Awakening Magic: how it begins

(Illustrations by Matthew Wall)

Part I

Chapter 1

Prologue

            When Orgull, the foreman at the Red Thunder Mine, made his plans to kidnap Prince Emric, the dwarf didn’t think past the satisfaction of revenge.  The High King’s edict, banning slavery from all the dwarves’ mines and forges, had almost ruined the miners’ livelihood. 

            But Orgull also had a personal vendetta, for his face and body bore the scars of burns inflicted on him by the king’s advisor, Lord Malcolm of Hawk Hill. 

            In his hut at the Red Thunder Mine, Orgull sat at the table with the slave trader, Morg. 

            Rubbing his palms together, Orgull then spread out his fingers and studied the shiny, raised scars that covered his hands. 

            “I expect that Lord Malcolm, as a loyal subject of King Karbac, will be drawn into the search for the Prince,” Orgull said. “He’ll come to me like a moth to a flame.”

            Morg shook his head and scowled. “That Lord Malcolm is a powerful warlock,” he said.  “Ye’ll not be challenging his magic.”

            “Oh, not face to face,” Orgull grinned, showing his blackened teeth.  “I’ll shoot him down from afar, when he’s unsuspecting, like.”

            “Murder from behind?” Morg frowned.  “That’s not the dwarf way.”

            “Oh, and should I invite him to tea first?” Orgull said.  “Look at these hands, and this face,” he said.  “Was that a fair fight?”

            Morg shook his head again.  He’d already heard this speech from Orgull many times. “Where will ye put the boy?” he asked Orgull.

            “In the Labyrinth, of course,” Orgull replied. 

            Below the caves and the forges of Red Thunder Mine, the Labyrinth spread like a spider’s web of tunnels, winding and twisting deep in the earth.  It had been created, and later abandoned, by faeries centuries ago.

            “But what of the Snatcher?” Morg asked. 

            “Ain’t my concern,” said Orgull. “And what if it does eat the boy?  When we get the ransom, and our slaves back, the king himself can seek his son in the Labyrinth.”  Orgull snorted a laugh.  “Maybe the monster will eat ‘em both, father and son.”

            “The boy is well-guarded, ye know,” Morg said.  “How will ye nab him?”

            “Not me,” Orgull said.  “I’ll be getting a Grassman to do that job.”

So begins the adventures of Prince Emric, the twelve-year-old boy who wants only to compose and play music, and write poetry. His father, the king, has other ideas about the education of his heir. When kidnapped by the Grassman, Emric is swept into a task that demands great courage and sacrifice.

Find Awakening Magic online at

  Also available at http://www.handersenpublishing.com

*I think this may still be my favorite book in the Karakesh Chronicles. Read them all and tell me which you like best.

K.E. 

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