“Everyone from Jalard knew what a bloodoath was. Legendary characters in the tales people told to their children often made such pacts with the gods. By drawing one’s own blood whilst speaking a vow, people became ‘Bloodsworn’.
And in every tale where the oath was broken, the ending was always the same. The Bloodsworn died.”
It has been twelve years since The War of Ashes, but animosity still lingers between the nations of Sharma and Gavendara, and only a few souls have dared to cross the border between them.
The villagers of Jalard live a bucolic existence, nestled within the hills of western Sharma and far away from the boundary which was once a warzone. To them, tales of bloodshed seem no more than distant fables. They have little contact with the outside world, apart from once a year when they are visited by representatives from the Academy who choose two of them to be taken away to their institute in the capital. To be Chosen is considered a great honour... of which most of Jalard’s children dream.
But this year the Academy representatives make an announcement which is so shocking it causes friction between the villagers, and some of them begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Just where are they taking the Chosen, and why? Some of them intend to find out, but what they discover will change their lives forever and set them on a long and bloody path to seek vengeance...
Tej Turner is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. His debut novel The Janus Cycle was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and its sequel Dinnusos Rises is due to be published later this year. He has also had short stories featured in a few anthologies, including Impossible Spaces (Hic Dragones Press) and The Bestiarum Vocabulum (Western Legends).
Tej Turner has spent much of his life on the move and does not have any particular place he calls ‘home’. For a large period of his childhood he dwelt within the Westcountry of England, and he then moved to rural Wales to study Creative Writing and Film at Trinity College in Carmarthen, followed by a master’s degree at The University of Wales Lampeter.
After completing ... (more)