In The Elder, the latest installment of The Martuk Series, Jonathan Winn, author of Martuk … The Holy, digs deeper into the world of ancient Uruk. A world of power and absolute rule. Of magic and superstition. Of Dark Gods and mysterious Ancients, magical Immortals and unseen Seers. Of powerful Priests cloaked in robes of red and gold and a Man from the Mountains who has yet to arrive.
From the innocence and depravity and blood-drenched chaos of The Wounded King, we now follow The Elder, a Priest desperate to rule, blinded by power, afraid to die. A man who climbs deep into caves beneath sun-scorched mountains and sacrifices anonymous flesh in a blood-stained Temple. A desperate soul driven by words whispered from the lips of a doomed Child and haunted by the warnings of an Immortal buried in ash. One who makes an impossible choice for the promise of Life Everlasting and, riddled by doubt, chooses again, this final act of violent desperation opening the way for an ancient curse from a Darkness older than Time.
From the whispered pleas to the Darkest of Gods to the anguished screams of the stolen innocent, this is … The Elder.
The Martuk Series
I'm very excited to welcome Jonathan back for a third time with his Martuk series! The Elder is the second book in The Martuk Series, an ongoing collection of Short Fiction inspired by the full-length novel Martuk … The Holy. And on top of that - we have a THREE book giveaway! Yep, Three winners will each receive a copy of The Elder!
Check out this cover art! Jonathan has used the same cover artist, AM Shultz, for all three of his books! I think these covers are terrific, really striking and unique! Be sure to check out AM's website at the link below. Bonus - you can get extra entries in the Rafflecopter for following him as well as Jonathan!
Follow Jonathan Winn Online...
Excerpta Rafflecopter giveaway
The flesh sizzled as it blushed and then split, thin wisps of white smoke rising from the blackened corpses.
The acrid scent of ash invaded my nostrils as I inhaled.
My flesh smelled of sick. My stomach turned as it clenched and then clenched again. I rose to my hands and knees as I swallowed, my throat thick as more bile threatened to spill from my lips.
I opened my eyes.
No longer in the cave of The Seer and the dead, broken Child, the ground below drenched in sick, I discovered a new world.
A world of grey.
Loose mounds of grey beneath me. The crumbled, flaking grey of vast walls which buckled and bent around me. And above, hidden by shadow, yet more grey, the air a constant cloud of grey dust and ash which stained my nose, assaulted my throat, and drowned my lungs.
From the dark, she appeared.
Her long black hair caked in ash, the smooth flesh of her beautiful face, her eyelids, her full lips, the slender span of neck, all drenched in grey. Even the simple robe that covered her from shoulder to ankle swallowed by delicate clouds of dust rising as she drew near.
I opened my mouth to speak, to ask her name ...
Came the silent response.
An ancient name. First born. From the West. Egypt.
The grey of her flesh cracked as her cheeks lifted in a small smile.
There were wings, I wanted to say. Yes, wings. Great wings, the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh the last thing I heard in the cave, yes, the last thing before darkness came. Hours ago with The Seer, the dead, broken Child, her golden hair in the jaws of the great wolf as it, as they, the wolves, dragged her away, the darkness having stolen my breath, the Whispers suffocating me.
She waits, They had said, the Whispers. In the ash. Yes.
The stranger, this Shamisé, raised her hand, quieting my inner thoughts.
And then she spoke.