Kindle Edition-Free from 6/9-6/12
Kindle Edition-Free from 6/9-6/12
"Following your orders may seem like the right thing to do, but what about good? Does being right mean having to sacrifice being good?"
In reading The Keeper of Edelyndia you will find yourself in the middle of constant action and suspense in a story told through the eyes of its vivid and relatable characters. A thrilling tale of love, justice, faith, and fighting for what is truly good and right... or at least what appears to be.
This night will change everything. He could feel it in the air. Something was off. Branches and thorn bushes tore at his flesh as he made his way quickly through the dense forest. The weighty feeling that this night would see heartache, sadness, and terror was inescapable. This night would see bloodshed.
The air was too cold. The forest was too quiet. Despite the fact that the moon was at its fullest, the light seemed to die before it hit the earth. It was a night of shadows.
He shook his head trying to clear his system of this overwhelming sense of foreboding. Focus, he told himself. Superstition is for children. In truth, he was far too old for something as silly as being afraid of shadows. Yet...
Normally the forest was alive with sounds. Not this night. The silence was oppressive. That is why I am so uneasy, he tried to convince himself. Unnatural silence has a way of unnerving even the bravest of men. Never had he ventured so deep into the forest only to find himself completely alone. There was no evidence of deer, bear, or elk. Not even a squirrel could be found.
Breathe. Connect. Focus. The Mantra of the Wise repeated over and over in his mind. Slowly, he began to find his center, the place where concentration and determination meets calm.
Then he heard it. Later, when he would have time to reflect, it would strike him how one sound had the power to change the course of history. Even the greatest and most significant revolutions start with a small, seemingly insignificant push. Only for the people of Havenshae Valley, this push was far from insignificant.
As soon as he heard the sound, every fiber of his being froze. He was instantly transformed into a state of complete awareness. Because it had been so silent, he first thought he must have imagined the sound. It had started to feel like sound itself had ceased to exist.
Then he heard it again. The scream. Only this time, he didn't just hear it. He felt it. It tore through his chest threatening to stop his heart. He knew this scream. It came from her.
At this point in his journey, he was not terribly far from the village, just over a four-hour journey on a clear day. Somehow, he traversed the distance back to the village in less than a quarter of that. He couldn’t be sure of the exact time his flight took, but he knew that he made it in exactly twenty-seven screams.
His heart nearly exploded with each scream, each driving him faster than the last. Agony and terror filled his core and began to overwhelm him. She is in pain. She needs me.
Though his instincts told him to be prepared for the worst, what he saw when he arrived at the edge of the village was far more terrible than he could have ever imagined. The village center was strewn with corpses. Dismembered hands and heads littered the ground. It was complete and utter carnage. His eyes were immediately drawn to where they stood. Keepers. His darkest fears were confirmed.
They were huddled together surrounding someone that he couldn't see. The screaming had stopped. One of the Keepers moved to the side to retrieve a fallen weapon, giving him a view of the horror that would haunt his dreams for years to come. There, lying on the ground with a monster of a man on top of her, lay a broken and bloodied female body. The man raping her had clearly taken his time in beating her within an inch of her life and now chose to defile and humiliate her in the worst possible way. Her clothes were torn apart and what he could see of her face was nearly unrecognizable. She was no longer making sounds, but he could sense in his soul that she was still alive. Then, with an almost imperceptible motion, her head turned slightly and her remaining eye found his. It pleaded with him to run. Though he knew it might be her last request, it was one that he could not, would not honor.
Breathe. Connect. Focus. The Mantra kicked in without warning. Only this time, instead of finding center, he found something else. Something dark. Something wild. Suddenly everything around him slowed to a near stop. All of his senses kicked into a sort of hyperactive state. He could smell the blood of every corpse. He could feel every blade of grass beneath his boots. He could hear the beat of the Violator's heart. Then, it happened.
All he had was his staff. Gripping it with his right hand he pushed the hidden notch just above the center grip, ejecting the blade that was concealed within. No longer a simple staff, what he now held in his hands was a deadly weapon with one purpose. Justice.
Only once before had he used his weapon in this way, but never with the deadly intent that now drove him. Tonight will be a night of firsts. There were ten battle-hardened Keepers and only one of him. They were outnumbered.
He tore them apart with a savage, methodical intensity. His staff, hands, feet, and teeth were his weapons. In this newly discovered state of complete and total rage, he found himself moving faster than he thought humanly possible. Maybe it wasn't human at all. At the time he didn't feel like he was moving fast. Quite the opposite. It seemed as though he was fighting while completely submerged in water. He willed his arms to move faster, killing with such a fury that later the remains could hardly be identified as human.
It was over before most of the Keepers even knew he was there. He threw the Violator off her body so hard that when he struck a nearby wall most of his bones snapped on impact. As the rage slowly ebbed he once again became aware of his surroundings. The anger quickly turned to sorrow as he knelt by her side, cradling her ruined body in his arms. She had drawn her last breath. Never again would they laugh together, sing together, enjoy the Valley together. She was gone. Her last moments on earth were spent in complete and utter agony.
He slowly rose to his feet. The village had become a home of the dead. Many of its residents had shown him genuine kindness. Now, they were gone, all of them. In one night his world had been obliterated. Behind him he heard the Violator stir. He turned to see the wretched man trying to drag himself away with broken arms, feeling the agony of every movement that he made. Before that night he would have felt mercy. Never again. The time for mercy had ended..
Join BookDaily now and receive featured titles to sample for free by email.
Reading a book excerpt is the best way to evaluate it before you spend your time or money.
Just enter your email address and password below to get started:
Instant Bonus: Get immediate access to a daily updated listing of free ebooks from Amazon when you confirm your account!
Benjamin J. Denen is a husband, father, son, brother, friend, Christ follower, author, musician, pizza aficionado, promoter of the Oxford comma, and fan of all things Chicago sports (Cubs not White Sox). He holds a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Guitar Performance from Belmont University and a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. When he’s not reading, he’s writing. Sometimes that means he is composing music for film/media in his project studio. It could also mean that he is writing his latest novel.