The King's Lion Series
this is the first epic adventure of the King's Lion
Hunted by his own legions, the undefeated General Leandros, the King's Lion, seeks refuge in the mysterious land of Indra. But sanctuary comes at a high price.
An ancient evil plunges the world into warfare and bloodshed and Leandros must use his military genius if he is to prevail.
With assassins lurking behind every corner, he must protect the woman he loves and defeat the ruthless usurper who murdered his own brother, the King.
In a world full of intrigue and enchantment, where Gods and humans play dangerous power games, the King's Lion fights one breathtaking battle after another across an entire continent. The future of the Empire depends on him.
The two men followed her as if waking from a dream. They quickly covered the distance to the nearest bridge. The bridge shone under the afternoon sun as if it had recently been polished. It was an amazing construction covered in spotless white marble showing no signs of decay. It was guarded on both sides by two gigantic statues. Both had bodies that were a mix of human and animal. One was female and had an eagle’s head, and in claw-like paws it held a shield and a war hammer. The other had a masculine head over a feline body. The face resembled those of the desert tribes. In its human hands it held a broadsword and a disk covered entirely in shining gold.
'What are they?' Leandros whispered in awe. 'Did such creatures ever exist?
'We do not know. Identical statues guard both ends of the bridges. We have not found any reference to them in any text. Maybe they symbolise something lost long ago.'
'Why are those bridges here? What is on this island? And why are you stationed here?' Leandros asked, bewildered.
'You will see the answers to your questions soon. Our drink must be ready by now. Let's get back to the house,' the shaman suggested.
Once they were seated around the table again, Naya poured the drink she had prepared into three goblets. 'Will you drink?' she asked Malek.
'Every time I drink, this thing scares me more. But I am ordered to accompany my friend here all the way, so I will drink.'
'It is time to explain the last part of our legacy,' Naya said, addressing the General. 'To do so, you must drink this and trust me. Can you do that?'
Leandros looked from one to the other of his two hosts and silently inclined his head. All this talk of magic and the sight of the statues was making him pretty uneasy.
'We will drink together and then we will walk outside. We will be holding hands, and I must ask you not to let go of me, no matter what you see. Now drink up,' she urged, lifting the goblet to her lips. Leandros could not avoid noticing that the irises of her eyes were narrowed, making her resemble a wild animal facing an unknown threat.
The drink had a scented flavour and left a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. When they had all drained their goblets Naya stood up and extended her hand to Leandros. He took it and followed her to the door.
As they went out Naya stood in front of him, blocking his view. 'Remember, don't let go.' she said, moving aside.
General Leandros, commander of armies and fearless soldier, beheld a chilling sight. On, the previously empty island stood the most magnificent city he had ever laid eyes upon. A city of large buildings, in the middle of which rose four high towers of every imaginable design. All the buildings seemed to be covered by white marble, black granite or pink quartz. It was a thing of incredible beauty and magnificence. At the same time it seemed to radiate a sense of unsuppressed rage.
As if in a dream, Leandros heard the voice of Naya explaining that this was an Imperial city and that it was normal to be filled with dark feelings. It had this effect, she explained, on anyone who beheld it. The Salt Guardians were there, she said, to 'guard the bridges from the dark'. Although they could not tell how the bridges should be guarded, for centuries the Indrans had been stationing their best soldiers next to the bridges, as instructed by their legacy. They called this place 'the Forbidden City'.
Leandros tried to talk, to ask a question, but he was unable to. He felt Naya's fingers on his lips and heard her instructing him not to try to talk. 'You will only exhaust yourself trying so we had better return.' He was almost dragged by Naya and Malek back to the cottage.
Naya offered him water and asked him to sit and rest, while she prepared a meal of dried fruits and nuts. They ate in silence and Leandros felt his strength gradually returning.
'Now we may talk,' Naya announced. 'I am certain you have many questions and no idea where to start?' Next to her, Malek gave a feeble smile, as if he were also shaken by the experience.
'I felt as if the city wanted to drink my soul,' said Leandros. 'How come I could not see it before?'
'I am afraid the explanation will confuse you even more. You see, this city exists in a timeframe only seconds different from our own. To see it, it is necessary to speed up your perception. For that, you need the drink I gave you, which does exactly that. The presence of a shaman is necessary, to “anchor” you in this timeframe. Without me, you could get lost in time. I know all this makes little sense but that is the best way I can describe it. I warned you it's confusing.'
'But how did this happen? Are there people living there?'
'As far as we know there are no people there. There are forces, remnants of the past, but we have not managed to explore them fully. Brave shamans have visited the city many times but it was not possible to stay there for long. You see, it drains visitors' energy quickly. As to how it came to be here like that, we believe this has to do with whatever changed the Eagle Empire. We are still trying to learn more about it.'
'Where did all the material used to build this place come from? It is a true wonder.'
'The marble came from quarries on the mountains. The granite must have come from the Black Islands. They are called Black, as you know, because they are of volcanic origin. As for the quartz, we assume it came from the area where the desert is now. It must have taken years and immense resources to build it.'
'But what is its purpose? Was it where the Emperors dwelled? I always thought the capital city of the Empire was Lucella, the capital of my country.'
'From what we have managed to find out, through ancient scrolls and our visits there, it seems it was not a place where ordinary people lived. It seems like a place to worship the Gods. The buildings are full of decorations and the towers contain altars. We have not yet managed to fully explore them, since they are right in the middle of the city. Generations of shamans have tried unsuccessfully to unlock their secrets.'
THE KING'S LION IS BACK IN A SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURE!
After years of fighting, peace reigns over the Eagle Empire. General Leandros is enjoying a romantic vacation with his wife at sea when a mysterious sea captain, the Mask, abducts them, asking for their help to free his fellow islanders from slavery.
Leandros and Helena start training the islanders, conducting daring raids on land and sea to free the slaves. Their only allies are a powerful sea-witch and a savage crew of ex-pirates.
Breathtaking duels and fierce battles turn the tide in favour of the islanders until the enemy monarch sends his Grand Fleet to subdue them. With only two ships and a handful of men, the King's Lion faces a terrifying challenge. The future of an entire nation lies in his hands.