Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Black Gate - Twin Worlds Trilogy, Vol 2 (Dom King) in One Thousand Words

The Black Gate by Dominic H. King is today's feature on One Thousand Worlds. Volume 1 of the series was featured on this blog in October 2013. You can find that post here.

The Black Gate-

Kal and Daine are back in the world where they first met. Daine’s world. The Reaper’s world.

The Temple Elders sent them back through a portal between the twin worlds as bait for the Reaper’s army of arrochom, the creatures trying to break the bond between Kal and his father, so allowing their master to cross the void.

But will the creatures follow? Can Kal find a way back to his father in the chamber? Will Daine find the answers she is looking for at the Commune? Can a plan forged by an old mage before they were born really help them to defeat the being who has conquered a world? And how long can they both keep out of the Reaper's path?

The Black Gate is the second volume of the Twin Worlds trilogy, an epic tale of swords and sorcery, travel and adventure, love and loss, good and evil. But most of all, a tale of adolescence and growing up.
About the author-

Dominic was born in Bath, UK in 1982. 

He is the author of the Twin Worlds trilogy that follows Kal and Daine in their epic battle against the Reaper. The first two instalments, The Chamber (2012) and The Black Gate (2013), are currently available. He cites writers such as Tolkien, Pullman, Martin and Bernard Cornwell and time spent in China, India, Nepal and Latin America as his major inspirations.

Sports-mad he aspires to greatness as a football, cricket, rugby, hockey, golf and squash player, but has to settle with mediocrity. He has been more successful at charity challenges including the Blenheim Triathlon, the 3 Peaks Challenge and the London Dragon Boat race.

He works as an in-house economist at a global consultancy for whom he has written over 100 reports on the world economy. He lives in London with his Mexican wife Liz (and, from October, daughter Elena).

You can follow Dominic's blogs about publishing, economics, hockey and his pet hate, tiny trolley bags, via his website –

Chapter 1.i

Something pulled her through the darkness, dragging her towards the light. Snapping back into consciousness felt like bursting to the surface of a lake after having dived to its depths. Instantly, a high-pitched whining battered at her eardrums. The air tasted gritty and dry and she lay face down on a hard surface. Not wanting to make any sudden movements, she cracked her eyes open. Huge shapes moved slowly across her vision, and a dull light flickered from behind them. She closed her eyes again and slowed her breathing.

Play dead until I find out where I am. And what else is here.

Instinctively, she reached out into her mind, searching for the level from where she could feel for the beings surrounding her. She slid with practised ease onto her plateau, basking briefly in a familiar sense of blue, fiery euphoria. She looked down from her mountain at the myriad of colours that marked the thoughts of those nearby. Creatures surrounded her, their flows dark and menacing. But there was something else; brighter flows which flickered dully. They were closer to her, within touching distance.

Suddenly one of the dark flows below her burnt blood red and she slid off her mountain, every muscle in her body tensed as she waited for the creature to strike.

This is going to hurt.

Chapter 1.ii

Something sharp slashed across his back, ripping him away from the darkness and he cried out in pain. He tried to roll away onto his side but the pain in his back doubled and he stopped moving. Opening his eyes he could see nothing but a great mass of hairy limbs so he slowly twisted his neck to look upwards. The creature holding him down was grotesque. Beady, black eyes and a pair of pincers set into a small head on a huge, multi-limbed body. It looked familiar somehow but the pain in his back was flooding his senses and he was unable to retrieve the memory.

What the hell is it? And what am I doing here?

Something dark flashed across his line of sight. The creature snapped its head round to follow the blur and its grip on his back weakened. He rolled away quickly, feeling its claws tear at his flesh. As he did so something dug into his hip. The creature took a swipe at him with one of its many legs but he had already reached down without thinking to withdraw the sword that was tucked under his cloak. As he slid it out, the sharp blade severed the creature's leg. It screamed in pain and threw another of its huge, hairy legs at him but he rolled backwards rising lithely to his feet. Without taking his eyes off it, he tried to look for an escape route. He seemed to be in some sort of high-walled compound, around thirty paces square. In his peripheral vision he was aware of other figures lying on the ground. The creature swung at him again, howling in displeasure and he staggered as he deflected a blow to his right side and then to his left.

It’s trying to pin me against the wall.

He was just about to launch a reckless counterattack when he saw something moving rapidly up behind the creature, little more than a blur of black. He retreated, reasoning that whatever it was, it could hardly make his predicament worse. The figure in black soared upwards, vaulting onto its back and bringing the end of a long black quarterstaff down hard on the back of its head. As the quarterstaff sunk in, the creature gave silent shudder then collapsed to the ground. The figure jumped neatly off its back and walked purposefully towards him.

“Your name is Kal,” the figure said, lowering her hood, “and I am called Daine. Come on, we must rouse the others. More of the daemonspawn will be on their way.”

He stared back, his eyes wide in disbelief. The figure was a girl of perhaps nineteen summers, with dark hair that fell past her shoulders and beguiling oval eyes that seemed to suck him in. Something about her was familiar. A deep, heavy memory was pulling him away from consciousness.

The girl in front of him began to blur and sway.

Chapter 1.iii

Daine watched Kal’s eyes flicker madly as he looked at her and she rushed forward to grab him as he fell forward. She laid him down gently and decided to check the others whilst he was incapacitated. Caephillius, the half-goblin, half-man, Wai Lin, the warrior monk, and Beatrice, the Chief Temple elder lay face down on the ground around her.

Why are they taking longer to wake up? Because they’re older? Or because they’re not from this world?

She crouched down next to Wai Lin. The monk was breathing, a look of serene calm on his face; she gently stroked his cheek, then gripped him by the shoulders and shook him, but he remained motionless. She shook him more firmly, but still nothing moved on his handsome light-brown face. She moved over to Caephillius, but the ranger was as impassive as the monk. She walked across to Beatrice and studied the thick strands of silvery hair on the Chief Elder’s head for a moment.

The arrochom was calling for help when he found us. I’m sure of it.

Daine stood and listened hard. The sun hung blood red in a dirty grey sky and she coughed as the cloying air caught in her throat. She glanced back at the boy convulsing on the floor and found herself grinning at the complete role reversal, tracing the thin scar on her arm he was responsible for.

Of course. That’s how the boy regained consciousness before the others.

The sudden realisation wiped the smile from her face. She withdrew a dagger from her boot and ran across to Wai Lin.

“Sorry”, she said as she dug the blade into his bicep and traced it down about the width of four fingers.

The Black Gate, is now available from:

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