Blog tour: Stormling by John Hennessy + excerpt & giveaway
Welcome! For our stop on the Stormling blog tour, we have an excerpt and there's a tour-wide giveaway.
In an age when Stormlings have only known peacetime, one man’s desperate action threatens not only the stability of the mystical world of Mordana, but Earth as well.
Teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers a jewel that has been lost from its homeworld, and whilst she thinks she can keep it, demonic forces believe otherwise.
She’s not alone, but who can she trust? The head Stormling, Anadyr, hasn’t been to the Earth in 500 years, but go there he must – if the jewel is not returned, it will destroy both Ophelia’s world and his own…
we can go, can’t we? Please? Don’t you want to see who will win today?”
Veroynne knelt down in front of his son, and placed his hands on the boy’s
shoulders, squeezing them gently with firm hands.
please, give it a rest. That would be six days in a row. We know who is going
to win, anyway. You don’t need to come along. Just know that the winner is
always someone from Mill’An Draythe.”
the Easterners come,” said Anadyr. “I must go to see how they fight, so that
when I have the glory to represent my land, I know how to win.”
had been just ten years of age when he became involved in his first fight,
against another young Stormling, as it happened. At first, it seemed like the
bigger and older Stormling would win, and had far too much strength for Anadyr.
the fray, Anadyr connected with few blows, but could not knock his bigger
opponent down. Then, with a swift kick to his mid-section, Anadyr’s strength
left him, and he rolled into a ball on the ground, one hand clutching his
stomach, the other, keeping his hair from covering his eyes.
sun was blocked out by the shadow of the Stormling standing over him, who must
was five years his senior.
wish,” replied Anadyr, who sat up, and clapped his hands three times
together before placing them on the ground, one hand either side of him.
don’t need applause from a loser,” said the bigger Stormling.
wasn’t applause,” replied the young Anadyr.
the ground started to shake all around them, the bigger Stormling’s smug look
of apparent victory was erased by the tremors on the ground, and the almost
instantaneous appearance of black clouds that filled the sky.
few moments later, the clouds burst and soaked only the bigger Stormling and
his crew of friends, whilst Anadyr stood laughing at them. The group started to
run, but the rain lashed them in every way, from both sides, from above, and
even as they ran into the ground which became ever more sodden, until they fell
isn’t it raining on you?” the biggest one screamed. “You’re in league with the
Lord of Monus! Say it isn’t so, for Stormlings don’t lie.”
smiled and leaned over his sodden nemesis, who he was merely toying with.
right, Stormlings don’t lie, and I am not in league with anyone. So! Are you a
bigger Stormling seethed. “So it would seem. Just make the damned rain stop.
Who are you, boy?”
clicked his fingers and rested his fists on the top of his hips.
am Anadyr Veroynne, and I command the Storms. The wind, the rain, the clouds
all answer to me, and as for you….I will have your allegiance.”
other Stormlings mumbled, saying they would not answer to some preppy brat, but
the one who had hit Anadyr, stood up and bowed to him.
am good with a sword, but my true prowess lies with the double daggers. My
skill is such that I could skim the sweat off a faerie’s wings. If you ever
need my help, you shall have it, although…one who can bend the Storms to his
will, surely has no need for an edged weapon.”
so,” said Anadyr. “In fact, I practise with a longsword twelve hours a day.
What is your name?”
Though my sword wielding days are at an end. I’m being sent to Firetop to
learn, watch and ultimately take over from Aynara. Unlike us, she’s not an
immortal, but I suppose your father told you that already.”
nodded emphatically to show he knew about Aynara’s supposed mortality, but
no-one knew when her time would end. There were none like her on Mordana.
Veryonne was none-too-impressed with his son’s handling of things. “You wanted
him to knock you down, so that you could show off, isn’t that so? The truth
just wanted to show I wasn’t afraid of them. If I can instil fear into the
heart of my enemies, maybe I can bend them to my way of thinking, as easily as
I do the storms.”
are just a boy, Anadyr. You are too young to have enemies.”
you say that those East of the Wisty River are our enemies?”
yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”
got everything to do with it,” said Anadyr. “That’s why I want to go see
the fight today. The Lord of Monus sends a Tryer from the Mordis Mountains, or
from the heart of Caldreah itself.”
Anadyr, but the point is-”
point is, Father, that today’s Tryer is from AnnanGhorst, and that makes
things very interesting. I have never seen a ShadowWraith, much less seen you
fight one. Tell me you’ll take me, please!”
sighed. Putting combatants from the East out of their misery is something he
loved to do, but a ShadowWraith of AnnanGhorst was different. Even the weakest
of their kind were not to be taken lightly. Even if the Wraith lost, it would
be most likely sent to the Island of Dead Skin, where Andus Rey, ruler of
Caldreah Monus and a Stormling himself, ran his own sick tournament, where
combatants often had to fight to the death.
a Wraith enter the fray was no battle at all. Under Rey’s watch, they would
win, and win easily. Aldyr let out another sigh. He was considering throwing
the match, even though this was illegal.
Anadyr, I’ll take you. But whatever happens, you come straight back home.
That’s an order.”
will, Father. I will,” said Anadyr, who could not believe there would be any
other outcome but a clear and decisive victory for his father, who was a
skilled swordsman and had been known to dabble in magic.
were difficult adversaries for all sorts of reasons. Although they were scary
to look at, it was more a case of what you couldn’t see, rather than what you
were all sorts of rumours about them, which, outside of AnnanGhorst, became the
very fabric of legend.
would say that there actually were no ShadowWraiths, but that it was Rey
himself, who would come to test himself against the foes of Monus.
believed the Wraiths did have a face, but it was one so terrible to view, that
one would die of fright from resting innocent eyes on their hateful faces.
others believed that the ShadowWraiths could not be killed, and one had to have
a death wish if standing against them. But everyone who knew Aldyr Veroynne
believed that he must know how to defeat a ShadowWraith.
expected, there was a great throng of people in the town centre. They gathered
round the platform, which stood some twenty feet from the ground. The
ShadowWraith was already on the platform as Aldyr and Anadyr arrived.
they walked, Aldyr beamed smiles and waved to everyone. They had come to see
him triumph, which would be his thirty-eigth win in a row. The ShadowWraiths
had triumphed every time to date, but the locals felt it was time one of their
Wraith extended a bony finger towards Aldyr, and beckoned him to stand on the platform
Anadyr,” whispered his father, “whatever happens, you will return home. Understood?”
Father, of course,” said Anadyr, who was surprised his father was making so
much of this battle. Winning fights is what Aldyr Veroynne was all about. ‘He’s
just morefodder from AnnanGhorst, who will slink back to that hellhole
when my father’s throughwith him,’ thought Anadyr.
Anadyr watched the two men line up, a third man, the one who usually judged the
battles, pulled himself up onto the platform, and from underneath his robes he
produced a rather large wooden box. An omnious gasp came out from the crowd. “What?
What is it?” said the young Stormling. Anadyr craned his neck to see what the
judge extended his arms to the crowd. “Today’s battle is a red match. In
this box are two weapons from the challenger’s province of AnnanGhorst. The
fighter who represents us has agreed to the terms, and will use the weapon
provided to him.”
nudged the man next to him. “What is it? What is a red match?”
man solemnly shook his head. “It means that this is not for children’s eyes.
They will fight to the death.”
John Hennessy is a young adult / new adult novelist whose works to date have been Dark Winter (published 2013), a paranormal horror thriller, and Stormling, an epic swords and magic (and cookies) fantasy. The first short story he ever wrote brought together Fagan, Lizzie Bennet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which despite impressing his long suffering English teacher, thankfully remains unpublished. For recreation he will visit paranormal hotspots, but prefers to write about ghosts rather than meet them. He also believes almost any problem can be overcome so long as there is an inexhaustible supply of tea and biscuits. He has also written the non-fiction title The Essence of Martial Arts (published 2011), and released The Essence of Martial Arts: Special Edition, in 2014.