Chidar was known as the ‘key-maker’, with a natural understanding of the great flows of energy within the universe. Over the years he had earned a reputation that struck fear into the hearts of men, becoming one of Hyder’s greatest sorcerers. But he kept his biggest discovery a closely guarded secret. For years, Chidar spent his days mapping the pathways between the different dimensions, and his nights looking for a way to travel between worlds.
Finally, he created a solution; the Dimension Key. A device that was part magic, part mechanics and one that would enable him to open the gateways and travel between the worlds. It was a discovery that he believed would make him immortal. That was until he made his biggest mistake and took an apprentice. His name was Xanon. It was a mistake that Chidar was soon to realise could cost not only his world, but all others, a terrible price.
Now 150 years after Xanon’s death, the witch called Gudrun and her friends trail a fugitive they only know as ‘the man in black’ across the plain of Edd and into the twisted forest on the edge of Volares, a Kingdom synonymous with evil.
In a race against time they finally come face to face with their quarry in the Dark Fortress, the place where Xanon once ruled. It is here that they experience the terrible power that the man in black wields. It is a confrontation that they barely survive. But when the dust settles, they finally understand the man in black’s true purpose and realise that they must stop him at any cost.
Also available:The Gift of the Dark (The Sword of Altimar) Part 2
The Story Continues:
Having escaped from the witch called Gudrun and her friends, the man in black uses Chidar’s magic to open a pathway to another world, fleeing Hyder for a present day New York City. Here, as the night of the Ghost festival approaches and that which divides the worlds grows thin, they must try and stop this terrible sorcerer before he can succeed in his plans to acquire the fabled sword of Altimar, taking the dimension key for his own and opening a long destroyed gateway in order to fulfil his destiny; to bring back the Dark. With the balance of the universe in tatters, only Gudrun and the others have any chance to stop him.
Targeted Age Group:: 8 – 108
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My latest book is called The Gift of the Dark.
I had the idea probably 20 years ago now (what’s that you say about procrastination? Is that not a true Author’s trait?). I always told stories to my children and have loved writing for my own pleasure, so my wife said; ‘Why don’t you do it for real?’ … So I did!
Truth be told I love writing and always have; although for many years I think I forgot that one simple truth. For me writing is magic… word alchemy if you will.
The ability to create is probably the driving force behind my love of writing – a chance to create and breathe live into characters who will tell their story, hopefully in a way that engages with the reader, all whilst creating a fictional environment in which the reader can become totally immersed.
My wife jokes (well I hope she’s joking) that it sounds like a need to control, but in reality sometimes I don’t always feel ‘in control’ of my stories, or my characters for that matter, it’s as if they get a life and voice of their own and in that are able to make their own decisions and choices, taking the story in their own direction. Even when I know how it’s supposed to end… I often look forward to finding out how we’ll get there!
I sincerely hope you do too, but above all, I hope you enjoy and gain some pleasure from the words I place on a page.
The Gift of the Dark is part of the Return of the Dark series (Part 1 and 2 are already available).
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main protagonists are old circus performers – I’ve always thought there was something strange and ethereal about people who work in a circus as if they belong to a different time and place – anyway they sort of got a life of their own… so I let them off the leash and they found other characters along the way that were just as interesting… and dangerous.
The Gift of the Dark (Part 1)
There are some that believe the universe is made up of twelve separate dimensions, each connected by a pathway. For centuries these pathways remained inaccessible and uncharted. At the entrance to each pathway stood a gateway, or portal, protected by one of twelve elemental Guardians. Over the years many searched for these pathways, but only a few of the most gifted sorcerers had the necessary skills to uncover them.
Over time the skilled few plotted their discoveries, passing their knowledge down the generations. Many dreamed of being able to travel between the worlds, but none succeeded, soon discovering that it was far too dangerous…. Then came Xanon.
Chapter 1 – The Man in Black
The present: The plain of Edd, near the border of Volares, Hyder: August 31st, 1353
The man in black fled across the barren landscape with the girl, and the four followed.
The cracked and scarred ground under the horses’ hooves burned hot from the scorching sun, the only other signs of life came from the shadows cast by the high circling pan-tail vultures and the odd clump of dried shrimp grass that grew across the valley floor, its roots pushing relentlessly into any crevice it could find. The valley had once held a mighty lake and river, but was now reduced to a parched and empty chasm running through a vast expanse of nothingness.
The emptiness stretched out in front of the four riders as far as the eye could see. On either side the sheer rock-face rose like giant tsunamis, seemingly growing ever higher before closing in like a crashing wave up ahead.
The horses were struggling, foam flecked at the corner of their mouths. The rider’s own mouths were dry, their water supply low. It had been two long days since the four had crossed the border into Volares leaving the lush, green plains of Abbigar behind and with it the shade provided by the tall Aspilla trees with their blue-green leaves that swam majestically in the soft mountain breeze. It had been a further day since they had been able to brim their water bottles fully. One of the pan-tails screeched its frustration overhead growing impatient and weary at the fact the four hadn’t given up on life yet and were still moving below.
They rode in pairs, two in front and two behind. On the left up front rode Gawain, his striking features covered in tanned skin like well-oiled leather. His long hair flowed out behind him, pure white and premature in its arrival. He wore simple and practical clothes of a good quality, that were now ingrained with the all-pervasive dust that clogged his throat and sat in the deep lines of his face. Across his back was strung a long wooden staff, worn smooth by years of use by callused hands. His clear blue eyes were focused on the horizon ahead, seeking out their pray through lids that were half closed in an attempt to keep out some of the terrain’s dust. Gawain rode with a relaxed confidence, born of years in the saddle and a natural balance.
To his right rode Gudrun, an elderly lady, small and slight in stature. However the way she controlled the horse, a good fifteen hands high, suggested that her looks might well be deceptive; and they were. She rode with an arrow straight back and a determination which somehow managed to radiate a power that belied her diminutive size and made her, in many ways, as foreboding as the man mountain who rode directly behind.
Anouk was, to put it simply, massive. At over six feet six tall and three hundred and twenty pounds of pure muscle, he dwarfed the horse beneath him. He also rode with a slightly uncomfortable gait that suggested he would be far happier with his large feet planted solidly on the cracked and hard surface of the valley floor below. His clothes were not as high a quality as Gawain’s, but instead were of a more utilitarian cut and finish. His slightly ungainly approach to riding was further exaggerated (and placed in stark contrast) by the slender young woman who rode so elegantly beside him and directly behind Gawain.
Arachne flowed with the horse as if part of one greater being. She wore all black, a colour that matched her silken, raven hair, which was tied in a tight ponytail. On many this look would have made them appear stern, or perhaps even harsh. But Arachne had a glow of energy, encapsulated in every move she made and she simply looked beautiful. To add to her beauty she had flawless skin, perfectly symmetrical features with wonderful bone structure and beautifully defined cheek bones, together with the most amazing green, piercing eyes imaginable. But there was far more to her than looks. She had a precision in every movement she made and shared the same focus as the others, a focus that gave her an edge of danger. There was a hidden layer beneath the general air of determination that brought the four riders together… as well as something else they shared; a sense of great loss.
A mile later the valley split into two distinct pathways, one rising up into the foothills of the mountains, through the lands of the Krell, or the rock people as they were often known, before running down the other side to the arch of Tindarla, an ancient religious site for the near forgotten Tinda religion. The other pathway ran around the valley floor to the right, toward the forest that bordered the dark lands of Volares; neither was a journey that any but the bravest, or foolhardy, would make by choice.
Gudrun slowed and Gawain held his hand up to the others behind. Coming to a halt on the hot, hard surface Anouk took off his hat and wiped the back of one massive hand across his forehead leaving a smear of sweat through the pale dust that covered his face. He adjusted his weight in the saddle, trying to relieve some of the discomfort he felt, and then watched in silence as Gudrun slid gently from her horse, dropping soundlessly onto the valley floor. After a few moments she walked purposely forward, maybe ten, fifteen yards before slowly kneeling down.
Anouk watched as she reached out with her hand, her eyes closed, as she took a deep breath and touched the ground, almost tenderly. It was a ritual he had witnessed many times already on this journey, usually at a point where there was a choice of directions to be made. So far she had always made the right one. Neither he nor his friends questioned what she did, or how she did it, understanding on some level that she saw, or felt, things that they could only begin to imagine.
Gudrun’s eyes flew open and a shiver ran through her body, bringing with it a veil of dread. Anouk noticed, as he had on previous occasions, that when she stood and turned toward them she momentarily appeared physically older and weaker. He could see it in her face. It was only a fleeting change, and one that seemed to wash away almost immediately, but he knew it was real, without doubt. The first time it had happened he thought it must have been a trick of the light, but he took care to watch carefully the next time. By the third time he was certain. Certain that on each occasion whatever she had to do cost her some small price. But he also knew that it was a price worth paying.
Gudrun re-mounted, turned in her saddle to face the others and spoke one word, ‘Volares.’
‘And the girl?’ asked Gawain.
‘Still with him.’
Then before they had a chance to respond further she kicked her horse once and was away.
About the Author:
Guy Pettengell was born in in Hertfordshire, England in December 1965. One of his greatest influences during his formative years was his training in the Martial Arts. He began training when he was just 11, teaching from the age of 19 before obtaining his 5th Degree Black Belt in 1998 and still trains today.
After leaving full time education he obtained a professional qualification in purchasing and supply management, going on to build a successful career in both the private and public sectors. But despite winning a number of high profile awards for his work in procurement, he grew increasingly aware of the one thing he wanted to do above all else – write.
Guy is happily married and lives with his wife, Helen, in Cambridgeshire where he spends as much of his free time as possible writing. Initially conceived as a screenplay, before being written as a novel, Dominant Species is his first published book.
Guy also loves spending time with his wife in America and you will see this influence throughout his books from the setting of Dominant Species in New York, to the hotter nights of Miami where his next novel, due in the summer of 2014, is based. Retribution is the first in a new series of books starring Jack Vincent, a man with a dark and sinister past. Guy promises it will be a very different novel, but hopes you will enjoy reading it as much as he has enjoyed writing it.
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy The Gift of the Dark (Part 1) On Amazon