The Black Gate


Plot synopsis

Kal and Daine are back in the world where they first met. Daine’s world. The Reaper’s world.

The Temple Elders sent them back through a portal between the twin worlds as bait for the Reaper’s army of arrochom, the creatures trying to break the bond between Kal and his father, so allowing their master to cross the void.

But will the creatures follow? Can Kal find a way back to his father in the chamber? Will Daine find the answers she is looking for at the Commune? Can a plan forged by an old mage before they were born really help them to defeat the being who has conquered a world? And how long can they both keep out of the Reaper's path?

The Black Gate is the second volume of the Twin Worlds trilogy, an epic tale of swords and sorcery, travel and adventure, love and loss, good and evil. But most of all, a tale of adolescence and growing up.

Still not convinced? Watch the book trailer here or read the excerpt below:

Chapter 1.i

Something pulled her through the darkness, dragging her towards the light. Snapping back into consciousness felt like bursting to the surface of a lake after having dived to its depths. Instantly, a high-pitched whining battered at her eardrums. The air tasted gritty and dry and she lay face down on a hard surface. Not wanting to make any sudden movements, she cracked her eyes open. Huge shapes moved slowly across her vision, and a dull light flickered from behind them. She closed her eyes again and slowed her breathing.

Play dead until I find out where I am. And what else is here.

Instinctively, she reached out into her mind, searching for the level from where she could feel for the beings surrounding her. She slid with practised ease onto her plateau, basking briefly in a familiar sense of blue, fiery euphoria. She looked down from her mountain at the myriad of colours that marked the thoughts of those nearby. Creatures surrounded her, their flows dark and menacing. But there was something else; brighter flows which flickered dully. They were closer to her, within touching distance.

Suddenly one of the dark flows below her burnt blood red and she slid off her mountain, every muscle in her body tensed as she waited for the creature to strike.

This is going to hurt.

Chapter 1.ii

Something sharp slashed across his back, ripping him away from the darkness and he cried out in pain. He tried to roll away onto his side but the pain in his back doubled and he stopped moving. Opening his eyes he could see nothing but a great mass of hairy limbs so he slowly twisted his neck to look upwards. The creature holding him down was grotesque. Beady, black eyes and a pair of pincers set into a small head on a huge, multi-limbed body. It looked familiar somehow but the pain in his back was flooding his senses and he was unable to retrieve the memory.

What the hell is it? And what am I doing here?

Something dark flashed across his line of sight. The creature snapped its head round to follow the blur and its grip on his back weakened. He rolled away quickly, feeling its claws tear at his flesh. As he did so something dug into his hip. The creature took a swipe at him with one of its many legs but he had already reached down without thinking to withdraw the sword that was tucked under his cloak. As he slid it out, the sharp blade severed the creature's leg. It screamed in pain and threw another of its huge, hairy legs at him but he rolled backwards rising lithely to his feet. Without taking his eyes off it, he tried to look for an escape route. He seemed to be in some sort of high-walled compound, around thirty paces square. In his peripheral vision he was aware of other figures lying on the ground. The creature swung at him again, howling in displeasure and he staggered as he deflected a blow to his right side and then to his left.

It’s trying to pin me against the wall.

He was just about to launch a reckless counterattack when he saw something moving rapidly up behind the creature, little more than a blur of black. He retreated, reasoning that whatever it was, it could hardly make his predicament worse. The figure in black soared upwards, vaulting onto its back and bringing the end of a long black quarterstaff down hard on the back of its head. As the quarterstaff sunk in, the creature gave silent shudder then collapsed to the ground. The figure jumped neatly off its back and walked purposefully towards him.

“Your name is Kal,” the figure said, lowering her hood, “and I am called Daine. Come on, we must rouse the others. More of the daemonspawn will be on their way.”

He stared back, his eyes wide in disbelief. The figure was a girl of perhaps nineteen summers, with dark hair that fell past her shoulders and beguiling oval eyes that seemed to suck him in. Something about her was familiar. A deep, heavy memory was pulling him away from consciousness.

The girl in front of him began to blur and sway.

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