In this series you are invited to share an extract of 500 words from your most recent book published within the last 12 months. Details at the end of the post.
The aim of the series
- To showcase your latest book and sell some more copies.
- Gain more reviews for the book.
- Promote a selection of your other books that are available.
Today an extract from the fantasy The Prince’s Heir (The Five Kingdoms Book 4) by Deborah Jay
About the book
Read the gripping conclusion to The Five Kingdoms series…
King Marten’s reign teeters on a blade’s edge. Chel’s Casket, symbol of his right to rule, is missing. Can master spies Rustam and Risada recover it before someone notices its absence and challenges Marten’s sovereignty? Or is there a more sinister motive behind the disappearance of the casket—a relic that could be used to raise Charin, the demonic half of the dual-natured divinity?
As a series of natural disasters besets the kingdoms, evidence points towards interference by the meddlesome deity, and the terrifying prospect of war between its two opposing aspects.
When Marten’s beloved wife, Betha, and their infant daughter vanish, Marten faces a stark choice: save his family, or try to save his kingdom from a conflict that threatens all humanity.
An extract from The Prince’s Heir
“My queen, the baby is quite large, and you are not. You must make every effort you can, even when it seems you have no more to give.”
She didn’t continue, but Betha read the unsaid words in the midwife’s eyes: “If you don’t, you will both die.”
Chel give me strength, she prayed. I didn’t survive Charin’s attentions and a poisoned blade, just to die doing what other women do every day.
She redoubled her effort, and gasped at the strange sensation of the lower part of her body splitting apart. The metallic scent of blood clogged the back of her throat.
“That’s it, my queen, well done: the head’s out. Rest a few moments, that’s the hardest part over.”
Betha lay back obediently and panted while she flashed a quick thanks to the goddess. Her pulse had slowed by the barest fraction when she was urged to push again, but as promised, with very little extra effort she felt the baby slip from her body. The priestess midwives lost interest in her, bustling and cooing at the abruptly wailing infant that was the blessed reward for her efforts.
“It’s a girl, my queen. You have a daught—oh!”
“What?” Alarmed, Betha struggled to sit up, legs tangled in the birthing sheets.
“Don’t!” barked the older woman, and Betha subsided, her muscles going limp.
“Please, tell me what’s wrong.”
The matron bustled around her, plumping pillows and straightening the tangled sheets.
“There’s nothing you can do, my queen, you need to lie still and recover. That was a mighty effort for one, begging your pardon, as small as you are. If you ever want to have another child, now is the time to take care.”
Betha’s heart jumped faster. “Why should I want to think of another child at this moment? What’s wrong with this one? Let me see!”
Wringing her hands together, the older woman nodded to her colleague who, with visible reluctance, approached with the swaddled princess.
“My queen, it is but a small imperfection, she will learn to cope, I’m sure.”
Out of patience, Betha practically snatched the child from the woman and peeled back the blood-stained cloths to behold her squirming daughter for the first time. She inhaled an unfamiliar odour—blood and sour sweat mixed with something oddly sweet—and her chest swelled, tumultuous thoughts overwhelming her mind. An overpowering urge to protect her child gripped her, even at the cost of her own life. Whatever the problem was, it would be of no consequence: her daughter was perfect in every way, and Marten would love her as fully and as vigorously as she did.
“It’s her hand, my queen…”
The midwife’s voice trailed off. Betha frowned. What did the woman mean? Five tiny pink fingers waved randomly in the air; everything as it should be.
And then she beheld her daughter’s left hand. The digits on that side curled like claws, ending in pointed tips that resembled—yes, ‘claws’ was the only fitting description.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Book 4, the last in the Five Kingdom’s series, ends with a bang! The characters I’ve come to know and care about face some new challenges as well as those that have been brewing since the beginning. King Marten is in danger of losing his throne, and his wife and child are pawns in a dangerous game fueled by religious zealots. Rustum and Risada long for a quiet life, but Rustum is called on by the magical gem-eyes to battle an ice dragon, leaving Risada behind to deal with the conspiracy, murders, and kidnappings.
The duality of the twin gods, one benevolent, the other murderous, finally plays out in this installment of the tale. There are parallels to our world, both ancient and contemporary: the genuine conviction of some people that they know the will of the gods, and the rampant hypocrisy of others who preach godliness while amassing power and committing crimes.
The last 25% of the book is a gigantic confrontation with gripping action. It’s well-written and ultimately satisfying. Subplots regarding the use of magic and family conflicts also wrap up nicely. The pace moves along well.
Rustum’s foray to defeat the ice dragon and capture a mad gem-eye seemed like a bit of a tangent, but it does hone the skills that he’ll need in the final chapters. The characters were consistent throughout the four books. Lead characters, including the villains, were well-rounded, credible, and nuanced, with interesting arcs over the course of the story.
The books all form one story and should be read from start to finish in order. Highly recommended for fans of high fantasy and appropriate for YA readers as well as adults.
Also by Deborah Jay
About Deborah Jay
Deborah Jay writes Epic Fantasy series and Urban Fantasy featuring complex, quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.
Fortunate to live not far from Loch Ness in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands with her partner and a pack of rescue dogs, she can often be found lurking in secluded glens and forests, researching locations for her books.
Her action adventure fantasy series, The Five Kingdoms, opens with THE PRINCE’S MAN, an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release, winner of a UK Arts Council award, and an International Bestseller.
Book #2, THE PRINCE’S SON, #3, THE PRINCE’S PROTEGEE and #4, THE PRINCE’S HEIR, complete this series.
The first of a series of free tie-in short stories is available by signing up to Deborah’s newsletter via her website: https://deborahjayauthor.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the first in a projected 5 book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES, and a stand alone short story SPRITE NIGHT is now available.
Deborah has also published a multi-author SFF anthology THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which includes her SF story, PERFECT FIT.
She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally
What will be in the post and how to get in touch
- I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media.
- I will also select a review from Amazon or Goodreads that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.
- If your book is very recent and as yet has not received a review then I will share one from a previous book.
- This series is open to all authors both those on the Bookshelf or new to the blog
- I suggest an extract of approximately 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection.
- If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
- If you have not featured on the blog before then I will need Amazon link, Goodreads, blog or website plus your social media links (main three you use)
- Please send your extract and any accompanying images to firstname.lastname@example.org