CHILDREN OF SWAN:
THE LAND OF TARON
by Coral Walker
YA Science Fiction
It seems that nothing could be worse than waking up one morning to find their parents have disappeared and their young brother Bo bawling his eyes out, but for Jack and Brianna, the squabbling teenage sibling rivals, the worst is yet to come.
Much to the bafflement and distress of their children, Marcus and Zelda have actually returned to their home planet, Cygnore. Marcus and Zelda, the runaway prince and princess of Bara and Rion, had a life on Earth. For twelve years, they lived happily and peacefully under the name of ‘Goodman’.
Bo is kidnapped. In hot-headed pursuit, Jack and Brianna plunge into a wormhole that takes them to Taron. Little did they know their impetuous arrival in Taron has placed the lives of their parents in peril. Locals catch them and bring them to an arena. In bewilderment and dismay, Jack finds himself fettered to a wall and examined by a smouldering-eyed and blue-skinned young woman of Bara, Lady Cici.
Lady Cici, the daughter of Lord Shusha, has come to the arena for one and only reason — to have them killed. She is to be engaged to Prince Marcus, their father, and she cannot afford their existence to jeopardize Marcus’ life and her forthcoming engagement. She must have them killed, and the arena, where slaves routinely fight to the death, is the perfect place.
The joy, if there was any, was brief.
The smell of smoke coming to her against the wind alarmed her. At the foot of the slope, over the hedges and trees, a dark smoky cloud had gathered.
She broke into a run, and stopped at an old fruit tree by the edge of the thick, drifting cloud. In the eerie silence, her breath sounded harsh and unsettling.
The gate was yards away. She trembled as she glanced at it — from that gate, armed men had chased her like hunters.
The wind, bored with blowing from one direction, was now shifting, churning the cloud and making it roll like a furious beast.
She edged the few yards down to the gate and found herself staring at the front wall of the cottage that towered over the sprawling and smouldering ruins of the cottage like a triumphant fighter among scattered corpses. In the middle of the wall, the arched door stood shut, looking as solemn as a soldier, with its dark lock of formidable size.
Behind that door was where the doctor was hanged. She could almost see it now. It made no sense that while many parts of the house were burned almost to the ground, she still believed the doctor could have survived behind that door.
But she carried on nevertheless, shoving the door hard with her shoulder. The door hardly shook, frustrating her — she hadn’t expected a sturdy door, but a weak one that had barely survived the fire.
She searched for a tool and took a boulder from behind a pot. Sparks scattered with each blow, but the door stood firm. Losing patience, she threw away the stone and paced around for a new tool. Thinking to lever the lock open with a metal bar, she sharpened her eyes to look for one. A loud creaking sound alarmed her. She turned and jumped at the sight of the door that had stood so stubbornly, crashing down. It smashed to the ground with a heavy thud, just an inch away from her foot.
Instantly a maelstrom of hot smoke engulfed her.
All about CORAL WALKER!!!
Coral Walker was born and raised in China. She holds a BSc in Computer Engineering, MSc in computing and PhD in Computer Science and, and has spent most of her adult life striving for an orthodox, academic career path. She now lives in Wales, UK with her husband and three children. Becoming a mother, and teaching her children to live a fulfilled life resuscitated her fading dream of being an author. The urge to write became so great that she pursued her dream and the ‘Children of Swan’ trilogy is the upshot — a symbol of a new journey in life.
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