About the Book
Book VII in the “King of the Trees” fantasy series by William D. Burt. WINEPRESS PUBLISHING: 2010. (Softcover; 256 pages. Illustrated by Becky Miller.) The Birthing Tree features 13 detailed black-and-white text illustrations. This title includes a glossary and pronunciation guide at the back for easier reading and for reading aloud.
Who creates the clouds and brings the rain? Ravaging the drought-stricken world of Lucambra, camouflaged dragons have trapped Prince Elwyn and the royal family inside their tower. Hope is dwindling when Elwyn unearths an ancient urn containing a cloud-riddle and a three-pronged staff, the keys to a long-lost treasure and clues to Lucambra’s plight. Fending off foggy foes bent on stealing the staff, Elwyn joins forces with a princess scarred by her dark past. Together, they set out to find the treasure and its rightful owner, Cumulon the Cloud King. In the end, they discover both peril and bliss beneath the Birthing Tree.
The Birthing Tree portrays Gaelathane’s perfect love as He molds the lives of a prince and princess into one.
Never should I have challenged these mountains alone. I have come to loathe the barren rocks and shrill winds of this place I call, “the Mountains of the Moon.” Only the moon’s light tempers its rugged desolation.
Ifor’s trail has since grown cold. I fear I shall never catch him now, for he must have turned aside long before crossing the plains. He may do us much harm with the book he stole from Winona. My only hope is to find a way through these mountains to a land where neither sorcerer nor turncloak can easily reach us. Perhaps then my people can live their lives without the threat of slavery.
When the moon looms behind these jagged peaks like a grimacing gork’s face, the cursed yeggoroth come out to hunt. Their horrible screeches and howls echo madly from cold stone. So far, those bloodthirsty creatures have not heard or smelled me, but the higher I climb, the more exposed I am to the sky.
Two nights ago, I was certain the yegs had found my hiding place beneath an overhanging rock, such was the racket they raised. Instead, I witnessed a fierce aerial battle between a pack of batwolves and some winged beasts more wondrous than any animals I have yet encountered in these unexplored regions.
Silhouetted against the moon’s pocked face, these creatures of the griffin kind resemble li-ons with owls’ heads and wings. The ferocious beasts tore through the yowling yegs as easily as my sword cuts through the crusted snow that slows my steps.
Foolishly, I left my refuge for a better vantage point from which to observe the fray. Swooping down, a yeg struck me from behind, and I hit my head on a stone. When I awoke, I found an invisible, trebly hooked crook rolled up in my cloak beside me.
The events following my brush with the yeg are so fantastic I have never related them to another living soul. Perhaps my knock on the head inspired this tale, which I have written down on strips of papery birch bark. When I doubt my sanity, I reread those sheets of bark and touch the three-pronged staff, which led me to a king mightier and nobler than I. As the sorc Swiftwing instructed me, I am burying this wondrous crook to prevent the king’s enemies from stealing it. When the time is right, I will unearth the hooked staff and follow it to the king’s hidden treasure.
In the event, however, that I fall in battle or for some other reason am unable to restore the king’s prized possession to him, I charge you who are reading these words to take up the three-pronged crook and carry on in my place. If you fail, Lucambra may be lost beyond all hope of recovery. May Gaelathane bless your labors and speed your way to the Mountains of the Moon.
In the Tree’s service, Elgathel, King of Lucambra.
About the Author
Having spent most of his teenage years vicariously adventuring in Middle Earth, the author is an avid fantasy fan. His first allegorical fantasy title, The King of the Trees, came out in 1998 (WinePress). Bowing to reader demand, he has expanded the series to include a total of seven titles to date, with more to follow. While still in high school, he began his writing career editing his father’s popular identification guides, Edible and Poisonous Plants of the Western/Eastern States. As an Assistant Professor in the Special Education Department at Western Oregon University, he served as a successful grant-writer and program coordinator.
Burt holds a B.S. in English from Lewis and Clark College and an M.S. from Western Oregon University in Deaf Education. In addition to writing books, he works as an RID-certified American Sign Language interpreter with over thirty years’ experience. His interests include reading, foreign languages and mycology. He is married with two grown children. Visit his website.
Buy the Book
Order Book VII from our website (paperback, Kindle and Nook (epub) versions)—(autographed)
Amazon.com (paperback version)
Amazon.com (Kindle version)