Hey, everyone. Hard to believe we’re already half way through Story Empire’s Something Wicked Tour. Be sure to check out all the tour stops. Click here for the links.
Today I have author P. H. Solomon as my guest. He’s going to talk about his book The Bow of Destiny with is part of The Bow of Hart Saga. Let’s welcome P. H.
Thanks to Joan for hosting me today. It’s been a lot of fun so far on the Something Wicked Book Tour with the rest of the authors at Story Empire. Please make sure to visit the other stops this week and share those.
One especially chilling scene in The Bow of Hart Saga occurs in The Bow of Destiny when the Banshee is conjured. The truly evil disposition of Corgren and Magdronu is on display as they use magic on a minion to create the creature. It’s a despicable act and highlights what Athson is up against in the story. The result is chilling and something disturbing to see for the characters later. Here’s the excerpt from the spell being cast and what happens:
Trolls ringed Corgren and his Rokan followers in cringing silence in the darkness before the moon’s rising above the distant Drelkhaz Mountains. The Rokans prostrated themselves, murmuring their prayers as the wizard stood facing the fiery breath of Magdronu displayed in the green nimbus of the communication spell. The blind servant tended his ritual wound, groveling in pain at the end of his leash held by the menacing Bane.
“He will be ours in the end, Master.” Corgren gritted his teeth. He must concentrate. The pain of the spell could kill him. Complete dedication rode with risk.
“The fulfillment can take longer than I am willing to wait, patient though I am.” Magdronu’s fire flared and cast flickers across the gathered throng of Corgren’s minions and servants before it ebbed.
“He will succumb to our attempts, though he has escaped so far.”
“Too many times for my liking. He has the luck of Eloch on him. Let us see if he escapes this trap.”
Corgren shrugged. “I do not see how he can. But our schemes are like a web he cannot escape.”
“Call her.” The flames sprang higher, and the dragon’s red eyes glared.
Corgren motioned, and his guards dragged the reluctant old woman before him. The wizard held his breath. The apprehension on her face told all. She was not so confident now. She served him and Magdronu well with her sly spying, petty though she was. Pity he’d lose her services. Corgren’s lip curled. But little more than that. He exhaled.
“I’m faithful to the Master, I am,” the old spy whined. Her body quivered with tension, and her jowls shook.
“And so you will be in this.” Corgren showed his teeth with his best false-smile and nothing more. He waved his hand over her face and spoke the words of the entrancement spell. The old woman collapsed, and the guards backed away and knelt in reverent positions.
“Say these words.” Magdronu’s growl hushed the anxious stirring among Corgren’s servants.
Corgren gasped and winced at the flare of pain and squeezed his eyes shut. His thoughts flamed with words, so he must speak or die. He let the dragon’s snarling language flow from his lips, and the pain subsided. He needed precise speech. This spell meant death – his own if not executed properly.
The wizard opened his eyes, and the green glow blossomed sicklier. Roiling shadow enveloped the insensate old woman, and her wrinkled hands and face faded from his sight. Gone. Consumed. Corgren’s arms shuddered over the hidden form.
Magdronu’s words ended. Corgren’s teeth clicked when he finished the spell. The silence of a cemetery hovered in the air. The Rokans waited, heads bowed. Glowing troll eyes winked in the wan light of the dragon’s breath and the communication spell. The Bane shifted closer, drawn to the magic. It was darkness to death. Corgren’s skin crawled.
The body writhed in the conjured cocoon. Muffled groaning rose to distorted, fractured wailing. Corgren’s servants squirmed, the trolls snarled and shambled away and then cringed.
Nails clawed at the magical shroud. Magdronu huffed flame. Corgren cocked his head. How wonderfully powerful this spell was.
Hands flailed through the inky cloud and tore aside the constraining layers. A screaming face emerged out of the vile womb, skin smooth and deathly pale. The creature shrieked in sobbing wails. Corgren’s Rokan servants wallowed as whispered curses slithered across Corgren’s mind. The blind slave clutched his ears, his screams lost amid the wailing.
Naked, she rose and danced among the thrashing humans, her skin emitting a pale luminescence. She bent and touched them. At each touch, the Rokan pulled a knife or other weapon and slashed or stabbed their own lives away. Corgren arched an eyebrow. Deadly beauty. He’d only read about banshees but – such force of will.
When Corgren’s servants lay quivering in their own blood, the banshee turned for the blind man.
The wizard stepped between the screaming touch of death and her victim. “Not him.”
The screeching stopped. Wizard and banshee stood face to face. Her putrid breath assaulted Corgren in steady heaves of soft groans through incisors elongated into fangs. Her eyes were both wild and doleful. This creature was not to be tamed. Her hair, long, straight, and dark, waved in non-existent wind.
She raised her clawed hand and gathered her breath for howling. Corgren stood firm.
“Do as he says.”
The banshee flinched and cringed before Magdronu. She lowered her head in assent and uttered words soft and raw. “As you say, master.”
Corgren arched his brow. She spoke as well? He ran his hand along his jaw.
Flame flared. Corgren closed one eye against the light of the blaze. Heat? Through the spell?
The deep growl seared Corgren’s mind. “Go, seek the ranger. Trap him without death. We will be waiting.”
Trolls leapt in squeals when the banshee cackled. She snatched up a dark cloak from a dead Rokan and ran wailing north, into the night.
Nothing of the old woman remained in the banshee’s speed and vitality. Corgren cupped his chin and tapped his cheek. Perhaps she would be good for many uses.
Athson later encounters the Banshee in a sudden attack. Here’s a quick part of that encounter – I won’t share all of it because it gives part of the outcome away:
Limbreth snuggled closer for warmth in the chill mist and frowned into the lingering mist.
Tap, tap, tap.
They both jumped. Limbreth’s heart raced at the closeness of the sound. Was Athson afraid?
He separated from her and drew his father’s blessed sword. She unsheathed a sword with her right hand. He motioned her to crouch.
He leaned close. “Let’s check it out.”
She nodded. She preferred boldness to uncertainty. He wasn’t afraid, and neither was she. Her stomach no longer fluttered but tightened instead.
Athson motioned behind them. “We can’t go far and leave the others unguarded.”
“Yes, they depend on us.” Limbreth’s mouth spread into a grimace. Let them find this – whatever and chase it away.
Together they edged further into the surrounding trees.
Tap, tap. Tap, tap.
They paused and gauged the direction. Limbreth sensed the nearness. They stayed in night-shadows and crept toward a pine thicket.
Tap, tap, tap.
A shadow moved. They froze. Limbreth trembled.
The shadow faded into deeper night.
Athson inched forward, and Limbreth followed, gripping her sword too tightly. Athson stepped among the close pine trunks. Nothing lingered there.
A soft whimpering rose to their left. Limbreth almost dropped her sword at the sound. She bared her teeth at her cowardice. Athson turned aside, and she crept after him.
The crying washed over Limbreth, and she hesitated under conflicting urges. A mourner’s sadness escaped her in a sob. She dropped the sword, shrank back, and covered her ears. She wobbled as she moved after Athson.
They drew nearer and found the keening shadow where it knelt swaying. Limbreth’s arms dropped unresponsive at her sides. She gasped. There were words within this distressed display. It spoke of her own death, of her body rotting away, of her spirit rotting into eternal choking dust. Limbreth tasted ashes in her mouth and gagged.
Panic seized her body. Move! She loathed herself.
The wailing figure rose and stepped toward them. Limbreth sank to the ground, and hope evaporated from her thoughts. Life seeped away into the ground. She wept and writhed. She would die.
The cloaked figure approached, its wails deafening Limbreth’s thoughts. But this crushing sound, this dry, choking death, carried a soft undertone of whispering – inviting her. The voice whispered about the seductive promise of release from constant failure and pain in life – the emptiness of living could be wiped away.
Athson stood motionless with his sword in hand. Limbreth needed to move but merely whimpered and trembled. The mist caressed her. The soft undertone beneath the wailing flooded her awareness. Meaningless life was despair. The voice hinted at a welcome end. Her hands fumbled for her belt knife.
Why didn’t Athson move?
The fog folded around them. It smothered the breath from Limbreth’s lungs. She was dying. Athson uttered a hoarse gasp.
Limbreth’s knife moved toward her wrist. Death, come quickly.
No! She fought her movement. Limbreth’s left hand held the knife and trembled with the effort of holding back the fatal cut. She gritted her teeth. No! The knife ceased moving.
More despair harrowed her thoughts, and her resolve melted. She let the blade drift closer to her exposed wrist.
But then pain shot through her arm, and it locked. She screamed. Her left hand no longer drifted toward her other wrist.
Athson grunted as the cloaked figure eased closer. His hand twisted. The voice changed, and uttered subtle words. There is welcome release.
The shadow coalesced into a woman whose bare, slim leg extended from beneath her cloak. Hands of welcoming embrace extended toward Athson, and her slender arms rose, exposing the vulnerable nudity beneath her garment.
Limbreth shouted – or tried, but her breath squeaked away. The mist choked like dust in her mouth when she opened it. Breathe, she couldn’t breathe.
At last Athson lunged at the woman. The sword punctured her chest, and a scream erupted from the pallid figure. Limbreth covered her ears and wept.
The final screech faded, and viscous smoke spewed from the creature’s mouth. The vile blackness enfolded Athson, and he swooned.
Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.
Athson suffered hallucinations ever since he was orphaned, including a dog no one else sees. The will in his possession, bestowed in a dream, can’t be real. But the trolls now hunting him are. A destiny, both inconvenient and unavoidable, drags Athson into an unwanted quest that challenges all his assumptions. Can he trust anyone? Sworn to secrecy by his dead father about the bow, Athson wants nothing to do with it. A dragon and a wizard want the bow – and Athson dead. Running from the quest and his destiny are tempting options. Then he finds something unexpected. Will his discovery destroy him before he recovers the bow?
Find The Bow of Destiny on Amazon in e-book, audio and print.
Also in this series:
About the author
P. H. Solomon loves reading and writing fantasy of all kinds, especially epic fantasy. If a book has dragons, elves, dwarves, wizards, magic or mythical creatures, it’s in his reading zone. He lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required).
Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports, and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. His first novel, The Bow of Destiny was named 2016 Book of the Year by Fantasia Reviews and is the first book of The Bow of Hart Saga. The sequel novel, An Arrow Against the Wind, was released in April of 2017. The third book of the series, The White Arrow, was released during October of 2017. P. H. Solomon also authored the award-winning short story, The Black Bag, which won best published short story at SCWC 2012. P. H. is also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Connect with P. H. at the following locations: