In an empire oppressed by tyranny and dark religion, the warlike Princess Kasarey struggles against disgrace until she encounters Baradyn, an exile who has achieved the impossible. He has crossed the Wasteland! Following in the footsteps of his prophet, Baradyn persuades Kasarey and the assassin, Vin Latzen, to join him on a mission to retrace his steps with the aim of bringing peace and harmony to a dark, violent and troubled world.
"The ice storm was an especially fierce one for the time of year; hail and sleet carried on demon winds in a dark, unforgiving sky.
Enduring this storm as it had for the thousand years since the construction of the Qymarryn strongholds, Citadel Gensoyr stood amidst the impenetrable wilderness of the Bleak Forest. With all windows sealed, no light was visible from the citadel’s domes and towers; but within the structures of thick black stone, the orgakas of the land and sky sheltered from the punishment of the elements.
In the centre of the citadel, the Palace of Justice towered, the epicentre of authority in the citadel. Beneath ground level it housed scores of prisoners awaiting justice. One such prisoner ? one of many ? knelt in a cold, damp cell, gazing into the glow of a candle. Seven feet tall when standing, the green-skinned prisoner was sleepless even at this advanced hour, his mind burning with fears and concerns.
Taking a deep breath, the lecturer Baradyn stretched out his long wings before again folding them behind his back, wringing his hands all the while. Having spent long periods of time in darkness within his subterranean cell, he had no way to measure time. Food was brought at what seemed to be irregular intervals, together with a candle shedding light to eat by. At this moment, emotions of deep concern and fear pervaded his mind as he tried to concentrate on the light of the candle. How long did the candle burn for? For how long did he sleep? How long had he been a prisoner here?"
Rob Smith is 31 and lives in Greater Manchester, England.