zondag 13 april 2014

Book Excerpt from The Books of Ascension

I'm hosting a tour stop today for "The Books of Ascension", a fantasy series. There are three books in the series, "Zenith", "Equinox" and "Eclipse". I'm hosting an excerpt from "Zenith". Have fun reading!

Book Excerpt

Zenith excerpt: Chapter Twenty-two

He looked up. Something with massive flat wings hovered just above his head. It was dark against the dark sky. Its claws reached out for him and Atreu covered his eyes. There was a sound of footfalls behind him.
‘Come on!’ The call was urgent.
Atreu uncovered his eyes to look at the thing above him. The snow swirled and eddied around it. There were no claws; they were arms reaching out for him, imploring him to grab hold.
The footsteps were almost upon him when he lunged at the arms and held tight. He felt an immediate rush of air as he was lifted upwards. A windrider! He tried to look up at the man who was holding him. His jaw was grimly set in place, and he was looking past Atreu’s head at the ground below.
Just then an arrow whistled through the air.
‘We’re not safe yet,’ said the windrider. ‘With you weighing me down, it’s hard to fly high enough to get out of reach of the arrows.’
‘What’s happened?’
‘The Faemir. We had some warning, but it wasn’t enough. The Felsen don’t have a chance. They won’t leave their monastery.’
Atreu watched another arrow fly past his face. It embedded itself in one of the windrider’s wings. There was a sudden jolt.
‘Are you all right?’ Atreu’s voice sounded thin even to his own ears. He tried to look down and immediately felt giddy.
The windrider grunted a reply.
Atreu glanced up at the arrow stuck in the left wing. ‘Are you in pain?’
The windrider almost laughed. ‘What do you think I am – a bird? Of course I’m not in pain, but a few more arrows and we’ll both drop out of the sky.’ He shifted slightly and Atreu could feel the wind rushing past his ears. ‘Here, hold onto this – my arms are getting tired.’
The sun started to appear from behind the cliffs, and the snowfall was not quite as heavy. Atreu forced himself to look down. The giddiness returned but he fought it, and soon the ground below stopped swirling.
He could see the dull glint of swords, knives and axes against the white carpet of snow. The lights of Crosanct were fading now that the sun had begun to rise. There were soldiers and Faemir clashing everywhere, though from Atreu’s height they were often indistinguishable. Other windriders swooped and dipped through the air below them.
‘Even when I get you through the Pass, you’ll have to be careful,’ said the windrider.
Atreu nodded slowly, still looking down.
‘Did you hear me?’ asked the windrider.
‘Yes,’ said Atreu. Now that the fear had receded, a wave of euphoria swept through him. I’m flying!

The Series

Zenith – The First Book of Ascension

Can you see the story breathing?
A mountain so great it takes a year to travel from base to summit
A sun so powerful it drives you into madness if you look at it
An ascent so vital it determines the fate of the world
A summit so precious it holds the key to the divine
The world of the great Mountain is unstable. Giant pillars erupt from the surface and yawning chasms form unpredictably underfoot. Since the Maelir first stood on its slopes in the distant past, they have sought to still its anger and control its power. Each year, twin brothers are chosen to make a perilous journey to the summit. If they survive they will be witness to Zenith, and the secrets will be revealed to them.
When Atreu and Teyth embark on their Ascent, their Talismans lead them onto conflicting paths that will ultimately set brother against brother. And this time the Ascent itself is in peril as unknown forces that have long craved the power of Zenith will stop at nothing to make it their own even if it means destroying the very thing that sustains all life the Mountain itself.

Equinox – The Second Book of Ascension

Can you see the story breathing?
The Keep
The most beautiful city on the great Mountain
The pinnacle of Maelir culture
The home of the Inner Sanctum
The place where secrets hide

The fate of the Mountain hangs in balance at the time of Equinox, and even the Keep can no longer remain untouched. The Maelir are desperate to defend it, the Faemir to demolish it, the windriders to claim it. But unknown to them all, a dark force has already emerged from the chaos to seize power.
As Atreu and Verlinden strive to decipher the power of the Talisman that has defined Atreu’s Ascent, Teyth and Valkyra are locked in a desperate battle that neither of them can win. At a time when darkness and light are in perfect equilibrium, when Maelir and Faemir must find a way to break the deadlock and avoid annihilation, the world’s fate lies in the Book of Ascension.

Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension

Can you see the story breathing?
What happens if after the winter solstice, the days keep getting shorter?
And shorter?
Until there is an eternal night?
What happens as the darkness grows?
And the creatures of dusk take control of the Mountain?
And the quest for the third Book is the only hope?
The Mountain is in its death throes as the Nazir send their wraiths to finish what the dusk-rats and grale had begun. Soon there will be no daylight to protect the Maelir and Faemir, and with each twilight there are fewer places to hide. Will the Mountain finally collapse under its own instability or will Atreu and Verlinden’s descent find the words of salvation in the Lost Book of Ascension?

Author Bio

Dirk Strasser has written over 30 books for major publishers in Australia and is an Active Member of the SFWA. He has won multiple Australian Publisher Association Awards, a Ditmar for Best Professional Achievement, and has been short-listed for the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards a number of times. His short story, “The Doppelgänger Effect”, appeared in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology, Dreaming Down Under. His acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Ascension – including Zenith and Equinox – was originally published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and by Heyne Verlag in Germany and has been re-published by the Macmillan Momentum imprint, this time including the “lost” third book. His fiction has been translated into a number of languages. His short stories include “The Jesus Particle“ in Cosmos magazine, “Stories of the Sand” in Realms of Fantasy, and “The Vigilant” in Fantasy magazine.  His most recent sale was “The Mandelbrot Bet” to the 2014 Tor anthology Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Ben Bova and Eric Choi. He founded the Aurealis Awards and has co-published and co-edited Aurealis magazine for over 20 years.


Twitter: @DirkStrasser

Buy the books!


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