Faith and Moonlight
by Mark Gelineau, Joe King
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Cover (use links below to download)
Roan and Kay are orphans.
A fire destroys their old life, but they have one chance to enter the School of Faith.
They are given one month to pass the entry trials, but as Roan excels and Kay fails, their devotion to each other is put to the test.
They swore they would face everything together, but when the stakes are losing the life they’ve always dreamed of, what will they do to stay together?
What won’t they do?
Roan and Kay are orphans.
A fire takes their home, taking what little they had and ending the only life they’ve known. But during the fire, they save the life of an old Acolyte of Talan who gives them one chance to change their lives. One chance to gain entry into one of the great Razor Schools of Resa.
The School of Faith.
Beyond its hallowed gates, lie wonders and secrets they’ve never imagined, as magic pulses all around them. They are desperate to join the friends they meet there, but have only one month to earn entry.
As Roan excels, Kay struggles, and it becomes clear they won’t both pass the test.
They promised one another they would stay together, but is Kay willing to let Roan leave the life he was meant to have?
Does she even have a choice?
Buy link: amzn.com/B017TF4W48
Mailing List: www.gelineauandking.com/mailinglist
Amazon Author Pages:
Mark Gelineau: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Gelineau/e/B00I6TQUCE
Joe King: http://www.amazon.com/Joe-King/e/B01460OK50
Author Bios (Short)
Mark and Joe have been writing and telling stories together for the last 25 years. They share a love for the classic fantasy tales of their childhood. Their Echoes of the Ascended series brings those old epic characters and worlds to new life.
She took a deep breath and let it out, trying to focus, but her eyes darted from one new wonder to the next. Yet despite all the new sights, it was Roan she kept coming back to.
There was a tension and excitement in his bearing, and quickness in his step. His long, lean form seemed drawn tight like a bowstring, not with anxiety, but with a thrilling anticipation. His blue eyes seemed to take in everything.
Roan had always been different. Kay and the other orphans had grown up on the dreams and stories of the old legends, playing the parts of the great heroes. But nobody ever thought they could really become like them when they grew older. Except Roan.
He made her believe they were destined for great things. He made her believe anything was possible, so long as they were together. His hope was fearless and she was grateful for that. Loved him for that.
“There it is,” Roan said, his voice breathless.
In the distance, a shining white edifice towered above the Crucis District. Sunlight played off the white marble of a massive central dome, making the statues seem to sway and move as if they were alive.
They were finally here. The School of Faith.
Before Kay could respond, the duel started. Both combatants moved toward each other, and as they did, unseen energy surged from them. Roan felt it echo against his heart. He heard Kay gasp sharply and knew she had felt it as well.
From his earliest memory, Roan had seen fighting, but he had never seen anything like this. There was none of the savagery he witnessed growing up. Instead, it was all grace and control. Closer to a dance, but with the spontaneity of leaves being blown about by the wind. Back and forth, sword and spear moved against each other.
The flash of the blades in the sunlight dazzled the eye, and the contrast of black uniforms and white capes accentuated the speed and grace of their exchanges. They moved lightly, feet barely disturbing the sand’s pristine smoothness.
As the fight picked up in intensity, so too did the energy. Roan felt it rolling off the fighters like roaring winds. Like a crack of thunder, a sharp spike of the unknown energy struck the arena. A spray of white sand was sent flying by an unseen force, and the woman with the spear staggered back.
A burst of the energy surged from the female, and the roaring hum grew louder. As the woman attacked, her spear seemed to separate and unfold until the one weapon became six, each thrusting at her opponent. The swordsman waved his blade in a blinding arc, parrying as many as he could. Then her spear snapped back into a single weapon that darted past his guard, striking square in the chest. The blow sent the young man flying into the sand.
Kay gasped, her hand coming up to cover her mouth. The assembled students below clapped and cheered.
Rising up from the center of the space was an enormous statue, dwarfing the students standing in silent veneration. It depicted a powerful warrior clad in a swirling cloak of carved marble. In his hands was a massive sword, the tip of which was driven into the obsidian.
Roan stared at the immense blade, unable to avert his eyes. The weapon was not carved from white stone like the statue that wielded it. It was steel. A real blade, though four times the height of a tall man.
Kay spoke in a hushed whisper. “That sword… is that?” she stammered.
Erik nodded. “The sword of Baheyer himself.”
Roan stared at a piece of legend made real. He had always believed the stories, the tales of great Aedan and the First Ascended, but here was proof. The First Ascended had gained the strength of their fallen brothers and sisters, and, in doing so, had grown not only in power, but stature.
The weapons of the First Ascended, as much a part of them as their own flesh, had grown with them, spirits of the wielder merging with the wielded into something powerful enough to turn back the darkness.
That was Roan’s favorite part of the legend, and, as a child, he imagined what such blades would look like. Never had he expected to stand before one.
In contrast to the smooth perfection of the statue itself, the sword was worn, making it all the more real. The blade itself was pitted and chipped, the edge ragged where it had been broken on the backs of the Ruins. This was no showpiece, but a weapon wielded for the very salvation of humanity by the greatest the world had ever seen—or would ever see.
The buzzing hum filled the air. Roan closed his eyes, trying to tune it out, but this only made it worse. It echoed in his skull.
There was a pull, a tugging sensation that drew him toward the sword. Before he realized what he was doing, Roan moved to stand before the blade.
In amazement, Kay watched the girl step unerringly across the floor. Sabine seemed to pay no attention to her footing, but also instinctively knew each board’s direction. She used the lumber’s momentum to propel herself across, up, and over obstacles.
In moments, Sabine stood before her. She held out a hand, but even as she did, her feet continued moving. They worked constantly to maintain her upper body’s perfect stillness.
Sabine smiled before blowing a long strand of red hair from her face. “There is a pattern to the floor,” Sabine said. “Watch the Rose.”
Keeping her arms out to maintain balance, Kay tried to see what Sabine spoke of. It did not take long. The floor’s design shifted in a specific manner: bud to flower, full bloom, and then back. It was like watching the flower flow through its days in mere moments.
Taking in the pattern, Kay nodded, but the floor was large, its design covering too much space for her to fully grasp. “I see it, but what now? What do I do?” Kay asked.
Sabine allowed the shifting floorboards to deliver her before Kay. Then she recommenced her quick, easy steps. “It’s like learning the steps to a dance,” Sabine said. “Forget about the preceptor for right now. Look at the pattern around you. Right around your feet.”
Kay shifted her attention from the immense Rose and down to the boards around her feet. She watched as they moved from white to dark, and to white again. Again and again.
The fourth time the pattern shifted, Kay took a step, then another. She slid, hopped, turned, and stepped again. At the end of her movements, she was back where she had started, but she was still standing.
Sabine flashed a smile.