started sprinting back to Steve, but they were not fast enough. The average minotaur could take one step for every four of the small boys' steps. Even if it were Steve running away, he doubted he could escape one of the muscle-bound monsters on foot.
One of the squires was a victim of the monster's weapon. Luckily, the boy had not seen the flaming axe being swung at his back.
At least he died without pain. That was the only positive Steve could come up with in the moment as his stomach dropped in sorrow at the death of the innocent child.
The squire-murdering minotaur had control over the element of fire. Steve could see that the plate of armor it wore was glowing with red and orange flames, the same color as its axe. As the monster squared his feet to deliver a killing blow to the two remaining children cowering in front of him, Steve kicked his heels into Clyx harder than he ever had before and raced to save them.
Steve smashed his lance into the minotaur's unarmored face, feeling the entire skull give way as it was easily crushed inwards. The fire on both the armor and the axe vanished the same moment the monster fell to the ground, dead. Still in a full sprint on his blue-armored horse, Steve launched headfirst off Clyx, holding his shield above his head for protection. He crashed into the brown-furred minotaur, shield first. The two looked like a giant ball of brown, red, and blue as they rolled over and over each other in the sand.
Steve ended up on top and repeatedly smashed the pointed bottom of his triangular shield into his enemy's throat. He didn't stop until a geyser of red blood sprayed up and hit him in the face. After wiping it off with his gauntlet-armored forearm he threw away his battered shield. He lay in the sand, next to the dead monster's body and took a moment to catch his breath.
When he sat up, he looked around for the remaining two squires and saw they had moved to both sides of the eastern exit. They're waving and calling to people, showing them the way out of the arena. For a moment, Steve smiled at the sight: two children risking their own safety so they can attempt to bring what little order they can to this chaos. They will make great warriors if they survive the rest of this day, Steve thought hunting for the silver lining.
He turned his head and immediately had to roll out of the way as a mallet slammed into the sand, right where his head had been. The final minotaur in black fur was standing above the weaponless warrior. The monster was furiously mad.
The black one I killed with my lance must've been a close relation.
Lying on the ground with no weapon or shield for protection, Steve looked up at the minotaur and prepared to die as his enemy raised its weapon and started to bring it down for the easy kill.
Steve breathed a sigh of relief as someone impaled the armored monster from behind. The tip of a sword entered through its back and came out of its chest. Steve rolled out of the way as the dead minotaur almost fell on top of him.
"And with that I take the lead! Five points to four!" a warrior yelled over the deafening sounds of the battle and roaring flames. He stepped forward and pulled the sword out of the monster. Steve looked up and grabbed the hand of his foster brother and best friend, Tyrus Canard, who pulled him up off the ground.
"Cutting it close this time, huh?" Steve shouted back as he removed his restrictive jouster's helm and held it to his side.
"I wanted you to see how helpless and vulnerable you are when I'm not around to save you," Ty smiled back.
"What would I do without you?" Steve replied, feeding his brother's pride.
"I don't know," Ty shrugged his shoulders. "I wouldn't want to live in a world without me."
Steve and Ty were as close as brothers could be without sharing the same bloodline. They were orphans who grew up together after being adopted by the same warrior, Titus Thatcher. Ty and his older brother, Darren, were adopted first, at the ages of two and five, after their parents had been murdered. Thatcher and his wife, Olivia, had been close friends with Ty's warrior father, Caesar Canard, and his wife, Sarah. They served as godparents to both Ty and Darren.
Warriors often had godparents set up for their children because they knew they were in the most dangerous profession. They wanted to make sure their children were provided for in case they were killed in action.
A year after Titus and Olivia Thatcher took in the Canard boys, they decided they wanted to add to their family with their own child. Sadly, Olivia and the baby both died during the birthing process. What Titus thought would be a relationship that would last until he was old and gray, ended far sooner. For the second time in their lives, Ty and Darren were left motherless.
Excerpted from "The Story Of Evil"
Copyright © 2013 Anthony Johnson.
Excerpted by permission of BookBaby.
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.
Table of Contents
Map of Element,
Map of Celestial,
HEROES OF THE SIEGE,
History of Element,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite The Story of Evil by Tony Johnson is a heroic tale of epic proportions. Two gods preside over the world called Element. Element is populated by four races: humans, elves, giants, and dwarves. However, these races are not alone; they share their world with monster clans. The races and the monsters can never coexist; they battle for dominion of Element. A great warrior, Oliver Zoran, rises up from the races. The good god, Alazar, blesses Zoran with elemental powers, enabling him to overthrow the evil monster leader known as the Imperial Dragon. Zoran becomes king and establishes the kingdom’s capital city, Celestial. Every year the citizens gather in Celestial for a tournament of champions. It is a grand celebration, commemorating the skills of the kingdom’s warriors. In the year of 998, everything changes in a matter of minutes. The annual celebration turns into a massacre. The monsters invade, spreading fear and death. Three bold and skilled warriors make a stand against evil. Stephen Brightflame, Tyrus Canard, and Kari Quinn become heroes of the siege. This is their story. Tony Johnson’s portrayal of good versus evil in The Story of Evil is gripping! The prologue is enticing and readily lays the foundation for the fantastical saga. The story has all the essential elements of a fictional fantasy. In Johnson’s make-believe world, the people and creatures have the ability to harness the power of the elements. I sensed a touch of Tolkien, a hint of the Benders of Avatar, and a tad amount of Stan Lee’s X-men in his writing. The story unfolds in a singular day, creating a fast-paced and action-packed adventure. The narrative’s tumultuous action is revealed through three main characters. Overcoming hardships early in life, the young characters are skilled, bold, and brave warriors, yet are kind, self-sacrificing and generous people. Their individual stories are told separately. However, they do intersect as the climactic narrative nears its end. Accompanying the characters' stories are many truths and moral lessons. To name a couple: “Sometimes it takes losing something to realize how important it truly was,” and “Friendships are easier forged with smiles and laughter than with gold.” As the story comes to its close, good and evil face off. The conclusion leaves you on the edge of your seat, waiting and anticipating a duel of a lifetime in the next volume of The Story of Evil.
224 nook pages Fun free read. Im looking forward to a second book