About the Book
Prince Eghan Lhin is terrified when he is abducted from his father’s castle but finds himself in a safe place nestled in a hidden valley high in the mountains not far from his father’s kingdom. He learns to trust the man who has brought him there and even begins to trust Nara, the heir to the throne of his family’s sworn enemies. But he cannot trust the God they follow. When they are led into the dangerous territory on the other side of the mountains, to restore Nara to the throne, Eghan must learn more than trust, more than courage. He must learn what faith really means.
JOURNEY TO A STRONG TOWER
Consciousness seeped into Eghan like the mists that slipped seductively down from the mountains — slowly — so slowly his mind fought to clear the haze away. Leather thongs binding his ankles and wrists twisted into his skin when he moved. Memory flooded back. He was in his own room in his father’s house, staring at a cup in his hand. The cup’s rim blurred. His head spun. He remembered turning toward the door, seeing a man he did not recognize, just before everything went black.
He opened his eyes, but all he could see was a gray haze. Panic spilled bile into his mouth as he tried to free himself, but his body felt limp, without strength. A gray lump that he thought was a rock sitting in front of him, moved. Eghan lay still and blinked, but could not bring it into focus. In frustration, he kicked out.
“Who are you? Why are you doing this?” He spoke through clenched teeth. “My father will not pay ransom!” Breathing hard, he tried to sit up. The shape moved again and Eghan felt a large hand on his shoulder, pushing him down.
“Don’t thrash about so, boy. Let the drug wear off in its own time.”
The voice, strange to Eghan, seemed far away. His strength gave out again and he leaned back, aware of the heavy scent of pine and the hardness of the boughs beneath the rough blanket on which he lay. Dampness clung to it.
“Where am I?” His own voice sounded disconnected from his body. His tongue felt thick in his mouth. “Am I dreaming?” he mumbled.
Rough hands released the thong on his wrists and he felt a cool liquid at his lips. He sipped, then grasped the cup and drank greedily. The hands pushed him back onto the blanket, more gently this time. Eghan could now make out the man’s thickset body squatting beside him.
“Who are you?” he asked again.
“My name is Faelan.” The man stood and moved into the darkness.
Eghan followed the sound of his steps until a dull beam of light penetrated the space around them as Faelan pulled a rough covering away from the entrance and stepped out.
Raising himself onto one elbow, Eghan blinked and squinted. As his eyes focused he realized he was lying on the floor of a small cave. Faelan returned with a pack and began spreading cooking utensils on the ground.
Eghan watched as he skillfully lit a fire, blowing slowly on the coals until the wood caught. As the flames grew, Eghan studied him. His features were strong, the beard trimmed, black hair pulled back and bound behind his neck with a leather thong. Thick unruly eyebrows curled out over deep-set dark eyes. The eyes were staring at him.
“There will be food soon,” Faelan said.
Eghan’s heart raced as he took in the man’s clothing, mostly made of animal hides. He was looking at a Mountain Huntsman! He had always scoffed at the stories about the mountain people. A rarely seen, wild race, it was said they raided valley farms for grain, fruit and, sometimes, slaves. It was also said they would do anything for a price. Eghan had thought the tales were told to frighten children into obedience. Now he wondered how much of what he had heard was true.
About the Author
Marcia’s writing has won awards in Canada and the U.S. Her devotionals are distributed to thousands and her novel, One Smooth Stone, won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award from Castle Quay Books and The Word Guild. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone has also garnered excellent reviews. Marcia’s work has often been short-listed in The Word Awards. Her most recent release is a The Ambassadors, a YA fantasy series just launched with Helping Hands Press. Marcia is also a sought-after speaker for women’s events. Visit her at her website.