Dark Talisman is being released today October 15th so make sure you purchase a copy!
Book One in The Guardian Chronicles
By Steven M. Booth
When you’re a dark elf,
saving the world can be tough
She’s been banished from her home without a word of explanation. Assassins are hot on her tail, and she’s fleeing without a plan. On the whole, her future looks pretty grim. Then again, it’s nearly impossible to catch a dark elf. And even tougher to kill one.
Meet Altira. She set out to rob a sultan, and ended up stealing the deadliest gem in the world. This mistake could cost Altira her life – or save her race, and possibly the world as she knows it.
As Altira struggles to triumph over the vast forces arrayed against her, she acquires (mostly against her will) a rich cast of unexpected allies – perceptive dwarves, giant Phoenix birds with mysterious powers, and ephemeral creatures made from nothing but air. Together they must find a way to defeat the army of assassins set against her, overcome the wrath of three nations, and forge allegiances with despised enemies, to reveal the truth to a people kept in darkness for millennia.
The first installment in The Guardian Chronicles, DARK TALISMAN (Azimuth Books; October 15, 2013; An original hardcover; $16.99) takes us to the magical land of Salustra, where ageless Guardians are locked in an eternal battle with their mortal enemy: a Dark Lord intent on destroying their world.
Says Booth’s editor, Deborah Halverson, of first reading DARK TALISMAN, “Booth’s authentic characters struggle for compassion and courage in equal measure, and he paints a landscape so rich I felt the urge to reach out and touch it. His story is an exquisite adventure that starts with thievery and rapidly evolves into a spirited quagmire of hostile alliances, heroes made and broken, and an enemy so powerful he commands creatures made of the air itself.”
About the author:
STEVEN M. BOOTH works with artists in the film industry to create some of the most spectacular effects and animation on the silver screen. He has worked as a software developer, programming the production and artist tools used to convert 2D to 3D films, on films such as Transformers 3, The Green Lantern, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Smurfs.
Steven combined his love of the natural world with his ability to think outside the box, developed after working in computer software for over 30 years, to imagineer the fantasy world of his first novel, DARK TALISMAN.
Steven has been a competitive equestrian rider in dressage, a championship-caliber amateur ballroom dance competitor, is a certified SCUBA diver, likes flying helicopters, and enjoys sailing, photography, and all things Disney. He currently lives in San Diego.
By Steven M. Booth
Azimuth Books; October 15, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-615-79725-0; 336 Pages; $16.99
Ages: 12+ (Grades 7+)
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Chapter 18 Excerpt
Altira stood and wiped the grime off a window with her elbow.
Thin shafts of brilliant amber light revealed a scattering of
unfilled crates on the floor of the nearly vacant warehouse. She
went to her pack and fished out the water. It was almost gone.
She’d have to find more soon.
As she sipped the last of the drink, Altira absently swatted at a
mosquito buzzing near her ear before realizing it wasn’t an insect
at all. It felt more like a vibration—the knife! The ruby gem on
the pommel was dimly glowing and the buzz coming from it grew
louder, now sounding more like a thousand honeybees gathering
nectar in a distant field. Here we go, she thought, crouched in her
corner and whispered into the stone,
“Farthir? I think—”
“We hear the blade. Naroc is poised. Give the word and we pass.”
Altira tossed the empty flask on her pack and sent her mind
through the wall. She surveyed the exterior of the office, cataloging
every door and nook, preparing to jump in a
heartbeat. The hum grew louder, now like the imminent
approach of hornets.
She risked a peek through the office window. The humming
increased. She scanned the dusty floor, the walls, the ceiling,
sent her mind into every corner, but there was no sign of the
Cirrian. A familiar putrid odor wafted to her—from above!
“On our way.”
The lightning-like scent grew more oppressive as Altira
retreated to the far corner of the room, her heart racing. She
cast through the wall at her back and found a place to jump as
a thin tendril of yellow—like a wisp from a smoldering
corpse—snaked through the broken ceiling planks and oozed
into the room. It wafted to and fro, seeking some contact, and
then coiled toward the floor. The Cirrian oozed through the
ceiling like some impossible, putrid serpent made entirely of
rancid smoke. The ephemeral reptile slowly curled upon itself
on the floor as it became both more substantial and more ominous.
The tendril coalesced into a vapid pool of eerily luminous,
Advance Praise for DARK TALISMAN
"DARK TALISMAN features a snarky heroine along with a colorful cast of magical creatures struggling to triumph in the midst of an eternal battle set in a vividly written world. This fun, fantasy adventure is not to be missed!"
—Fantasy Book Addict
"This entertaining, sweeping fantasy is the first installment of the new Guardian Chronicles series geared toward the young adult market but equally suitable for adults. The diverse, obviously flawed characters are a treat, especially Altira who gradually replaces her snarky, knee-jerk reactions to people with genuine caring. Tyke, Altira’s dwarf friend proves to be steadfast ally and companion while the Guardians add just the right amount of magic to this engaging tale that all started with the simple theft of a stone. This is a treat for fantasy readers of all ages and is certain to win Booth a loyal following for his upcoming releases as there are more challenges ahead for Altira."
—Monsters and Critics
"Well written. Compelling. Sequel-likely (and worthy), I recommend this book to all of you nerds out there...immersive, comfortable, and wildly fantastic (as in Fantasy!!!) world."
“This is definitely a series to look out for if you are looking for a light easy fantasy read or if you are looking for something to get your child to read”
—Night Owl Reviews *Top Pick*
“A delightfully sassy heroine takes center stage in this vibrant tale of action and intrigue, set in a lovingly crafted world of magic and mystery. A treat for new and veteran fantasy readers alike.”
—Eldon Thompson, author of THE LEGEND OF ASAHIEL
“Booth’s authentic characters struggle for compassion and courage in equal measure, and he paints a landscape so rich I felt the urge to reach out and touch it. His story is an exquisite adventure that starts with thievery and rapidly evolves into a spirited quagmire of hostile alliances, heroes made and broken, and an enemy so powerful he commands creatures made of the air itself.”
—Deborah Halverson, author of WRITING YA FICTION FOR DUMMIES