Sun Mage

Buy: Amazon
Introducing the second book in the Blacklight Chronicles, SUN MAGE! The ebook is available right now on Amazon Kindle and in print.

Praise for Sun Mage:

"Sun Mage... was AWESOME! The fast pace for this book, like the first one, makes it a great read for pre-teens, teens and adults...  I literally could not put Sun Mage down... I give this book 5 Ravens and now I am DYING to read the next one. I anxiously await its arrival."
--Great Minds Literary Community

Here is a short overview of the book:
Far out to sea, a mysterious island holds the ancient city of Darkov. The immortal sorcerer Aurellia awaits the arrival of Talis and Mara. The Temple of the Sun lures both dark and light forces to discover its power.

Talis and Mara will have to use their wits to escape slavery and trek out into the jungle. Foul fields of undead will trap them. Twin ancient cities, one of light and one of darkness, one ruined and one hideous in its power. Only one map can guide them.

But can they bear to enter the land of the dead? To face the God of the Underworld himself? If they fail, their family and city will fall to the Jiserians. And the world itself will slip into darkness. Unless Talis can first unlock the power of light magic.


Chapter 1

Talis stared out over the vast blue ocean, wondering what lay ahead at the Island of Lorello. They’d been tricked. He actually paid for passage aboard a slave ship. Now Mara, Nikulo, Rikar and he were trapped, sold to a life of slavery in the City of Seraka.

Mara glanced at him as if to say, You couldn’t have known. She reached out and held his hand.

“You seriously made us pay for passage and sold us as slaves?” Rikar glared at the first mate.

The man grunted. “You offered me coin. How could I refuse?” The row of gold teeth displayed from his smile gleamed in the fading light.

“At least offer us the dignity of bribing our way out of slavery.” Nikulo hefted his coin purse.

“You’re in no position to bargain, lardy.” The first mate scooped up the purse from Nikulo’s hand. “Consider it a double bounty. We get your money and valuables, and collect the per-head price from Seraka’s slavers.”

“You’ll get what you deserve.” Talis wanted to kill him. He reached for his sword, but Mara held his arm back.

The first mate whistled, and a fat sailor with beady eyes and grimy hands waddled towards Talis.

“Hand over your stuff. And please…put up a fight.” The man hissed out a laugh. His mouth smelled like garlic and ale.

Talis raised his hands in supplication, but the sailor’s hairy knuckles slammed into his stomach anyways. The sailor chuckled and smacked his lips in satisfaction.

The first mate scowled. “Manef, just search him.”

Manef stepped close and grabbed Talis’s fire sword. He hooted as he stared at it.

“Well look here…this will fetch a pretty penny.”

“Give it back.“ Talis clenched his fingers.

When Manef saw Talis’s reaction, he kicked Talis away. Talis felt a fire broiling along the back of his neck. They stole his sword. The sword father had given him.

“Do you really want to make it hard on yourself?”

“Just do as he says.” Mara put her arm in front of Talis.

“Listen to your friend. Your life is worth more than meager possessions.” The first mate stared greedily at the sword. “Now search them all…take their weapons…anything that looks valuable.”

Manef took Mara’s daggers, Rikar’s sword, and Nikulo handed over his sword voluntarily.

“What’s this?” Manef grunted, staring into Nikulo’s backpack.

“Medicine.” Nikulo retrieved several vials. “Would you like to try some?” He smiled, but Talis caught a devilish glint in his eyes. Poison. The vials were filled Nikulo’s latest concoction.

“What do I need with medicine.” Manef waved the pack away.

The first mate shoved them below deck, and led them to a tiny room. He pushed them inside and slammed the door. Their dark, cramped cell at least had a small porthole where they could stare at the endless, blue ocean.

“Can we fight them?” Talis stared at Rikar.

Rikar shook his head. “Not if you want to live. I think a few of the men onboard are sorcerers. Many armed guards. They’re fully prepared for a fight.”

“So what then?” Nikulo held his breath.

“We wait. And you boys stay calm.” Mara glanced at each of them. “I’m sure the right opportunity will come along once we reach the island.”

“What if Seraka is more heavily guarded than the ship? What then?” Talis said.

“Mara is right.” Nikulo raised his hands in a gesture of defeat. “Our destination is the inland part of Lorello. Let’s bide our time until we see what fate brings us.”

“You fools wait for a deadly fate.” Rikar scoffed. “I’ll plan our escape.”

As promised, the food was terrible. Slop that smelled like pig’s gruel. Rikar and Nikulo turned violently ill. And the smell only made Talis and Mara sick as well. There were storms that shook the ship for days. Lightning blasts that raged across the feverish sea. Talis was sure they were doomed, and would sink to the bottom of the ocean. Maybe Rikar would find his father in the Underworld sooner than he’d expected.

After a week passed, the storm broke and sunlight knifed through thick dark clouds, illuminating the emerald hues and brilliant whitecaps. Then the birds came: first a lone albatross, then a line of pelicans and red-billed tropicbirds.

“Land-ho!” a sailor shouted above.

After several hours, the ship turned. Talis strained his eyes. He glimpsed the island at last. A jagged coastline, rows of rocky cliffs. Then dense, lush jungle reached down to the sea. Golden hills high above led up to an enormous range of volcanic mountains. The Island of Lorello was beautiful and ominous at the same time.

They followed the coast, sailing in-between tall granite spires jutting out of the ocean. Hundreds of dolphins leapt out of the water, laughing and chattering. The ship raised and pounded down. Talis tensed, clenching the window as his heart went wild.

“Move.” Mara pushed Talis aside. “You’re hogging the view.”

He chuckled as she pushed a crate against the wall and gazed outside. “It doesn’t look that bad.”

“Not that we’ll ever see the light of day.” Nikulo frowned. “Trapped inside slave’s quarters.”

“Speak for yourself. I don’t plan on sticking around very long. If we’re smart, we’ll break out sooner than they know we’re here.” Rikar inspected the door.

“It would have been nice if someone had discovered that Seraka was a slave colony,” Mara said.

“And spoil all the fun?” Nikulo made a fake laugh. “I imagine that’s a secret they’d like to keep safe.”

“What about your master…Aurellia…didn’t he mention anything to you?” Talis stared at Rikar.

He sighed. “He only commanded me to Lorello.”

“To Darkov you mean,” Talis said. “Maybe when we get to Seraka they’ll let you free…and keep us as slaves.”

Rikar shook his head. “I didn’t know anything about this…I swear.”

After several hours, the ship slowed, and the sky outside had faded to deep crimson wash. The air had changed, filled with a toxic humidity. Smoke choked the air. Seraka was a wasteland of huts and tents and buildings surrounded by tall wooden walls. A stone fortress and castle to the left overlooked the docks. It reeked of human misery and greed. Talis could see slaves being unloaded from several ships, slaves of all races. Off in the distance, smoke wafted from the jungle.

“So what’s your plan of escape?” Mara said. “There are so many layers of guards and fences.”

“If we can get past the guard posts. Look...” Talis pointed at the docks. “Bands of soldiers. I don’t see many free men lingering around the harbor.”

“They’d brand the slaves with a mark.” Rikar twirled a dagger he’d hidden inside his boot.

“Let’s make sure we break out before that happens.” Nikulo rubbed his arm.

At last the ship came to a halt. A booming voice echoed over the docks, barking orders to the crew. Talis pulled away from the window. He expected them to come barging in at any minute, but instead they waited for hours, until the last noises had faded away.

“Have they forgotten about us?” Mara peered out the porthole. “It’s twilight already. The docks are mostly empty. So strange. Why would they leave us here?”

“Let me see,” Talis said. After awhile, a group of guards wearing silver armor and red-plumed helms came marching along the docks, then turned and strode towards the ship. “Here they come.”

-- Read SUN MAGE - Blacklight Chronicles by John Forrester on Amazon >>