RELEASED September 26th 2022

Meeya is only thirteen, but she must lead her younger brothers and sisters as the flee the warriors that massacred their tribe.
Trouble seems to follow as they rebuild their lives, guided by the spirit of their mother.
Despite the challenges, they grow and have families of their own, but a new and unexpected danger threatens all they have achieved.
Will they survive this ultimate peril?

Chapter 1

When it arrived, I had been enjoying the pleasures of Braistown, in a tavern that went by the name ‘The Maiden’s Kiss’. For those who do not know me, I am Sumulat, a storyteller of some renown, as attested by my coat embroidered with its scenes from the ancient tales. During my telling of ‘The Witches Cuddle’, an amusing tale that provides many laughs and more than its share of coins, I saw the man enter and lean against the wall by the door. He ignored offers of mead, ale or wine and took no interest in food. Even the scantily-clad serving girls could not distract him. He leaned against the wall and stared … at me.


When the story finished, a dark-haired young girl of about fourteen brought me a mug of ale. The inn-keeper had offered a room for the night and food, and a mug for each tale I told.


“What is your name?” I asked, trying to make my voice sweet and kind.


“Millie, sir.”


I graced Millie with one of my best smiles. She may come with the room when business ceased.


As she left to see to other customers, the man was sitting opposite, separated by the stained table damp with spilled ale. He did not speak, merely slid something across to me. I smelled the stink of farmer, pigs and chickens.

“What is this?”


The man shrugged, his face lost in the tangle of long hair. “Dunno. I was given a gold crown to bring it to ya. I done that.” The man rose and disappeared as quietly as he arrived. A farmer, maybe, but a dangerous man. My fingers drummed on the folded parchment, sealed with green wax and imprinted with a scribe’s mark, two vertical lines crossed by two others. I had learned much without opening it. The sender was not poor, nor was he a Lord or wealthy trader. He could afford to pay well to ensure his message delivered but he, or she, could not write, or why would they have need of a scribe to write for them. I found my intrigue growing. Maybe the writer is simply lazy, and can afford to pay others to do what they do not wish to.


A thumbnail under the wax lifted it. Unfolding the parchment, I read. The simple message in neat script stared out at me. ‘To Sumulat, the Storyteller. Come to Clearbrook. We do not have much time. Ask anyone and you will find me.’ The only clue was the name at the bottom. It was signed ‘Kuwento’. I am a storyteller, not a bloody servant to be summoned.