zaterdag 14 juni 2014

Book Excerpt the Trials of Caste

I'm hosting a snippet today from "The Trials of Caste", a fantasy novel by Joel D. Babbitt. Enjoy reading.

Book Excerpt

Arbelk the Kobold telling bedtime stories:

“A long time ago,” Arbelk started.
“Oh, I love it when a story starts with that!” the oldest of the little ones exclaimed.
“Yes, Fim.  As I was saying, a long time ago there was a person who had magical powers.  He was called The Sorcerer.”  Arbelk spoke in a deep voice as held up his arms in a scary fashion.
“Was he a kobold or an orc?” the oldest of the little whelps asked.
“Neither, Fim.  He was a human.”
“A hooman?” Fim asked.  “What’s that?”
Arbelk got that ‘thinking’ look on his face as he pondered how to explain such strange creatures to his young audience.  “Well, they’re like us, but without tails or horns, or even scales,” Arbelk held up his hands as he thought about the pictures he’d been shown of human warriors.  “They don’t have snouts either; their faces are flat, flatter than orc faces even” he said as he marked the differences off on his fingers.  “They have skin the color of pigskin.  They don’t have sharp teeth, just short ones.”
All his younger siblings looked at each other in wonder and disgust.  “Wow, they sound pretty silly looking.”
“Well, I’d imagine that they don’t think so,” he reasoned.  “Oh, and they’re a little taller than orcs; probably as tall as mama standing on papa’s shoulders.”
All his younger siblings giggled as they thought of mama doing something so silly as standing on papa’s shoulders.
“Well, this Sorcerer… some say it was him that made kobolds,” Arbelk explained.
Fim, who was old enough to know better, piped up.  “No, that can’t be.  I know how kobolds are made.  They come from mama’s stomach!”
Arbelk couldn’t argue with that logic.  “Well, everyone has different opinions don’t they?” he said.  This seemed to placate his younger brother.  “Anyway, this Sorcerer, he lived in a huge castle, which is like a cave that someone builds above ground.”  His younger siblings all looked at him in utter amazement and wonder.  “And do you know who lived there with him?” he asked.
“More hoomans?” Fim guessed.
“Probably,” Arbelk continued.  “But a long time ago, it’s said that many kobolds lived with him.  They say that these kobolds lived in this big castle.  It was called Palacid.”
“Why would they want to live with such a funny looking hooman in Plashik?” Gack asked.
“Palacid, Gack,” Arbelk corrected.  “It’s even said that a dragon once lived there,” Arbelk whispered hoarsely as he held his hands up like dragon’s claws and growled at his younger siblings.  They all feigned being scared and ended up laughing.
“That’s why they wanted to live there!” Gack exclaimed.
“I’m scary!” Iggy, the three year old cried, meaning she was scared.
Arbelk patted her hornless head soothingly.  “Not only that,” Arbelk continued, “it’s also said that the spirits of those who died before the kobolds came there still haunt the place.”  Arbelk put his hands to his cheeks and moaned woefully.  All his little siblings jumped under the covers and screamed with fear, some of it in play.
“Arbelk!” his mother called from the other room.  “Please don’t scare them just before bed time.  You know they won’t sleep if you do.”
“Yes, mama,” he called then turned back to the bright eyes and attentive looks of his younger siblings.  “But anyway,” he continued, “if Palacid does still exist, it’s probably just an old ruin by now.”  All his younger siblings moaned.  Arbelk then leaned forward and whispered, “But I’d imagine it’s still haunted.”
All his younger siblings tried to suppress giggles as they jumped under the covers.

About The Trials of Caste

Title: The Trials of Caste
Author: Joel D.  Babbitt
Genre: Fantasy

A Game of Destiny, a Throne, a Paladin, a Prophecy... and Kobolds

In this explosive first novel in the Paladin of a Hidden God Series, the ancient game of destiny known as the Trials of Caste shows the Will of the Gods and reveals the Hand of the Fates.

A fresh voice in the Fantasy genre, Joel Babbitt’s story of Durik the kobold and his companions is genuine, triumphant, and absorbing.  In two days and two square miles of caverns, Joel takes the reader deep into the heart of a tribe in turmoil.  Looming insurrection, insurgent pacts, ancient powers, noble designs, and young aspirations combine to make the unforgettable coming-of-age tale of Durik the kobold and his companions.

With their year of training now past, Durik and six other young warriors are about to undergo the Trials of Caste where all of them will strive for the coveted position of elite warrior and the prestige and power that comes with it, though only one will win.  Simultaneously, a deadly conspiracy threatens to destroy their tribal leaders and seize the throne for its own evil purposes.  Durik and his six companions must each chose sides as the actions of an insurgent pact bring a day of decision for all the children of Kale.  Yet through it all, as if from beyond where the ancestors go, an ancient power calls to Durik, strengthening him as he and his closest companions risk everything to fight against this encroaching evil.

Author Bio 

Joel Babbitt is an officer in the U.S. Army and a bishop in his church.  He has spent his entire adult life living and teaching principles of leadership and team building in a warrior environment.  Joel and his family live in Maryland, USA.

(Joel and his interior illustrator Anna Cate in 2006)

Follow the author at:
@AuthorJoel on Twitter

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