Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Legend of Finndragon's Curse (Richie Earl) in One Thousand Words

The Legend of Finndragon's Curse by Richie Earl is today's featured book on One Thousand WorldsIt is the first book in the two part Tales of Finndragon series. As a thank you for supporting One Thousand Worlds, Earl would like to give everyone a free ebook copy of The Legend of Finndragon's Curse for Christmas. To get your copy, send an email stating Free Book in the subject line and whether you prefer a Kindle or PDF copy. The closing date for this offer is 31st December2013.

The Legend of Finndragon's Curse-

Emma, Megan and Scott long to find their father, who mysteriously disappeared eleven months ago. Can they unravel the secret of the cursed Kingdom of Morgannwg and save him, or will the powerful, but evil wizard Finndragon thwart their efforts.

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is a fast paced, engaging and thrilling page turner. The story races along with plenty of twists and turns as it heads for the prophesized confrontation between the children and the evil Finndragon himself.

Combining wizardry and magic with modern technology, and containing magical animals and terrible demons, The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is a rollercoaster of emotions. You will laugh out loud and then fight to hold back the tears, as the children race against time to rescue their father. In doing so they have to kill Finndragon and put an end to the dreadful curse.

A young adult adventure that is sure to be enjoyed by all ages.

About this author-

Richie Earl is the author of The Tales of Finndragon series. He is currently working on his third novel, a stand alone paranormal murder/mystery. Earl launched this blog in September 2013, aiming to give his fellow authors a platform to showcase their work.

Chapter 1

The Davies family lived in a typical Welsh valley town called Crafanc y Ddraig (The Dragons Claw), which was surrounded by great hills and mountains, situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Crafanc y Ddraig was renowned for its history of coal mining and steel industries, like many of its neighbours, but also locally for the legend of Finndragon’s Curse.

The children of Crafanc y Ddraig had been brought up for centuries on stories of the legend. Sat on a parent or grandparent’s lap, the tale was retold over countless generations. Although each retelling was slightly different, the story had a constant theme. Legend told that in the sixth century there was a great kingdom in Wales. The story was full of mystery and magic, wizardry and witchcraft. The legend of Finndragon’s Curse had been widely swallowed up by the more popular Arthurian Legend, which dated from roughly the same time, and as a result Finndragon’s Curse had generally been forgotten.

Emma, Megan and Scott had heard the story told many times and by many different story tellers, including their grandmother, uncle and several teachers. However, they'd always lay enchanted in their beds as Dad told the fabulous story at bedtime. He had a way of bringing the characters to life; his colourful words painting them on the canvas of the children’s imagination. He didn’t just tell the story; he transported them back in time. They could almost smell the strange aromas of medieval life. Now Dad was gone, Emma continued the tradition by telling the tale to her younger siblings.

“A long, long time ago there lived a wise old king called Dafydd the Defiant, who ruled the Kingdom of Morgannwg. It was a time of magic, wizardry and witchcraft and like all powerful men of the time, Dafydd had a court wizard who advised him on everything, from what to eat, to where to build his castle,” Emma said dramatically, subconsciously teasing her long brown hair between finger and thumb as she spoke.
“Dafydd's wizard was called Finndragon, it is said that he was a giant. Most tales say he stood head and shoulders above the tallest of men, which probably made him about seven feet tall. He would have seemed like a giant, as people were generally much shorter then. He looked like a typical wizard, with a long grey beard and even longer grey hair, partly hidden by his pointy hat. It was said Finndragon had lived five lifetimes, which made him influential and all knowing. He was a very powerful magician, and it is claimed he once served King Arthur at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. Finndragon had been a loyal and good servant to his master,” she continued as her sister Megan and brother Scott listened intently. No matter how many times they heard the tale, they still hung on every spoken word.

“Finndragon advised Dafydd to build his huge castle, called Castell y Mynydd - The Mountain Castle - above a high, sheer cliff face that surrounded three sides. It is said the castle was the greatest ever built. The cliff face provided a good source of stone for the construction of the castle and was impregnable against would be attackers. To the front was a long sweeping plane, making a surprise attack impossible. A large moat, about thirty yards wide protected this side and it's believed that Finndragon filled it with strange, fierce creatures. They had dagger like teeth, which would rip apart any unfortunate invader who happened to end up in the water.

"A narrow strip of land split the moat in half and led up to the castle, stopping a few yards short. Access to the castle was only possible when the huge wooden drawbridge was lowered to span the gap. The massive castle was practically a perfect square and took seven years to construct.” Emma paused for a moment, reflecting on the magnificence of Castell y Mynydd.

 “Word had spread for the last two or three years, of invaders from the east. Barbaric warriors with huge beasts of war were rampaging across Britain, slaughtering everyone and destroying everything in their path. Finndragon ensured the castle would repel any attacking force. The front wall was over thirty feet tall, with battlements all the way along it. There was a large, strongly fortified gatehouse to the centre of this wall and at each corner of the castle stood a tall, circular tower.

“The invaders finally arrived at Castell y Mynydd and lay siege for 100 days. They were unable to launch an attack on Dafydd’s well defended castle. So they thought they could wait until the castle food ran out and Dafydd’s men were starving, forcing them to leave the castle. However, they didn’t realise Finndragon had cast a spell on the food store and that for every item removed, another magically took its place. The invaders eventually decided to launch an attack, which proved hopeless. As they attempted to cross the moat in small rafts, Finndragon’s creatures left their watery beds, tipped over the rafts and savagely turned the water red with the blood of the barbarians; feasting on their flesh and bones.”

“What happened next?” Megan asked excitedly, her hazel eyes burning brightly, even though she knew how the story ended.

“The surviving barbarians fled and were never seen in Wales again,” Emma concluded. “But soon after, Dafydd and Finndragon had a huge argument. It was the Feast of August and everybody was celebrating. There was food aplenty and an ample supply of good strong wines and ales. Nobody knows for sure what they argued about, but some say Finndragon may have fallen in love with Dafydd’s wife. Queen Hafgan, which means ‘summer song’, was much younger than Dafydd and was very beautiful. She had long red hair and a pale complexion. Dafydd banished Finndragon from his kingdom.”

“And as he left Castell y Mynydd, the wizard turned to Dafydd and said,” Megan continued the story now. “Unless you lift my banishment before thirteen moons light the sky, then you, your castle, kingdom and everything in it shall sink into the earth. You will be set upon by monsters and demons until the end of time, and never be seen again.’ Then the sky went dark, only lit by the frequent flash of lightning, with thunder crashing all around. Finndragon swirled his long cloak in the air around him and vanished.”

“Dafydd soon forgot about Finndragon, employing a young Welsh wizard called Myrddin, which meant hawk, who claimed he could protect Dafydd from any curse. Many people believe that Myrddin was actually Merlin in Arthurian Legend,” explained Emma. “Myrddin had an even younger apprentice called Gwayne, which means white hawk.

“With the barbarian invaders dispatched, life was very peaceful. Dafydd was happy and his kingdom prospered. Exactly a year after Finndragon’s banishment, with a full moon in the beautiful night sky, a terrible storm came up from nowhere, right in the middle of the Feast of August. It is said that his visiting cousin Dewi, King of Ceredigion was with Dafydd that night. Suddenly everything was in pitch darkness except for Castell y Mynydd, which was illuminated by a single shaft of moonlight. Every fire and light within the castle was extinguished by the howling wind and the lashing rain. The waters in the moat began to bubble and boil, and the ground began to shake.”

“What did Dafydd do, Emma,” asked Scott, “And what about Myrddin’s magic?”

“Myrddin was a young wizard. His magic was not yet powerful enough to stop Finndragon’s Curse as he’d claimed. So he saved himself by turning into a hawk, and flew away before the kingdom sank into the earth. A mountain rose up above the spot where it had stood and Dafydd, everyone and everything else weren’t so lucky,” Emma went on with the story.

“So that was the end of Dafydd?” said Megan.

“Yes, except some people think his kingdom is still intact, in the belly of the earth, where Dafydd is plagued by Finndragon’s demons for all eternity,” Emma concluded.

Where you can buy The Legend of Finndragon's Curse:

Amazon - Kindle edition

Lulu - paperback

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