QSFer Andrew Q. Gordon has a new MM fantasy book out, the last one in his “Champion of the Gods” series: When Heroes Fall.
It took the Seven to create the world, each to rule Their own, until Neldin sought to rule it all.
The Six defeated Neldin three millennia ago, but time has no meaning to a god. Before the dust settled from the first conflict, both sides set in motion plans for the next one. As Champion of the Six, Farrell, with Kel’s help, gathers those loyal to the Six to meet Meglar and his army.
But Neldin plotted as well, and like the Six, His plans all lead to the final confrontation between Champions.
Kel teaches Farrell that weapons and power will not be enough—victory requires something from within each Champion. But Neldin also knows this and unleashes a final surprise at a critical moment that claims some of those Farrell loves most.
With the fate of Nendor riding on his actions, Farrell must ignore the pain and find the will to win. If not, his world and everyone he loves will fall to Meglar’s darkness.
INTENSE PAIN woke Farrell from a deep sleep. He opened his eyes and drew a ragged breath. The throbbing assault on his mind ended an instant later, leaving only a dull echo. A scan of his burns showed no distress or pain. Still, the sensations had been too vivid to be a dream.
He lay back and stared at the ceiling as his head sank into the soft pillow. The need to rest had nearly pulled him back to sleep when his head erupted in pain. The powerful scream lacked the mind-searing agony Nerti’s exuded when Nordric had died, but it still made him wince. When he closed his eyes, he saw nothing but bright white light. Unlike the grief that fueled Nerti’s outburst, this radiated terror.
A sheen of cold sweat formed on his forehead as he tried to assess the threat. How had someone slipped past his shields? Even Nerti and Rothdin couldn’t get in and out that easily. Only Miceral had this much access to him and the scream wasn’t from him.
He held his breath, ready to pounce. When the mental shriek came, he grabbed it. It hadn’t gotten into his mind; it was calling to him with such force it hurt. The unknown caller was scared beyond words, almost like a child….
Farrell jumped off the bed and ran to the nursery. When she’d been scared at Trellham, he’d dispelled her fear. She must have instinctively reached for him again, only this time it was more intense.
He burst into the suite without thinking and startled Urana, who sat knitting in the common room. Her scream should have woken the children, but Farrell doubted it would. Geena’s spillage was so strong he wasn’t sure he could wake her at the moment.
Urana dropped her knitting and clutched at her chest with both hands. “Your Majesty, what’s happening?”
“Sorry, but Geena is… is having a bad dream.”
“She’s what?” The way she steadied herself surprised Farrell.
“I can feel her… her emotions. I think she’s having a nightmare.” A bad one.
He slowly opened the door. Geena moved around as if someone were poking her. She had a look of pain that mirrored her shouts. He tried to probe her mind, but the jumble of thoughts kept him from reading much. If he pushed harder, he might see more, but he didn’t want to risk damage to her mind.
“You should be sleeping, not calling me.” Her reproachful tone didn’t help his mood.
“I would be, except something is wrong with Geena.”
“Then you should call the healer, not me.”
“Nerti, please. You know me well enough that I’d do that if that were needed. It’s her mind. Fear is emanating from her and the projections are painful. It must be terrible considering how much it hurts me.”
“What’s causing it?” She reached out a link and Farrell grabbed it.
“I don’t know. She’s fighting something, and I’m afraid if I try to push through I’ll hurt her.” Another stab of pain struck his unprotected mind. “Nerti, help me!”
“Open your eyes and let me see her.” Despite her calm tone, he sensed her unease.
Farrell did as instructed and had to force himself to breathe. The silence lingered longer than he expected, but he knew better than to disturb her.
“The source of her discomfort is coming from Bren,” Nerti said.
Her words struck him like a war hammer to the face. “Bren? How’s… it can’t be.”
“I don’t know, but Klissmor has a link with the child and is checking to see what bothers him.”
“His dream is of death and fear.” Klissmor’s voice was full of anger. “It is not a natural dream. Someone is feeding his mind images of his parents’ death.”
“Who?” Farrell imagined the ways he would make that person suffer for hurting his son. When he found them, they’d—
“Be calm, Little One,” Nerti said in a soothing voice. “We will find the source and end the threat.”
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.