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Crown of the Realm by D. Dalton

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Crown of the Realm by D. Dalton
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Ebook Synopsis

Download Book 2: Heartstealer   Download Book 3: The Sword of Pallens

In this first volume of the All Things Impossible series, an ancient evil has returned. An ancient war has resumed. And for the first time in elven history, the Crown of the Realm has been stolen.

But young Derora Saxen knows nothing of such things. When she sets out from her village with her best friend Kelin, she knows only that she wants to be a warrior.

She does not know the immortal chemmen have escaped the realm of darkness to which they had been banished for millennia. She does not know chemmen armies are already exacting revenge on their hated enemies, the elves, or that chemmen assassins have already killed the elven king and queen ...


Prologue:

“We won’t leave you!” Prince Edillon choked on his words. His younger brother pressed into his side and nodded vigorously.

“You will!” King Valladen thundered in a voice that left echoes fading throughout the garden. His older son saw that he had never looked so regal before, or so sorrowful. His father’s golden hair shimmered like the sunlit prairie lighting up the golden crown on his head, and his sea blue eyes stirred with the power of a thousand storms. Would he truly never see that again? Edillon gulped.

In the back of his mind, the son wondered if he could ever be that extraordinary. But right now, he desperately prayed he would never have to find out.

The king opened his hand toward the path underneath the flowering natural arches. “You will go now, my sons. You have a chance. Meet your guards and do not tarry for they will be upon you.”

“No!” The older son collapsed onto his knees. “I can’t think of life without you!” His throat ached with the strangled words that he could not force out. This was too sudden! This couldn’t be real! His mother stole his crying eyes. She too was weeping, but there was no panic creasing her eyes, only sadness.

The younger brother rushed forward into his parents’ arms. “You said they were gone! They couldn’t–”

His father cut him down with a glare. “Never did I say that, son. Never think that or you will not know who has slain your family.” The brothers flinched.

The eldest pounded his fist against the ground. “Please! We’ll all run. If we can make it, so can you, Father… Mother, please! They’ll never find us!”

Their father smiled ruefully. “I wish it could be so.”

The son’s tears burned against his cheeks. “Give them the kingdom, it’s not worth this. Please.”

Valladen rested a hand on the head of his heir. “They would not stop with the kingdom, they care nothing for it.” He pulled his hand back. “You will succeed. Your duty, the responsibility of the crown, is to protect and save our people.”

The crown prince bit his lip so hard that he tasted blood. He finally nodded.

His mother moved between father and son. She spread her hands out before both her children. “I pray that your lives are eternal and full of love and joy.”

The eldest remained kneeling and lowered his face to hide his shame. His voice was surprisingly low. “I accept your blessing, Mother.”

She stepped beside Valladen. “Go, my sons.”

He rose and took his place beside his brother. “Must–” He bit his tongue. “We shall.”

“We love you,” Valladen whispered.

“We love you too.” The youngest hastily dashed forward and buried himself in their arms, just as a small child hugs a pillow against a nightmare. Valladen and his wife pushed their second child away.

“Forever will you sing the first songs,” they said the traditional farewell.

“Forever–” the brothers’ unified voices faltered at the same time. Their words hung helplessly in their open mouths.

“Do not tarry. Now, go.” Valladen swept his arm wide to the brilliantly white archway.

They bowed low and long before turning away. The eldest did not look back.

Alone in the garden, the lady sagged against her husband. “Oh, my love, this is all they’ve ever known.”

Her slender frame seemed so fragile to him. “I know.” He buried his face in her hair and held her tightly. They did not have long to wait before the sun’s warmth faded from their skin. The once vibrant air chilled to a damp, slimy feel. Shadows lazily stretched and bloated, spreading to abnormally huge proportions. Valladen looked heavenward where the sun still shone, but the light looked as though a greasy film had been pulled over it.

Then the world faded to gray, like the gray between dusk and absolute darkness where the colors just leached away from the world. The storm-readers’ light. All the stories said to see it was to die.

He glanced around the muted garden. His heart beat mournfully as he thought of how the gray light defiled this scintillating, laughing place.

A voice sliced through the oily air, smooth as silk but it felt like a whetstone scraping against the king’s delicate ears. “You give your own lives freely.”

“We couldn’t run. You know why.”

The voice chuckled. “Oh, I know. We will kill your offspring. You only bought them time.”

“You speak with confidence.”

“You die without purpose.” The voice was sweet with venom. “Love is a weakness that cost you what you did not have to give.”

“Our children live freely.” The words hissed through Valladen’s teeth. The polluted air drew the very breath out of him. He held his beloved wife closer.

“Until we find them,” the voice replied tartly. “Our king said that our victory is well deserved. You know, we earned our immortality, unlike you. And you never respected our achievement.”

“Your rise to immortality was a horrendous sin,” the king snapped. “Now, stop gloating and do what you came to do.”

The queen took her husband’s hand and Valladen dropped his crown to the ground. It rang loudly in defiance. His wife kissed him. In that kiss, he was not sure of the exact moment he unnaturally expired.