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The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1 – and scroll down to read a free excerpt!
About The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1:
The Sun God’s Heir is a swashbuckling series, set at the end of the seventeenth century in France, Spain and northern Africa. Slavery is a common plague along the European coast and into this wild time, an ancient Egyptian general armed with dark arts has managed to return and re-embody, intent on recreating the reign of terror he began as Pharaoh. René Gilbert must remember his own former lifetime at the feet of Akhenaten to have a chance to defeat Horemheb. A secret sect has waited in Morocco for three thousand years for his arrival.
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“Do you know what a cat is, boy?” The veins in the man’s neck pulsed. His eyes were shot red with blood.
“A small animal?” René asked.
There was a laugh from the men standing around the mast. The boatswain’s gaze turned like a snake seeking prey. The laugh died. Only the sea continued to speak. In the presence of death, the men remained silent.
“You, James, bring me the cat. I don’t think this boy has ever seen a real one. Your education has been sadly incomplete, boy. You’ll be thankin’ me for this. I promise you.” The man’s voice was a rough whisper.
“Gob, there’s no need to add harm to the kid. ’Twill find him soon enough,” said James.
“Bring me the damn cat, Bailey.”
James walked over and handed the boatswain the cat-o-nine- tails. He caught René’s eye and shook his head. The cat had nine sinuous thongs of blood-encrusted leather dangling from a well-worn wooden handle.
“This here’s a cat, boy. As you can see, it ain’t no small animal. Now, there is a skill and a talent to usin’ a cat, both of which I am proud to say I have. You see, you need to take care the thongs don’t get all stuck together with blood and skin, which they’re wont to do. If that happens, the cat’ll take yer organs right out, and that’s always a bad thing. So you need to run your fingers between the thongs every couple of strokes, to keep ’em separate. I gotta tell you— as much pride as I take in usin’ the cat, sometimes I lose track. I try to keep count, but before I know it, I plumb forgot to clean the damn thing. I surely hope that don’t happen today.”
“I also have a skill and a talent, and I will kill you with it,” René said in a low voice.
The man hesitated, confusion written across his face. He laughed a quick bark followed by an angry shake of his head.
“Pay attention, boy.” He raised the whip before René’s face, separated the thongs of the cat, and petted it in a sensual way. “Turn him around, and chain him up. You there, strip off his shirt.”
A stroke cracked against René’s back, sending blood and skin flying. “It usually takes me ten or twenty strokes to get warmed up, so don’t get too excited yet.”
You have my attention now.
René centered himself and forced down his awareness of the pain. He counted on his estimation of the captain and Gaspard’s instructions. If he was wrong, he would be too hurt to try anything.
The whip cracked and pain sang along the bloody stripe down his back. René refused to cry out. He needed the respect of these men if he was to survive.
Blood trickled down the back of his legs. Time wavered, and he faded in and out.
The force of the cat drove him into the mast.
“Enough, Boatswain.” The master of the vessel had a stern voice long accustomed to command.
“But Cap’n, I ain’t nearly finished. I was just gettin’ warmed up.” The boatswain’s voice was thick with frustration.
“Part of our bonus is to deliver this boy alive to his fate. I do not intend to lose money to satisfy your pleasure, sir.” The captain was a tall, somber man with sharp eyes. He did not seem like the type of man to brook dissent. He called out to the crew, “Do any of you wish to donate your share to the boatswain’s pride?”
A chorus of denials rang out, along with a few variations on “leave the boy be.” As the men dispersed one of them muttered, “That is one tough kid. Never seen a man take ten without makin’ a sound.”
“Mister Bailey, unchain the boy and see to his wounds. He needs to be alive and aware in order for us to meet our commission.” The captain turned back to his work.
The boatswain stood there seething. His hand twitched. Droplets of blood jumped from the sodden leather to land on the deck. He leaned close enough for René to smell his foul breath. “We have time yet, boy. You and I still have business before the sharks get ya.”
René’s eyes met those of the wielder of the cat. “I have made you a promise, sir, and I always keep my promises.”
The man was mute in response.
Title: The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1
Author Name: Elliott Baker
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: January 2, 2017
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Praise for The Sun God’s Heir: Return:
A great read! From the first sword fight I could not put it down. Adventure, romance, action with just the right amount of his history and mysticism. The main character Rene displays all the qualities a true hero should; loyal, smart, humble, and a ferocious warrior all opponents will fear before their end. I could not help but feel fully immersed in the story. One of the best reads I can remember, I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series!! ~ Jason Battistelli
The Sun God’s Heir is a page turner. The development of the characters made you really care what happens next to each person, good or evil. The descriptions of the ships, homes and countryside transported me into the era and made me feel like I was one of the onlookers or a part of the story itself. The moment I finished I had to have the second book to see what happens next. Fabulous!” ~
Karyn Krause Cumberland, Esquire
The Sun God’s Heir is a fascinating combination of historical period fiction, sci-fi, and political intrigue. Elliott Baker weaves a tale that one would have to be catatonic not to enjoy. The character development ranks among the best I’ve read; truly, by halfway through the book I found myself thinking like Rene (the main character) in my own daily life. This is the sign of mastery of character depth which is so often lacking in contemporary fiction. And the pacing! Rarely does a book seem to move at the speed of a movie without feeling haphazard. I applaud Elliott for pulling that off, as only an experienced screenwriter or playwright could. If you like a quality story that bridges traditional genre boundaries, then the Sun God’s Heir is for you! ~ Joshua Bartlett
Meet the Author:
Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida but has spent the last thirty-five years or so living in sunny New Hampshire. With four musicals and one play published and produced throughout the United States, in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy. Among his many work experiences, Elliott was a practicing hypnotherapist for seven years. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.
You can find Elliott at the following places: