QSFer Andrew Q. Gordon has a new fantasy book out:
Dumbarten should have been the end of Farrell’s efforts to find his distant ancestor Kel, but the Six have other plans. Farrell is told to continue his search for answers in Agloth, the temple city to Seritia. Forced by the Goddess to ride across the vast continent of Lourdria, Farrell and his companion learn that Meglar’s reach extends well beyond the borders of Ardus. And Agloth, despite being dedicated to the Goddess of Love, is also home to a millennia-old curse that Farrell must end if he wants to complete his task.
Answers don’t come easily, and Farrell determines he must travel to the Dwarf Kingdom of Colograd to continue his quest. When an ally of Meglar’s threatens Agloth, Farrell cuts short his time in Colograd and rushes back to defend Seritia’s home. The attack seems doomed to fail, but the death of one of his companions distracts Farrell at a critical moment. Battling against his crushing grief, Farrell struggles to save Agloth, his friends, and himself. And even if he survives, he still hasn’t found Kel or his answers.
Champion of the Gods Book Three
“WHY DON’T we send up flares that write my real name and lineage across the sky?” Farrell scanned the room for support. King Markus of Dumbarten, Princess Penelope, and her life partner the Lady Marisa avoided his gaze. He shook his head and turned around. “I don’t like this plan.”
“You haven’t liked any of the suggestions we’ve made.” Markus stared at his cousin, his annoyance barely contained. “Do you have a better idea?”
“Not yet.” He stood up and walked to the window. The king and Marisa didn’t understand how magic worked. They assumed he’d wave his hand and make their impossible plan work.
“That is because you make it look easy.” Nerti’s mental voice reminded him he’d kept their minds linked for these meetings. “Perhaps if you let someone else do the hard things, they’d see the effort needed.”
“Even if I did that, they’d still expect me to find a way.” Seritia’s request that he bring a devotee from each of the Six and arrive like any other pilgrim played havoc with his original plan to sneak in and out without Meglar noticing. How was he supposed to travel to Her city in the middle of Lourdria—a nearly three-week journey on a fast horse—without attracting attention?
“Rothdin and I have a suggestion, if you’d like to hear it.”
The fact she and his adoptive father colluded in secret meant they weren’t sure he’d like the idea. “It can’t be any worse than sending a legion of heavily armored horse soldiers and accompanying support personnel.”
“You have such confidence in us.” Despite her words, he could hear the amusement in her voice. “Perhaps I should keep my thoughts to myself.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply anything other than the utmost confidence in your counsel. Please tell me your idea.”
“That’s better. But promise to hear me out before you object.”
In the past, whenever someone asked him to promise that, he’d struggled to comply. “I’ll do my best.”
“Have Penelope make a pilgrimage to Agloth. You, Miceral, and Peter accompany her as guards. Klissmor and I will find two more unicorns to carry Peter and Penelope. Your Brothers will fly with us as guards. The princess is a formidable wizard whose presence would explain any high magic you perform.”
The idea had merit. A small contingent would not draw undue attention, at least not on the scale of a legion or two. And as Nerti suggested, the use of high magic would be easily attributed to Penelope. That said….
“Your presence and that of Grohl and Takala is going to be hard to miss.”
“Agreed, but since I’m going to accompany you wherever you go, we need to find a plausible reason for Klissmor and myself to accompany you.”
“I think four unicorns and two peregrines are going to raise a few eyebrows, no matter what you say.” Despite his protest, he hadn’t dismissed the idea out of hand.
“This is also true, but after Belsport, Meglar is aware we are active in the affairs of the world. Would not the king of Dumbarten want to make sure the gods still look on him favorably?”
“Yes, but it is still going to stand out.”
“Not if we send out several other groups at the same time.”
Farrell smiled at the image in his mind of Nerti being pleased with her cleverness. “Can you explain that?”
“Klissmor suggested that when we leave for Agloth, we send similar groups to strategic allies around the world. If Meglar is looking for us, he will have to divide his attention.”
Dividing his attention wouldn’t stop Meglar, but it might slow him enough. And with everyone riding a unicorn, the time to Agloth would be less than half the usual journey.
“I like it.”
“Like what?” Markus asked.
Lost in his conversation, he hadn’t heard the king walk up. “Nerti and Rothdin have come up with a suggestion on how to get to Agloth.”
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Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting to the times, he now writes with a shiny new MacBook that he sets on the same desk as his manual typewriter and vintage adding machine.
Long a fan of super heroes, wizards and sports, Andrew’s works include high fantasy, paranormal spirits, magic as well as contemporary fiction. He is still trying to find the perfect story that will include all his favorites under one cover.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his husband, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and occasionally sleeping.
The Land of Make Believe: http://andrewqgordon.com/