Rising From Dust by Martine Carlsson Light from Aphelion #1
Publication Date: January 8, 2016
Genres: Historical, Fantasy
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FIGHT FOR JUSTICE. DIE FOR LOVE.War is raging in the kingdom of Trevalden. Up north in the Frozen Mountains, the amnesic hermit Selen survives as the pariah in his community. Drawn by a mysterious call, he travels to Trevalden and meets Louis, an enigmatic archivist. Together, as Selen remembers his past, they face the desolation of war with a group of misfits. For the sake of the people, they fight back the king’s armies, prepared to meet death…or a new dawn. As Selen and Louis understand that their feelings for each other may be their undoing, they are torn between their emotions and the greater good. But in the end, what is the greater good? While they try to find their place in an unknown world, they carry a secret that will shatter the society and make them realize that the hardest fights are not against dragons but within oneself. Rising from Dust is an epic journey where gritty fantasy and history cross paths. A graphic story of loyalty, violence, magic, court plots, and unwavering love where no one is what they seem.
Please note: This book contains graphic scenes and is an M/M story intended for adult readers.
“Whatever I am looking for, it’s hidden here,” Louis said and looked at the sign of the Wounded Owl Inn. It was time he arrived. His heart inflamed his lungs. His hands in his gloves were moist, and his vision had blurred a few times.
The place was built with white stone, and judging by the thickness of the ivy that grew on the north wall, it had probably stood there for a hundred years. The inn was big, with a long red tile roof and half-timbered walls. Louis looked at the stained-glass windows of different colors. Only rich taverns in cities could afford such luxury. To be so impressive, this place was probably the only resting spot on the main road for miles. He walked towards the porch. Like a moat around a castle, the inn was circled by a stream, which also could have been waste waters. A stone bridge connected the alley to the entrance gate.
A young lad in dusty outfits approached him. “Should I take care of your horse, my lord?”
“I’m no lord, but yes, you can,” Louis answered. As he dismounted, his head spun. He closed his eyes a few seconds. “How big is this place?”
“You have the stables at your right, over there. On the left is the inn. Though, I think the inn is full for the night. There is an inner garden that you can reach from the west side of the main room. This gate is the only entrance,” the lad explained.
So, that door would be the only exit should he meet someone nasty inside the inn. Louis was not reassured at all. “Thank you. That will be all.” Louis gave the lad a coin, handed him his horse’s bridle, and headed to the inn’s main door across the inner yard.
As Louis pushed the door, the smell of tobacco and cabbage fried in grease with onions welcomed him. He put a hand on his mouth. The tavern was crowded with all kinds of folk, each more suspicious and shabby looking than the other. The customers’ loud chatting covered the distant sound of a bard’s lute. His eyes narrowed when he stared at the faces. Under his cloak, Louis reached for the pommel of his sword. No eyes crossed his. No one reacted to his presence. Still, it was here, somewhere.
The heat in his chest was suffocating. He pushed his hood back. The terrible smell made his stomach contract again. In search for some fresh air, he noticed the open door on the other side, the one that led to the inner garden. He took a few unsteady steps towards the doorframe and leaned against it. The cold air of the evening felt wonderful on his face. The garden was full of colorful flowers. This enchanting place was a stark contrast to the main room of the tavern. Someone sat in the alley.
The pain in his heart stopped. The nausea left him. Could the something he was after be a someone? Louis approached with his hand on his sword. “Whoever you are, turn around and show yourself,” Louis commanded.
The person in front of him rose slowly and turned, pushing his hood back. The pain Louis had felt in his heart came back stronger than ever, but it was another kind of pain this time. The man had long hair the color of lilacs cascading down his back to his thighs. His face had the most delicate features Louis had ever seen. But above all, it was the man’s eyes that caught his attention. He had eyes of the purest green, expressing the most infinite kindness. Louis was drawn out of his amazement when the man opened his plump, curved mouth.
“My name is Selen. I’ve been waiting for you,” the man said with a smile and a hint of a blush.Martine Carlsson lives in the middle of the Swedish forest. She is French, educated librarian, and studied history at the University of Liege. She takes her inspiration from the nature around her, from her roots in Brittany, and from fascinating parts from the European history. Therefore, it is not uncommon to read in her stories about forest creatures meeting peculiar characters in a detailed, historical-based background. She enjoys writing fantasy, especially a mix between harsh realism and magical wonders. Rising from Dust is her first novel and the first volume of the series Light from Aphelion.